Mystery solved?

Here in London there are so-called ‘Olympic Lanes’ on the road network, which may be used only by members of the ‘Olympic Family’, ie contestants and others directly connected with the Games (see this Alberta Games website for information about it). So, the lanes are in place, and motorists are allowed to use some of them at the moment. However, despite big electronic displays telling drivers they can use the lanes, lots of them didn’t realise that. Why not?

Actually, I have no idea. However, looking at this example of one of the signs (below), I can hazard a guess. The sign shows three screens  -- only one of which gives you that information. The other two screens are all about how to obtain more traffic information. So, if you happen to be driving past that point while the other two screens are showing, you’d probably miss it.

This could be an interesting item to discuss with students. It seems to me that what’s wrong here is not the technology, but the fact that the signs have been used to advertise where drivers can get information as well as give them the information they need right now. Basically, I think the signs are trying to do too much.

Any thoughts?

On a more positive note, watching the Olympic Torch go past recently was a good, fun occasion, with lots of community spirit. Despite the articles cited below, it's by no means all doom and gloom.

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