Attention Please

This morning, I had read Eric Felten’s interesting take in the WSJ on the presence of hazards in places like the Grand Canyon, and why we shouldn’t install things like hand-rails, even on dangerous trails.

Then I came across, via Brainiac, a splendid website from the U.K. called “Attention Please” that chronicles warning sign overkill. Its stated mission:

This is a Manifesto Club photo-album, capturing unnecessary, absurd or patronising safety warnings in public spaces. By turning our cameras on needless safety tape and signage, we hope to expose those who put them there – and encourage a more rational approach.

One of their gripes, vis a vis the Grand Canyon:

Even in our national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty there are up to 45 signs per mile, destroying any feeling of wilderness or tranquility.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 28th, 2009 at 12:32 pm and is filed under Traffic Signs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Attention Please”

  1. njkayaker Says:

    The WSJ opinion page requesting “nanny state” changes? That’s an example of irony, isn’t it? One wonders what their opinions would be regarding regulation of the financial industry.

  2. njkayaker Says:

    OK, they aren’t requesting that signs/handrails be put up. (Ignore the previous comment!)

  3. Brian Ogilvie Says:

    Let me give you a good counterexample: the Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) in Lysefjorden, near Stavanger, in Norway. The rock is poised 603 meters (nearly 2000 feet) above the fjord, and the top is more or less flat. It gets 100,000 visitors a year. There are a couple of rope and chain guardrails on a tricky passage to the rock, but none on the rock itself. Nonetheless, no one has ever accidentally fallen off. Why? My guess is that the absence of guardrails makes people act prudently, even though some get a lot closer to the edge than I’d be comfortable doing.

    Here’s a photo:

    But a Google search for Preikestolen will turn up some more impressive ones.

  4. Jim M Says:

    Fixed link:

  5. njkayaker Says:

    “Fixed link:”

    Thanks. A fair number of the photos show traffic cones on statues. I suspect that that is evidence of pranks rather than of excessive signage.

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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.

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