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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

chaos theory

so ... power went out in most of downtown sCruz this morning. Being hamstrung and uninventive, I left the office and cruised down the street to ... well, just to get out of the office.

and what did i find?


stoplights ... completely blank. No flashing reds, no temporary signals, no signs of traffickly planned control at all.


and, in this unattended state of nature ... in this choose-your-own-adventure intersection of life ~ complete harmony.


cars rolled up and stopped, taking their turns in a dance of coordinated cooperation. bicycles paused for safety at each intersection, people walked across after short halts to gauge the gap right.


i wandered around to 4 different intersections for the better part of 20 minutes watching this phenomenon.

people worked together and it ran smoothly.



i'm confused.

15 comments:

X Bunny said...

i've seen that happen before

weird

don't worry, if it went on for a couple days they'd behave more predictably

Anonymous said...

dude you need to take another dose of ACID

you need two hits instead of the 1 and 1/2 you are on now.

funkdaddy said...

prob a short term effect of MLK day and a short work week...

Anonymous said...

Most people say they despise the Man, but in reality they hate anarchy more.

Anonymous said...

some people seem to think it (anarchic traffic) is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

6.5 years of designing traffic signals and the most profound thing I have ever heard a City Engineer say was that people used far more caution when left to their own devices.

In Santa Barbara they started removing the crosswalk stripes, and the result was fewer pedestrian/auto accidents.

The more we try to control everything, the more control we loose. False sense of security seems to be the common theme.
Bike lanes = False sense of security.
Wide shoulder lanes are better, 15'+.

I am surprised that Santa's Cruise doesn't use Battery Back-up systems. They are fairly common in most of my designs throughout California. With the use of LED bulbs, we have seen a signal run for 8 hours in full function mode on BBU power.

Anonymous said...

SF didn't get the memo that SB got. They've been painting thicker, wider zebra stripes at crosswalks over the last few years. Those things terrify me on my bike when it's wet. A few years ago they'd painted a super thick stripe marking a bike lane on the Embarcadero, which someone must have figured out was the most unsafe thing for bikes ever because of the slippery when wet factor--they ground that paint right back off within a couple of months.

Brent Chapman said...

Funny that is so true.
Its the same type scenario when a major catastrophe happens. I recall a much different atmosphere in town after the Earthquake hit.

I think human nature causes us to fear chaos and probably binds us as we are totally creatures of habit. Without guidelines the fear of the unknown is a big risk.


I took 3 hits of acid today. sorry for the long reply.

Anonymous said...

go figure, let people think for themselves and things turn out okay.

Anonymous said...

we don't need course marshalls at bike races.

Eclectchick said...

I've seen similar occurrences to what you describe. Why is it we can behave so well in unexpected situations like this, but not in everyday life?

We humans are strange, strange creatures.

PAB said...

I got flipped off twice and called an asshole on my ride today....

Anonymous said...

This big ole huge monster pickup truck, raised, with an aftermarket exhaust kit, waited until he was right next to me on a hill today and gunned the engine... black diesel smoke everywhere, and loud. What an A-hole. - K.PM

Anonymous said...

Yo Hernando,

When are you going to get out of sCruz and lead a normal life? That place is making you whacked.

late

Anonymous said...

Next time can you get cell service to go down as well?