Square of Tears: This is how traffic circles in cities have become a solution to a problem


From these guidelines in the booklet concerning traffic and safety devices, there is a section employed in “Landscape development in traffic circles and their surroundings.” This section, for example, details the goals of scenic development in the traffic circle by improving its visibility, environmental appearance, its prominence and its ease of detection by drivers and also the prominence of pedestrians next to it.

Alongside these, there are also emphases for all that scenic development, such as “scenic development must not endanger passers-by, distract them from the driving task or cause pedestrians to be attracted to it.”

The problem is that in more and more urban traffic circles, all the same guidelines are not being met. Elements of colorful landscaping, trees, climbing shrubs, monuments, sculptures and fountains and all of these also added colorful lighting at night – these are not a rare sight and in fact are becoming an increasingly central part of the circle design.

The guidelines also state that “landscape development will be made of forgiving elements, which will not cause serious damage to passers-by (drivers and passengers) who find themselves in the circular island … Plants installed on the circular island will not have a thick trunk.” Ironically, the prohibitions that appear in this directive are almost identical to the way in which circuit designers actually operate.

This, from choosing the vegetation that often includes olive trees or thick-stemmed palms, to ignoring those 3.5-4.5 meters where it is recommended not to install any elements. An excellent example of this can be seen in the “Oscar Levy” square in Be’er Sheva. It is a movement circle with a base that resembles a cone, with a water show in the middle, which in combination with the colorful lighting creates a dazzling light bubble at night.


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