Thursday, January 10, 2008

Shared Space, Across the Pond

Image stolen from here

A handful of small towns in Germany are doing something pretty bold to combat aggressive drivers and hazardous intersections. They removed all the traffic lights, stop signs, lane markers, and even curbs. It's a concept called "Shared Space" and it has the attention of city planners across the globe. The idea is that with no traffic signs or dividers, drivers can't anticipate what is going to happen and will drive more cautiously.

I think it's a great idea that would never work in the US. I am all for removing extraneous road signs but in a country where drivers license are handed out like bus transfers, sometimes curbs are the only thing that keep drivers from crashing into buildings. On American roads the concept of slower traffic using the right lanes and passing traffic using the left, still hasn't caught on! I imagine this concept to directed towards smaller towns but could you imagine if they tried this anywhere near the beltway?

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