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Controlled Chaos: European Cities Do Away with Traffic Signs January 21, 2007

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Enviroment, Life, Technology.
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Controlled Chaos: European Cities Do Away with Traffic Signs – International – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News
European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren — by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs.

A project implemented by the European Union is currently seeing seven cities and regions clear-cutting their forest of traffic signs. Ejby, in Denmark, is participating in the experiment, as are Ipswich in England and the Belgian town of Ostende.

In other words, it is only when the road is made less predictable and less certain that drivers will stop looking at signs and start looking at other people.

Recalling his first project, Monderman said, “When we do traditional traffic calming with speed bumps we typically expect about a 10% drop in speed. But with no disincentives, the speed was down by almost 50% – down from 57 km/h to under 30 km/h. I could not believe my eyes. All we had done was make a village look more like a village.” Thanks to Maria for this one.

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