Modernist Approach to Ordering of Traffic

Jacqueline Healey, X4130984, TMA04, DD101.

Compare and contrast the modernist and flexible approaches to the ordering of traffic.

For this essay I am going to look for ideas in common and also the differences between two approaches to the ordering of traffic in public space; the Buchanan Report (1963) which is the modernist approach focusing on segregating pedestrians and vehicles compared to Monderman’s thesis based on a flexible approach confining segregation and rules to highways. I will also briefly look at Foucault’s and Goffman’s views on social order as both have studies which share a commonality with Monderman and Buchanan in the way they can be related to the governing of traffic.
Social order is a basic principle of social life (‘Reflections on Ordered Lives’, 2009, Audio CD 3) it is practiced in everyday situations, an important one being the relationship between pedestrians and vehicles. Social order is how we as people co-ordinate our lives on a daily basis to live alongside people and interact with others in a way that may be seen as socially acceptable or normal. It can vary according to circumstances, subject to time and place and can change rapidly to suit different events in people’s lives. Order is the way people both imagine and practise their social existence (Silva, 2009, pg311). Social disorder is when everyday life is disrupted by various factors such as crime, violence and disorderly behaviour. An important example of where social order would be practised and where social disorder could occur would be in road traffic where order should have to be practised to ensure vehicle users and pedestrians safety.
Goffman was interested in social interactions between individuals and how people formed order in different settings in life. For him, patterns of interaction – the interactional order –create social order (Silva, 2009, pg. 317). Goffman’s studies were based on him experiencing different situations first hand. He worked in various...