Alex of WestsideBIKEside just made it back from New York, and he has a new post up talking about his experiences riding in New York. Reflecting on the fact that New Yorkers seem to break the law at will, he writes, “That’s it in a nut shell – NYC seems to thrive on a healthy respect for the natural law: act intelligently and defensively, or get run over.”
One of the comments on Alex’s piece was left by a man named Martin Cassini, whose current project seems to turn on this concept of “fit” roads. By that, I think I’ve gathered that they’re roads without the controls of traffic lights. Instead of rolling through on their light automatically, the intersections would require drivers to take their time and see who else was entering the intersection at the same time.
And in a completely unrelated piece, Steve Hymon (of the LA Times’ Bottleneck Blog) wondered at the relationship between traffic the 49’ers Mike Singletary:
And that got me thinking. One reason that the Southland has a lot of traffic is obviously that there’s a lot of vehicles on the road. But making matters worse is behavior — all those terrible things you and I see motorists do every day. Talk on their cellphones. Not get into the proper exit lane until it’s too late. Sit on the fast lane. Never learn to properly drive. Tailgate and tap their brakes. All the kinds of things that reverberate through the freeway and street grid system and slow everyone down.
All three pieces don’t exactly fit together, but I think something common to all three is this sense of the road as a social space, or the way in which roads function better if people see their position on the rider as linked to and connected with all of the other people on the road. It’s not quite what I wrote about being vulnerable in LA, but I think that might link in as well.