Home Zones Movie

why home zones?

From an article from Libby Purves in the Times (January 1998):

"These zones go far beyond ordinary traffic calming. Beyond their clear, large signs would be a 10mph speed limit and features to remind motorists that they are no longer on drivers' territory, but in someone else's communal front yard ... the law would state that in these zones drivers give way to pedestrians and cyclists, and are held wholly responsible for any injuries they cause. The whole area would effectively be one big zebra crossing ..."

"For motorists passing through, Home Zones would be pretty taxing. I tried driving down a local residential street at just under 10mph yesterday, and it is very, very slow. I then pretended the law was changed, and felt oddly disempowered. Even in my slow small car, the low speed and enforced humble attitude entirely altered the usual carefree comfort of a routine trip. I felt apologetic, even shifty: I was going slow enough for pedestrians to catch my eye, and found myself embarrassed by the illogicality of one person rolling along in a smelly steel box, sitting on my backside while normal people walked. I stopped for a woman with a pram who was hesitating on the pavement, and while I waited a dog cocked its leg against my front tyre. I felt intrusive, and cumbersome, and silly. Worst of all, I recognised that all these feelings were long overdue, and that for years I had been zipping past people's homes and pavements and baby buggies at a permitted 30mph, arrogantly detached from their concerns. A balance of power had shifted. Try it yourself and see."

" ... even if it is all about street signs and ornamental parterres, underlying it there are some very big principles indeed: justice, humanity, chivalry, community, and the belief that mankind's upward progress has to be more than merely technical."