In all cities there are drivers who take shortcut side routes through residential areas to escape the congestion and delays along non functioning arterial routes. The Americans call this type of traffic "backfill".
Such was the controversial case with speeding along Alan Drive, which, after public complaints, was flooded with silent cops in the form of speed humps and mini roundabouts, turning this road into an obstacle course and thereby discouraging shortcut drivers from using it.
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Elsewhere similar examples exist, which in some cases simply moves shortcut drivers to other shortcuts, but none address the basic problem of driver frustration with the endless procession of red lights along the main routes.
Sadly, all of the Alan Drive construction could have been avoided by a right turn prohibition at Willow Road and /or some one-way arrangements, but better still, the money could have been put towards making William Moffat function as the important arterial it is, for which it carries the misleading name Expressway
Speed humps and miscellaneous "calming measures" are negative planning features, shifting the focus to the wrong places, specially if there is an element of surprise. These are a kind of bastion of fear to force legal compliance, but these same features can cause latent damage to vehicles and cause serious accidents later.
Hard objects like this battered lane divider can cause invisible damage to tyres, later leading to blowouts at sustained highway speeds.
While the city continues to use this form of hazardous device for traffic control, the hazard is compounded because there appears not to be the capacity to repair the warning signs when they are knocked down. There have been cases of the warning signs being down for months before they were repaired
For young drivers, the K53 driver training manual warns that the sidewalls of tyres must never be scuffed against kerbstones. The older ones among us generally know that too, but few have not accidentally struck a kerb unintentionally at some time or other.
Because drivers will strike kerbs unintentionally, and risk causing the said damage, non mountable barrier kebs should be outlawed. This is particularly important in the case of channelization, lane splitters, and mini roundabouts. Said mini roundabouts springing up all over the city, where drivers are forced into lock to lock steering manouvres, are a bad case of creating this hazard. Take note in any mini roundabout how many tyre scuffs there are against the original kerbs, and how many rim graunches there have been. Enlarge picture example of caterpillar treads, probably a big 4x4 having not quite made the full lock steering position in one of the new Alan Drive mini roundabouts, damaging a tyre and expensive mag rim. That tyre if not replaced, could blow out on the next trip to Bloemfontein and kill a few people, somewhere along a hot Karroo road, this Christmas holiday
A trade in the city survives off graunched rims and damaged tyres. The 4x4 might have gone to Rim Fix. A lesser vehicle might have gone to a
Wheel Doctor in a sleazy back street for a fix, and if he did not quite have the budget for a new tyre, depending if it was losing air or not, might have gone to SaveATyre for a B spec sidewall repair
Striking speed humps or center islands, even when travelling within the speed limit, can throw out wheel alignment. Here is a yellow painted island at third ave in Newton Park. Click on the pic to enlarge it and take note of how many strikes it has had. Most speed humps around the city, specially those mountainous ones, have had a similar amount of strikes. Wheel alignment thrown out by such strikes can cause a vehicle to become unstable at highway speeds, and cause it to lose control in a sudden swerve.
The burst tyre in the photos of the truck with the red and white cover fortunately did not cause an accident. Click here to see scuff marks from contact with kerb stones. A large radial graunch mark can be clearly seen on the sidewall of the blown tyre.
Large trucks are frequently seen turning and reversing up against and over barrier kerbs in the city while doing their work, where else can this tyre have been damaged leading to the blow out.
It is not a justification to say "yes, but they should have obeyed the law ". We are all human and can make mistakes, in this case, about every one who has driven a motor vehicle has at some time inadvertently struck a kerb.
While inside our cars we are protected by a multiplicity of safety features, recognizing the inevitable that accidents may occur, outside our cars we have these hazardous road features on a comply or die basis.
In our society no-one is allowed to set a trap that can harm another person, but that is what traffic calming devices do. They cause latent damage to cars that can lead to fatal accidents. There is a vindictive element present in the way traffic calming devices are used, to a degree that constitutes punishment without a trial. The transgression may be present, but there is no opportunity for a defence or mitigation, such as permitted by our judicial system.
Some warning devices for speed humps and circles are used, but mostly are feeble, inadequate and not maintained. In some cases where signs have been knocked down they are not replaced for weeks or months. The vulnerability of signal and sign posts is constantly demonstrated by the frequency at which they are violated, leading also the need to question, are we doing it correctly.
In this forum the way sign posting is done should is questioned.
In some locations traffic signals are suspended from overhead cables. Knock down signs have always been considered a possibility, but does not seem to have been successful as yet. This presentation does not propose suggestions for signage ecept draw attention to it as a related subject