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View Full Version : Strange Way to Lower Automobile Accidents



Jim Koepke
12-26-2015, 5:06 PM
If you find yourself crossing the road in the German town of Bohmte, look both ways – and then perhaps check again.
It has scrapped all its traffic lights and road signs in a radical experiment designed to make the streets safer. Yesterday, the local council said the scheme was a complete success.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1028740/Accident-free-zone-The-German-town-scrapped-traffic-lights-road-signs.html#ixzz3vSl32il1

this was originally posted in another thread by Jason Roehl

Mel Fulks
12-26-2015, 6:06 PM
We have an old thread here which I believe was started by John Coloccia. Has the name of the guy who pushes this idea. Germany is a place with a sense a of propriety and understanding of how to get things done efficiently. And a sense of personal and shared spaces that is lacking here. Ms Merkel,leader of Germany, was highly surprised when G Bush tried to give her a neck rub at a meeting of world leaders. Kind of a COLLISION of two worlds.

Brian Elfert
12-26-2015, 6:08 PM
I'm trying to figure out how it cost 1.8 million Euros to remove traffic signals and traffic signs? If it is an experiment I would just remove (or cover) the signal heads and leave the mast just in case they want to put them back in service. Same things with signs. Cover them or remove them and leave the posts just in case they want to put them back up.

There have been studies that an excess of signs is causing problems with drivers spending too much time reading signs which takes away from driving.

Yonak Hawkins
12-26-2015, 10:57 PM
My town needs to take a lesson. The powers that be have put 4-way stops at all but the most minor of intersections, apparently to slow traffic down. It just wastes gas and time.

Mel Fulks
12-26-2015, 11:11 PM
I've heard that traffic engineers hate 4 way stops, they seem to be a political solution. Don't think I've ever heard a local one quoted ,they would be fired. Rules about 4 way stops are not standardized throughout US.

Brian Elfert
12-26-2015, 11:38 PM
There are times when four way stops are necessary in the absence of traffic signals. I used to regularly go through an intersection of two major roads that really needs signals or a roundabout instead of a four way stop. If it was a two way stop one direction would never be able to go during rush hour.

A local town has some really screwy two way or three way stops. One three way stop has a stop sign at the bottom of a hill, but the cars going uphill don't have to stop. Real fun in the winter. In another case there is a two way stop, but the stop signs are not on the same streets. One direction each way has to stop. The city of Minneapolis removes some stop signs for the winter at the bottom of some hills.

Myk Rian
12-27-2015, 12:06 PM
My town needs to take a lesson. The powers that be have put 4-way stops at all but the most minor of intersections, apparently to slow traffic down. It just wastes gas and time.
One local town here has put mini roundabouts (swerve-abouts) all over the place. LOTS of people say it's completely stupid, and a waste of money.
I agree with them.

Mel Fulks
12-27-2015, 12:25 PM
Sounds like the ones Myk cites are undersized ,we have one like that at the entrance to our neighborhood. And the circle is not curbed ,it's painted. The signage has been changed a couple of times and is still not in compliance with State law.

Art Mann
12-27-2015, 1:36 PM
There is a heavily used intersection about 4 miles from our house. It used to be a 4 way stop. As the population in the area grew, traffic in all four directions would back up for 10 to 30 cars each way at certain times of the day. It was a disaster. The city decided to try a roundabout intersection like what is common in Europe and Mexico. There are no hard stops, only yield signs and merge rights. It took a while for locals to get used to it. I had to drive a lot in Mexico where it is commonplace so I was already familiar with it. It is amazing how well that intersection is working now. The only problem you see is the occasional out of area driver who doesn't understand how a roundabout works and just sits there like at a 4 way stop. I think they ought to replace more clogged 4 way stops and traffic lights with roundabouts. Traffic is smoother and faster because there is no rule forcing someone to just sit there when the opportunity to advance arises. It sounds crazy but if everyone understands what is going on, it just works.

Jim Koepke
12-27-2015, 1:58 PM
I'm trying to figure out how it cost 1.8 million Euros to remove traffic signals and traffic signs? If it is an experiment I would just remove (or cover) the signal heads and leave the mast just in case they want to put them back in service. Same things with signs. Cover them or remove them and leave the posts just in case they want to put them back up.

The people doing the removing are not volunteers. I am not sure about European traffic laws, but most places with which I am familiar require all cars to come to a stop if a signal light is inoperative. Of course many people seem to be oblivious to such laws.

Covered signs quickly become uncovered by weather or other means. In many cases removing all the signage will greatly improve the appearance of a locality.


Rules about 4 way stops are not standardized throughout US.

Even where there are standardizations people, be they drivers or local officials, tend to think the rules do not apply to them.

jtk

Shawn Pixley
12-27-2015, 2:19 PM
I'm trying to figure out how it cost 1.8 million Euros to remove traffic signals and traffic signs? If it is an experiment I would just remove (or cover) the signal heads and leave the mast just in case they want to put them back in service. Same things with signs. Cover them or remove them and leave the posts just in case they want to put them back up.

There have been studies that an excess of signs is causing problems with drivers spending too much time reading signs which takes away from driving.

I don't have any problem understanding why it would cost that. People will be paid to do this (and not US minimum wage). Materials may be needed. Access equipment can be required (Lifts, etc..).

Jim Koepke
12-27-2015, 2:41 PM
I don't have any problem understanding why it would cost that. People will be paid to do this (and not US minimum wage). Materials may be needed. Access equipment can be required (Lifts, etc..).

