Comment 37554

By kevlahan (registered) | Posted January 28, 2010 at 16:17:40

I think Tammany was drawing a distinction between laws and conventions in addition to pointing out who is actually posing a risk to whom.

For example, when I walk along a sidewalk it is conventional (and polite) not to jostle people, or walk directly across their path. However, as far as I know, there is no law against these antisocial behaviours.

Similarly, I shouldn't walk directly into the path of cars, and drivers need to take due care to avoid hitting or scaring pedestrians.

This is the idea behind woonerf streets: we should rely on common sense and common courtesy founded on the principle that anyone (car or pedestrian or cyclist) has the right to occupy any part of the street for as long as they like. Although it might seem that laws of right of way enhance safety, woonerf streets actually have a lower accident rate.

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