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December 2010 Blog Posts (8)

Equality not priority

If, instead of rule by priority (a traffic engineering model), we lived by values of equality (a social model), then the cogs in the current machine that clash – above all safety and efficiency – would mesh. Like shuffling cards we'd merge in turn. Congestion would melt away and roads would be safe. The spanner in the current works – priority – stems from railway engineering. Clearly rail needs segregating from road – trains need greater…

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Added by Martin Cassini on December 29, 2010 at 18:30 — No Comments

Old Man River

There’s an article in today’s i about high fliers training to become psychotherapists in later life. For the first half of life, said Jung, the ego needs to be pushy and self-centred, while maturity is more about reflection and compassion. Parallels with traffic? (1) The traffic control dictatorship (TCD) clearly suffers from arrested development, never have got beyond the egotistic, insensitive phase. (2) One of the foundation…

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Added by Martin Cassini on December 29, 2010 at 15:30 — No Comments

Organ of state improperganda?

Not content with running an article about higher-cost ‘speed awareness’ courses to fund retention of speed cameras, today’s Times runs a leader in support of this new form of indirect taxation. It refers to "academic research which concludes that speed cameras save 800 lives a year". That was the skewed Allsop report which I was invited to challenge on Nick Ferrari’s LBC show the other week. The just, sustainable way to achieve appropriate…

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Added by Martin Cassini on December 28, 2010 at 14:00 — No Comments

Lollipop men - two forms of madness

I missed the reference on the radio just now, but in a newspaper, a headteacher condemns as "madness" the decision by a local council (in pursuit of cuts) to make redundant 25% of lollipop men and women. No, the real madness is to impose a traffic system which puts the onus for road safety on children, and produces a 'need' for lollipop men and women.

Added by Martin Cassini on December 27, 2010 at 8:00 — No Comments

Road outrage

£750,000 spent re-modelling the Shinfield Rd junction in Reading, which included new signals, has made matters worse (story here). To a degree, solutions are location-specific, but in most cases, equality will solve the conflicts contrived by priority. Isn't it time we changed the engineering model…

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Added by Martin Cassini on December 16, 2010 at 17:30 — No Comments

E + E = E

Equality + Empathy = Efficiency. In more detail: Equality (as distinct from priority) stimulates Empathy (among ALL road-users), which combine to produce Efficiency (and safety). Another way of putting it is that Liberty (to use our instincts and judgement) + Equality (of rights, responsibility and opportunity) combine to produce Fraternity.

Added by Martin Cassini on December 15, 2010 at 0:00 — No Comments

20mph limit for Portishead High Street?

Speed limits license speed at that limit, but sometimes even 20 is inappropriate. Would you want to be hit by a bus doing 20? But why should we do 20 when no-one is about? Far better to let the individual decide appropriate speed based on context and the needs of the moment. When the street is busy, or someone is about to cross, we can slow to crawling pace. When no-one is around, we can speed up. It's a fair trade-off. Life involves…

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Added by Martin Cassini on December 14, 2010 at 23:30 — No Comments

Autopilot

Report in the Winnipeg Sun: "Traffic lights were out at several intersections in central Winnipeg on Saturday because of a power outage. Motorists and pedestrians are advised to use extreme caution" – implying that when lights are "working", caution is unnecessary. That just about sums up the negative role of the traffic control system in road safety. Story…

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Added by Martin Cassini on December 13, 2010 at 13:30 — No Comments

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