Barometer

One-way streets are a surprisingly old (and dangerous) idea

Plus: How Miliband-style rent controls are already working; the riches of Len Blavatnik; and who gets wolf-whistled

2 May 2015

9:00 AM

2 May 2015

9:00 AM

One-way stretch

A study at Louisville University in Kentucky concluded that collisions are twice as likely in one-way streets as in similar streets with two-way traffic.
— The one-way street is an older concept than many might imagine. Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire of London began in 1666, was one of the world’s first one-way streets. An order restricting cart traffic to one-way travel on that and 16 other lanes around Thames Street was issued in 1617.
— Data on traffic flow at the time is hard to come by, but the idea was not copied for over 300 years, until Mare Street, Hackney, became a one-way street in 1924.

Blavatnik’s billions

Ukrainian-born businessman Len Blavatnik was named by the Sunday Times as Britain’s richest man, worth £13.2bn. Some other recent estimates of his wealth:
$10.1bn (£6.5bn): Jerry Kroth in his book Duped: Delusion, Denial and the End of the American Dream (2012)
$18.7bn (£12bn): Forbes magazine (2014)
$21.5bn (£14bn): Miami Herald (Oct 2014), while claiming him as South Florida’s second wealthiest resident

Out of control


Ed Miliband said that, under his proposals for three-year tenancies, landlords would only be allowed to increase rents in line with inflation. Landlord and tenant would still be left to agree the initial rent. Some have likened it to the old system of rent controls introduced, supposedly temporarily, in 1915. Rent controls for new tenancies effectively ended with the 1988 Housing Act. However, some tenancies agreed before 1988 continue to operate. How have weekly rents for these increased compared with rents for newer, unregulated tenancies?

Regulated
1992 £30
2013 £86
Increase 190%

 

Unregulated
1992 £48
2013 £106
Increase 120%

When the whistling stops

Police visited some builders in Worcester after complaints from a woman who said they were wolf-whistling her every day. Which women receive most wolf-whistles, sexual comments or staring? Ages of London women reporting incidents in the past 12 months:

18-24 31%
25-34 24%
35-44 20%
45-54 4%
55+ 3%

Source: YouGov

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  • Mr B J Mann

    “A study at Louisville University in Kentucky concluded that collisions are twice as likely in one-way streets as in similar streets with two-way traffic.”

    In other news (sources):

    “Over three years, collisions dropped by 36 percent on one street and 60 percent on the other – despite an increase in the number of cars using the roads.”

    Why were those two particular streets changed?

    And why were they studied?

    Had they suffered a spate of accidents and someone decided the change would make them safer?

    But, like with traffic cameras installed after a spate of accidents, the drop is simply the Regression To The Mean effect even if traffic increased (if you reverted a single street to two way, all other things being equal, you would expect traffic to double, but how many reported/recorded collisions would you expect over three years – 1? 2? 3?).

    .

    And:

    “Analysis of traffic patterns across the city found the risk of a crash was twice as high in areas with one-way streets.”

    But if you make traffic go round the other three sides of the block you are making it travel three times as far. So you are effectively tripling traffic.

    If you revert an area of one-way streets to two-way streets you reduce traffic to at least a third, depending on how tortuous the one way system was, so you would expect at least a 66% drop in accidents!

    .

    One-way streets designed to drive motorists out of their cars and onto buses and bikes create congestion by increasing traffic, as do traffic “calming” measures, as do road closures on the remaining roads.

    If you reduce speeds to that of the “horse and cart” (7-8mph all day, if you have several relief teams) from a 30mph “Green Wave” then you effectively quadruple traffic.

    “Add” that (multiply actually) to the one way systems, which in city centres often have you circling for ages trying to get to your destination, but say only quadruple distances rather than the minimum triple described above, and you have SIXTEEN times as much traffic as you would without the anti-car measures.

    Some people think that half the traffic in central London is simply circling for a parking space because developments aren’t allowed to provide adequate parking.

    So double the sixteen times to THIRTY-TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And people wonder why cities are so congested, and even gridlocked.

    .

    • Max Permissible

      Look at all our British market towns which have been ruined by one-way systems.

      • VUNCOOL .

        Absolutely – can we have a competition for the smallest town/village with the most useless one-way system? I nominate Bruton in Somerset. Any others?

      • HJ777

        It’s not so much the one-way systems, but the traffic they are designed to accommodate.

