OP
UTC

Hooked
1980 P150S 2005 GT200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 263
Location: Louisville, KY
 
Hooked
1980 P150S 2005 GT200L
Joined: UTC
Posts: 263
Location: Louisville, KY
UTC quote
Hi all,

I recently returned from a trip to the Philippines (http://www.waterstep.org)

It was my first experience in a Scooter dominated society.

Few traffic control devices. I think Cebu City had 4 traffic lights that I saw.

My first thoughts was OMG I'm going to get hit.

I didn't, but am trying to understand why it works. Wanted to pick fellow MVr's minds.

1) Speeds almost never get above 25 mph.
2) People looked out for each other -- this wasn't just driving.
3) People were hyper vigilant
4) People didn't get mad
5) I didn't see trucks larger than a suzuki brute. Yes I saw two container trucks but they were not the norm and (only short contrainers)
6) People weren't rushed - things happen when they do
7) A uniform horn communication scheme


Yes 2,3,4 are similar but I think they are different.

Please add to this list if you think something can be added.

I felt safe. Something I have never felt here in the US on a scooter.
@davidcha avatar
UTC

Addicted
2011 GTS 300 Super
Joined: UTC
Posts: 852
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Addicted
@davidcha avatar
2011 GTS 300 Super
Joined: UTC
Posts: 852
Location: Seattle, WA
UTC quote
Pretty interesting, isn't it? I felt the same thing in Thailand. Traffic there snarls, for sure, but folks don't get pissed off, they just take it in stride. No lines on the road, no "ownership" of the lane, people just ebb and flow based on their observations. If a car moves into your lane, you just adjust over and give them room. Likewise if you move into their lane. It's like a giant choreographed dance...but when it goes bad it really goes bad! Saw a few ugly wrecks; even at 25mph an unbuckled car passenger or scooter driver does not fare well. not pretty.

Coming in late one night (4, maybe 5am?) solved the mystery of not seeing big trucks during the day - they all roll in throughout the night. Drop off/pick up and then out of the city before it wakes up.

Glad you enjoyed your trip!
UTC

Hooked
Joined: UTC
Posts: 126
 
Hooked
Joined: UTC
Posts: 126
UTC quote
Interesting, I guess it's a different outlook on life, who knows. Down here in Furnace it's pretty aggressive driving and definitely not scooter friendly. Very little patrolling by the local gendarmes, thought that had a lot to do with it. Probably just not caring about anyone but themselves, here.
@web-tech avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni, 2008 Vespa S150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8949
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@web-tech avatar
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni, 2008 Vespa S150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8949
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
UTC quote
Biggest problem with driving in the US, is the last thing on anyone's mind who is behind a steering wheel, is driving.
@khaosaming avatar
UTC

Addicted
Peugeot Citystar 200i, Vespa PX 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 798
Location: Finland
 
Addicted
@khaosaming avatar
Peugeot Citystar 200i, Vespa PX 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 798
Location: Finland
UTC quote
I can testify to this. In the winter, I spend my holidays in Thailand where I do some scootering. My observations are along the same lines. There's practically no hostility or anger shown under any circumstances. Very few traffic lights or signs. Most people ignore sign posts anyway, even in Europe.

I think you might like the ideas of Hans Monderman, a now deceased Dutch traffic designer, who introduced the concept of shared space in urban communities. One of his approaches is to do away with traffic control. Once this is achieved, the people start taking responsibility themselves and a more considerate culture emerges.

In Southeast Asia, the people and road users are unknowingly using the very same concept of shared space in their everyday commuting. We as Europeans have lost that sensibility and human interaction in traffic. Now it can be reclaimed if one sticks to Monderman's principles.

More on the subject:

http://www.wilsonquarterly.com/essays/traffic-guru
Quote:
Traffic signs, for Monderman, were an invitation to stop thinking, to stop acting on one's own volition. In streets designed to safely handle the actions of the riskiest participants, everyone slips into riskier behavior. As he put it to me, "There are so many things that can be forbidden. The stranger thing is that we believe everything that isn't forbidden is allowed."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1533248/Is-this-the-end-of-the-road-for-traffic-lights.html
Quote:
"It works well because it is dangerous, which is exactly what we want. But it shifts the emphasis away from the Government taking the risk, to the driver being responsible for his or her own risk.

"We only want traffic lights where they are useful and I haven't found anywhere where they are useful yet."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/road-safety/2743688/Rip-them-out.html
Quote:
In Drachten in Holland, "shared space" pioneer Hans Monderman removed traffic lights and signs. Streets and pavements were levelled and cobbled, street activity encouraged. Accidents, congestion and journey times fell, and now road-users smile. Shared space relies on interaction and drivers behaving well - which, in the absence of controls, they do. Given responsibility, they exercise meaningful self-control. Monderman walks into the road without looking, knowing that drivers, undistracted by lights, are watching the road.
http://www.theguardian.com/news/2008/feb/02/mainsection.obituaries
Quote:
...Monderman pioneered an approach that respected the driver's common sense and intelligence instead of reliance on signs, road markings, traffic signals and physical barriers. He recognised that increasing control and regulation by the state reduced individual and collective responsibility, and he initiated a fresh understanding of the relationship between streets, traffic and civility.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/22/international/europe/22monderman.html?_r=0
Quote:
'Who has the right of way? I don't care,' said Hans Monderman, a traffic engineer. 'People here have to find their own way, negotiate for themselves, use their own brains.'

