Wednesday, December 3, 2014

European Towns Eliminate Traffic Signals and Laws. You Won't Believe What Happens Next

What happens when you remove traffic control devices (stoplights, signs, etc.) and the laws that come with them?

Several European towns have experimented with this idea.  While many critics predicted a massive increase in accidents, fatalities, and general chaos, something beautiful happened instead.

Last year, I came across this story about a German town called Bohmte which removed all their traffic control devices - signs, stoplights, etc.  The number of accidents and fatalities dropped to zero according to their authorities.

In this fascinating public experiment, a German town wanted to see what would happen to traffic flow if they got rid of street signs, lights and other restrictions.  The results are intuitive, but not what you would expect!  

Everything got safer and faster.  

Would this model hold true for other areas of infrastructure?  Drivers must give way to the left and not drive too fast.  That's the only rule.  Even the police love the new system, and best of all, people are safer on the road.  Drivers are much more aware and use eye contact and instincts.  People WANT to stop for other people and help things move more efficiently.

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