Free to Move
Deaths and serious injuries are up in 20mph zones but up even more in 30mph. Official commentators say the jury is still out on the value of 20mph. My view is that true road safety will never be achieved by numbers. We should drive according to context. Let us go at walking pace on busy streets, especially when children are around, and at our own chosen speed when conditions allow, e.g. on a clear motorway. In other words, let us use our own judgement, preferably informed by education,…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on August 15, 2012 at 10:01 — No Comments
Why stop at a red light? Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Seriously, why should we stop when there is no conflicting traffic? Adulthood is supposed to be about independence and responsibility. What do traffic lights and speed limits do? Outlaw independent thought and action. Remove responsibility. Infantilise us. Yesterday I had the dubious pleasure of driving through Oxford and Swindon. In Oxford especially, there is a hardly a crossing that is not governed by traffic signals.…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on July 18, 2012 at 14:41 — No Comments
The transport select committee, chaired by Louise Ellman, is concerned about the rise in road deaths, 51 up on last year to 1901. It took no notice of submissions from me and Kenneth Todd about the role of traffic lights in causing congestion, so it’s doubtful they would listen to our critique of road safety policy. Is it surprising there are fatalities when the root cause of danger on the road – priority – goes untreated? Ellman is “shocked” that 27% of young male drivers are involved in…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on July 18, 2012 at 14:39 — No Comments
You can be the safest, most aware driver, but the bass turds are out to get you and get you they will. Paid savants devise cryptic regulation that builds into the vast public disservice known as traffic management. The other day I drove along Cromwell Road to experience Exhibition Rd as a driver. As you know, but in case you don't, Exhibition Rd is a flagship shared space scheme, where life on the road is supposed to be sweeter. But they have already found ways to sour it. First, they've…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on April 28, 2012 at 18:00 — No Comments
Apparently the Chancellor has ruled out cutting fuel tax, which as we know adds over 60% to the cost of fuel. Tax cuts could, of course, be funded by traffic system reform. Maybe my arguments haven't reached the Chancellor's ears. Or maybe he won't reform a traffic system which maximises journey times and fuel use, and his tax take.
Added by Martin Cassini on February 25, 2012 at 12:12 — No Comments
Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, wants to raise the tax threshold. Don't we all? Balls wants to fund it by cutting VAT to raise the £12bn needed. The government rubbished the proposal. But they are just as myopic in failing to see that tax cuts for the poor and a VAT cut could be funded from traffic system reform (which at the same time would bring untold other benefits).
Added by Martin Cassini on February 19, 2012 at 16:00 — No Comments
In devising methods of repressing hypothetical (minority) misbehaviour on our roads, the traffic control net is spread wide. Like the wrong fish caught in a trawler’s net, good people are ensnared and brought to their knees (you, me and Chris Huhne come to mind). Apart from being based on the fatal flaw of priority, the twin-headed monster of traffic control and enforcement is out of hand, run by unelected public “servants” whose mafia tactics amount to a gross public disservice.
Added by Martin Cassini on February 19, 2012 at 15:58 — No Comments
A pedestrian was hit by a lorry in Exhibition Rd on Monday 13 Feb 2012 (story here). This is not an argument for abandoning shared space, but it supports my view that streetscape redesign is not enough on its own. The call for 5mph limits is right and wrong. Motorists should drive at walking pace when pedestrians are around, but they…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on February 17, 2012 at 0:00 — No Comments
Ken Livingstone, who during his reign added 1200 sets of traffic lights to London streets, now “pledges to install traffic lights to give cyclists a 5 second head start,” reports The Times. Boris too “is considering early green lights,” chirps the Evening Standard. In an editorial, it says, “this is a simple and sensible idea. We need more imaginative thinking to make our city safer for cyclists.” This pitiful coverage lays bare the total ignorance among editors and politicians alike of the…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on February 10, 2012 at 22:00 — No Comments
Often cited as places where drivers behave considerately are car parks, because they are not part of the regulated road network. In a Tesco par cark yesterday, when I was on foot and asserted my equal right to the road space, I was given the finger not only by the male driver, but by his wife. They were in a big car with a personalised number plate, whatever that tells us. The unpleasant experience reinforces my belief that street redesign – while an essential component in the quest for…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on February 6, 2012 at 15:13 — No Comments
Congestion caused by volume of traffic is acceptable. We’re in the same boat. No problem. But congestion caused or aggravated by unnecessary traffic control – you know, making us stop for no reason other than the light is red – is unacceptable. Human intelligence is a superior, wondrous thing. Yet traffic control reduces us to the level of unthinking robots. The red light brigadiers are Lilliputians disabling Gulliver.
Added by Martin Cassini on January 6, 2012 at 15:40 — No Comments
According to today’s news, NHS red tape is being cut to release nurses from the burden of form-filling so they can devote more time to patient care. As we know, there are moves to cut police red tape too, presumably so they can devote more time to their proper job. Same goes for traffic lights. Isn't it time for a major cull of those weapons of mass distraction and delay so that all road-users could squander less time stopping needlessly and devote more time to the proper job of getting from…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on January 6, 2012 at 13:17 — No Comments
Yet another cyclist is killed at traffic lights in London (story here). These “tragedies” are a direct consequence of the infamous rules and design of the road. It means yet more blood on the hands of the authorities who adhere to a lethal priority system and ignore solutions based on equality.
Added by Martin Cassini on December 6, 2011 at 10:53 — No Comments
... is this going a bit far?Equality… Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on April 23, 2011 at 17:41 — No Comments
(Also posted at Equality Streets). Traffic controls are removing the ability of drivers and pedestrians to think for themselves. A new generation of robotic, lobotomised road-users is increasingly incapable of acting according to context, relying instead on traffic controls to guide their behaviour. The new breed of pedestrian can’t cross the road…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on April 20, 2011 at 11:30 — No Comments
Added by Martin Cassini on April 10, 2011 at 10:46 — No Comments
No doubt traffic engineers puff with pride at their ability to apportion equal green time to the multiple movements at interchanges such as Vauxhall Cross and Trafalgar Square (6 secs per min). Does it bother them that their complex algorithms kill the rhythm of natural flow, meaning that at least half the time road-users are disadvantaged and needlessly delayed, including pedestrians…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on April 3, 2011 at 17:30 — No Comments
Below is a link to some early 20th-century footage shot from a tram progressing along a US city street teeming with people on foot, horse-drawn carts, motor vehicles, trams – all human life is here, in all its beautiful, harmonious chaos. Not a yellow line, parking meter, speed limit, speed camera or traffic light in sight, yet everyone merges in a merry mix (illustrating beautifully what Equality…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on March 31, 2011 at 15:00 — No Comments
If transport minister, Philip Hammond, isn’t a philistine, he gives a convincing impression. His claim that objectors to high-speed rail are self-interested nimbys is false. I don't live in the threatened area, so I'm no nimby. Apart from the likelihood that the £33bn projected cost would balloon to at least twice that sum, the trade-off, whichever way you cut it, is negative. HS2…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on March 21, 2011 at 12:00 — No Comments
"A lot of thought went into my character’s wardrobe," says Sofie Gråbøl (from Andrew Anthony in The Observer). "We wanted to avoid the cliché of a woman in a suit in a man’s world. Then I saw the sweater and I knew. It tells of a woman who believes in soft values, togetherness." We can relate to that! FiT Roads (or Equality Streets), is all about integration and empathy. What is the…Continue
Added by Martin Cassini on March 13, 2011 at 18:30 — No Comments