October 07, 2007

Streets Ahead

From CBC.ca: Expert proposes 'naked streets' for Toronto
A new, provocative suggestion for making the streets of Toronto safer for pedestrians: eliminate all street and speed limit signs...

Right now, speed limits, red lights and clearly marked and separated areas for cars and pedestrians are the norm in cities all over the world. But that thinking is "all wrong" according to Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman, who says it is much safer to build what he calls "naked streets."
Interestingly, this is the first time a Dutch person has ever appeared in a news story alongside the word "naked" without the item having anything to do with actual nudity.

It sounds like an interesting approach. Tell me, Hans Moleman (ahem, sorry... Monderman), what is the insightful piece of cognitive psychology theory behind this suggestion?
Monderman says this scares drivers so much they slow down and move carefully to avoid hitting anyone.
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ones.

Monderman then excused himself from the interview to go see some actual nudity. Phew!

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