The Dangerous Future Of Traffic Engineering

Can making roads seem more dangerous actually make them safer? A new form of traffic engineering turns traditional traffic planning upside down.
December 9, 2004, 1pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

Wired Magazine presents a feature-length article on the future of traffic engineering, and what it may mean for cities.

"Monderman is one of the leaders of a new breed of traffic engineer -- equal parts urban designer, social scientist, civil engineer, and psychologist. The approach is radically counterintuitive: Build roads that seem dangerous, and they'll be safer.

...In the US, traffic engineers are beginning to rethink the dictum that the car is king and pedestrians are well advised to get the hell off the road. In West Palm Beach, Florida, planners have redesigned several major streets, removing traffic signals and turn lanes, narrowing the roadbed, and bringing people and cars into much closer contact. The result: slower traffic, fewer accidents, shorter trip times. 'I think the future of transportation in our cities is slowing down the roads,' says Ian Lockwood, the transportation manager for West Palm Beach during the project and now a transportation and design consultant. 'When you try to speed things up, the system tends to fail, and then you're stuck with a design that moves traffic inefficiently and is hostile to pedestrians and human exchange.' "

Thanks to Chris Steins

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, December 8, 2004 in Wired
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email