CONTACTTRAFFICABOUT TOM VANDERBILTOTHER WRITING CONTACT ABOUT THE BOOK

Yield, Schmield

When I first glanced at the headline, “GPD tracks percent of cars yielding to pedestrians,” I thought, in my jet-lagged haze, wow, here’s a study comparing GDP rates to pedestrian yielding, and I wondered, what’s the correlation — higher GDP means more driving, more exuberant driving, less yielding to pedestrians? A new kind of Smeed curve?

But it’s actually the Gainesville Police Department that’s been trying to make things better for those on foot — and, say it again, everyone’s a pedestrian, even if just leaving one’s car — and I was particularly intrigued by the updated feedback signs (pictured above).

Needless to say, 52% is pretty pathetic.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 6th, 2010 at 8:10 am and is filed under Pedestrians, Uncategorized. 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.

7 Responses to “Yield, Schmield”

  1. Opus the Poet Says:

    That’s abysmal, but still better than most jurisdictions without frequent “sting” operations that give out tickets for failing to yield to the cop in the crosswalk.

  2. Eileen Says:

    It would be interesting to see whether the “yield” rates would go up (or down) if they put up signs announcing the amount of the fine before some of the crosswalks.

  3. Bossi Says:

    Yield rates can vary so much based on the design of the crosswalks, and from browsing Gainesville on Streetview: most of their uncontrolled crosswalks are pretty lousy. As harsh as it sounds, given multithreat risks: if I were driving through there I probably wouldn’t yield.

  4. Rev. Nathan Speer Says:

    Yielding seems to only work in my area where they’ve layed dwon those LED strips flashing to let drivers know someone is crossing.

    I used to yield all the time, but I’ve found it much more dangerous to both drivers and pedestrians. People don’t understand why everyone’s stopped and honks their horn and rams through.

  5. Kevin Steinhardt Says:

    I would love a couple of signs like this around Cambridge, for all kinds of offences. I guess in the US it’s unlawful to fail to yield (give way?) to pedestrians at junctions; no?—sorry; my US traffic legislation knowledge is limited to almost nothing.

  6. JeremyG Says:

    While my expectations are low – I mean it IS Gainesville – the variability of the sign offers some feedback to the driver and an opportunity to take some ownership of the issue (again, with low expectations of benevolence by the driver). Read more about it here:

    http://sexdrugsandhighwaysafety.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/the-psychology-of-ownership/

  7. Chris Says:

    How do they measure the yielding? Seems like a difficult figure to be accurate about, right?

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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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