Bad Road Design = Bad Behavior

There’s much hand wringing about the behavior of drivers, bicyclists and walkers.  I saw an amazing speaker, Ben Hamilton Baillie, talk about an emerging trend in Europe: eliminating traffic lights, street markings and all the things we think are necessary for orderly traffic.  Sound crazy?  Check out the video below:

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4 Responses to Bad Road Design = Bad Behavior

  1. Fenway says:

    Unfortunately it’s far more complicated than eliminating markings and traffic lights. Here is a map of Boston WHEN THERE WERE LESS CARS AND NO TRAFFIC LIGHTS. As evidenced, the roads were not safe or any more orderly with the absence of any traffic controls.

  2. Fenway says:

    http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/1170/1927bostonroad.jpg

    Since the html didn’t work above, here is the direct link.

  3. Rebecca says:

    The automobile rules in the USA. Eliminating traffic lights, street markings and all the things we think are necessary for orderly traffic won’t work here. Those with more power(automobiles) get their way over us bikers & people on foot. Have you ever seen people at a cross walk wait for cars to stop for them? Maybe if the speed limit for cars was 8 mph it might work!

  4. Mark says:

    The key part with making shared streets work is reducing the auto speeds– not through speed limit but redesigning streets so cars would be crazy to go fast– narrow lane widths, trees physically planted in the streets and then lot of pedestrian and cyclists adding the chaotic human element.

    The US may not be ready for shared streets– but not because it can’t be done, but because designers will prioritize vehicle speed over human centered neighborhoods. Designers in the US like to drive, therefore they design streets that make it easy to drive. European designers of shared streets like to walk and hang out in their streets. Car are guests that submit to other users by design cues.

    On US streets, the pedestrian (or cyclist) is the guest submitting to the streets that are designed for cars.

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