Letters for January 28, 2000

‘Puddingheaded’ traffic schemes

I am negatively energized by your recent report that we are about to experience an intensification of that scheme of sanctioned civic vandalism that goes under the name of “traffic calming.”
Traffic calming is the most idiotic, insane, dysfunctional, puddingheaded, asinine, cockamamie, goofy idea of the century.
Putting asphalt mounds in the middle of streets, and narrowing intersections to transform arterial city roads into village laneways, signals a community in mental decline.
That being said, here is my question: As we have now experienced the miracle of traffic calming for more than a year, should we not now assess the promised benefits accrued to date, before we continue dancing to the pacific tune of those angelic anti-car Pan flutists who have hijacked our roads?
Specifically, for those downtown streets which have suffered calming, how many pedestrians were injured by cars exceeding the speed limit in the year prior to being calmed, compared to how many similar pedestrian accidents have happened since?
I’ll bet the correct answers are either a) “zero” and “still zero”, or, at worst, b) “very few” and “still very few.”
Despite the fears promoted by traffic calmers, the fact is that Ottawa’s streets aren’t unduly hazardous now, nor were they before they forced their personal anti-car agenda on us.
As for those parents who want their toddlers to be able to wander about with their puppies in safety, I think they should supervise their children, or teach them to play away from traffic, or choose to live other than downtown.
Did I mention that I think traffic calming is stupid?
Really, really stupid? read more

Continue reading