Sunday, June 15, 2008

frank blackmore r.i.p.

never heard of the guy until he died. then i found out that he invented mini-roundabouts. the times says:

"Blackmore’s controversial solution, developed at the Government’s Road Research Laboratory (today known as Transport Research Laboratory), was a smaller roundabout with a 2 to 4m-wide mini-island in the middle that minimised the curve for the vehicle driving around it, thus aiding traffic flow. The mini-roundabout was also safer than its large counterpart because drivers tended to approach it with greater caution. The new roundabout, which first appeared in Peterborough in 1969, revolutionised junction design that had up to that point been characterised by large unwieldy roundabouts with huge traffic islands in the middle. Blackmore developed the concept further with the painted traffic island first used at Benfleet, Essex, in 1970. This was “over-runnable” by traffic, making it easier for larger vehicles to manoeuvre the junction."

the rest of the obit is here.

i for one am extremely glad that someone moved beyond the big roundabouts - i failed my driving test the first time i took it because i was not aggressive enough at a honking great roundabout (after that eddie, my instructor, offered me a fiver if i could run over a pigeon. one time i found one someone else had splatted, but eddie had already seen it). i like the mini ones. so thank-you mr. blackmore.

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