For six months, lights at up to seven junctions in Ealing will be concealed by bags and drivers will be left to negotiate their way across by establishing eye contact with pedestrians and other motorists.
Ealing Council believes that, far from improving the flow of traffic, lights cause delays and may even increase road danger. Drivers race towards green lights to make it across before they turn red. Confidence that they have right of way lulls them into a false sense of security, meaning that they fail to anticipate hazards coming from the side. The council hopes that drivers will learn to co-operate, crossing junctions on a first-come first-served basis rather than obeying robotic signals that have no sense of where people are waiting.
Som Times-artikeln också skriver är det inte något unikt experiment:
In the Dutch town of Drachten the removal of traffic lights at one big junction resulted in crashes falling from 36 in the four years before the scheme was introduced to two in the next two years. The average time for each vehicle to cross the junction fell from 50 seconds to 30 seconds despite a rise in the volume of traffic.
Mr Hamilton Baillie said that the benefits of removing controls from junctions had been established 30 years ago, when a shortage of police in Bristol resulted in the withdrawal of officers who directed traffic.
“Everybody reported that traffic flowed more smoothly but the evidence was ignored and lights continued to spread across the network. Lights make people feel there is stability and order but that is just psychological. There is little evidence of any tangible benefits.”
På samma tema: Tuta för välfärden och Johan Norbergs inlägg om trafikpolisen i Baku (han har också relativt nyligen skrivit ett inlägg om just städer som stängt av trafikljusen med gott resultat, men jag lyckas inte hitta det).
(Via Cato Institute)