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Jun. 24th, 2005 @ 10:15 am Speed bumps
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Balgove
tobyaw:
From:gothman63
Date:June 24th, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)
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Travelling from Dunfermline to Edinburgh on the bus last night, the main road through Rosyth was full of them. With its wide wheelbase, the bus simply ignored them and carried on at full speed. I've no doubt boy-racers will test their skills by trying to swerve out of their way, or will enjoy the thrill of driving over them at high speed and being thrown into the air!

I wish the powers-that-be would stop wasting our money and uglifying the environment by tinkering with speed-bumps and so-called traffic-calming measures, and actually do something to reduce the number of cars on the road and provide genuine, practical transport alternatives.
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From:msloz
Date:June 24th, 2005 05:03 am (UTC)
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I agree completely.

Another one that tickles me (even as a non-driver) is these new electric signs they have, that flash 'SLOW DOWN' at you if they deem you to be going too fast.

There's a particular one somewhere on the outskirts of St.Andrews, which pretty much never fails to inform my mother, a somewhat careful driver, to slow down, but provides no handy hints as to what speed they'd like her to be going at in this particular area.

I see why they put the sign there, it's a crossroads and you are fairly blind to one of the other roads on it, but some indication of what they'd like you to be driving at would certainly be helpful.
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From:shoe__gal
Date:June 24th, 2005 11:21 am (UTC)
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I know the sign you mean - I think it flashes at anyone regardless of their speed. I'm learning to drive and it's even flashed SLOW DOWN at me - even during my crawling along the road at a snail's pace stage!
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From:msloz
Date:June 24th, 2005 11:46 am (UTC)
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Crazy, isn't it?
I always thought those signs were there to switch on when someone was going too fast. If its there to warn everyone, why not save some energy.money and get a normal metal roadisgn or something?!

I'm learning soon, and I'm sure it'll start flashing at me. Little off topic, but who are you learning with? I'm eager to learn here rather in my uni town, as i know the roads here better, and my uni town has this nutty one way system which I don't fancy getting to grips with before I've had some experience!
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From:shoe__gal
Date:June 25th, 2005 02:52 am (UTC)
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I don't think Fife council actually knows how to place appropriate road signs!

I'm learning with a guy called Pete Lowe, he used to be with BSM but is now independent, under the name El Passo. He's the third instructor I've had and by far the best. I'm a very nervous driver - or at least, I used to be, I have improved a lot - and he's been really excellent. Let me know if you want his number - I think he's too new to be in the phonebook. His car is a convertible too!
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From:gothman63
Date:June 24th, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC)
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Yes, it seems that money is no object when it comes to providing traffic-signs, road-markings and all that paraphernalia. I used to work in an architect's office and I remember seeing an official Department of Transport booklet on good practice for road signs and street furniture, and it said that the minimum of signs should be used (for maximum clarity for road-users, apart from anything else), and that, as far as possible, they should be mounted on the minimum number of posts. You'd think such instructions would be common sense, but they rarely seem to be followed. Signs, poles and traffic-lights seem to proliferate everywhere with no concern for their impact on the townscape, never mind the cost of it all.

These 'slow down' signs seem rather patronising too, don't they? Do they really think people are going to take any notice of them, or that it's money well spent? I remember there was a report on Newsnight a while ago about a town in Holland or Denmark or somewhere, where they'd removed all the road-markings and warning signs, and the accident-rate had gone down because drivers were forced to think about what they were doing and drive more carefully.
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From:msloz
Date:June 24th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC)
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I *think* some of the 'slow down' signs are armed with cameras, so if you really don't pay any attention, it's a ticket for you.But still, I'm quite sure the money could be spent more wisely.

The newsnight report sounds intruiging. But I bet in wherever it was there isn't this chav culture of idiot who would just be like 'no markings? Must be a race circuit!' Mind you, anything would be worth a try...
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From:gothman63
Date:June 27th, 2005 07:39 am (UTC)
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Well, I don't suppose there's much that can be done about schemies with small brains and smaller penises having cars. I don't know...maybe chav scum should have to pass an IQ test before they can have a driving licence. Or maybe they should have their penises assessed for smallness!

The thing about 'traffic-calming' is that it appears to have the opposite effect: less road-space and slower-moving traffic means more congestion and pollution, and more frustrated and aggressive drivers. It's not tackling the root cause of congestion, pollution and dangerous driving.
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From:tobyaw
Date:June 24th, 2005 07:27 am (UTC)
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Unfortunately we live in a society that wants to travel more. And more. With news this week that overcrowding on trains will be remedied by higher peak-time ticket prices, I guess there isn't a transport alternative, other than not to travel at all.

Maybe the real problem is that so many people start and finish work (or school) at similar times - staggered working days might eliminate the rush hour.

Or go by boat.
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From:gothman63
Date:June 24th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
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I agree about the staggered working times. I'm sure a lot of people would welcome more flexibility for other reasons beside that of avoiding rush-hour traffic jams.

As for the lack of alternatives to road transport, I read recently that the railway to St. Andrews could be reinstated for the cost of a mere 275 yards of the M74 extension in Glasgow. Whether that's true or not, I find it outrageous that such gigantic sums continue to be poured into new roads which are only going to cause more congestion, pollution and destruction, yet no money can be found to build a few miles of railway that would remove hundreds of cars a day from the roads.
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