08 January 2008

Ideas for a World-Class City, no.5

In a sort of follow-up to Idea no.3, here are links to articles about traffic engineer Hans Monderman.

Why are his ideas interesting? As this blog post tells us,

His challenge to rational traffic planning principles? Remove the signs and traffic-control lights...

He posited that congestion, traffic jams and rush-hour could be alleviated if not eliminated by taking away enforced flow-control. He also stated that traffic should be slowed down, in order to have it be able to move quicker...

Monderman was told he was crazy, and that his ideas would increase traffic accidents between people and cars. But he was allowed to conduct a few trials, in the Netherlands. The results have revolutionized traffic control, and have also reduced traffic fatalities significantly.

It's a radical notion, or at least it seems like it compared to what we're used to. The ideas work in Europe. But would they work here?

More at Wired.com and the NYTimes.


CityKin said...

It could absolutely work here. Look, it already works on backstreets and sidestreets, that are narrower and have no traffic signals. Traffic lights downtown, expecially on the north-south streets, just speed cars up, because they are racing to make the next light. Many of the streets through OTR, Westend and CUF could be changed over to stopsigns and no signs. Raised intersections with marked crosswalks are all that is needed.

Radarman said...

God help me, I love this stuff.
I mourn for the lost opportunity of a traffic circle at Cutter and Clark and rejoice in the timid attempt at Laurel Park Drive and Derrick Turnbow Street.
I also wonder what the Dutch traffic engineer would make of the hoopty driving West End ladies who scream at me for being on a bicycle and in their lane of traffic. V. scary

ohdave said...

Westender, I though you might be interested in a story at my site on CPS that came out of Ed Week. Pretty positive press for CPS.