It’s come to our attention that some cyclists and pedestrians regularly ignore traffic signals. In this, they are merely emulating their larger and more belligerent cousins, the cars and trucks that clog the nation’s intersections. Some cities have gone so far as to paint stripey patterns across the street intersections of their downtowns, and posted signs saying “only you can be the key to gridlock” and the like.
But there are other ways of intersecting. Our colleagues in the international bicycle conspiracy have put up the occasional example, in the form of video evidence, of how a street can work that has no signals: no signs, no warnings, no posts: “Well, we drew some lines because pedestrians complained so much” is the only exception at one location. Even here in Toronto, we know of intersections with no stop signs or other signals. Take the intersection of Queen Victoria and Condor Ave, just south of the infamous Phinn Parkette. What happens there? Well to our knowledge, no one has ever been hit or hurt by a car yet.
Today we heard tell of a whole town, a German hamlet of over 13,000 cars, that has eliminated all traffic signs and signals. From the story:
From September 12, all traffic controls will disappear from the center of the western town of Bohmte to try to reduce accidents and make life easier for pedestrians.
In an area used by 13,500 cars every day, drivers and pedestrians will enjoy equal right of way, Klaus Goedejohann, the town’s mayor, told Reuters.
“Traffic will no longer be dominant,” he said.
Good luck, Bohmte!