        Excessive motor traffic and the attempt to cater for it are what has ruined British market towns. I was recently in Maastricht – what a pleasure it was to walk around a town that wasn’t choked with traffic and parked cars.

        • Mr B J Mann

          If you had clicked on “see more”, or whatever it says, under the visible part of my post, you would have learned that one way systems, as actually used in British towns, are designed to CREATE traffic and so drive motorists out of their cars and onto buses and bikes by clogging up the streets with congestion.

          Them and traffic “calming” measures which do the opposite as well as create more traffic.

          • HJ777

            The idea that one-way streets are designed to get more people cycling is the most preposterous assertion I have heard all year.

            My local town centre has a one-way system and you almost never see a cyclist because it is so dangerous for them.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Just because you haven’t heard of something doesn’t make it true.

            And just because something is illogical doesn’t mean people won’t do it.

            I bet you think transport “planners” have to be qualified too.

            And I bet you think qualified highway and traffic engineers are allowed to design new roads with adequate capacity for the traffic expected to use them.

            If you”re actually interested, and not an anti car troll, google something like car free cities initiative.

            If you’re not that interested I’ll leave you to guess what European wide, union based, body is behind it.

            If you get into the guessing game try guessing what kind of organisations founded Transport 2000, laughably renamed the Campaign for Better Transport!

          • HJ777

            I’ll tell you what I think.

            I think you are talking codswallop.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Except you’re not thinking:

            You’re assuming.

            And you’re assuming based on a lifetime of indoctrination.

          • HJ777

            Of course, I have spent my lifetime being indoctrinated!

            Why didn’t I think of that?

            And there was me thinking that you were simply posting nonsense.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Hmmmmmmm

            How many chances to back up your disparaging insults have you failed to take up so far?

            If you’ve got any proof I’m talking nonsense, or even something half way to a reasoned counter argument, perhaps just something that could pass in a dim light for something other than a non ad hominem attack, don’t keep us in suspense too long while you finally get round too posting it!

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’ll be telling me next that the idea that cycling safety measures kill cyclists is preposterous.

            Despite the fact that the two most common ways for them to die is to be crushed by a left turning vehicle or hit from behind by a bigger, faster vehicle.

            And yet “planners” insist on covering the roads with Undertaking lanes at junctions leading to advance cycle stop boxes.

            Incidentally, I bet you think it’s preposterous to suggest that raising speed limits doesn’t lead to traffic going faster but does make roads safer.

            Doesn’t make it any less true!

          • Mr B J Mann

            By the way, I never said they were designed to get more people cycling, I said they were designed to get fewer people driving.

            Is it any wonder you struggle to comprehend.

            Or was that a crude straw man?

        • Mr B J Mann

          Ahhhh, Yes, Maaastricht:

          That’s a small county town in the Netherlands, isn’t it.

          Where they all bicycle.

          And despite that they have 528 motors per 1,000 population, putting them at number 30 (well below most of the other cycling, car “hating” countries) in the car ownership league tables.

          But that’s still three higher than the UK in the league as the UK only comes in at number 33 with 519 motors per 100,000!

          And it has the E25 acting as part of the INNER ring road and is also linked to the A/N 2 and 79, is building a tunnel to relieve congestion through the centre and has several underground car parks.

          Just like most European cities that SEEM empty of cars and full of cycles.

          Even though they own far more cars per head than we do.

          So, again, (and I’m sure we’ve had this discussion before):

          Our congestion isn’t down to the fact we have too many cars:

          It’s down to the fact we have too few roads.

          And deliberately restrict and constrict the few we do have!

          If you’re not going to even read my posts, never mind learn from them:

          Pease stop pretending to “reply” to them!

          • Brimstone52

            Owning a car is one thing. Using it for even the shortest of journeys is something different.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Which is why the public transport funded “transport” lobby and road “safety” groups keep going on about how many journeys are under x miles.

            That’s JOURNEYS *NOT* CAR journeys.

            Same trick as wittering on about how “traffic” and “transport” pollution harms health over a photoshopped shot of a smoking car exhaust.

            The “traffic” pollution comes from buses and diesel trains and the power stations that fuel “electric” trams and trains.

            The “transport” pollution includes SHIPPING!

        • Mr B J Mann

          And for newcomers that won’t link the original reply now well down the page:

          It’s one-way systems, traffic “calming”, and the like which CAUSE the excessive traffic!

