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Issue 27/2005, October 21 2005 (No. 201)
German version
        
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Profitable growth goes hand in hand with ecological and social responsibility.
Prof. Jürgen E. Schrempp, DaimlerChrysler

I visited the crossroads (see the photograph below) in May 2002 the last time. At that time I depicted it from a distance and in the perspective of a pedestrian. A few weeks ago I was allowed to enter the highest floor of a bank and to take a high-angle shot of the crossroads.
 

 
High-angle shot of the crossroads
 
A pedestrian can correctly estimate the length of a pedestrian crossing. He cannot correctly estimate the floorspace of the crossroads. When you have a bird's-eye view of the crossroads, you will see, that it is a huge sealed area. In the central area of the crossroads there is only room for cars and trams.
 
A meadow with trees and flowers is habitat for many living beings. The meadow is part of an ecosystem. The crossroads is only the results of traffic planning especially concerning cars and trams. When pedestrians and other living beings enter the central area of the crossroads, they risk their life. This crossroads is a piece of a motorway in the middle of the town. The crossroads has a tight surface. It has to tolerate heavy loads and strong abrasion. It stores heat in summer. In Bremen (540.000 inhabitants) there are about 5.000 roads, main streets, side streets and pathes. Most of them are surfaced or paved. I think there are much more than 100 crossroads similar to this one.
 
The pedestrian crossings and the cycleways are made of slabs. In the space between the slabs sometimes grow little plants.
 
The surfaces of the pedestrian crossings and of the cycleways don't have to tolerate heavy loads, because a man and his bicylce are not so heavy as a man and his car. Very frequently there is only one person in a car. It takes much energy to drive a car.  
 

 
Very frequently there is only one person in a car.
 
The faster and the powerfuller a vehicle is, the more it has to drive separetely from the other road users. Wide white bars run parallel to the pedestrian crossings. The cars are only allowed to drive up to those bars.
 

 
The cars are only allowed to drive up to the wide white bars.
 
Motorists have no time to communicate with one another. For every direction there are separate lanes and separate traffic lights. Every road user stares at his lane and his traffic lights.
The photograph of the crossroads also demonstrates an other simple fact. The real sphere of human beings (roads, houses and parks) is very shallow. Above this sphere there is very much space.
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)

Please also read

Failures (1)

Places (11)

A crossroads in Phnom Penh: please have a look at 'Daily life in Cambodia 2005', entry
'10 February 2005 -- Grid Lock'
The link leads to the latest entry of the diary.

Comments?
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The next issue 'The Daily Groove'
Tuesday, November 1 2005

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