Discussion in 'Brixton' started by teuchter, Aug 30, 2017.
Just in case anyone hasn't seen them
If you're going to launch completely unprovoked into a load of unnecessary personal abuse then please do go away.
What's average speed? Is it conditional on being freely moving traffic and not lowered by queues? If it falls into the 10mph range then we're surely not talking about environments where speed choices come into it, and thus not a helpful metric.
On your first point, the chance of fatality risk for a pedestrian being hit by a car at 70mph (or an HGV at 56mph) must be approaching 100%. However we accept this in the context of motorways and rural dual carriageways because the chance of this type of collision is very small.
Speed limits are never set by the mere risk of death in a collision, despite those adverts about chance of survival. They're meant to be set, amongst other less significant things, by the risk of a collision and resultant KSI event.
In cramped urban residential streets with narrow pavements, parked cars and poor visibility, that risk goes up dramatically, which is where 20mph zones are both legitimate and valuable - places like Portsmouth if you've ever had the misfortune to have been there. But this isn't universally the case.
To summarise in answer to my question your view is that 20mph limit is "overkill" and won't be observed by most otherwise law abiding citizens.
Your other argument is increase in journey times for the motorist. I'm not clear. Are you saying this is a bad thing? A reason not to have 20mph limit?
snowy_again has answered why 20mph limit saves lives.
If that's a relatively sharp curve then you either shouldn't be driving at all or you're going much too fast.
My position is both that blanket limits are counterproductive and that the road you highlight is a good example of exactly that.
My experience in Loughborough Junction is that the car lobby want nothing that might impede the right of the motorist to use the roads.
teuchter asked you what you mean by "trust relationship" between the "reasonable" person and authority.
There is a whole load of baggage behind what the "reasonable" person is and the "trust relationship"
It's insidiously right wing. It's the why are they having a go at me. Ive worked hard and bought my own car. The police should be out there catching the real criminals. It smacks of Daily Mail.
A 20mph speed limit in London is not a big deal. It's not an monetary extra charge on people, it's not taking away there cars, it's not an infringement on one's personal liberty.
There is no meaningful car lobby outside of niche groups totally unrelated to the average driver. Nor is car ownership somehow meaningfully right-wing. And the standard of a reasonable person (cf 'man on the Clapham omnibus') is an integral part of English law.
If you insist on bringing politics into it, a set of unnecessarily restrictive legislation for no demonstrable benefit is authoritarianism. Not having the faith in people to behave appropriately given the freedom to do so is a right wing hallmark. You'll presumably accept it because you don't like the subject of the action but I bet you wouldn't do so elsewhere.
On a practical level, as mentioned before, there is no hope of meaningful enforcement of anything in the short to medium term so you had better hope to leverage the self-control and positive qualities of ordinary drivers rather than trying to unilaterally apply control on your say so.
Personally I think the typical standard of driving in the UK is generally well intentioned and actually more competent than some might think, but overall insufficient and very much worthy of initiatives to improve it. I think that with a few exceptions like environmental engineering, the only answer is behavioural change through driver education and engagement, and you don't achieve that unilaterally through blunt force - quite the opposite.
Not on my say so. 20mph limit was Lambeth Labour party commitment. They were democratically elected.
Yes there is a car lobby. I've seen it in LJ.
On authoritarianism. I was specific in saying this was not an infringement of individual liberty, not an extra tax on people or taking away people's right to own a car. For example if someone wants to smoke dope it's an individual choice that doesn't effects others. So imo it should be legalized Nor am I advocating banning car ownership. No your post confirms my view you sound like Daily Mail.
A 20mph speed limit won't stop you driving in London. I fail to see how this is an infringement on your right to own and drive a car. If I was advocating banning car ownership there might be an argument that this would be authoritarian. I'm not.
I insist on "bringing politics into it". Another insidious right wing view. There are people like you who are reasonable non political types and then there are ideological people out of touch with the ordinary man in the street. It's bollox.
I am not a highway designer. But in my estimation, based on google streetview/overhead view, if someone were about to cross the road opposite the bus stop, then for a driver approaching from the west, they might come into view about 60m away, on account of the curve. Here are the desired/minimum visibility distances for pedestrian crossings:
You can see that a distance of 60m is ok for 25mph traffic, questionable for 30mph traffic, and not acceptable for 35mph traffic.