    • Sam Hamer

      What nonsensical doubling.

      • Mr B J Mann

        What nonsensical DOUBTING!

        I did invite doubters to come up with any alternative permutation they preferred.

        I take it that you were so upset by your realisation of reality that you had to not only refuse to play the ball:

        But you had to attack THe Mann.

        Ah, well:

        I suppose it’s not every day you have your ideological crutch kicked away!

        • Sam Hamer

          Play the ball not the Mann, that’s rather fetching. Do you like to come out with that one wherever possible, or were you saving it for a special occasion?

          You should have probably said it to someone who it applied to, as I solely commented on the mathematical content of your post.

          • Mr B J Mann

            I save it specially for people like you.

            Who think that hurling an insult counts as counter argument.

            And I’d even laid down the challenge to doubters to come jp with better permutations.

            And that’s TWICE YOU’VE *FAILED* to come up with the goods.

            Perhaps your “maths” just isn’t up to the challenge?!

            I realise that my kids didn’t cover this untill secondary school, while I did it in bog-standard ghetto slum primary, but as everyone seems to go to university these days, I’m surprised you still haven’t covered it.

            Perhaps you are still at school.

            Allow me to help:

            If you, not double, but effectively quadruple, traffic, which had been “x”, by slowing it from 30mph to 7-8mph, it becomes 4x.

            But iv “x” was traffic that had been, not doubled, but quadrupled, from “y” to 4y by making it go four times as far, then x is 4y and 4x is 16y.

            It’s not, as the saying goes, “rocket science”!

            And as I said:

            If you think my figures aren’t sensible feel free to come up with ones you think are more sensible, and let us know what you come up with.

            As you jumped straight to hurling abuse I can only assume when you tried the exercise yourself you found the result highly traumatic!

    • HJ777

      “One-way streets designed to drive motorists out of their cars and onto buses and bikes create congestion by increasing traffic, as do traffic “calming” measures, as do road closures on the remaining roads.”

      One-way streets are generally designed to accommodate motor traffic. They certainly aren’t designed to help cyclists.

      Without all the motor traffic, they simply wouldn’t be needed.

      • Mr B J Mann

        If you had clicked on “see more”, or whatever it says, you would have learned that “all the motor traffic” is CREATED by the one way streets which are designed to drive motorists out of their cars and onto buses and bikes by clogging up the streets with congestion.

        Them and traffic “calming” measures which do the opposite as well as create more traffic.

        • HJ777

          The idea that one-way streets are designed to get more people cycling is the most preposterous assertion I have heard all year.

          My local town centre has a one-way system and you almost never see a cyclist because it is so dangerous for them. Everything is designed to free the flow of motor traffic.

          • Mr B J Mann

            You’ve posted that twice, and you were wrong both times, as I’ve demonstrated elsewhere.

            Especially as I never said that one-way streets are designed to get more people cycling.

            I quite clearly said that they were designed to drive people out of their cars.

            If you have a simple one way system that enables free flow in formerly clogged up narrow streets, with well designed junctions and ease of access to other roads, so that traffic can get from A to B as quickly as possible without going too far out of their way, that can be said to be designed to free the flow of motor traffic.

            But when you have what would be free-flowing wide streets turned into a one-way maze, forcing traffic to travel several times as far, with unnecessarily restricted turn options at junctions, lanes and whole roads narrowed or even closed, mis-phased traffic and crossing lights, plus so-called traffic “calming” and other measures designed to slow down and discourage motor traffic, you grossly increase traffic levels even if you manage to discourage some, if not much, of the traffic, resulting in what would have been lightly traffic streets becoming clogged with congestion.

          • HJ777

            What you have demonstrated – more than twice – is that you are posting preposterous nonsense and are utterly deluded about that fact.

          • Mr B J Mann

            No, you have ASSERTED that I have.

            But repeatedly failed to demonstrate it!

            Keep up the personal attacks, you might convince someone you are right eventually!!!

          • Mr B J Mann

            By the way, are you struggling to find the time to come back with proof that I am posting preposterous nonsense and am utterly deluded about that fact because you are still wading through the millions of hits you got when you googled EU Car Free Cities?!?!?

  • Hermine Funkington-Rumpelstilz

    All autobahns are one-way streets too. Scary.

  • Roger Hudson

    Only the old part of Mare St.(the narrow way) is one way, isn’t it buses-only as well.

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