Free to Choose

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All Blog Posts Tagged 'FiT-Roads' (21)

From FiT Roads to Equality Streets

Free to Choose and FiT Roads are relaunching as Equality Streets. The transition will take time, so all will continue in use, but I've already started posting more frequently at Equality Streets. To join up/post comments there, you will be asked to register with Wordpress (pretty painless).

Added by Martin Cassini on April 10, 2011 at 10:46 — No Comments

No traffic controls = civilised streets

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…


Added by Martin Cassini on March 31, 2011 at 15:00 — No Comments

Amber-flashing lights are all right but FiT is better

Portsmouth wants the DfT to approve amber-flashing lights at night. As a student 40 years ago in Munich, I admired amber-flashing lights at side roads outside peak times, but really, who needs signals to tell us to exercise caution when we are genetically programmed to be careful unless licensed by a green light to be careless?…


Added by Martin Cassini on March 25, 2011 at 10:30 — No Comments

Less government, not more

"Civilisations need strong functioning governments if they are to prosper," writes Will Hutton. Hmm. Belgium is without government and doing fine by all accounts. Given fair laws, maybe the "need" for government wanes – in the same way that if equality (instead of priority) provided the framework for interaction on the roads, the "need" for traffic regulation would…


Added by Martin Cassini on March 15, 2011 at 11:00 — No Comments

The Killing's Sarah Lund on the case

"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…


Added by Martin Cassini on March 13, 2011 at 18:30 — No Comments

Relative imperatives

You’re sitting at a red light with nothing happening on the junction. You can see it’s safe to go. You know about global warming. Every second of pointless waiting is an insult to the planet and your intelligence. Do you stay or do you go? If you go, you are acting according to commonsense and environmental imperatives. If you stay, you are obeying the law, but neglecting those other…


Added by Martin Cassini on March 10, 2011 at 13:30 — No Comments

Traffic Lights on The One Show

This snappy item was mostly about why traffic lights are "necessary", but there’s a bit near the end which spreads a bit of FiT philosophy. Video.

Added by Martin Cassini on March 10, 2011 at 12:00 — No Comments

AUTOcracy not DEMOcracy

Most junctions could be safe civilised spaces, but they are dehumanised by traffic experts. Instead of harnessing our instinct to take it in turns based on time of arrival, they make us live and die by rules of priority which impose unequal rights, make roads dangerous, and produce a "need" for traffic controls. It’s a circular argument incorporating a dead end. Government…


Added by Martin Cassini on March 7, 2011 at 10:30 — No Comments

Blame for "accidents" (Blog post no. 300)

So seamless is the improperganda purveyed by road safety "experts", that it can produce these remarks in today’s Guardian about the road death of a child: "The victims and perpetrators in an accident are two parts of a whole," writes surviving sister, Kira Cochrane. "The dearth of communication [from the driver] was a wicked, vexed lacuna." No, the wickedness is the failure of…


Added by Martin Cassini on February 26, 2011 at 10:30 — No Comments

Confessions of a London cyclist

It goes without saying there are too many cycling deaths on our roads, and the idea of extra mirrors to boost lorry driver awareness of cyclists is welcome. I'm not one of those who call for segregated cycle lanes – I'm for integration on Equality Streets. But last night I nearly became another statistic. Cycling back to central London through Oakley Square in Camden, as I pulled out…


Added by Martin Cassini on February 15, 2011 at 10:00 — No Comments


In his new film, I Am, Tom (Liar, Liar) Shadyac, who gave away most of his Hollywood millions, explores the idea that our materialistic way of life goes against our true nature, which is to co-operate and unite. He wants to show that the power to change things lies in our own hands. Readers will see parallels with FiT…


Added by Martin Cassini on January 16, 2011 at 21:00 — No Comments


Funny how ideas travel full circle. Post new-Labour thinking is in reaction to the statism of Brown and the legislative mania of Blair. Politics lecturer, peer, and adviser to Ed Miliband, Maurice Glasman, sees the "big society" as the rightful territory of traditional Labour, because, alone among the parties, Labour’s values are…


Added by Martin Cassini on January 16, 2011 at 17:30 — 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…


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

Fairness hardwired

Today's behavioural psychologists say a sense of fairness is hardwired into us. Yet we have to suffer an unfair traffic control system, one that confers unequal rights on different road-users, that forces us to act against our better nature and better judgement. In 2008, when I pitched lights-off trials to Boris/the GLA, he…


Added by Martin Cassini on October 10, 2010 at 16:00 — No Comments

The invisible gorilla

An experiment by two US psychology professors, Daniel Simons and Chistopher Chabris, involves a…


Added by Martin Cassini on July 25, 2010 at 21:00 — No Comments

Big society

Called "the largest transfer of power from the state to the individual", the big society has an obvious application to the roads. Provided there is a change in culture from priority to equality - with roadway redesign to express that equality, and legal changes to support it - scrapping most traffic controls and leaving us to our own devices will see many of our congestion and road safety problems vanish in a puff of exhaust…


Added by Martin Cassini on July 19, 2010 at 18:30 — No Comments

The old road rapidly changing?

Politically I’m unaffiliated, but my calls for individual liberty, responsibility, and kind cuts from traffic system reform have been aired at Conservative Home. Article and comments…


Added by Martin Cassini on July 14, 2010 at 10:30 — No Comments

Cart before horse (again)

BBC London News had a report about the mayor’s plans to remove 100 pelican crossings "to improve traffic flow". It makes sense, but not without advance measures to make Roads FiT for People, including a change in culture from priority to equality, and streetscape redesign to express that equality. The onus has to be on motorists to beware pedestrians, not the other way round. Until then, pedestrians will remain at a dangerous…


Added by Martin Cassini on July 2, 2010 at 11:00 — No Comments

VAT increase inevitable?

Treasury Chief secretary, Danny Alexander, claims the VAT rise is ‘unavoidable’. If ignorance (of the potential for kind cuts in traffic system reform) is no excuse, there is no excuse for the increase, or for many of the cuts that would be unnecessary given the introduction of FiT Roads. I’ve emailed ministers including George Osborne, Philip Hammond, Lynne Featherstone, Vince Cable. The only reply has come from Norman Baker…


Added by Martin Cassini on June 27, 2010 at 14:00 — No Comments

Spaced learning and FiT Roads

Pioneering headteacher, Paul Kelley (Monkseaton, North Tyneside), uses "spaced learning", a theory which shows that children get most out of lessons when they have plenty of breaks. The biological basis of memory (Scientific American, 2005, Douglas Fields) is a pathway of cells in the brain. To link up, cells need to be "switched on". Constant mental stimulation doesn't do it. It's the gaps that count. Spaced learning allows 10min gaps between three intensive teaching sessions of 15-20min. In… Continue

Added by Martin Cassini on June 12, 2010 at 13:00 — No Comments

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