The calf path
in planning of any kind
The calf path is present in all our planning either in that we have to live with structures built by those before us, or that we are conditioned to do things along traditional lines, dont rock the boat, you cant go there, that will cost too much, etc
Every time we dont break from the calf path we entrench old obstacles deeper, and make it more impossible for those after us to do anything about
In this presentation old calf paths are questioned and challenged.
We see implementation of more traffic signals, more slow downs, an abundance of "traffic calming measures" and knee jerk road construction, ie reactionary to, not ahead of, our growth. We do not see that really bold plan that will lead us from stop start driving to continuous flow
Examples that show calf path construction and the effect on traffic flow are
central / mill park
around uitenhage road
lower mount road, where
building construction took place around the wagon trails that forked out towards Bethelsdorp, Uitenhage and Grahamstown 150 years ago.
Anyone who drives in those areas would know the congestion that exists because of stop start driving, due to road layouts unsuited to high levels of traffic.
In our time, in the words of Sam Walter Foss,
each day a hundred thousand cars are led,
along roads trod by cows near two centuries dead
can we do about it
Let us start by doing some "out of the box thinking". There are ways to break the bottlenecks and achieve continous flow. We can get more out of the roads we have at moderate cost. We do not have to build new freeways to make our transportation system more efficient, but we do have to adopt some new rules to keep traffic flowing. Here are some thoughts
An otherwise rectangular building is having a triangular closing end added to maximise space usage between the legs of a now disused fork from the Uitenhage Road. Such construction has entrenched old calf paths.
But one case like this building is not really the issue, the real issue is that continuous building construction is allowed to take place along old narrow routes, with no apparent concern that such routes are becomming constantly more over crowded
An artist for US FHWA shows a map of an old city being drawn back from an ideal layout that would have been more suitable for modern self drive traffic flow. Impossible of course, but let us be aware of how old and modern met and not exacerbate any old calf path planning if we have an opportunity to avoid it
Geometric_design2 european practices (US FHWA)