A year or two after a new, more intrusive format became ubiquitous, its performance would fall back to the old format's, and, worse, the old format would fall even further because it was too subtle. So in the long run, the money would stay the same, but the pages got uglier, formats got crazier. The game theory is clear: everyone is incentivized to upgrade to the new formats, but once there, no one is better off (neither the publishers nor advertisers), and the readers themselves are far worse off.
We're seeing this now with traffic signals: if every crosswalk in the world is replaced with this 3D version, we'll see a temporary boost in safety, but in the long run it may return to normal and in my opinion, our world will be uglier. I don't like our public spaces covered in optical illusions.
In my area I've started to see red lights that are so bright you are temporarily blinded at night if you look at them. And they've even begun attaching strobing white LED's to the center of some of them. I would guess these perform great in short-term studies. Just like flash ads with games in them.
Not just uglier, but less safe in my opinion. If people have returned to their normal driving habits (speeding over these 3d illusions) it means that at some level, they have reprogrammed their brains to ignore some 3d-like obstacles, because they may be fake. It works in case of the illusion, but I wonder if it would eventually impede their reaction time to other real, but similarly appearing obstacles.
You could argue that drivers should treat a crosswalk the same as a real obstacle insofar as they should slow down and carefully assess the situation before continuing to drive, but that sounds like every other idealistic, prescriptive (rather than descriptive) attempt at policy-making. The people who will treat crosswalks with care and attention were probably doing so already, and I suspect that the people who were not previously paying attention to crosswalks will quickly return to their old behavior.
The failure modes also strike me as worse. If someone is already not paying attention, and they suddenly notice what looks like an object right in their path, they might reflexively veer away from it and into a pedestrian. I can think of other such scenarios.
I just don't understand how this idea wasn't immediately and definitively struck down as soon as it was proposed.
When Sweden changed driving side, that is exactly what happened.
"The relatively smooth changeover saw a reduction in the number of accidents. On the day of the change, only 157 minor accidents were reported, of which only 32 involved personal injuries, with only a handful serious. On the Monday following Dagen H, there were 125 reported traffic accidents, compared to a range of 130 to 198 for previous Mondays, none of them fatal. Experts suggested that changing to driving on the right reduced accidents while overtaking, as people already drove left-hand drive vehicles, thereby having a better view of the road ahead; additionally, the change made a marked surge in perceived risk that exceeded the target level and thus was followed by very cautious behavior that caused a major decrease in road fatalities. Indeed, fatal car-to-car and car-to-pedestrian accidents dropped sharply as a result, and the number of motor insurance claims went down by 40%.
These initial improvements did not last, however. The number of motor insurance claims returned to 'normal' over the next six weeks and, by 1969, the accident rates were back to the levels seen before the change." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagen_H
It is one of motivations for removing all signage so drivers feel less safe permamently.
Most of the countries with huge crowded cities where road rules are basically ignored also have a huge amount of people scrapping by and who could just disappear the next day for any other reason (hygiene issues, hunger, criminality, social status)
Looking at the list of countries with 15+ deaths by 100 000 people, IMO the price of a random single life is perceived as way lower than in Switzerland for instance. People in that context won’t de driving the same way as they would in a different country, or their government wouldn’t let people ignore circulations rules in the first place.
The new LED car headlights (especially seen on luxury cars) are universally awful: distracting, blinding, and wreck your eyes’ adaptation. When they show up on a tall vehicle like an SUV it’s even worse.
Same goes for most LED streetlamps. Too much blue, too bright, and directly in the field of vision for drivers and pedestrians. Most new streetlamps could have their luminance reduced by half or more and have the blue part of the spectrum entirely removed and perform better at lighting the street while using significantly less energy.
For best lighting, if planners cared about quality of life or road safety, there should be more, dimmer, lamps spaced closer together, on lower lightposts, and better shielded to the sides, so that lighting would be more even instead of having some blindingly bright areas and others lost in shadow. Of course, that would defeat part of the purpose of switching to the new lights, which was to reduce the number of lights (because they could be made brighter and therefore placed high up and far apart).
Headlight brightness is somewhat of a balance, between blinding oncoming traffic and not being able to see far enough ahead. Dark adaptation has its limits.
(AFAIK it's actually HID lights which make up most of the ridiculously bright headlight market.)
- The illumination is much more even and filling modern headlights literally cut an evenly lit polygon of light in 3d space, in old times it was much more raw and uneven. When coming into view, as your eye passes the edge of the light cone it receives the whole of it at once whereas previously the gradient was much more progressive. IOW they never go above the lumen cap, it's just even across the light port (thus indeed emits more candela) and falling like a cliff at the edge instead of decreasing towards the edge from the center.
- The light emitted is much more blue, which is harsher on the eyes, and even more so at night. As a most probably unintended effect this might help in combatting sleepiness, a sort of reverse f.lux, but too much and it's tiring and agressive. Try lighting up a 40W 2700K vs a 40W 6000K when going to the bathroom at night: the latter is harsh and blinding, even though they emit exactly the same amount of light.
