Monday, January 15, 2007

Tiny Cars (and they're all stick!)

European cities with medieval roots, such as Genova, often have less than favorable traffic conditions. These historic cities' transportation veins, evolved over centuries with thoughts of protection, horse travel, and other outdated concerns. The road network can not be completely changed without razing the entire city. Therefore, circulation through the city is chaotic and seemingly random. Genova's narrow streets require a smaller car than American cars. Space is at a premium, the lanes are narrow, and the parking spaces are cramped. The people who live in the city parallel park like champs. They can squeeze into the smallest of spots, while driving manual on a hill. The drivers here are great; they have to be. Traffic is hazardous at best. Pedestrians have to be wary of small cars that are driven quickly and be especially careful for the Vespas. These mopeds are wielded without much caution. When cars stop for pedestrians to cross a street, Vespas may try to weave through the crowd initiating a game of real life Frogger. Pedestrians should be very careful crossing the street. If possible, cross in crosswalks. Pedestrians should never assume that a car will stop for them, or that the car "sees them."

Nick Svilar

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