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Archive for December 2nd, 2008

Shared Space 101: Ashford Video

Following up on the earlier post, here’s a short film produced by Kent County Council about the project in Ashford, the largest U.K. shared space scheme to date.

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Posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at 9:20 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
2 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

ESPN on MPG

“And although being in a heavy SUV might make the driver feel safer, the reality is the opposite. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety continues to find that you are more likely to die in an SUV than in a regular car. In its most recent study, “very large” SUVs had a higher occupant death rate than midsized cars — that is, trading in your large SUV for a regular-size car makes you less likely to die. The IIHS also finds that econobox-sized cars are death traps in crashes, so don’t switch to a tiny car to save fuel, switch to a midsized vehicle with a middling-horsepower engine. Here are the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures on fatality rates by vehicle class. They show that people in “light trucks,” the class that enfolds SUVs and most pickup trucks, are roughly one-third more likely to die per mile traveled than people in regular-size cars. It was quite cynical for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to tell consumers that SUVs will make them feel safe when statistics show that buying an SUV makes the driver more likely to die.”

That’s from Gregg Easterbrook, via ESPN of all places. We do have to consider who’s driving those vehicles, of course; younger drivers tend to drive “econo-boxes,” so that tilts the fatality numbers upwards, etc. But the entire post, which is on fuel economy. is worth reading.

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Posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at 8:50 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
3 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.

“Not-Holes”

Fake Potholes 3

John over at Nudge was asking about these fake potholes, which bring up comparisons to the “Philadelphia Experiment,” i.e., the ersatz speed bumps in the City of Non-Brotherly Driving.

These are indeed fake, and evidently come from Mumbai, according to this website.

“However, the stickers are not used as speed limiting devices as claimed in the message. The text painted on the roadway a few meters ahead of each pothole sticker show their real purpose. In reality, they were used as part of an advertisement for Pioneer Suspension, a vehicle suspension supplier. The ad was intended to suggest to drivers that, with Pioneer Suspension fitted to their vehicles, they would enjoy a smooth ride even on rough roads. Information about the ad published on the Ads of The World website…

…According to Ads of the World, the ad was created by Advertising Agency, Y&R Everest, Mumbai, India in 2007. It is unclear under what conditions or circumstances the advertising tactic was carried out. As many commentators have noted, unless the tactic was used in very controlled conditions, such fake potholes could actually be quite dangerous. Approaching drivers could swerve suddenly to avoid the “pothole” and serious accidents could result.

….A similar tactic was used in an ad for Ford Ranger in 2006. Ads of the World notes:

The project’s purpose was to allow drivers to experience the Ford pickup’s attribute of softness on hostile surfaces. In order to achieve this, several floor graphics were imprinted with cracks, snow and/or mud in various city streets. Next to them, a road signal that read “This is how it feels, Ford Ranger” was placed. Drivers drove through a difficult road without feeling it; situation that led them to experience the unique softness of riding in a Ford pickup. The floor graphics were placed in lateral streets and parking areas with speed limits that didn’t exceed 10 kilometers per hour, with the objective of looking out for the driver’s safety.

…Such tactics might be quite effective as advertising mechanisms. However, given their potential to cause accidents, it seems doubtful that any jurisdiction would use such potholes stickers as speed limiting devices on busy roadways.”

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Posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at 8:27 am by: Tom Vanderbilt
5 Comments. Click here to leave a comment.
Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

Please send tips, news, research papers, links, photos (bad road signs, outrageous bumper stickers, spectacularly awful acts of driving or parking or anything traffic-related), or ideas for my Slate.com Transport column to me at: info@howwedrive.com.

For publicity inquiries, please contact Kate Runde at Vintage: krunde@randomhouse.com.

For editorial inquiries, please contact Zoe Pagnamenta at The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency: zoe@zpagency.com.

For speaking engagement inquiries, please contact
Kim Thornton at the Random House Speakers Bureau: rhspeakers@randomhouse.com.

Order Traffic from:

Amazon | B&N | Borders
Random House | Powell’s

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U.S. Paperback UK Paperback
Traffic UK
Drive-on-the-left types can order the book from Amazon.co.uk.

For UK publicity enquiries please contact Rosie Glaisher at Penguin.

Upcoming Talks

April 9, 2008.
California Office of Traffic Safety Summit
San Francisco, CA.

May 19, 2009
University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
Bloomington, MN

June 23, 2009
Driving Assessment 2009
Big Sky, Montana

June 26, 2009
PRI World Congress
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

June 27, 2009
Day of Architecture
Utrecht, The Netherlands

July 13, 2009
Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP)
Phoenix, AZ.

August 12-14
Texas Department of Transportation “Save a Life Summit”
San Antonio, Texas

September 2, 2009
Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting
Savannah, Georgia

September 11, 2009
Oregon Transportation Summit
Portland, Oregon

October 8
Honda R&D Americas
Raymond, Ohio

October 10-11
INFORMS Roundtable
San Diego, CA

October 21, 2009
California State University-San Bernardino, Leonard Transportation Center
San Bernardino, CA

November 5
Southern New England Planning Association Planning Conference
Uncasville, Connecticut

January 6
Texas Transportation Forum
Austin, TX

January 19
Yale University
(with Donald Shoup; details to come)

Monday, February 22
Yale University School of Architecture
Eero Saarinen Lecture

Friday, March 19
University of Delaware
Delaware Center for Transportation

April 5-7
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
McMurrin Lectureship

April 19
International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (Organization Management Workshop)
Austin, Texas

Monday, April 26
Edmonton Traffic Safety Conference
Edmonton, Canada

Monday, June 7
Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Wednesday, July 6
Fondo de Prevención Vial
Bogotá, Colombia

Tuesday, August 31
Royal Automobile Club
Perth, Australia

Wednesday, September 1
Australasian Road Safety Conference
Canberra, Australia

Wednesday, September 22

Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s
Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Program
Statewide Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wednesday, October 20
Rutgers University
Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
Piscataway, NJ

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre
Injury Prevention Forum
Toronto

Monday, May 2
Idaho Public Driver Education Conference
Boise, Idaho

Tuesday, June 2, 2011
California Association of Cities
Costa Mesa, California

Sunday, August 21, 2011
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Attitudes: Iniciativa Social de Audi
Madrid, Spain

April 16, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Gardens Theatre, QUT
Brisbane, Australia

April 17, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Centennial Plaza, Sydney
Sydney, Australia

April 19, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne, Australia

January 30, 2013
University of Minnesota City Engineers Association Meeting
Minneapolis, MN

January 31, 2013
Metropolis and Mobile Life
School of Architecture, University of Toronto

February 22, 2013
ISL Engineering
Edmonton, Canada

March 1, 2013
Australian Road Summit
Melbourne, Australia

May 8, 2013
New York State Association of
Transportation Engineers
Rochester, NY

August 18, 2013
BoingBoing.com “Ingenuity” Conference
San Francisco, CA

September 26, 2013
TransComm 2013
(Meeting of American Association
of State Highway and Transportation
Officials’ Subcommittee on Transportation
Communications.
Grand Rapids MI

 

 

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