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sudo wrote

I really don't think runaway cars are enough of a risk to necessitate any of this. #1 would be bad for accessibility, since some people may not be able to walk that far once they leave their car. #2 is completely impractical. #3 might work, but the pillars should probably be steel, and it would make moving large objects (like sofas, for example) from the street to the sidewalk impossible. Not enough of a risk to necessitate it.

Have a look at this article, specifically this section:

It is important to distinguish between threats and risks. While a threat is a bad thing that can happen, risk is the likelihood that the threat will occur. For instance, there is a threat that your building might collapse, but the risk of this happening is far greater in San Francisco (where earthquakes are common) than in Stockholm (where they are not).

So, for example, there is always a threat of being struck and killed by a meteorite when you walk outside. Upon hearing about this, someone who doesn't understand risk analysis would always walk around holding an iron umbrella, to protect themselves from small meteorites. But this is an error in judgement, because while meteorites are a threat (a bad event that could happen), they pose virtually no risk (a bad event that is likely to occur). So, there's no need to carry an iron umbrella.

Likewise, terrorists driving vans into crowds is a threat, but not much of a risk. Think of all the crowds of people that form around the world every day, then think of the percentage of those crowds that are run over by vans. It only happens once every couple of months, so if you're standing in a large crowd of people, the risk of being run over by a terrorist is actually quite small. Another threat is a terrorist using a gun to shoot random people, but again, the risk is quite low. Some people suggested gun control for this, but you already know what leftists think of gun control laws.

If you want to stop ISIS, building giant walls between the roads and sidewalks isn't the way to do it, because they'll just find another way to kill people. Getting rid of the material conditions that lead to terrorism (i.e. getting rid of imperialism) will do it.

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Defasher wrote (edited )

It's not just for terrorism though, people get run over in accidents everyday because pedestrians and cyclists are forced to share the street with heavy machinery (cars). I really think my first option should be standard on high streets - if it works in Holland, Germany, etc, why can't it work worldwide? Furniture stores aren't on high streets anyway, they're in strip malls or in Ikea's case, they take up a whole street with underground parking.

And the dual-level idea is something I've seen first hand where I live. All along the coast, there are pedestrian footpaths several metres below the road, all along the coast. Separate bike lanes too. They would just need to be reversed so the roads are lower than the footpaths.