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Town scraps traffic signs

A German town has scrapped all its traffic signs as part of an EU backed project to encourage responsible driving.

Dutchman Hans Monderman, who is managing the "shared space" project in the German town of Bohmte, said: "A rural town should look like a rural town and not like the Nuerburgring racing track."

The town, which has 13,000 inhabitants - also now has no traffic signs.

Monderman added: "We divide traffic into cars, bikes and pedestrians, and believe that by removing the signs we raise awareness among road users for each other. The less rules there are, the higher the risk of accidents, but also it means drivers take more care."

The only two rules are to drive on the right, and the right-before-left priority at junctions.

"The only thing that I need to know when I drive to a city, is that I am in a city," Monderman said.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC)
I have read some study results concerning this approach to traffic, and surprisingly, it often does reduce accidents and promote safer driving. I guess the concept is that people will be more aware if they're in a constant state of confusion/unsureness. (?)

They employed a more watered-down approach to this at Lakewood's new BelMar shopping area-- very narrow streets and lots of 4-way stops. You pretty much have to drive slow because you never know when a some ginormous SUV is going to try to maneuver into traffic, or a ped is going to dart into the street.

Personally, I'm all for fewer street signs.
Feb. 15th, 2007 08:16 am (UTC)
Believe me, I am too. And I believe the research. I have to wonder if it was done in the USA, though. There are far too many signs now, but going completely without them? After seeing how people drive on a highway in rush hour where no signs are required, I have to say that bad drivers are bad frigin' drivers, Signs or no signs.

At least if there's a sign that says, "Don't be an idiot and do this," the driver can be arrested for being an idiot and doing what he was told not to do. How does one know the speed limit when visiting?

I suppose now I'll have to look into the reality behind the story. Are speed limit postings considered to be traffic signs? Hmmm...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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