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Martin Cassini

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Martin Cassini last won the day on April 9

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  1. With regard to a traffic lights-off trial - to show that congestion improves and courtesy thrives when people are free to use their inner lights - if things are organised properly, we won't need pedestrian lights, because pedestrians will enjoy equality with other road-users. Preparation for a citywide trial will communicate a shift in the balance of power: away from the motorist, and in favour of the vulnerable road-user (where power rightly belongs). If anything, pedestrians will be "more equal than others". Vulnerable road-users include side-road drivers because, like pedestrians and children, they are demoted and neglected under the current anti-social system of priority. See my website, Equality Streets, for more on this. Given equality, the only justification for lights is at multi-lane intersections at peak times. Otherwise, in the absence of a bridge or flyover, let all junctions - and streets for that matter - be all-way give-ways. Universal benefits include a transformation in road safety, air quality and quality of life. I'm looking for a city to go traffic light-free for a possible TV series. It will take care of the public engagement elements. Councillors: there are no liability issues. I have chapter and verse on that. Given a willing city and a TV series, Hereford could pioneer a peaceful revolution and be an example to the world. Sad note. Ben Hamilton-Baillie died recently of cancer. In later years, Ben ditched his own term, "shared space", in favour of "low-speed environments", partly because shared space is often confused with shared surfaces. We agreed on most things to do with traffic, diverging only on one point: Ben thought street redesign on its own could bring about the desired behaviour change from aggression to cooperation. I always thought it should be combined with a change in the basic rule of the road - from priority to equality - along with a new driving test, legal reform, culture change and re-education. Martin Cassini
  2. Colin came up with Equal Rights No Lights, which perhaps sounds even better as No Lights Equal Rights - as strong a contender to my mind as Hereford Reunited. What do others think? Amanda, we're looking forward to your input so get thee to the registry!
  3. Thanks diphip but please note it's Equality Streets (plural). Given equality instead of priority, i.e. streets that express a social context as distinct from a traffic engineering one, we could dispense with most traffic regulation. Lights-out works on a macro as well as micro scale. Never have I seen London streets less congested than when power cuts put signals out across the entire central area (Nov 2007 and Feb 2008). Never was it more pleasant to walk, cycle or drive in our capital city normally disfigured and divided by one expensive traffic light after another. Even cab drivers were smiling and giving way to cyclists and people on foot. The red light makes us see red. The green light licenses neglect, encourages dangerous speeds. No-lights lets us rediscover our humanity. It allows us to interact in a frame of mind of relaxed alert. The only losers would be the traffic engineers and managers, and the traffic control manufacturers and salesmen who operate to society's detriment.
  4. dippyhippy: shared space, or Equality Streets as I call it, can be seen as an alternative to a bypass. If you've seen the video, you'll know Poynton has no bypass. The redesigned junction - single lane approaches, double the "living room" for walkers and cyclists, no traffic lights, no special speed limits, no road markings - puts all road-users in a better frame of mind, and copes far more safely and efficiently with the high volumes of traffic than the old signal-controlled multi-lane system did. Traffic moves slowly but continuously. It is free to disperse naturally. Humans interact with each other instead of obeying a system of external control. Volume of traffic is the right reason for being held up: leaving a rock concert or race meeting, you accept slow progress as a fact of life. Everyone is in the same boat. What makes you see red is a traffic light that usurps your judgement, makes you stop when you could go, defies commonsense, and denies infinite filtering opportunities and expressions of fellow feeling. Re the campaign name: thanks to hostile roads and an alienating traffic control system, Hereford is disunited from different parts of itself, and Its inhabitants are disunited from each other. Hereford Reunited expresses the delightful, realistic prospect of a unifying, inclusive solution.
  5. Removing traffic lights - those weapons of mass distraction, danger and delay - is a means to the broader end of making roads safe and fun for everyone to use. The advantage of the name Hereford Reunited over the traffic lights or traffic flow suggestions is that it expresses this core aim. As currently misconceived, the road system is an unpleasant, no-go area for walkers, cyclists and children. By reassigning carriageway space for non-motor traffic, and by removing vexatious controls, we make roads safe and civilised for everyone. Instead of being at daggers drawn in an anti-social environment, road-users rediscover their humanity and make common cause.
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