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New York's Newest Neighborhood

Clue stick, media: The story is where the power isn't.

NOTE Via Lynn Parramore but it's viral.

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peterward's picture
Submitted by peterward on

The power looks like it's pretty much all back on in SoPo now. However, if I could have one request, it's they keep the traffic lights off. Biking through the blackout zone to and from work,--including in the dark--I can't tell you how much I preferred the streets without power. Cars actually pay attention to other road users, including other cars, as something other than an obstacle to get in front of at all costs.

Obviously there were fewer cars. But that wasn't all of it. An etiquette was starting to develop. This is something I've observed other places were no formal rules of the road are adhered to. In particular in India, which has much more crowded roads than NYC; and roads crowded with all manner of vehicle: from pedestrians;--there are few sidewalks--ox-drawn, overloaded carts; autorickshaws; cars; buses to heavy trucks. And, yet they have a very coherent system; a clear etiquette that everyone understands and for the most part follows--i.e., playing on the same team as other road users by anticipating what they are trying to do and helping them out. E.g., by letting other cars merge in from side streets; slowing, or--God forbid!--stopping to let an approaching car turn right; or slower vehicles moving to the side to allow faster ones to overtake while there's oncoming traffic.* New York, on the other hand, has no etiquette whatsoever. And and not just drivers stand accused, bikers and pedestrians are just as bad. Cars usually stop at red lights, but other than that action on the streets is a strictly predatory, near homicidal and definitely pathological effort to win the most pointless race of all time....Which, I suppose, aptly reflects the character of the City's economy, which is predatory, near homicidal, definitely pathological and in pursuit of no tangible, let alone useful or desirable human good whatsoever.

*Re: the letter instance: many trucks have the message painted on the tailgate: "Horn OK Please!" apparently enjoining drivers of approaching faster vehicles to politely honk to make the truck driver aware of their presence. (And, boy, they have some crazy sounding horns there. Wow.)

Submitted by lambert on

There wasn't a lot of news form SoPo; it's like The Powers That Be turned off the lights and left. Can you give more detail? Lots more detail? Maybe even a post? This really needs to get on the record.

On another note, really interesting about traffic etiquette!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by hipparchia on

In particular in India, which has much more crowded roads than NYC; and roads crowded with all manner of vehicle: from pedestrians;--there are few sidewalks--ox-drawn, overloaded carts; autorickshaws; cars; buses to heavy trucks. And, yet they have a very coherent system; a clear etiquette that everyone understands and for the most part follows

etiquette schmetiquette.

yes they do have in india a traffic etiquette like you describe, but it's not working very well:

As the population of our country dramatically increases and the number of vehicles on the nation's roads and highways skyrockets, new methods of traffic control and organization have become necessary, by utilising new methods of transportation or by revising the current system. However, traveling in India is almost an hallucinatory mixture of sound and sight. It might sound hilarious, but when you are on the road, its extremely dangerous. Most Indian road users observe an ancient road code, which accounts for majority of road accidents which often prove fatal.

there's evidence [registration required] to back that up, too. some more accessible sources:

India leads world in road deaths: WHO
NEW DELHI: In a dubious distinction for the country, the World Health Organization has revealed in its first ever Global Status Report on Road Safety that more people die in road accidents in India than anywhere else in the world, including the more populous China.

and

Epidemiology of Road Traffic Accidents in India: a Review of Literature
India accounts for as high as 6 per cent of the world’s RTAs, although it has 1 per cent of the world’s vehicles. The RTA rate of 35 per 1,000 vehicles in India is one of the highest in the world and so is the RTA fatality rate of 25.3 per 10,000 vehicles.

and if you're injured in a road accident, trauma care isn't just a lifeflight helicopter ride away either:

Emergency health care, availability of ambulance with trained staff on highways is still a dream. My severely injured family was transferred from one ambulance to another at least thrice before finally reaching a hospital and it took about ten hours after our accident. All the ambulances were nothing but regular vehicles with not even oxygen cylinders on board. We travelled bleeding, unconscious and mourning on stretchers for ten hours alone without even one paramedical person with us. The only person traveling with us was the driver.

not to mention that the police might be [or at least appear to be] a little slow to respond if you get killed:

SANGRUR: Agitated over the alleged casual approach of the police in the death of a youth in road accident, the villagers on Friday evening blocked the vehicular traffic at the national highway leading to Delhi along with the body of the deceased.

Submitted by libbyliberal on

SoPo -- LOVE IT, lambert! No one says it better. Isn't that where the now attractively sculpted "High Lyin''" track runs over it?

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. (Japanese proverb)