Modern traffic safety engineering

“The tree-lined road goes against the typical engineering paradigm, which would have deemed the trees unsafe and in need of removal. With the trees (the potential source of system failure) removed, a typical pattern would have happened: Speeds would have increased. The risk to pedestrians … would have gone up; perhaps a pedestrian would have been struck. The police would have been called in to set up speed traps. Eventually, vertical deflection—a.k.a. speed bumps—would have been installed to calm the traffic. Having made the road safer, new measures would have been needed to again make it safe.”

—Tom Vanderbilt
in his book Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us), page 210, which I’m currently reading

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