Adventures in Ethical Consumerism

Friday, December 10, 2004

"Better to remove things"

Here's a great article from Wired Magazine. This is a must-read for anyone who's interested in having safer, more efficient and user-friendly streets.

'Hans Monderman is a traffic engineer who hates traffic signs. Oh, he can put up with the well-placed speed limit placard or a dangerous curve warning on a major highway, but Monderman considers most signs to be not only annoying but downright dangerous. To him, they are an admission of failure, a sign - literally - that a road designer somewhere hasn't done his job. "The trouble with traffic engineers is that when there's a problem with a road, they always try to add something," Monderman says. "To my mind, it's much better to remove things." '

Monderman's method, which focusses on sensible road design and concepts of shared space, is simple and effective. By doing without the jumble of signs and street-markings, he forces all road users - motorists, cyclists and pedestrians - to pay more attention to each other and their surroundings.

Sound ridiculous? Tom McNichol's excellent article may convince you otherwise.


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