Saturday, 18 October 2008

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Naked streets

Ilfracombe is going naked:

Robot drivers When the lights were out of action, says the report, "Motorists had to be careful", implying that when lights are "working", they don't have to be (as) careful. Paradoxical but true. Lights remove responsibility for decision-making. They turn us into robots, programmed to act according to switchgear, not innate intelligence or the needs of the moment. But when we have to keep our wits about us, we are more likely to do the right thing.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Secret intelligence

If I’m guilty of seeing ubiquitous analogies to coercive, counterproductive traffic controls, so be it. In today’s Observer, New York Times section, John le CarrĂ© says: "By extracting information under torture ... you obtain information that isn't true. You receive names of people who are supposedly guilty and aren't ... You miss what is being handed to you on a plate, and that is the possibility of bonding with someone and engaging with them and talking to them reasonably." OK, traffic controls are not exactly torture, but arguably they do contribute to untold death and injury. They do impose behaviour patterns and extract obedience. And conflict on the road is amenable to a simple solution which is staring us in the face, namely a live-and-let-live approach that enables all road-users to interact positively.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

A sign to get your goat(ie)

Bideford, Devon. Apart from the mean spirit the Cyclists Give Way sign reveals, you can imagine the decision-making and manufacturing processes it went through - in true local authority carbon-footprint expansionist tradition!