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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 14:16 
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In Hampshire the latest craze at dropped kerbs for pedestrians, is to extend them out past the main kerb line thus forming a pinch point. I assume the idea is to try and slow traffic by making the road narrower. However, to my mind this is creating a potentially dangerous situation. If someone is waiting to cross at a normal road, by taking up a position towards the crown of the road I can maximise the distance between my vehicle and the person waiting to cross thus giving a safety margin. With this latest crack brain idea, if the person over balances or may be a child with their parents steps out they are going to get hit. It ok saying well slow down so they wont get hurt so much, but that depends where you are when the step out, after all people get killed on drives. If the road had remained with the drop kerb in line, if someone steps out they are not going to get hit. At a time when Councils are suppose to be short of money it amazes me they can spend money on hair-brain ideas like this. What do others think


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 15:10 
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Yes, that's one of my pet peeves as well, and I agree 100% with what you say.

They're so wedded to the idea that speed kills that they'll adopt any measures to slow people down, regardless of the consequences (they apparently only see good consequences)

But, you cannot make a road safer by making it more dangerous

Apologies for shouting, but I simply cannot stress that point too strongly.

And, by removing all safety margins, they have made the crossings a lot more dangerous for pedestrians, which cannot be compensated for by lower speeds

Nor that one.

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Last edited by Pete317 on Sat Jan 29, 2011 15:17, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 15:13 
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These (Google Street View link) have got to be one of the most ridiculous 'safety' initiatives I have ever seen!

There are four of these pinch points along that route. This last one is pure anti-motorist spite!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 15:22 
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Steve wrote:
This last one is pure anti-motorist spite!


Aww, Steve, think of all the baby hedgehogs and squirrels that now enjoy safer lives because of that crossing :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 18:52 
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Yes, I always think the deliberate creation of ambiguity is a seriously bad idea on the roads. Bear in mind that the vast majority of users of any road will be regulars, and they won't be fooled more than once or twice.

Around here we have quite a few of these, which superficially give the impression of being zebras, but aren't. I've had pedestrians shake their fists at me because I haven't given way to them.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 22:35 
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I don't see pinch points as being anti motorist, unless they restrict the road to traffic in one direction at a time. Drivers are quite capable of getting through a gap only slightly wider than their vehicle.

They are however very anti cyclist, they give you no room to escape at all. On a normal width road I will ride out from the kerb, which gives me somewhere to go when the usual nutter comes along. At pinch points they will squeeze through even if there isn't enough room.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 23:32 
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I've seen these junctions too.

Something I swear I haven't read since having to learn the Highway Code back in the 70's to take my test was along the lines that drivers should give way to pedestrians at junctions.

I feel like I am the only driver in Birmingham who knows this and respects this law/advice.

It's not, or shouldn't be, always just about road improvement and safety measures, it's about respect and consideration for others.

The way a vehicle or legs are used is a reflection on the person.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 01:00 
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Big Tone wrote:
I've seen these junctions too.


What I am talking about are not at junctions, they are along straight stretches of road and normally project from each side of the road leaving little opportunity to leave a safety margin between you and any pedestrian waiting to cross.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 03:29 
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Homer wrote:
I don't see pinch points as being anti motorist, unless they restrict the road to traffic in one direction at a time.

Both the locations I linked have those features too, just a stone's throw further up.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 22:19 
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whynot wrote:
Big Tone wrote:
I've seen these junctions too.

What I am talking about are not at junctions, they are along straight stretches of road and normally project from each side of the road leaving little opportunity to leave a safety margin between you and any pedestrian waiting to cross.

Ah, I think I got your drift whynot and know what you're saying. I feel a camera moment coming on...

I drive a lot btw and if there is something I haven't come across since I first started using engines on a road back in 75 on 2 wheels 3 and 4 in just about every weather condition...

But of course if someone has a certificate these days that trumps anything I may know...

Edit: That wasn't a dig at you bud. ;)

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You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 02:07 
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I know what you mean Tone. The trouble is they think up something but don't follow the thought process to the next step. If they did, we wouldn't have so many of the stupid things we seem to get plagued with. But that that comes with experience which is something that does not seem to count for much these days.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 07:59 
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PeterE wrote:
Yes, I always think the deliberate creation of ambiguity is a seriously bad idea on the roads..


There is a quite sustainable argument that creating ambiguity improves safety because it causes road users to think carefully about what to do rather than acting on auto pilot. The thread about the unfortunate fatality due to traffic lights failing to all green is a good example. If the lights had failed to all black - which is very ambiguous - both drivers would have crossed the junction very carefully. As it was both went across in the sure and certain belief that they had safe priority

The greation of ambiguity is the philosophy behind the shared space concept which has had considerable success in some Northern European cities..

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:55 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
PeterE wrote:
Yes, I always think the deliberate creation of ambiguity is a seriously bad idea on the roads..


There is a quite sustainable argument that creating ambiguity improves safety because it causes road users to think carefully about what to do rather than acting on auto pilot. The thread about the unfortunate fatality due to traffic lights failing to all green is a good example. If the lights had failed to all black - which is very ambiguous - both drivers would have crossed the junction very carefully. As it was both went across in the sure and certain belief that they had safe priority

The greation of ambiguity is the philosophy behind the shared space concept which has had considerable success in some Northern European cities..


Yes, I think I'm inclined to cautiously go along with some of that. However, I strongly object to a good deal of the current fashion in traffic calming/excessive signage/excessive road painting etc., but one does occasionally see measures that make some sense. It seems to me that people in the road safety sector tend to come up with ideas that might be helpful in certain situations, but they then apply it 'everywhere' and a lot of these applications are merely a PITA and money wasted. Examples of this are measures supposedly to help cyclists (even in areas where there are virtually no cyclists!) and excessive use of what I believe is known as tactile paving. I don't begrdge money being spent on measures that are truly of help to significant numbers of people, but in many cases the expenditure is not justified in my view.

Best wishes all,
Dave.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 14:37 
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dcbwhaley wrote:
There is a quite sustainable argument that creating ambiguity improves safety because it causes road users to think carefully about what to do rather than acting on auto pilot.


That's all very well, as long as it's done properly - ie the measures you take to create the ambiguity does not increase the actual danger - as opposed to increasing perceived danger, which may well be beneficial.
These pinch points increase the actual danger on two counts:
1) by limiting the road width, as well as placing pedestrians closer to the traffic flow, they reduce the error margin
2) they decrease the perceived danger to the pedestrian

Quote:
...which has had considerable success in some Northern European cities..


I would say that It depends on who's reporting the success, and by what criteria 'success' is measured.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 17:09 
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Just to be clear, I went out to a road I regularly use where they have them and took a picture. I assume this is the thing in question whynot? :)

Oh and it is an unecessary bottleneck IMO but fortunately there's not usually much traffic. Because of the large raised sections at crossroads along there you have to slow down to a crawl anyway. So unless you accelerate like mad in between you wouldn’t be going very fast.

No previous history of an accident there BTW, well not in the last 11 years I've been using it. The ironic thing is I do see drivers accelerating towards it to get there and beat the oncoming vehicle in order that they don't have to slow or stop. :doh: Yet another example of no real research or forethought before implementation no doubt. :banghead:

Image

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You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:11 
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"Just to be clear, I went out to a road I regularly use where they have them and took a picture. I assume this is the thing in question whynot? "

Similar but without the speed cushions and where it projects there are dropped kerbs with the dimpled buff paving slabs thus forming places for pedestrians to cross. My concern is, with people waiting to cross; my safety margin has been lost because I am forced to pass closer to them than I would otherwise choose to.


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