My brother was at one time a city Counsel member of a somewhat small city. This was many years ago. At the time he told me the minimal 4–way traffic signal at an intersection would cost $1 million to install.

Sure it all looks and sounds simple. There is a lot that must be taken into account, wages paid, equipment rented our purchased, engineering studies and what have you.

jtk

Brian Elfert
12-27-2015, 3:09 PM
My brother was at one time a city Counsel member of a somewhat small city. This was many years ago. At the time he told me the minimal 4–way traffic signal at an intersection would cost $1 million to install.

Sure it all looks and sounds simple. There is a lot that must be taken into account, wages paid, equipment rented our purchased, engineering studies and what have you.


Sure, it costs $1 million for installing a stop light, but why does it cost 1.8 million Euros to remove traffic signals and signs?

Brian Elfert
12-27-2015, 3:13 PM
On a related note, what is the proper way to traverse a roundabout? Are you supposed to signal when you are leaving the roundabout? There is a fairly new roundabout locally that is very high volume. Often times I have to sit there for a bit before there is an opening to enter the roundabout. I have no idea if the vehicle already in the roundabout is going to exit or if they are continuing around the circle so I wait until there is no vehicle coming before I enter.

Jim Koepke
12-27-2015, 4:02 PM
Sure, it costs $1 million for installing a stop light, but why does it cost 1.8 million Euros to remove traffic signals and signs?

Looking into this deeper it seems there are a lot of numbers tossed about for the cost. Whatever the actual number was the cost it sounds like a lot when sitting at home in an easy chair.

There are a lot of things to consider.

How many signals and signs did they remove?

It looks like there was some cost involved in removing markings from the pavement and changing the pavement and sidewalks.

How much time should it take to remove a sign, pole and repair the area?

Sending a couple of guys out with a pickup truck and a chainsaw to cut down sign poles and just leaving the stub is not an acceptable cost saving solution.

If a job is to be done properly it may seem expensive. In the long run it is more cost effective than the inexpensive alternatives.

jtk

Myk Rian
12-27-2015, 4:08 PM
Here's a round-about for ya. 5 of them, in fact. There are shopping centers on each side of US-23. Instead of staying with traffic lights, the brains in power decided this was the way to go. It is the most confusing thing I have ever driven. After so many years, I still got turned around the other night.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.50571,-83.75787,585m/data=!3m1!1e3

Tony Zona
12-27-2015, 4:23 PM
Hey, Mike,

I'm grinning here just looking at that aerial view, but I have to admit it looks absolutely genius (from here in Pennsylvania.) If the signage is done correctly and is readable far enough in advance, or if you know where you are going, you should not have to stop anyplace.

PennDOT recently installed a little circle here in a our small town where two highways tangle up. It works well, but is too small. And so many people didn't know how to use it at first. The didn't read signs. The circle moves traffic along well now, however, some people still hate it because (A.) it is different and (B.) They think everything PennDOT does is wrong.

Poor PennDOT. It does so much wrong that it gets whacked even when it does something good.

Al Launier
12-27-2015, 4:40 PM
To really lower the accident rate go back to horses! :D

Myk Rian
12-27-2015, 5:32 PM
If the signage is done correctly and is readable far enough in advance, or if you know where you are going, you should not have to stop anyplace.
The signage is debatable. Al least they did take many of them down. There are still so many arrows it makes it difficult to see.

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.5062438,-83.7597632,3a,75y,291.78h,63.56t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZ8ODa-XHjaoCB8M0jJpxXw!2e0!7i3328!8i1664

Myk Rian
12-27-2015, 5:55 PM
Here's one they put in. 4 way stops, with swerve about. This one really got people ticked off.
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6095818,-83.9332691,3a,75y,300.98h,64.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s3hMVQ-ExetDOsUspNaHLVw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Brian Elfert
12-27-2015, 6:11 PM
Here's one they put in. 4 way stops, with swerve about. This one really got people ticked off.
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6095818,-83.9332691,3a,75y,300.98h,64.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s3hMVQ-ExetDOsUspNaHLVw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I never heard of a swerve about until today. Is the purpose to try to force drivers to stop at the stop signs? It really isn't going to slow down folks who stop at the stop signs unless they mash the pedal hard after they stop.

Myk Rian
12-27-2015, 6:17 PM
Well, it really is a round-about, but people call them swerve-abouts. They serve no useful purpose. Especially that one. It is one of several that were installed. After all the complaints, they did take a few out, then claimed they ran out of money to take out the rest of them. People lost their jobs over these stupid things.

Brian Elfert
12-27-2015, 6:41 PM
In my mind those aren't roundabouts. They still have stop signs unlike every roundabout I have used so far.

Myk Rian
12-27-2015, 7:36 PM
In my mind those aren't roundabouts. They still have stop signs unlike every roundabout I have used so far.
Tell that to the Howell city council.

Art Mann
12-27-2015, 9:43 PM
Here's one they put in. 4 way stops, with swerve about. This one really got people ticked off.
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6095818,-83.9332691,3a,75y,300.98h,64.82t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s3hMVQ-ExetDOsUspNaHLVw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

That intersection is just another 4 way stop as far as I can tell. Real roundabouts don't have stop signs. They have yield signs and right hand merge lanes and the circle is often wide enough for 2 cars side by side. If you want to go left, you have to merge right and travel 3/4 of the way around the circle and then exit. Big roundabouts will have several lanes side by side. It sounds crazy but is just as common as a 4 way stop in other countries. Everyone just knows to how to enter and exit the circle.