“I was sitting at my desk, and my son was running through the yard, saying, ‘Mom, Dad, you can’t see this.
And I said to him, ‘It’s OK to be frustrated, son. “
“He was a little bit frustrated, and I said, ‘Well, you’ve got a job, too.’
And I said to him, ‘It’s OK to be frustrated, son.
We’re going to have to fix this.
This is just going to be part of our life.’
“In his final years, he’d take the sign-fixing to the police department and report that the signs were “construction signs,” “constant construction,” or “constrictive construction.
That frustration eventually led him to the idea of “sign-free zones.” “
I thought, ‘Why can’t they be more like a sign?'” he says.
That frustration eventually led him to the idea of “sign-free zones.”
As a citywide initiative, sign-free zones have existed in many places around the world, but they’ve been most popular in urban areas.
The idea is that they provide spaces for people to safely cross paths with cars without creating an environment where people are expected to stay out of sight.
In New York, signs can be in all sorts of locations, but for now, sign zones are confined to city streets, parks, and sidewalks.
But it turns out that people aren’t happy with their new-found freedom.
“People are pretty unhappy about the fact that there’s no space for people in the neighborhood,” says Sarah Blythe, a researcher at the Urban Institute and the author of Signs, Places, and Spaces: How We Can Make Signs Work, a book on the history and psychology of signage.
“They’re just so angry that the streets are closed, the sidewalks are closed.
And they’re just upset that the city is doing this to them.”
The idea that people will feel safer crossing the street without a sign may be a bit of a red herring.
In some countries, like Germany and Spain, signs are required to be in every single location, even in public spaces.
But in many U.S. cities, they are optional, often with a sign saying “no parking.”
“I think the people who live in the zone that I live in have this expectation that the street is closed and they have to be invisible,” says Blyth.
“But I do find that that is not necessarily the case.”
Blythan and Blythel have noticed that people have a harder time keeping to the sidewalk when signs are not in place.
They also say that some people complain about being left behind.
“It’s an anxiety thing,” Blytha says.
“And I think we’re very sensitive to anxiety and that we’re trying to do everything to reduce it.
So when we see a sign, we feel anxious.”
Blevins’ study has not yet been peer-reviewed, but the results are in line with other research.
“Signs have been shown to have beneficial effects on people’s wellbeing, as well as on traffic safety, health, and public health,” says lead author Sarah Blevin, a professor of sociology at New York University.
“So signs are one of those things that you can do a lot of good for.”
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology in 2011 found that people who saw a sign or were exposed to it showed a higher level of social bonding, empathy, and trustworthiness.
Signs also have been found to reduce traffic congestion, improve walking and cycling safety, reduce noise pollution, improve the mental health of those who are affected, and reduce traffic accidents and deaths.
Blevyn and Blevas research was published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
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