Turn off the lights

Turn off the lights

I wrote previously about timing traffic lights for cyclists, but what about removing the lights completely?

Owen sent over a video from the UK where they found that by removing traffic lights, congestion decreased, even as traffic volume increased.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwHfibl1AoI]

Can you imagine if lights were removed from Tecumseh Rd or Riverside drive?

It reminded me of a concept I had heard about in Europe, where they were removing all traffic signs, as well as markings from the road. This article talks about 7 cities participating in the experiment. Drachten, a town of 45,000 found that accident rates plummeted with the removal of traffic control.

This concept of removing traffic control completely is called a “Shared Space”, and neither pedestrians nor motorists are given priority. It has only been attempted in urban areas, because it really needs the participation of pedestrains. Would it work in our downtown core?

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