Free to Move
£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 (priority, encouraging vehicle domination) to a social model (equality, allowing all road-users to interact sociably)? Following the debacle at Shinfield Rd, Head of Transport, Pat Baxter, said, "Doing nothing is not an option". So she commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory to assess 17 proposals for re-thinking the junction. Where on the list was the equal-priority solution we had tabled two years earlier, which worked wonders at a similar staggered junction in Portishead? Nowhere.
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