• Apr 17, 2009
Here in Michigan, we're used to hearing plenty of worthless excuses about the crap condition of our roads. However, this one takes the cake. A local council in Essex, England has deemed broken roads a "natural traffic calming measure." If you didn't catch that, "traffic calming" is a euphemism used by politicians when discussing measures to slow the traffic flow through an area. Generally, the "calming" involves taking active measures, such as installing speed bumps, round-abouts or narrowing the road. To our knowledge it's never been (openly) done by neglecting what most people would consider one of the duties of a government -- maintaining basic infrastructure.

According to a councillor in Navestock, repairing roads just encourages people to drive faster. Of course, the counter argument involves safety. Leaving a road marked with craters causes drivers to swerve, as well as damaging suspension components and wheels. It also poses a hazard to motorcyclists and bike riders. Fortunately, the county council appears to be less short-sighted and plans to over-ride the local council and fix the roads.



[Source: AutoCar]


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  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are these folks related to those running Detroit?

      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't know about you guys, but they made a law in Quebec so you can't sue municipalities for their negligeance unless the car's trashed.

      To force cities to pay for your repairs, you have to sue.

      Judges usually say the law is 'unlawful', as it favors an organism/party/person, because it IS negligeance when a certain road is known across the town for its poor maintenance - heck, poor maintenance in general is negligeance. If my son dies because the roof of the public pool collapsed because of poor repairs, a similar law for structural maintenance would remove the responsability from the shoulders of the city, is that it? What kind of justice is that?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It would be your sons responsability to adapt his driving to the condition of the road. Or will you sue anything that moves for just about anything?

        Your all so full of 'freedom arguments', then also use some personal judgement if the situation demands it. Americans want 'less government' but will surely sue if they really is 'less government'. Less government and no taxes: then get organised and build that road with some volunteers in your town.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, it's my son's fault if he didn't see the pool's roof collapse coming.

        I'm a libertarian, and in a socialist-driven system I expect to be able to sue my governance for its negligance.

        And before putting me at fault for driving into that pothole, you should've seen how it happened and how the road looked, I'd give you pictures, but I don't happen to have them anymore - regardless, the law was made so it protects a group and therefore there is nothing equitable about this, and laws are meant to be fair. This is why judges invalidate that law frequently, but the justice system in Quebec makes it so you'd have to invalidate it in front of the federal court to force the governement to rid itself of it.

        The law was conceived to discourage people in the late 90's when people in Montreal started sueing the municipality for not repairing its giant potholes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Justice is a figment of the imagination.
        There is no such thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Kevpod-- Obama called, and he wants his logic back.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A follow up to this will be to make it illegal to have a lowered car. If everyone drove SUVs they wouldn't have to pave the roads at all! I think I see the secret agenda...
      • 5 Years Ago
      http://www.bromleytransport.org.uk/Ambulance_delays.htm

      "The Chairman of the London Ambulance Service, Sigurd Reinton, recently claimed that speed humps are killing hundreds of Londoners by delaying 999 crews. He said “For every life saved through traffic calming, more are lost because of ambulance delays.”

      There are about 8,000 heart attack victims in London every year, and London has a particularly poor survival rate. One reason is no doubt because even a small delay increases the death rate enormously. For example 90% of victims survive if treated within 2 minutes, but it falls to 10% if treatment is delayed for 6 minutes. So for every additional minute of delay caused, up to an extra 800 victims of cardiac arrest could die. This compares with a total of 300 people who die from traffic accidents."
      • 5 Years Ago
      don't be pre-recession, autoblog. not every pothole needs to be fixed. Surely the area with potholes is a calm city street where a low speed is important for the safety of pedestrians, namely children.

      if drivers were to watch the road and their speed, they would not sustain damage to their vehicles.

      While not a street, i keep potholes on my driveway in place despite visitors' and the neighbors' wishes. The road is dusty and when people drive fast, my house gets dusty.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder if someone can actually sue the city if there suspension gets ruined for this "natural traffic calming"

      lucky for me, i drive a truck :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, they can, but its costing Councils millions and they are trying to weasel out.

        Continental manufacturers are now responding to demands for replacement suspension components under guarantee by stating that British roads don't meet European standards! Actually, having driven in Africa I'm not sure they meet African ones.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There was a rough road near my house that was a nice bypass of a stop light infested section. Its through a residential area so the speed limit was 30mph and thats about as fast as you wanted go considering the state of the road. A bit bumpy a bit rough, not sink holes or anything like the Michigan roads..

      They later repaved this road and people started driving down it most commonly about 40ish mph. After a couple of incidents they then installed speed bumps on said road... oi
      • 5 Years Ago
      If money is being paid to build or maintain the roads, then the obligation is for the people in charge to do so. Otherwise they should be deemed in violation of contract and held accountable for non-performance.

      Simple as that.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds pretty left wing (stupid).
      • 5 Years Ago
      LMAO
      • 5 Years Ago
      You may not like them, but potholes do slow down cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Last time I checked pedestrians shouldn't be using the road, they should be using the sidewalk."

        That assumes there's a sidewalk. In our small town, there's often just a stripe delineating the non-vehicle lane.

        "And potholes are potentially even more of a threat to bicyclists than they are to cars."

        Not if they're paying attention.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ahh, yes. So when I have to dodge a pothole, and end up accidentally hitting you on the side of the road, I guess we're all safer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Let's stop funding the fire department too. After awhile, there won't be anything to burn down, eliminating the need for a fire department.

        While we're at it, let's cut off that expensive police protection. Soon there won't be anything left to steal. Voila! No more crime!

        What jackasses.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes and no.

        I like that potholes slow down rampaging traffic, allowing pedestrians and bicyclists to also use the road safely.

        But they also lead to costly roadway deterioration.

        We've done a lot of progressive traffic calming in our town, and the potholes do help tame speeding. But they're not a long-term fix.
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