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scare-car  RSS feed

 
master steward
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This scare-car was built by someone frustrated with speeders.  Ment to look like a cop from a distance.  
 
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I've often thought of doing this, buying an old police car and just parking it at the side of the road, moving it around occasionally.  Weekends are the worst, people who don't have a clue about wild animals and loose cows, and the fact that it's really not okay to go over the middle line to pass a bicyclist on a blind curve get a real jolt of reality when it all goes wrong.

Not sure what the local police would say about it.
 
gardener
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Back in my lawyering days I had a client who bought an ex-police Crown Vic at an auction, and instead of repainting it he touched up the black and white, put new antennaes on it, replaced the spotlight, and got a foglight bar to replace the red-blue lightbar. Then he got custom plates - somehow? - DMV clerk must have been drunk that day - that said COPCAR.

His perpetual complaint to me was that he got pulled over six times a week and the cops seemed to hate him, he had no idea why.
 
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My suggestions for slowing cars are :-

1   (to local councils) leave roads in slightly poorer condition, and thereby also save money spent on repairs
2   (to drivers and passengers) think of a few topics of conversation to pass the extra time spent during journeys
3   (to drivers and passengers) put on your favourite CD, and/or rehearse your tenor solo for the coming production of 'The Pirates of Penzance', or otherwise
4   (to drivers and passengers) leave the house earlier

Clive Winbow
France
 
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A old pushbike with a mannequin shaped like a kid works wonders.
 
pollinator
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I think that I come from a different perspective with this. I'm tired of people buying houses on busy streets and then expecting the traffic to change to suit them. People putting up snarky signs always brings out the worst in me. That being said I'm a very defensive driver, so maybe what bugs me is the assumption that I'm reckless.
 
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My two solutions--design places we live around walking and not driving, and park on both sides of the road.

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2018/7/2/we-should-be-building-cities-for-people-not-cars



 
master pollinator
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I'm kinda with Stacy on this one, and I think the topic is more complex than something that can be solved with further slowing traffic.

A speed limit of 40 km/h was the standard slow speed in a school or residential zone. Were pedestrian fatalities not reported then, or have the habits of those who have to share the road changed in some way since then? Why is there a push now to lower those limits to 30 km/h or lower?

In crowded cities here in North America, there are more cyclists on the roads than ever, and a steadily increasing number of cars. Is it just volume, or are the habits of either or both groups of road users causing problems? In the same vein, are pedestrians interacting in a safe manner with other road users, especially when crossing roadways, or are they acting increasingly in ways that don't allow them to react appropriately at need?

In a specific response to the question, is anyone familiar with those trailer-roadside speed signs that radar your speed and post it in lights? The ones I'm familiar with are almost exclusively police-owned, but I have noticed them having a traffic-calming effect. If my police department were using one, I would either request it at that problem spot, or perhaps make buying one specifically for that purpose a focus of local fundraising.

-CK
 
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A friend recently told me he used to throw a child's ball out in the road when a car was driving too fast and over the speed limit. It always stopped them dead he said. The worst offender was a local mother.
 
Chris Kott
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Yeah, I don't really like that one. What's next, tossing collected roadkill or open Ziploc bags of tomato sauce?

I was driving safely through a school zone on a Saturday. I was going 30km/h, the posted limit. I still had some young mother standing on tiptoe at the edge of the curb making slowing down motions and looking at me like she'd caught me in the middle of doing something distasteful with farm animals.

If you don't have a radar gun, it's often hard to tell for sure how fast a driver is going from the sidewalk.

I find the idea of vigilante traffic control more than a little repugnant. If speed control is warranted, have one of the aforementioned trailer-mounted radar signs requested, or have the police put the street location on their rotating list of speed trap locations.

I think we need to think about sharing better. Let's perhaps think about how we can redesign our infrastructure such that it is unnecessary to antagonize drivers to make transportation safer for other road users.

In all but the densest urban areas, or those best served by modern mass transit, personal automotive transportation isn't going anywhere. It is therefore illogical to plan in such a way that inconveniences private vehicular travel.

I think the best redesign might involve a reorganisation of streets in urban areas, such that some streets would accommodate only mass-transit, like streetcars, along with pedestrians and cyclists (other small and/or electric powered vehicles get a pass, with the typical safety caveat). Similarly, access streets would alternate with these that would have minimal accommodation for pedestrians, and no mass transit or bike lanes. Deliveries would happen off these streets or intersecting laneways. There would be minimal, short-term parking on these streets, with parking structures for up to day-long or permitted parking.

I think it would also be nice if perhaps other road users were subject to even a fraction of the strictures and penalties that we as drivers accept as every day life.

I routinely see pedestrians disregarding their signals, and either holding up entire full left-hand turn lanes that were supposed to have an advanced green, or nearly being hit.

I recently witnessed a witless fool crossing against her signal, and nearly being hit by a car that had been given an advanced left hand turn. When the stopped car honked at her, she stopped in the road, turned and yelled, "What?!" to the driver. When he indicated that she was crossing against her signal, her response was, "Who even cares?!" Perhaps the half-dozen left-turning vehicles that weren't permitted to go, and everyone behind them.

I wish it were illegal for pedestrians to cross the street staring into their phones.

And while I have in the past been an urban cyclist, some of the bad decisions I have seen made by cyclists leads me to think that licensing might at some point be required. I regularly see cyclists in bike lanes accelerating to overtake right-turning cars between the car and the curb. I am frankly astonished we don't have more cyclist fatalities.

Let's all check our own biases and try to act constructively to share the road.