...In his view, it is only when the road is made more dangerous, when drivers stop looking at signs and start looking at other people, that driving becomes safer.

"All those signs are saying to cars, 'This is your space, and we have organized your behavior so that as long as you behave this way, nothing can happen to you,' " Mr. Monderman said. "That is the wrong story."
Hans Monderman:
External inline image provided by member with no explanatory text

It now seems that many of Monderman's ideas live on and his theories are steadily gaining more support.

http://www.dw.de/european-towns-remove-traffic-signs-to-make-streets-safer/a-2143663-1
Quote:
A number of European cities have begun to successfully implement the system developed by Monderman, which reportedly has decreased congestion and reduced accidents, according to police statistics.

[...] The removal of road signs across Germany has been supported by the German transport ministry, where officials argue that the amount of signs is confusing drivers.

"Many road signs are only put up so that we are covered for insurance purposes and not necessarily because they provide the driver with useful information, '' said Jörg Hennerkes from the ministry.
@waspman avatar
UTC

Addicted
2005 GTS 250ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 794
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire
 
Addicted
@waspman avatar
2005 GTS 250ie
Joined: UTC
Posts: 794
Location: Stamford, Lincolnshire
UTC quote
Hyvva paiva to you in Finland!

I have read about the "shared space" concept and was initially sceptical. I have read further and experienced some limited examples and I totally get it!

The more people take responsibility for themselves whilst interacting more fully with the rest of humanity, rather than the "bubble" mentality of all the signs, lines and lights giving them permission to drive badly BUT protected by the Laws that they only just stay within.
@khaosaming avatar
UTC

Addicted
Peugeot Citystar 200i, Vespa PX 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 798
Location: Finland
 
Addicted
@khaosaming avatar
Peugeot Citystar 200i, Vespa PX 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 798
Location: Finland
UTC quote
waspman wrote:
Hyvva paiva to you in Finland!

I have read about the "shared space" concept and was initially sceptical. I have read further and experienced some limited examples and I totally get it!
----------------
Hyvää päivää sinnekin! Thanks for the kind remark and greeting.

Like any truely new fresh thinking, shared space and traffic without ubiquitous control can be quite incomprehensible. It really must be seen with one's own eyes to believe. These thoughts only have to be sold to those who decide. Old habits die hard.

Sometimes we must be told what is good for us, sometimes all is needed is just asking the right people about it -- not just road builders or rank-and-file engineers, whose sole purpose is to go on with their source of revenue. Sometimes there really is no other alternative, because all previously known methods have been exhausted and failed (like in the case of Poynton).

Tunnel vision, stagnation and hierarchical systems produce stale fruit. That's why there must be some brilliant people (whom we deservedly call geniuses when they finally succeed and manage to push their ideas through the red tape) to do the initial thinking for us common people.

Here's one more example from the UK:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/04/lots-cars-and-trucks-no-traffic-signs-or-lights-chaos-or-calm/5152/
Quote:
The village of Poynton in the U.K. has undertaken one of the most ambitious experiments to date in this type of street design, whose most prominent advocate was the Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman. Variations on the shared-space model have been implemented in other European cities since the early 1990s, but never before at such a busy junction. Poynton's city leaders sought the change because the historic hub of their quaint little town had become a grim and unwelcoming place.

"Over the years, the increase in traffic and the steps taken to try to deal with that have changed this place from being the heart of the village into being merely a traffic-signal-controlled wasteland," said Ben Hamilton-Baillie, the street designer whose firm executed the change, before the work began.
@aviator47 avatar
UTC

Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 12955
Location: Paros Island, Greece
 
Moderator
@aviator47 avatar
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 12955
Location: Paros Island, Greece
UTC quote
While Monderman's idea sounds spiffy, I would suggest he lacked understanding of sociology and culture, as he seems to be ascribing a cause and effect relationship without evidence supporting it.

It could very well be that some cultures are simply more respectful of each other to begin with, and did not need traffic control measures to artificially create "respect". i.e.- The absence of traffic control devices does not cause Filipinos to be more respectful of other vehicles on the road, their cultural tendency to not "stake out turf" causes it. Conversely, the European/American concept of legally defining personal property and "rights" requires traffic control devices to define who holds what rights in a given situation.
@khaosaming avatar
UTC

Addicted
Peugeot Citystar 200i, Vespa PX 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 798
Location: Finland
 
Addicted
@khaosaming avatar
Peugeot Citystar 200i, Vespa PX 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 798
Location: Finland
UTC quote
Aviator47 wrote:
While Monderman's idea sounds spiffy, I would suggest he lacked understanding of sociology and culture, as he seems to be ascribing a cause and effect relationship without evidence supporting it.