I know that this table is intended for use with formal pedestrian crossings. However, part of the idea behind the 20mph initiative is to make Lambeth's streets more amenable to and safer for pedestrians. In my opinion, which you may not agree with, there should be a principle that within reason pedestrians can cross the street safely and not just at formal crossings. Taking this location as an example, if I wanted to cross the street to get to the bus stop, then with traffic going at 30 or 40mph, its questionable whether I can do it safely at that point on the road, even if I look properly before I step out. With traffic going at 20mph, it seems that it should be pretty safe, because if the road is clear for 60m, then should a car appear just after I step out it will have plenty of distance to slow down or stop. This is before we consider the scenario where a kid runs out without looking, and is hit by a vehicle, and the likely consequences at each speed.
You may say this example is contrived, and it is, partly. But I make it to illustrate the point that 20mph vs 30mph traffic does make a difference, even on a road like this. It makes a difference to the safety with which someone can cross the road at a semi-arbitary location. In my opinion that's an important difference. A 20mph limit on this stretch of road makes things better for pedestrians. Of course the counter argument is that it's disproportionate to the disbenefit to car drivers. There are mutterings about increased journey times, but no-one seems able to provide any evidence that this is really a significant problem.
As Gramsci says, it was very visible and very real here recently.
This thread is about London. In London there is no need for a car. There is excellent public transport. Public transport is inherently socialist - it is available to and shared by everyone. Using a private car is all about prioritising your own convenience, at the expense of others. It's also something that is only available to those who can afford it.
Faith doesn't come into it - my observation of what people actually do in the area where I live, where they are given the freedom to drive around seemingly without any enforcement of speed limits is that they drive dangerously. And I don't mean that in the sort of way where I am ticking them off on technical points, I mean in the way that I genuinely fear that I will witness someone getting seriously hurt or worse within view of my front door. It's not people going at 35 in a 30 zone or even 35 in a 20 zone; it's people going 40 and 50 and I suspect in some cases above that. When you can regularly hear tyres screeching as cars turn into a junction on a residential street I think you can conclude that drivers are not behaving "appropriately".
I'm not sure what else I can add. If we're still talking about my initial use of the word daft, I'm happy to consider the possibility that it was the wrong term. But elsewhere in the post I've explained my reasons for believing a 20 mph limit on main roads is too low as clearly as I'm likely to outline them.
Are you able to offer any evidence for the bits I've highlighted in bold above? Or are they just speculation presented as facts?
Here is what the Rospa report has to say about pollution:
...and the results of a 2013 City of London study were:
And a study from the 1990s
I'm not so sure looking at it from the angle of who should come first is the most logical approach. That pedestrians are much more vulnerable than people in motor vehicles or on bikes/ cycles is a given. But if the emphasis is on preventing accidents in the first place, then establishing rules and who gets priority shouldn't be about which road user is more vulnerable, but on the stopping distance of the user in question.
The stopping distance of a walking pedestrian is one foot. That of a car travelling at 30 mph is 45 times greater. Do you really think it makes more sense to give right of way to the road user who can come to a full stop within a single second and a single foot over a road user who needs tens of times the distance? It shouldn't be about vulnerability, it should be about simple physics and common sense.
If someone suggested pedestrians should be given priority over trains at level crossings they'd be rightly be laughed off the park. While such analogy is of course a bit of a stretch compared with cars on city streets, the basic concept and the physics are exactly the same. You don't give priority to the road user who is more vulnerable- you give it to the one for whom braking in time to avoid a collision would be far more difficult and lengthy.
The train analogy is not "a bit of a stretch" - it's completely irrelevant. Railways are almost entirely segregated from people's day-to-day urban realm. It's this segregation that allows them to transport people medium-long distances at speed and in London the railways form part of the public transport system which means that anyone can get around the city pretty easily without needing private transport of their own. Level crossings are inherently dangerous and Network Rail is in the process of eliminating as many of them as possible.
Assigning priority according to stopping distance creates a situation where, if one or other party makes a mistake, someone is liable to get hurt. And it will nearly always be the pedestrian who gets hurt. The onus should be on the person creating the danger in the situation to mitigate it. The street is a pretty safe place until someone wants to decide to drive a motor vehicle onto it. The thinking you are outlining is hopelessly outdated, and it's what created the car-dominated town planning that destroyed so many of the UK's town centres, as well as much of the urban environment you see in the USA where in some places you are simply considered a nutter if you want to walk to the shop. The thinking that the 20mph limits come out of attempts to learn from those mistakes.
