Solving Traffic Problems The Ancient Way

Can inspiration for a socially-equitable solution to congestion charging be found in an ancient law that dispenses justice in a simple traffic conflict, writes Oded Roth in this week's Op-Ed.
July 19, 2005, 7am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Despite proven success, the idea of using congestion charging to reduce traffic is not widespread, due to political doubts regarding social and economic justice, rather than issues of traffic design or traffic stream engineering.

...Investigation of an ancient traffic custom may shed some light on the problem. In ancient Roman times, public roads were considered "Res Publica", or in the "public domain", the common property of all. A solution to the congestion charges conflict may be found in an ancient law related to a nucleus congestion problem -- a conflict between two boats or camels that had to pass through a narrow passage wide enough for only one traveler to pass. Understanding the solution to the nucleus conflict between two opposing interests may be the key to a multi-vehicle conflict that occurs under congestive conditions."

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Monday, July 18, 2005 in Planetizen
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