No road markings - space

slowbike
slowbike Posts: 8,498
edited May 2014 in Commuting chat
They've recently tarred & feathered a section of my commute route - I don't have much alternative to avoid it without adding >50% to the distance - but it's not that bad after a few days ...

Anyway - what is interesting is the space I'm given on this section now it has no road markings ...

The road is a country A road - most of the time there's enough room for two lorries to pass each other comfortably, but not much more - in one or two places it's a little wider.

What I've noticed is that before, cars would either wait until the oncoming lane was clear or put their outside wheels over the white line and give me a reasonably wide berth ...
More and more now, with no white line to guide them they are squeezing through gaps that are not quite big enough and passing much closer to me than I find acceptable.

However, a little further down the road - still with no road markings, where it's narrower they are waiting and passing sensibly....

I just thought it interesting from the viewpoint of road markings making a difference to driver behaviour

Comments

  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    Errr, isn't the point of road markings to make a difference to driver behaviour?
  • monkimark
    monkimark Posts: 1,790
    There are a few places (Kensington in west London being one I know of) where road markings have been removed - the idea being it makes people pay more attention to other road users and generally more careful.

    Having walked around there a bit recently, I'm not at all convinced. I was nearly run over by a Daimler who was driving down the pavement (they've removed the kerb as part of the scheme to 'firmly establish pedestrian priority')
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/200 ... .transport
    http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/exhibitionroad/street.html
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    bompington wrote:
    Errr, isn't the point of road markings to make a difference to driver behaviour?
    Yes - but I was reminded of things like this:
    monkimark wrote:
    There are a few places (Kensington in west London being one I know of) where road markings have been removed - the idea being it makes people pay more attention to other road users and generally more careful.
    which sound good in theory - and I was all for it - but now in my experience it is going to depend on the location, road type, width etc etc ...
    monkimark wrote:
    Having walked around there a bit recently, I'm not at all convinced. I was nearly run over by a Daimler who was driving down the pavement (they've removed the kerb as part of the scheme to 'firmly establish pedestrian priority')
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/200 ... .transport
    http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/exhibitionroad/street.html
    Interesting ... perhaps it's a case of our drivers not being used to not being told what to do or how to do it ...

    A little like speed limits being speed targets - if you're not doing the speed limit then you're slow ... even if conditions dictate otherwise ...
  • pblakeney
    pblakeney Posts: 26,504
    It appears to work quite well here -
    http://vimeo.com/32958521
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  • nathancom
    nathancom Posts: 1,567
    PBlakeney wrote:
    It appears to work quite well here -
    http://vimeo.com/32958521
    Great video, not seen it before. Thanks!
  • Initialised
    Initialised Posts: 3,047
    There have been experiments run based on your observation and generally drivers take a safer line through obstacles, are more patient with oncoming traffic, pedestrians, horses and cyclists.
    http://www.gloucestercitizen.co.uk/Road ... story.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4213221.stm

    Removing traffic lights can also be beneficial:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ights.html

    The theory is that drivers have to think more as they have fewer static cues in their peripheral vision, so system 2 (think logical but slow) is engaged rather than system 1 (think intuitively and fast). The Higher Cognitive load keeps drivers driving instead of running on autopilot.
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  • Headhuunter
    Headhuunter Posts: 6,494
    monkimark wrote:
    There are a few places (Kensington in west London being one I know of) where road markings have been removed - the idea being it makes people pay more attention to other road users and generally more careful.

    Having walked around there a bit recently, I'm not at all convinced. I was nearly run over by a Daimler who was driving down the pavement (they've removed the kerb as part of the scheme to 'firmly establish pedestrian priority')
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/200 ... .transport
    http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/exhibitionroad/street.html

    Yeah I think the theory behind no road markings or traffic lights etc is that people are forced to think about how they drive (or ride, or walk) rather than relying on road markings and lights etc to tell them what to do, essentially the road becomes more unpredictable so people are more careful rather than going into auto pilot. Not sure this would work on main roads or A/B roads in the country though
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  • alan_sherman
    alan_sherman Posts: 1,157
    Exhibition road in Kensington is a bit of a death trap now in my opinion. Cars / taxis / trucks park anywhere causing blockages. Often car drivers don't realize that the dual carriageway changes to single carriageway after the roundabout so drive down the wrong side of the road. Tourists walk across the road assuming it is pedestrianized - not hearing the cycles coming...

    The roundabout without markings confuses people so they sometimes go straight ahead without giving way. Also not sure how insurance companies would attribute blame if the road markings aren't 'standard'.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Exhibition road in Kensington is a bit of a death trap now in my opinion. Cars / taxis / trucks park anywhere causing blockages. Often car drivers don't realize that the dual carriageway changes to single carriageway after the roundabout so drive down the wrong side of the road. Tourists walk across the road assuming it is pedestrianized - not hearing the cycles coming...

    The roundabout without markings confuses people so they sometimes go straight ahead without giving way. Also not sure how insurance companies would attribute blame if the road markings aren't 'standard'.

    But isn't the whole point that there aren't any standards - you have to use a bit of common sense as to what to do - so pedestrians can walk across the road anywhere, drivers and cyclists need to give them space, drivers need to park sensibly and all the space users need to interact considerately.

    The problem is that we're not conditioned to do that - we're conditioned to ride/drive & park within lines, pedestrians cannot cross where they like (or they get a blast of the horn) and parking is only where there are double lines - yellow or preferably red ... ;)
  • alan_sherman
    alan_sherman Posts: 1,157
    Yep. Theory and practical experience are often somewhat different!