Like you say, trains are public transport that everyone can use to speed around London.
So let's limit trains to 20mph, just in case one crashes and passengers are injured or killed.
I don't doubt this, and I sympathise. However it's probably sufficiently disconnected from both the behaviour of crowds and compliance with the law that speed limits really don't make any difference. It's into the realms of ASB or non-speed traffic offences, e.g. DWDCA. So a discussion about 20 vs 30 is separate to this.
Unfortunately I don't have much in the way of suggestions for you. If you can identify a regular pattern (place and time window) then there was a time in which you could raise it and road traffic police would be interested in attending to see if they caught anyone. Whether that's still the case, especially in London, I don't know.
That (No 1) was filmed outside my school. I remember it. Ahhhh.
If drivers always drove appropriate to the conditions then we wouldn't need speed limits at all, but they don't. It's a bit like broken windows theory, the more they know the rules can be disregarded, the more they find reasons to break them...
The first bit is certainly speculation based on a basic understanding of mechanics. Higher revs mean higher fuel comsumption. I have driven many, many different types and models of cars in my life, and without fail every single one of them needed to be medium to high RPMs in 2nd gear to do sustained travel at 20 mph, while all of them travelled comfortably in low reves at 30mph in 4th gear. It is of course possible and even likely that if 20 mph became the norm everywhere, future cars would be released with a gearbox optimised for sustained travel at 20 mph. But that is not the case now.
If cars are to be tolerated in towns and cities, then you cannot magic away basic facts regarding mass weight, speed and braking distance. Either we ban motor vehicles altogether, or we allow them to be used in urban areas and try to prevent accidents by the most effective way possible. And the most effective way possible is try to avoid a collision by the most logical way, rather than trying to put all the responsibility and all the blame on one party only. Because even at 20 mph there will still be many collisions.
Do you believe it is possible for a pedestrian to be hit by a motor vehicle and be the pedestrian's fault?
There is some stuff on the AA website from 2008 which supports your position but it might be more complicated than that as noted in the Guardian link I posted upthread.
The evidence - some of which I posted above - simply does not seem to support the idea that a drop from 30 to 20 is likely to increase pollution. It seems that a complicated mix of factors come into play which mean that it's not possible to say there would be a significant change in either direction. I don't think it's a valid reason to object to a lowering of the speed limit. It may be a valid reason to try and reduce the use of speed humps as a traffic calming device though.
Also as you rightly point out, if 20mph limits become more the norm, then car manufacturers can follow suit in the longer term.
Depends exactly what you mean by "their fault". At the moment, the fact is, it is risky for me to cross the road without taking quite a lot of care. So if I step out into the road without looking, and get hit by a car doing 20 or 30 then, in the sense that I have taken an action which is obviously risky, it is "my fault".
The fact is that I'd like to go further than 20mph speed limits. I do think we should ban motor vehicles altogether in some situations, and possibly ban private cars altogether, in some situations. I'd like London's urban environment to be much, much, more optimised for pedestrians than it is at present. An environment where, at least on some streets, you simply don't have to watch out for speeding cars if you want to cross from one side to the other. In this scenario, if I were to be hit by a car, then no it would not be my fault, because we would be operating under a different regime from the one we must put up with at present. Some think this is an extreme position and yet things like this have been successfully implemented in other places.
It's not an "either or" choice, between allowing vehicles or not allowing vehicles. There's a sliding scale, one end of which represents something like the worst kind of American car city, and the other end of which represents somewhere entirely pedestrianised. I'd like London to move closer to the latter end of that scale, and I'd probably like it moved a lot further than most people would. But the attempts at reductio ad absurdium arguments, where we end up virtually banning motor vehicles altogether, don't work in my opinion, because I don't think that's an absurd position.
How about we Install traffic light controlled pedestrian crossings at key locations, and make it illegal for anyone to cross the road at anywhere but these locations?
This is not an infringement of individual liberty, not an extra tax on people or taking away people's right to walk or cross the road.
Jay walking is illegal in Germany. Certainly feels like an infringement of personal liberty when told off for doing so.
It should be illegal everywhere.
Just ignore the troll. Perfectly civilised and interesting conversation happening here.
Separate names with a comma.