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I would like to share my opinion on an interesting book that I discovered this summer. The title is "Town Planning and Road Traffic," published in 1943 by Sir Alker Tripp, Commissioner for Traffic Control at Scotland Yard. I found this book translated into Russian in 1947, and in this brief summary, I would like to step on the basic ideas of the book and put them in a historical context.

From the beginning of his book, Tripp has outlined several key ideas. First, he stresses that transport and circulation are varied problems, although most people seem to use the terms as if they were interchangeable (1943). A. Tripp points out that transport is the mode of movement, whereas traffic is the interaction of all these movements. In the second idea, A. Tripp proposed to think not only of the organization of the main streets but also of the entire road network, he proposed as a solution to the hierarchy of the streets. For this, he was one of the first to introduce the classification of the streets according to their function and their order in the sequence of the relationship.

Throughout his book A. Tripp talks about solving two problems: road traffic and pedestrian safety. In short, he gave importance to the needs of road traffic in order to leave the car space for its free circulation, and pedestrianizing the space was a secondary one. These ideas were widely applied in Greater London Plan 1944 by P. Abercrombie who wrote preface for this book and was very concerned about the problem of quiet living spaces in city. Thus, A.Tripp’s work set a tone for road traffic planning till the 1960th, when C.Buchanan arose the questions of the importance of urban environment in road traffic planning which bring a change urban planning paradigm. However, before this occurred, the rapid translation of this book in Russian, had an influence in developing road traffic principles in urban planning of USSR, as well as the whole Eastern Bloc.

If you are interested, read more in the urbanHIST Newsletter Issue 3.

Text and photo: Elvira Khairulina


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