What if all the traffic lights were gone? - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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What if all the traffic lights were gone?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...ntraffic04.xml

Most traffic lights should be torn up as they make roads less safe, one of Europe's leading road engineers said yesterday.

Hans Monderman, a traffic planner involved in a Brussels-backed project known as Shared Space, said that taking lights away helped motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to co-exist more happily and safely.

People going round a roundabout
Road users take more care in Drachten as signs have been removed

Residents of the northern Dutch town of Drachten have already been used as guinea-pigs in an experiment which has seen nearly all the traffic lights stripped from their streets.

Only three of the 15 sets in the town of 50,000 remain and they will be gone within a couple of years.

The project is the brainchild of Mr Monderman, and the town has seen some remarkable results. There used to be a road death every three years but there have been none since the traffic light removal started seven years ago.

There have been a few small collisions, but these are almost to be encouraged, Mr Monderman explained. "We want small accidents, in order to prevent serious ones in which people get hurt," he said yesterday.

"It works well because it is dangerous, which is exactly what we want. But it shifts the emphasis away from the Government taking the risk, to the driver being responsible for his or her own risk.

"We only want traffic lights where they are useful and I haven't found anywhere where they are useful yet."

Mr Monderman, 61, compared his philosophy of motoring to an ice rink. "Skaters work out things for themselves and it works wonderfully well. I am not an anarchist, but I don't like rules which are ineffective and street furniture tells people how to behave."

In short, if motorists are made more wary about how they drive, they behave more carefully, he said.

The main junction in Drachten handles about 22,000 cars a day. Where once there were traffic lights, there is a roundabout, an extended cycle path and pedestrian area.

In the days of traffic lights, progress across the junction was slow as cars stopped and started. Now tailbacks are almost unheard of — and almost nobody toots a horn.

However, it is not the cars which seem to be involved in the greatest conflict, it is the cyclists and pedestrians who seem to jostle for space. Driving around Drachten, vehicles approach roundabouts with considerable caution – traffic approaches from the left, but cyclists come from either side.

Cyclists, almost none of whom bother with helmets, signal clearly at junctions making sure motorists are aware of them.

Thus far, Drachten's drivers and pedestrians have voted the experiment a success.

"I am used to it now," said Helena Spaanstra, 24. "You drive more slowly and carefully, but somehow you seem to get around town quicker."

Tony Ooostward, 70, was equally enthusiastic. "Everybody is learning. I am a walker and now you are the boss at the crossroads, everyone waits for you. But at the same time pedestrians wait until there are a number wanting to cross at the same time."

Kanaan Jamal, 39, like many people in Drachten, uses a bike to get around. "It is very smooth — a lot better than other towns," he said. The consensus is that the creation of uncertainty by taking away the lights and even in some places the road markings has worked

"Anybody who is new here doesn't know what to do. They don't know who has priority, the car, bike or pedestrian. It's all confusing, but because of that everybody takes care," Mr Jamal said.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:23 PM
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Works remarkably in Europe but would prove to be a disaster in the US; some people here don't even know what a turn signal is for let alone a roundabout. There is one on Golf road near or in Des Plaines, everyone that has ever talked about it has referred to it as the Circle of Death. To make this type of a system work one would have to re-work the entire driving system in the USÖ i.e. more strict road tests and written exams for motorists in order to be granted the right to pilot a vehicle. Part of the problem with that is if you could withhold drivers from getting a license due to lack of qualifications to operate a car than your driving population decrease would affect the Automotive & Oil industry. Canít have that now can we? This would never work here.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:32 PM
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Europe and thier driving system is insane costs you somthing like 2 grand to get a license in sweden and it's some insane amout of written and driving tests.

-Mo
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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You mean people would actually have to become good drivers and know more than simply how to turn a wheel and push the gas? F*ck that noise.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:33 PM
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Surprisingly they are starting to us these out here in Plainfield on some fo the newer roads. Seems to work very well, and I enjoys going around in circles on my Ducati

they have used on in Brookfield were 4 streets some together and its been there as long as I can remember and always worked just fine.

they also have these in vail colorado.