Some old cars I've driven had yellow headlights and it was a pain to see anything, some semi-recent cars have 6000K and I hear aftermarket goes to 8000K which is beyond ridiculous. My car has 4200k stock HID, ballasted lights†, and I feel it's a nice, safe balance for everyone.
† ballast means their height auto-adjust so as to always be below eyesight of a crossing driver.
If cars switched to LED headlamps with a CCT of 2700 K or the like, they’d be much less objectionable.
I’ve taken to wearing orange safety glasses when I walk my dog at night and sometimes when I drive at night, so that the combination of street lamps + car headlamps doesn’t delay my sleep and cause bright-adaptation of my eyes. But I would really rather not be forced to take such dramatic and somewhat unpleasant countermeasures.
Although the illusionary crosswalks shown in the article aren’t really ugly, and even advertisements, like the cute mascots and dazzling neons of Tokyo, can have a certain beauty to them, I agree that most garish attention-seeking traffic guides, even just roads themselves , generally make the world uglier.
The solution may be to take humans out of driving altogether and just use signs and aids etc. that can only be seen by self-driving autoautomobiles.
 For a little creative exercise, try to imagine an advanced city without any roads at all. I don‘t mean just flying or even teleporting anywhere, but without the need to go anywhere (in a hurry): Robots do all the work that humans cannot do from their homes. 3D printing/molecular fabrication lets you manufacture whatever you need from home, including food. “Beds” are now sleep pods that perform medical repairs. For emergencies you call self-flying taxis. Why even have roads by then? Factories and their mines would still need to be connected cheaply, so they can keep using the asphalt, but a sufficiently advanced city would/should eliminate the need of roads for human driving.
Emergency response vehicles? I imagine a flying fire engine could be quite difficult to use to fight a skyscraper fire.
Also you need wide spaces between buildings to have light at ground level.
Tell that to almost anywhere in Europe:
There is much more light in most European cities, even in the business districts with high buildings, than at least the few American cities I have been to, like Montreal or NYC, because usually where there are tall buildings, then there are also wide spaces between them, see in Paris for example: http://paris-ladefense.com/sites/default/files/styles/raison...
There are indeed places that are more in the shadow in the old city centers, but nobody likes a place that never gets sun.
I take it you have not visited beautiful Scotland.
In San Francisco financial district it gets dark around 4pm in summer when sunset is around 9pm. Imagine if those skyscrapers were as close together as the buildings in your picture.
Also I’m pretty sure that’s Japan. The filename says Tokyo.
No it doesn't, the ambient light is sufficient to allow normal activities without requiring additional illumination until well past the summer solstice's dusk at 8:30pm.
Unless by 'dark' you mean "I couldn't see the sun when I left to get a MUNI".
Yes, and much better to have that wide space provided by parks or natural land than a drab eyesore like roads, no?
You’ve been trained to look out for these obvious things and therefore pay less attention in general. You are now a more dangerous driver outside of this environment and possibly even within it.
Some things are not supposed to be “easy”. When you’re driving around in a heavy metal object capable of killing or at least injuring other pepple, you are supposed to be actively paying full attention to all of your surroundings at all times.
Making things stick out like this and tricking people into freaking out a little bit trains people to pay less attention in the long run.
It’s the same thing you were saying about bigger and more obnoxious ads. I’m just making the connection explicit.
You're making things up. Don't use 'common sense' and arguing by analogy for this: read actual behavioural science studies on driving instead. Or simply realise the difference between attention-grabbing as a distraction to your web using & as a signal to help you avoid killing yourself or others.
My anecdotal evidence is that I don;t have any problem with this, I learned to drive three times in three wildly-different automobile environments, and I find street signs extremely useful and easier to miss. Holy crap why are UK speed limit signs the size of a paper plate.
In Australia they're used relatively sparingly which makes their presence noticeable to drivers. You don't need to do anything clever, just make them sufficiently uncommon.
I think it's more a cultural thing than a problem with noticing them. I now try to pay as much attention in France as in Belgium, but in some places other cars will actually honk when you stop for a pedestrian. In some places in Asia or Eastern Europe they might even try to overtake you and actually endanger the pedestrian.
As for your other comment, that's crap. Australian drivers don't get away with squat compared to England or France. Our roads are almost infuriatingly sensible to the point of tedium.
I thought brits were pretty good, but nowadays half of them don't use their indicators and the other half go 15-30 MPH over the motorway limit. (Citation: just got back from three weeks of driving in England and France.)
The same thing applies to blinker lights on side-view mirrors. They are much more visible at wider angles.
What really helps are speed bumps.
The speed is likely caused by tourists looking around and not paying attention, so grabbing their attention will probably work in this case.
Starting point in maps street view - zoom out and walk around the town for 5 min - you'll gain a better perspective on what's going on here:
I suspect it's Romanians, as they're really bad drivers. For example, in Romania drivers will not stop at a crosswalk to let you pass unless you stare at them for a few seconds to make eye contact, and even then it depends on their mood and how hurried they are. They're basically a menace on the roads.
