Gambling with one’s life on city roads

And it’s not just the developing countries that are having issues with too many cars on the roads. A letter to the Sydney Morning Herald recently highlighted the changes in Sydney’s traffic and drivers’ attitudes.

The author, Nestor Lexa, used to ride a bicycle, but on noticing that car drivers were becoming more and more aggressive towards cyclists, he decided to walk into the city every day. His decision felt vindicated when, soon after, he passed a brawl at an Oxford Street bus stop between two men on bikes hurling bottles (and abuse) at each other.

As a “full time” pedestrian, he noted an interesting fact (that those in the business of transport planning could take into account): traffic lights are programmed for, and automatically in favour of, cars. Why can’t they also take pedestrians into consideration? Why do pedestrians need to prompt to cross an intersection, yet the lights change regularly for the vehicular traffic? It might be questions like these (and answers to them) that make Sydney a better place for everyone to live. Or maybe they will make drivers even more infuriated?

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