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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:33 PM
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yea but alot of odd driving laws in europe work for them...I mean just look at the autobahn...if we had that here...sweet lord i could imagine the fatality rate.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silentalero
yea but alot of odd driving laws in europe work for them...I mean just look at the autobahn...if we had that here...sweet lord i could imagine the fatality rate.
not exactly the autobahn, but you don't really hear too much about masses of people dying on the long stretches of barren and unpoliced roads out west
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:43 PM
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That's because people follow the fast people to the left rule. If your not passing a car you should be in the right lane. Doesn't work like that here cause slow people ride in the left lane all the time.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:58 PM
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Roundabouts are designed to speed up traffic and not to slow it down. Germany for example is full of roundabouts, and the rule is this.
The right of way goes to the vehicle already in the intersection, however, once in the intersection, the vehicle coming from your right has the right of way, same as on any road crossings. In simpler form, if you are turning left, let everyone else go.
There is a roundabout at Golf and Wolf rd, however, it defeats its purpose by having STOP signs on all intersecting roads. Again the roundabouts are there to speed up th etraffic and not to slow it down, like they are used overhere.
There was an excellent editorial in Tribune or Sun-Times anout the stupidity that almost every intersection in Chicago has a 4 way stops. The Stop or Yield signs are necessary only on side street intersecting the main road, and there is always a main road/street.
In addition, the traffic lights in Chicago are not synchronized, to the contrary of what we were told to believe. Once you go through a well synchronized traffic in one of the europen cities you will know what I am talking about.

BTW
I am well experienced in traffic management solutions, urban and rural.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 05:16 PM
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Well, what do you do if you have an asshat doing this in a runabout?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH6Oc...elated&search=


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 05:31 PM
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Well, what do you do if you have an asshat doing this in a runabout?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH6Oc...elated&search=

he is an asshat but damn thats some good driving




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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGGY
You mean people would actually have to become good drivers and know more than simply how to turn a wheel and push the gas? F*ck that noise.
I wish the US had an IQ test along with the rules of the road tests for people who want a license. If you cant figure out what the pictures on the signs mean (arrows crossed out) then maybe you shouldn't have a license.

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That's because people follow the fast people to the left rule. If your not passing a car you should be in the right lane. Doesn't work like that here cause slow people ride in the left lane all the time.
I swear that people who do that should have someone do the pit maneuver on them so they get outta the way.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BABETTE


I swear that people who do that should have someone do the pit maneuver on them so they get outta the way.
you mean you don't do that?




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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 05:36 PM
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he is an asshat but damn thats some good driving
agreed, however the cynical part of me did want to see him end up in that water.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndlessRR
Well, what do you do if you have an asshat doing this in a runabout?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH6Oc...elated&search=

You challenge him to a drift off and battle to the death
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 06:45 PM
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I want round-abouts and tougher driving exams and costs here. Driving should be a privilage, not a right.

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 07:01 PM
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I just wish lane splitting was legal in Illinois.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrach
I want round-abouts and tougher driving exams and costs here. Driving should be a privilage, not a right.
I want people to leave me alone and mind their own business when they see me squeezing between a few cars at a red light so I can take advantage of the fact that I'm on a motorcycle, not to mention free up just that much more space behind me.

We'll pay for it one way or another. You'll pay more to take an exam directly at the dmv or you'll pay for it through taxes or registration or whatever other way they get funded. And the exams should be tougher, no doubt about that. I've been in a car with a guy who said "I did not qualify for a drivers license before, but once I got to America it was easy." That's just great. Also, nothing like gramps hauling about at 30mph in a 50...yea that's very safe for the rest of us.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadrach
I want round-abouts and tougher driving exams and costs here. Driving should be a privilage, not a right.
Absolutely.

I think there's a very different train of thought, comparing European driving to American driving.

When I had my tuner I used to run it in triple digits on 88 without even thinking twice about it. I would always use my signals, never tailgate, never cut people off, only pass on the left, etc. I would still consider this safer than half the retards out there doing 80 while reading the newspaper, doing their make-up etc.
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