The absence of traffic control devices does not cause Filipinos to be more respectful of other vehicles on the road, their cultural tendency to not "stake out turf" causes it.
----------------
Monderman always maintained that it is not out of respect that the system works -- but out of fear of collision and uncertainty. By removing the legal and physical protection one becomes liable for one's own actions. You really can only blame yourself if something goes awry if you fail to negotiate with the road users. You cannot blame the yield sign or right of way. Without traffic signs telling what's ahead motorists are clueless and behave accordingly -- slow down and drive cautiously. Instead of looking at signs and lights, drivers must concentrate on the road and the mixed bunch of road users.

Much later on, when people have gotten used to the shared space traffic system, there will be "respect" just like any normal person would feel towards other people who come down to a human level (not speeding from green light to red light). It's people that become the focal point, not the signs. By mixing different kind of road users together (pedestrians, cyclists, scooterists, motorcyclist and motorists) no one user has any perceived control of the space. With traffic lights removed, decreasing speeds do not affect time used from point A to point B.

Thai people or other Asian people are no more respectful either (they mainly show open aggression less frequently, hence road rage is less common). Here in Thailand it is the seemingly chaotic traffic that creates cautiousness. Nobody wants to collide deliberately -- especially when so many vehicles are uninsured.
Quote:
The social interactions that result from shared space - eye contact, waves of thanks, and the like - are one of the main selling points for advocates.

"Shared space is a term that simply describes a shift in thinking away from the regulated highway towards using the natural skills that humans are blessed with to negotiate movement and allow the normal civilities of life to continue," says road designer Hamilton-Baillie. "I think what Poynton has demonstrated is that it is possible to create a continuous-flow, low-speed environment, still cope with pedestrian crossing movements, and, most importantly, recreate a space, a place outside the church in Fountain Place, that is part of the town - and no longer merely an appendage to the highway."

"It has a very calming effect," says one resident in the film. "And I think we're all being kinder to one another, motorists and pedestrians alike."
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/04/lots-cars-and-trucks-no-traffic-signs-or-lights-chaos-or-calm/5152/
@hendon avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2004 ET4, 2003 ET4, 1980 P200, 1963 Li150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1375
Location: New York City
 
Molto Verboso
@hendon avatar
2004 ET4, 2003 ET4, 1980 P200, 1963 Li150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1375
Location: New York City
UTC quote
I wonder how the system would work here in New York, where traffic controls are in place, but largely ignored by pedestrians and bicyclists, at least, and to some extent by motorists as well. To me, the existing system seems to work pretty well, but I'm a big advocate of the concept of people figuring out their own system for solving this sort of problem.

Brendan
@raputtak avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
 
Ossessionato
@raputtak avatar
2016 GTS 300 Super - red, of course.
Joined: UTC
Posts: 4755
Location: Hertford, North Carolina
UTC quote
I kinda like it. Take away seat belts, air bags, crumple zones, steel bracing and child seats and let Darwin sort 'em out. Two rules: if you have an accident you lose your license. If you are caught driving without a license you go to jail.
@khaosaming avatar
UTC

Addicted
Peugeot Citystar 200i, Vespa PX 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 798
Location: Finland
 
Addicted
@khaosaming avatar
Peugeot Citystar 200i, Vespa PX 200
Joined: UTC
Posts: 798
Location: Finland
UTC quote
My apologies go to Olstykke, the OP of this thread that I seem to have hijacked
hendon wrote:
I wonder how the system would work here in New York...
-------------
Wouldn't Times Square make a wonderful shared space if converted ingeniously?

Then again Monderman says:
Quote:
WHILE something of a libertarian, Mr. Monderman concedes that road design can do only so much. It does not change the behavior, for instance, of the 15 percent of drivers who will behave badly no matter what the rules are. Nor are shared-space designs appropriate everywhere, like major urban centers, but only in neighborhoods that meet particular criteria.
Raputtak wrote:
Take away seat belts, air bags, crumple zones, steel bracing and child seats and let Darwin sort 'em out.
--------------
Monderman:
Quote:
"I wouldn't interfere with the right of people to buy the car they want, but nor should the government have to solve the problems they make with their choices."
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/22/international/europe/22monderman.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0
Quote:
Monderman was in fact frequently called a nut by community members and traffic engineers. And his ideas have sometimes been mistranslated across the Atlantic to suggest that he advocated removing all signage from every intersection everywhere. In reality, he believed the idea was only a good fit in the right contexts. Highways, obviously, are not the right context.

But intersections that already resemble plazas or village squares may be.
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2011/09/shared-spaces/116/
DoubleGood Design banner

Modern Vespa is the premier site for modern Vespa and Piaggio scooters. Vespa GTS300, GTS250, GTV, GT200, LX150, LXS, ET4, ET2, MP3, Fuoco, Elettrica and more.

Buy Me A Coffee
 

Shop on Amazon with Modern Vespa

Modern Vespa is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com


All Content Copyright 2005-2024 by Modern Vespa.
All Rights Reserved.


[ Time: 0.0195s ][ Queries: 3 (0.0053s) ][ live ][ 313 ][ ThingOne ]