Second Generation Traffic Calming

Salon has an interesting article on "second generation" traffic calming, which is a new movement in Europe -- where streets have traditionally been multi-modal -- to open streets to all sorts of uses. The interesting part is how they do this: by removing all traffic signs, markings, and sidewalks. Cars, motorcycles, bikes, pedestrians and roadside merchants share the street equally. Because everything is chaotic, cars have to stay around 20 miles per hour, which also just happens to be the maximum speed humans can maintain eye contact. Drivers and pedestrians have to look at each other to communicate shared usage of the street.

The article is marred by a semi-off topic comparison to the lawless streets of China, which sparked a number of "Are you crazy?" letters (which the author had to correct in a response)

Ignore the part about China, but read the article and the interesting responses