Deregulation of traffic

Brief description of solved problem: Deregulation of traffic
Country of origin: Holland
Type of self-goverment: City
Name of self-goverment: Drachten, Holland (solution is also applied in self goverments in Germany, Denmark, USA, Sweden etc…)
Date of realization: currently

Detail description of solved problem

Every public authority has tendencies to regulate human behaviour by various types of legal regulations. It is necessary to make a difference between proper and improper type of regulation. The improper regulation disables to behave by rational meaning  and such a regulation also inflicts expenses. It is quite difficult to make difference between proper regulation and improper regulation, because of in some cases there is intuitive knowledge about the necessity of regulation, but the application of the alternative methods can bring the interesting results, by a reason that our ability to create, and to respect rules ins not perfect. There is always possibility for the breaking of rules. This type of problems is regulation of traffic, for example road signs and rules. Typical example of inefficiency of this regulation is situation when the driver of car has to stop in red traffic lights, despite of there are not any other cars or pedestrians. In such case is reasonable solution to carry on drive and save the time. But such behaviour is prohibited by legal regulation. The similar regulations reduce the flow of traffic and this regulation is also, paradoxically, threat for other people. In the city Drachten, Holland is this problem solved by removing of most part of road signs.

Detail description of strategy of sollution

Strategy of solution can be called go slower to move quicker. The long time the roads were built on principle of separation of car and bikers or pedestrians. This strategy seems logical whereas the car can cause greater damage to pedestrian or biker, than pedestrian to car. In the city, there is a need to protect pedestrians, and the traffic is slowed by legal regulations, road signs, traffic lights, ped crossing etc. Disadvantage of such solution is, that drivers rely up on such regulation, and do not solve the problems by interaction with “traffic environment”. The author fo this strategy, engineer Hans Mondermann explains: “I do not care who has right of priority, because the people themselves have to find the solution of traffic problems. They have to use their own brain”. Mondermann removed in rush crossroads in Drachten the most part od road signs, traffic lights, even did not used curbstones for marking of edges of roads (they were marked by colours, or textures). Result is, that drivers have to go slower and carefully, because they have to respect for pedestrians and bikers, but they don not lose time by waiting in crossroads. The traffic is slower but more fluent  and safer (because zhe driver has to use his brain, instead of the road signs). The principles of this solutions are following: 1. remove the road signs, because the road itself limits the traffic, 2. less of restrictions but provide more data about the traffic density and people will decide, which road they will use, 3. priority depends on human interaction not on rules and road signs. The rules how to behave on specific places will be developed by evolution quickly and effectively.

Description of results of sollution

Similar strategy is applied also but other self goverments. Kensington Street in London was rebuilt on similar principles. There was 71 collision between drivers and pedestrians. This number decreased on 40 (43,7% less) when the reconstruction was finished. The similar results were achieved in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA. In Drachten decreased the number of collisions between cars and pedestrians from count 36 during 4 years before reconstruction to 4 durinf 2 years after reconstruction. The positive tendency is clear. 22 000 cars per day is going though the reconstructed crossroads, but the traffic jam is not often. The number of traffic lights was reduced from 15 to 3. In the city Norrkoping (Sweden) the average speed of car was reduced by 5 km/hour. This data are evidence that human interaction is rational, and the people are able to unwillingly create clear and correct rules, if they are not bound by regulation.

Sources:
http://www.artofwealth.net/2005/01/go-slower-to-move-quicker-in-praise-of.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shared_space&printable=yes
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.12/traffic.html

 

 

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