Simon Jenkins on Shared Space

Traffic lights force drivers to watch and obey robots rather than other road users – an obedience not enforced to the same degree on pedestrians, skateboarders or cyclists. One result is that zebra crossings are dangerous because drivers are no longer used to eye contact with other road users. Technology makes them drive like zombies.

Traffic lights, like one-way systems, are also hopelessly inefficient allocators of road space. Even in London’s busiest streets, half the tarmac is vacant, waiting for a light to release vehicles on to it. Many British streets are so empty they might as well have shops and houses built over them. We build over countryside but treat roads as sacred.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/feb/29/guardiancolumnists

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