I am usually most worried about Americans since many have little experience with roundabouts and they are used to turning right on red, often in practice without a full stop. This is very dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians.
When it comes to pedestrian safety, the only EU country with a record that can match Romania's is Latvia, but it has a population that's 10 times smaller.
> I am usually most worried about Americans since many have little experience with roundabouts and they are used to turning right on red
Except the crossing in the article has nothing to do with roundabouts and turning, just stopping to give way to pedestrians, which is something Romanian drivers are very bad at. I'm speaking from experience.
The roads in Latvia are OK, but they have (signal-controlled) pedestrian crossings on 60 mph highways… and uncontrolled ones on 40-50 mph.
That's no longer a very accurate statement. The US has been on a roundabout building frenzy in the last ten years, particularly in the last five. We've gone from having a thousand roundabouts ten years ago, to having more than 15,000 now.
To put it into contrast. Ten years ago the US had about 1 roundabout per 10,000 intersections. That's now down to somewhere around 1 per 600x. Germany is at 1 per 300 (France is at 1 per 45). The US will catch Germany in that roundabout ratio within the next ten years. It's a large traffic change for the US in such a short amount of time.
I don’t know why your keep bringing up Romanians apart from flat out racism.
No I can't, but surely you know?
The racism is extrapolating some behaviour to all members of a ethnic/racial group. Simply say 'some Romanian drivers…', or 'everyone in Bucharest…' or "I've seen a lot of driver who…".
People with slightly higher cars than mine scrape because they try to brake, forcing their suspension to compress, then go over the bump.
There's so much ceremony to going over a speed bump that I think plenty of people not going that fast are inconvenienced. whether that inconvience is worth the net benefit is a separate issue.
Also, they don't work for a lot of cars - I see lots of cars (presumably without stiff suspension) fly over the things at quite high speed. It seems that at certain high speeds, if you straddle them just right, you don't have to slow down at all.
The city solution: enforcement? Ha! No, they put in a new fancy overhead signal of a style completely unique (and, to my reading, non-compliant with the actual vehicle code) at one of these crosswalks (just west of Kiely).
The problem: when a crosser presses the call button, a pair of overhead red lights flash for a fixed cycle of time. But (in CA, anyway), a flashing red light means "stop, and proceed when safe" by law, but the signage simply says "Stop on Red".
So, people are confused as to how long to stay (the full cycle? or only as long as it occupied? or only as long as the near half is occupied? or, ?)... and almost half continue to blow through the intersection regardless.
Ambiguity in such contexts is inherently unsafe.
Isn't that what a zebra crossing is for? Give pedestrians permanent right of way so they can always go and don't need a light and everyone understands that they need to yield.
I think about 25% of drivers should have their licenses pulled, because it's my experience that they don't have the judgement to operate a motor vehicle safely.
About the overhead signal, why isn't it a regular traffic light?
Here they just put a regular red/yellow/green traffic light that's operated by a button, no confusion.
What seems to work for me in most situations is to walk up to the crossing while making eye contact with the driver and not slowing down or breaking step until it is clear that if I go further I will be run over.
The driver must then decide whether or not I really mean to walk out in front of him and most don't really want to run me down so they stop.
Flashing red light = stop sign is in most people's driver's ed, but it seems like most people don't know how to react to it (like you, I see some people simply blow through and others wait indefinitely)
For that reason I think, my local municipality has started putting signs with instructions on these types of traffic lights. I am thankful.
Even with shutter glasses, I'd think there must be some limit on how many users you could have at once without irritating flickering; with 3 users and six different perspectives to render, both displays on an individual user's glasses would be opaque 2/3 of the time, and each eye would see an image for 1/6 of every unit time.
Now if they put these everywhere, they'd stop losing their effectiveness.
Seriously, some places there are just so many signs that you couldn't possibly take in the information they provide in time. And the majority of the information they provide isn't useful.
One of the things I hate the most are the digital signs that are springing up everywhere. These things are expensive, and >99% of the time they are distracting me with pointless messages about watching my speed, not drinking and driving, not driving while tired etc. Such a waste, and surely causing more harm than good.
Also, sorry to say it - but the speed limit is set by the common lowest denominator- meaning, a old guys reflexes, in a fully loaded lorry with the worst possible breaks must stop at the smallest acceptable visible range at clear weather.
Welsh lad the first time e seen a running man ->
"IT'S LIKE IT'S FLOATING ON AIR The townsfolk of Ísafjörður say they have never seen anything like it."
Not to sound cruel, but having everyone slow down might not be worth the cost of all these precautions.
You probably are, because humans are horrible at recognizing and adapting for risk.
I live on a street where people drive too fast.
I think the illusion would still work fine, but feel subtly "wrong" to the driver. Probably good enough to get people to slow down, though.
Why Iceland more than other places?
Palo Alto should try this on El Camino Real. ;)