Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Traffic surveys

On the way to work this morning, I saw a couple of cars blocking the pavement. They had little signs on them saying "Traffic Survey".

I get concerned when I see that because it could mean a couple of things.

First, they could simply be counting cars. The consequence may be that they count a given number of cars passing in a given hour and conclude that more space is required. I really hope not.

Second, they might actually be conducting a traffic analysis and seeing how many pedestrians use the intersection, how long they have to wait, the environment in which they are required to wait and so on. They might count how many cars have school children in them, note what school they are going to and ask themselves why the parents are taking them by car instead of a cheaper and potentially faster way. They may also count the cyclists and see what they have to put up with. They may ask themselves why there are so few people going past on bikes compared to cars. When counting the cars, they may check to see how many people are in each and ask why that is and whether it is desirable. They might look at the buses and count their occupants and then look around to see how much space those people would take up if they were all in cars. They then might look at how many people are actually being carried by the lines of cars and notice that they could so easily fit on one bus, all sitting, with a double seat each. Beyond that, who knows? They may even start to analyse where all those single occupant cars come from and go to and ask whether there isn't perhaps a better way of transporting that many people in one direction.

Hope springs eternal.

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