Friday, May 09, 2008

Mixed messages

Last night I drove into the traffic hell that is Canary Wharf to see a play by the marvellous Shifting Sands in a rather nice little theatre marooned on the Isle of Dogs. (I would advertise it, but this is the end of their run. I’m collaborating with Shifting Sands on a production early next year based on the life of Paracelsus and funded by the Wellcome Trust.)

I’ve never ventured into E14 by car before, for good reason. Here is a traffic system that radiates sneering contempt, confronting you with a morass of flyovers, tunnels and slip roads labelled only with signs saying things like ‘Canary Wharf Depot A’. One wrong turn and I was in a tunnel that offered no escape until it spat me back out at the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

My point is this. You emerge, dazed, anxious and disorientated, from some underground cavern to find yourself on a busy roundabout, and in the middle is the structure shown above. Traffic lights point in all directions; some beckon in green, some prohibit in red, some tantalize in amber.

‘You can’t be serious’, I muttered, and several moments passed before I twigged that indeed this is not a serious device for directing traffic, but, can you credit it, an art installation. At least, I could only assume so, but I decided to quiz the bar attendant at the theatre. She professed ignorance of the roads, but a local bloke sitting at the bar chipped in. The installation cost £140,000, he said, and he was living in a flat that overlooked it when it was first installed. ‘I’ve never seen so many accidents’, he said.

The stupidity of it is so breathtaking that it is almost a work of conceptual art itself. I try to picture the local council meeting at which the design was proposed. ‘Yes, I want to use real traffic lights. By utterly confusing and bewildering the driver, you see, it will make a comment on the complexity of everyday life.’ ‘Well, that sounds like a brilliant idea. Here’s 140 grand.’

This is all merely a slender excuse to advertise this nice preprint by Stefan Lämmer and Dirk Helbing on self-organized traffic lights that replace central control with autonomy. A self-organized approach could in principle let traffic flow considerably more efficiently, as I’ve discussed some time ago in a Nature article.

But I fear that E14 is beyond any redemption that self-organization can offer.


Anonymous said...

歐美a免費線上看,熊貓貼圖區,ec成人,聊天室080,aaa片免費看短片,dodo豆豆聊天室,一對一電話視訊聊天,自拍圖片集,走光露點,123456免費電影,本土自拍,美女裸體寫真,影片轉檔程式,成人視訊聊天,貼圖俱樂部,辣妹自拍影片,自拍電影免費下載,電話辣妹視訊,情色自拍貼圖,卡通做愛影片下載,日本辣妹自拍全裸,美女裸體模特兒,showlive影音聊天網,日本美女寫真,色情網,台灣自拍貼圖,情色貼圖貼片,百分百成人圖片 ,情色網站,a片網站,ukiss聊天室,卡通成人網,3級女星寫真,080 苗栗人聊天室,成人情色小說,免費成人片觀賞,

傑克論壇,維納斯成人用品,免費漫畫,內衣廣告美女,免費成人影城,a漫,國中女孩寫真自拍照片,ut男同志聊天室,女優,網友自拍,aa片免費看影片,玩美女人短片試看片,草莓論壇,kiss911貼圖片區,免費電影,免費成人,歐美 性感 美女 桌布,視訊交友高雄網,工藤靜香寫真集,金瓶梅免費影片,成人圖片 ,女明星裸體寫真,台灣處女貼圖貼片區,成人小遊戲,布蘭妮貼圖片區,美女視訊聊天,免費情色卡通短片,免費av18禁影片,小高聊天室,小老鼠論壇,免費a長片線上看,真愛love777聊天室,聊天ukiss,情色自拍貼圖,寵物女孩自拍網,免費a片下載,日本情色寫真,美女內衣秀,色情網,

Anonymous said...


女優王國,免費無碼a片,0800a片區,免費線上遊戲,無名正妹牆,成人圖片,寫真美女,av1688影音娛樂網,dodo豆豆聊天室,網拍模特兒,成人文學,免費試看a片,a片免費看,成人情色小說,美腿絲襪,影片下載,美女a片,人體寫真模特兒,熊貓成人貼,kiss情色,美女遊戲區,104 貼圖區,線上看,aaa片免費看影片,天堂情色,躺伯虎聊天室,洪爺情色網,kiss情色網,貼影區,雄貓貼圖,080苗栗人聊天室,都都成人站,尋夢園聊天室,a片線上觀看,無碼影片,情慾自拍,免費成人片,影音城論壇,情色成人,最新免費線上遊戲,a383影音城,美腿,色情寫真,xxx383成人視訊,視訊交友90739,av女優影片,