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But, will American Drivers be willing to share?

No, American Drivers(tm) will not share. Not unless they are absolutely held accountable when someone gets hurt or killed. I don't see that happening.

Also I think American Drivers(tm) think that sharing means that *_other_* users must "share" (yield really) the road space and let them pass unimpeded. To drivers impeding cars at any level is not sharing. Bicyclists seem more to perceive it as let me have some room since I am allowed to be here too.

It will be interesting to see if this gets tried out in the states.

I've been to Drachten and it's great. However, I sincerely feel that a scheme like this will never work in the US. Why? two reasons: 1) Too easy to get a driver's license; and 2) Lawyers. The main difference b/t the US and most of Europe is that in the US you basically need a pulse and one eye to qualify for a license, while in Europe it takes many years and extensive training (and money) to get one. Therefore, drivers on the road have truly earned the privilege to be there and, at least in my experience, are significantly better drivers. more intuitive, more proactive, more attentive. In the years I've spent living, driving, and cycling in Germany and the Netherlands, I've never seen anyone swerve while lighting a cigarette, fumble with CDs at an intersection, or drive at excessive speeds through neighborhoods - the autobahn is an entirely different thing :) A scheme like this works because people are already at full alert. I may be myopic, but I can envision this being a complete disaster in Dupont - too many people who should never be allowed to drive driving with no controls whatsoever. Scary to me.

As for the Lawyers thing, another major difference is that the US is much more of a compensatory culture than most of Western Europe. So, yeah, even if deaths go down in signage-less streets in the US, the ones who do die have a major target to sue. I can imagine a slew of trial lawyers chomping at the bit to sue the city that removed walk/don't walk signs on behalf of the family of the drunk guy who wandered into an intersection and got run over by someone dialing his/her cell.

We just aren't a people that does business this way. I don't mean it to be condescending, but I do think it speaks volumes about the power we give to drivers and lawyers, many of whom should not be allowed to wield it.

Every time I go back to Europe I am reminded of how much we've overdone it with signage as a whole. So many rules, instructions, guides, arrows, figures. It's crazy and unnecessary.


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