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Now it is illegal in some places and not recommended in others -> social & cívic pressure against. Plus the increase in usefulness for the cars.

Context: in urban environment + slow roads/streets in general.

Also, are you using the term “zebra crossing” in an unusual way…? It seems like you are


That would reduce the usefulness of the road for pedestrians to zero

On the contrary, they could cross anywhere without needing to walk to the zebra crossing! That would increase the road's usefulness for them.

These were not rhetorical questions, I would like to see your opinion on yield signs and their difference with zebra crossings.

It's an hyperbole, of course —to keep the usefulness of the road, if it is less dangerous that people just cross in random places than that cars stop before zebra crossings, let's get rid of the crossings.

It is clear that cars not being forced to stop before zebra crossings is more unsafe.

Then let's just get rid of zebra crossings all together. But I highly suspect that this would not be a good solution (eg. in Europe I have never seen a stop sign for a zebra crossing).

if they decide to break the rules, that’s their choice

The point is that your proposal incentivises people to break the rules and cross unsafely; which is the opposite of what the proposal intends.

On the other hand, having zebra crossing more often incentivises people to use them.

The appropriate question here is what is more unsafe? 1) significant amounts of people crossing in random places, or 2) cars not being forced to stop before zebra crossings. 

For me, in normal conditions 1) is clearly more unsafe, as car drivers must be paying attention to the traffic anyway. And I'd guess that this is the actual case, otherwise zebra crossings would not have been adopted.

It is not literally forcing anyone but it is effectively forcing everyone. Or don't call it forcing if you want, but it is what people are going to do.

Note that moving a zebra crossing just 200 m means having to walk 400 m more, so 5 minutes walking. For people with reduced mobility it is much longer. [edited to add the ending 'd' in reduced]

Good design is not about the theory it is about what happens in practice. Search for, for example, the design failure of Brasilia. Super well designed on plan, a failure in practice. Something similar is repeated once and again.

So, basically forcing people to cross unsafely (and potentially illegally) is the best design choice?

Less accurate, not less predictable ;-)

What is the difference with the yield sign? Or are you also against the yield sign?

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