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Bus lanes and herd instinct

Waiting for a green light

Waiting for a green light

Why don’t we use spaces and places differently? I often ponder on this whilst driving to work and waiting in line to get through a set of traffic lights. The photograph attached sets the scene – car and van drivers dutifully get in line and wait our turn. It’s just so organised and we do it automatically. Personally, when stuck in one of these lanes and looking enviously at the usually empty adjoining bus lane, temptation beckons for a moment or two. It would be just so easy to dart out and get ahead of the game?
However, let’s look at this in a different way; bus lanes are only in force for part of the day and in some cases for just Monday to Friday. Therefore, we can use these lanes outside of these restricted hours. I wonder why so few of us take advantage of this?  Very few people take the

hint from the road sign setting out the time limits – should they be bigger?
For me this is a great example of how we all get stuck in our ways and fail to grasp opportunities. The photograph captures a typical bus lane in Twickenham, London on a Saturday morning when the restrictions were not in force. It struck me that we are all such creatures of habit that nobody bothered to use the empty lane. I wonder why? If we translate this how we use space or rather how we can use spaces and places; I can think of lots of examples of where we carry on doing the same thing when it’s perfectly legal, safe and beneficial to do something differently. I’m sure that there are lots of lost opportunities to take a smarter approach to how we can use our spaces and places. Can we afford to continue missing out?

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