Tuesday, 3 November 2009

‘Naked Streets’

LCC Cycling Deloping (sic) Officer Charlie Lloyd said: "The lack of traffic lights has been shown to encourage people to take more care and think about how they will get through the junction without endangering other road users."

The idea of removing traffic signs and signals began at Drachten in the Netherlands. Road users behaved more carefully, with a consequent reduction in accidents.
The concept now appeals to the Mayor of London as part of his policy of smoothing the traffic flow.

Isn’t it wonderful that the London Cycling Campaign can have a meeting of minds with the Association of British Drivers, which also enthusiastically supports the removal of traffic lights to smooth traffic flow?

I was able to see the exciting ‘naked streets’ concept in action when I was in Bury St Edmunds last week. These pics show how it works:

(Below) Pedestrians gather at the side of the road. Seeing them, drivers approach at speed.

(Below) When all the cars have passed, pedestrians are free to anxiously cross the road before the next line of vehicles speeds towards them.

(Below) The 'naked streets' concept harmonises brilliantly with this progressive and imaginative approach to urban space in an historic environment, which is just a few yards away from the scene shown in the first two photographs.