How We Drive

I just discovered that there is a companion blog for Tom Vanderbilt’s recent book, Traffic. Reading through the rather fascinating archives now. Some of the more interesting things I’ve learned from the blog (I haven’t read the book, but I’ve just placed a hold on it at the library — should have it in my hands soon!):

  • The misallocation of New York City’s public space, demonstrated nicely by this graphic:
    NYC public space traffic usage
  • A characteristic that I’ve noticed about motor traffic in Singapore approaching filters into expressways:

    I’ve noticed in Manhattan that some of the worst places to navigate on foot are near any of the bridge or tunnel entrances — either vehicles are still used to being in less pedestrian heavy environments, or their proximity to “escaping from New York” leads to a kind of animalistic imperative in which the only consideration becomes getting that many inches closer to the tunnel — woe to the person who has to cross on foot in one of these situations.

  • On “Bikeism”. I think most cyclists in cycling-unfriendly cities have encountered this attitude.
  • Some comparisons with smoking that give one some hope that driving in public spaces will go the way of smoking in public spaces:smoking v driving
  • On bad philosophies of road design.
  • Danes waiting at traffic lights — more interesting than it sounds!
  • Link I found there: a tree in the middle of the road in Connecticut, which they left in the middle of the road rather than cut down. What struck me was the writer’s closing sentence: “In a world with little tolerance for eccentricity, it is hard to imagine that decision being made today.” Too right. This reminded me so much of the controversy over the chopping down of an Angsana tree on Braddell Road — there is no tolerance for eccentricity in Singapore’s public policy.

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