-CK
 
Kamaar Taliaferro
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I don't mean to hijack the thread. I just feel a couple things I need to say.

There's not any equivalency between pedestrians and cyclists, and car drivers. If someone walks into you, or hits you with their bike, ouch, curse their offspring/laugh, return to normal. If someone hits you with a car, you're dead. Is that a bias? Maybe.

In the U.S. "suburbanization" has made the car a culture. I personally could do with much less asphalt in my life, so I see a solution to be had. Doesn't mean I hate cars. It means I'd like to live in more vibrant places.

On my street people speed in cars every single day. There are consequences of that, even if there are no accidents;
children don't playing outside, they've been yelled at about being too close to the road too many times;
people don't chit chatting on the sidewalk;
there are maybe 4 gardens in front yards out of 60-ish houses and every house has the space to plant at least something.
Every single one of my neighbors has taken the time to mention how fast cars drive up and down our street--it's an entirely residential road, there's not even a speed limit posted.


So slowing down cars in my residential neighborhood isn't really about the cars. It's about the kind of neighborhood I would like to live in. I'd like more green space, "O look at that ugly asphalt". I'd like to see kids playing outside "O, look at that ugly asphalt". I'd like there to be a space my neighbors and I could partay together "O, look at that ugly asphalt".

Cars are necessary because of how we've designed the places we live not because the great Universal Architect spoke "and thus, Tractor Supply shall lay 5 miles from the nearesteth place of rest". We can live without cars, we have for millenia, I trust that collective, lived experience much more than Henry Ford.
 
Stacy Witscher
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I try not to speak to how people in cities "should" live, as I have no desire to live in a city, so my opinion isn't relevant. But the suburbs aren't the city, people live there precisely because they don't want to live in the city. More than anything, I think it works best if people live in the environment they want to live in.

While I'm not fond of asphalt, I'm not overly fond of people either.  I live in the Bay Area currently, and I can assure you public transportation isn't great here. It's expensive, it doubles your commute time, if you're lucky, and unless you are off commute times, you will not be sitting. I'm not against it conceptually, but realistically it sucks.

More than anything, I don't understand in this day and age why, for all jobs its possible, telecommuting isn't the norm.

I think that all of us get to choose the ways that suit us best to reduce our impact. My goal is to leave my property as infrequently as possible, eventually maybe every couple months. Others, like some of my kids, want to be urban, and not drive. That's okay too. My choices may be different from yours, but not necessarily less valid.
 
pollinator
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There's a whole trend in urban planning to make walkable cities.  

And there's an even larger trend in just reality toward localism.  There are eddies against the main current, but the current is toward localism.

It's really worth stepping back from the what-is to get a clear picture of the ideal:
living within walking distance of my food supply
children are educated in the community and learn how to do things necessary to _life_--not necessarily to a job or factory, but to life (food production, communication, health, sustainable shelter)
each member of the community is valued for their unique contributions
friction in relationships is used as a prompt for growth
(These ideas are not my original ideas, I've learned about them from Robes by Penny Kelly and descriptions of village life by Elder Malidoma Some)


I heard someone in the PDC I took say her dad had left his small German town because he wanted to be able to buy his own damn shovel, no strings attached, instead of borrowing the neighbors' with all the strings.  Thing is, there are always strings.  Just because you leave doesn't mean anything has changed, you take yourslf wherever you go.

City Repair has some good stuff on creating reasons to slow down--not scare cars so much as beautiful spaces that inspire people to slow.  You do catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, though I do get it if you feel like you're running out of honey sometimes.
 
master steward
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That's a fun image and a creative solution for a neighborhood, Raven.

This thread touches on so many points and reminded me of this post in a thread about bike friendly streets.

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:

nathan luedtke wrote:There's a big movement right now in city/transportation/land use planning called "Complete Streets". The basic idea is that if a street serves only cars, it's not complete- it also needs to serve pedestrians, bicyclists, transit, disabled people, the elderly, children, and maybe even have traffic calming, ecological landscaping, or other features. Complete Streets is context-sensitive and is a good way for permaculturists to start a conversation with local government and planners. There are some grants and state funding available for Complete Streets projects.



Awesome.

I found the following pic in their slideshow on their Fundamentals page:



I thought this was one of the better street designs for multi-use, even if a bit overly homogeneous in the landscaping.

There were plenty of examples of bike lanes done fairly well, though in my quick look, I didn't see any bike lanes with protective curbs as they have in Europe (I think).

Also from the slideshow:

Every trip starts and ends with walking.



Brilliant.


(I'm only quoting myself because of the picture I found from Nathan's link. There weren't other pics in that thread.)

Street design  (or re-design) like this is what I think a lot of us would appreciate for bikeable, walkable, safer neighborhoods.



 
Jocelyn Campbell
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raven ranson wrote:



This scare-car was built by someone frustrated with speeders.  Ment to look like a cop from a distance.  


Speaking of, is that a bike lane there - protected by that curb-like thing?!
 
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Dan Boone wrote:Back in my lawyering days I had a client who bought an ex-police Crown Vic at an auction



Yup, I bought a Crown Vic from an online police auction  I LOVE that car! Big, roomy, tough, and easily goes 500,000 miles. I had to paint it when I realized most EVERYONE in this rural county knew exactly where I lived because of the car.

Ordered a set of kick bars so the windows can be dropped when my dog rides shotgun, which is on every ride if he has a say on the matter. 10 years now and never been pulled over (knock on wood).

Before I bought it:



Now:


 
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