Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for November 6th, 2006

Is this the end of the road for traffic lights?

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

I expect that this idea will be highly controversial here – and will induce the usual “not invented here” syndrome. After all, even though Canada has English trained traffic engineers – and cities like Edmonton had roundabouts which worked well, they started getting ripped out when people started complaining that they didn’t know how to use them. Which, as this article and its companion piece make clear, is exactly the point. If you reduce the drivers’ complacency , they become more aware of other road users.

There are some roundabouts now appearing here – there is one in Agasiz for example. But those things put on back streets in Vancouver are not properly signed and are designed as “traffic circles” – which do not work. Drivers are as likely as not to navigate them wrong way round for left turns!

And here is an article from Wired which talks about how these ideas are being adopted elsewhere – including North America

Written by Stephen Rees

November 6, 2006 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Road safety, Traffic