Tag: traffic

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The Runaround

Finally, somebody puts these godawful traffic circles to good use. This afternoon, while walking along Louisiana Street, I came upon someone running around the edifice to poor transportation planning at Meade. The Featured Image is the first of four shots—all taken from the hip, using Leica Q2.

The person could be identified from any of the other three captures; not having permission to publish, I chose the back view; besides, sun is more pronounced in this one compared to the others. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 2:23 p.m. PST; composed as shot.

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I Blame the Traffic Circles

This car crash won’t win awards for photographic excellence. I got one shot for the Featured Image before a flatbed truck moved in to take away the vehicles. It’s what the moment represents that matters. But first, quickly, the vitals—aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 2:08 p.m. PDT; Leica Q2.

I passed by the scene on Oct. 30, 2021, at the intersection of Meade and Mississippi in University Heights. On either side of Mississippi are parallel streets Alabama and Louisiana, where San Diego workers completed so-called “calming measures” last year. I call them “traffic circles of unintended consequences“—contending they adversely affect driving habits that will lead to more accidents like this one.

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The Incident in University Heights

When working with other journalists, I always advise: “Write what you know to be true”—or, lifting Star Trek lingo, obey the “Prime Directive“. That brief introduction frames what follows based on what I directly heard, observed, and photographed.

Our story starts some minutes around 11 a.m. PDT today, when emergency vehicles roar down the street where we live and others nearby. A police helicopter begins circling overhead, announcing search for a suspect, with his description, and instruction to call 911 if seen. I look out my window, to see police officers standing over someone handcuffed and facedown on the pavement—the Featured Image, captured at 11:06 a.m. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; all photos aperture manually set, from Leica Q2. Interesting aside: The takedown happens where once stood the block’s majestic palm tree, before being cut down nearly four weeks ago.

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Accidents are Inevitable

My relentless criticism of so-called “traffic calming measures”—part of the future Georgia-Meade bikeway—continues with a current look down Meade from Georgia. Click on the Featured Image hyperlink and take a close look at the activity at Alabama, where is the first of the traffic circles that replaces stop signs.

You are witness to a near accident—as two vehicles converge from different directions. Who should yield to whom isn’t always obvious, which is gravely complicated by poor visibility for some approaching vehicles and the speed with which many drivers enter the roundabout intersections. I can’t imagine how much more dangerous will these circles be when the route officially opens to bicycles.

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The Traffic Circle of Unintended Consequences

As summer began last year, I started seeing some strange change in driving behavior—where my neighbors slowed down and rolled through Stop signs rather than stopping their vehicles. Initially, I attributed the disrespectful and dangerous practice to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Many people weren’t working, or if doing so from their residence, and traffic was considerably lighter than usual.

But as San Diego reopened (before later closing again), the no-stopping continued and I recognized the real cause to be something else that is far more disturbing. The Stop-sign roll-throughs started not long after the city opened the first so-called traffic calming measure at Alabama and Meade in University Heights. Where once were Stop signs, the city has placed circles at four-ways where drivers now slow and yield. I first observed the slowing behavior at posted Stops along Meade at Campus and also Cleveland. Coincidence? I think not.