Watch how to fix a bad traffic situation with a simple solution: duct tape

Originally published at:


Brilliant :exclamation:

And also, isn’t a working social contract a lovely thing?


I am disappointed. (Yes I know there is a list for that) With the headline I was hoping for a spider man like web of duct tape in front of the 11 foot 8 inch bridge.


Of course! It might be too strong to say that most people love order, but most people sure as hell will follow signs and directions if given. This is one reason I can’t stand the line-up before boarding an airplane: it’s total chaos! People just mill around even if they’re in boarding group 3 or whatever. Just throw some duct tape on the floor and voilà!


Similar types of stories are common on this page: example here

Oh to have that problem here - such safe, extensive, usefully located, and well-maintained bike infrastructure, that there are bike traffic jams.


We had a great/controversial activist dude living in the Plateau area of Montreal who was doing stuff like this back in the 90’s. He went out and painted bike lanes in the most dangerous stretches of local roads. He organized people to do the same thing with building neighbourhood parks. Filling in the long neglected empty properties with community benches and gardens. His thing was calling out people for expecting the government to do such things in their communities. “You live here- you do it.” Not too popular with the local government, but the stuff that got done was part of what made the Plateau/Mile End so awesome to live in around that time.


As is most often the case, some nudging where it actually is needed and useful works miracles.

And remember, it’s all about balance: not having guidance when needed is just as bad as overdoing it when it’s not needed.


Of course it works for why @tgarretteaton points out we live order. I’d add that certain traffic signs and road way signals for flownof traffic (from pedestrians to vehicles) are fairly universal. We know as a species how to follow the traffic patterns.

“we find out that the folks who came up with this brilliantly simple solution ended up removing the tape for fear of pollution”

Please tell me this is satire. Please, please.

1 Like

Yep - people will follow instructions if they make sense, and they add value. Clearly the duct tape here does that. And, not coincidentally, the boarding “rules” for aircraft are so worthlessly arcane and fuckyoudowhatyouretold, well … it should be no surprise people respond with …


I think the list is for being disappointed with BB, not just disappointed with an article. Your idea was far more creative than mine – from the headline, I was anticipating some kind of squishy speed bump made of layers and layers of soggy tape.

If you look at the video, there’s already been an attempt at “nudging”. There’s a white line on the left side of the cyclist path meant for people going to cross the street. It’s just way to small for the amount of traffic going that direction and there’s no arrows to point people to the correct sides (so it gets ignored). Funny how stuff like this is really easy to do, yet also really easy to mess up.


Maybe they’re secretly republicans and believe pollution is good for everyone’s health.


Bike are, and always have been, very common in the Netherlands (well, since the invention of bikes, naturally). So this infrastructure isn’t just useful, it simply is necessary.

1 Like

Having been to Nijmegen numerous times, I am very familiar with the traffic around Keizer Karelplein. It’s the busiest intersection in the city, a roundabout with 6 roads of auto traffic entering and leaving, as well as the bike paths (Nederlanders love their bikes). Precarious at anytime, and absolutely daunting during the rush hours, it’s challenging to get through for vehicles and pedestrians. Anything done to organize the chaos would be welcome. Kudos to the smart Dutch women who came up with the solution. Let’s hope the local gov’t. follows through and makes it permanent.


You make a good point- there is definitely a limit to peoples’ willing participation in these ‘helpful’ guidelines… With the dozens of different boarding classes at the airport point, it starts to feel like a Parisian barricade…

Side note- so weird to see Zabriskie Point used for that Rage video, since it originally had Pink Floyd in the film… What a cool scene. Also, I once saw Tom Morello at the airport, so it all comes together.

1 Like

Hmm…this seems to go against the standard engineering flowchart


I once put a few traffic cones on the centerline of my street to encourage people to slow down and stay on the correct (right) side of the road when going around a 90 degree bend. Cars from both directions would frequently drive through the bend in the center of the road and I feared a head-on collision. To my horror and astonishment, drivers did not slow down or keep right. Cars pulling into the turn took the opposite approach and used the inside left lane-- that is, they went into the oncoming lane rather than slow down and keep right, or even just run over the cones. I removed the cones immediately and lesson learned. Don’t screw around with moving vehicles!

1 Like

I noticed in the video that one or two people gamed the new arrangement by using the relatively empty right-turn lane to cut to the front of the more crowded straight-ahead lane. (Or it was the same person in recycled footage or shot from different angles.)

This was not at all surprising.