10 years without a road accident in the Dutch city

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City without road signs

Who would think that the  practical absence of road signs and road marking on the roads can minimize the number of emergencies and traffic accidents.

In the town of Drachten, that in the North of the Netherlands, only a small number of road signs have  been placed on the road for over 10 years Speed of the vehicles using these roads is not high, but simultaneous movement of motorists and cyclists do not create traffic jams at intersections and does not hamper the movement of both groups.

As reported to us, a representative of the City Hall, Henry Fishveik: «Before, there were accidents and  constant jams. Since  2003 there was less road signs, but no more heavy traffic. The road itself dictates what to do».

The secret of such changes is quite simple. In Drachten there is a project «Common Space», which allows to avoid conflicts on the road. The founder of this project, a Dutch architect who believes that reducing of the signs on the road will reduce the desire to be first and leading among drivers, and as a result, increase traffic capacity of a road and ensure that there are no traffic jams.

Municipality of Drachten proud of such changes, significantly reducing the level of accidents in the last ten years. After all, during this period there was not one person who was killed or crippled. If  the road traffic accidents have been occurred, they were limited only by minor scratches of cars.

Incredible rules in Drachten have become familiar and for Ukrainians Olesya and Nasty living there. Students believe that the removal of traffic lights in Ukraine will not be a problem, but the road courtesy of drivers is a a phenomenon much more rare, so Drachten decision is not going to work for us.

«Common space» is supported by many cities of the Netherlands, as well as the towns of Germany. This experience is being studied by other European countries.

Certainly, large highways and major cities will not be able to do without traffic lights but the initiators of the project are convinced that residential areas and small towns would be able to do without them.


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