Closing Roads Sometimes Improves Traffic Flow

A new study finds that sometimes closing roads can improve traffic flow by forcing people to make alternative choices to the shortest route.

"At first blush, this study seems dissonant with findings that traffic flows can be improved by increasing vehicular anarchy. As I noted a few months back, there is considerable evidence that removing all traffic controls – lights, signs, road markings, and even the distinction between streets and sidewalks – can actually make traffic move more smoothly, as well as cut down on the number of accidents and increase the area's economic vitality. The idea behind these "shared streets," which have been successfully deployed in many European cities, is that the lack of traffic signs makes you take personal responsibility for directly negotiating with the pedestrians, cyclists, and other cars around you, instead of, say, gunning it through an intersection just because you know you have the light.

But maybe these two traffic models have more in common than it first seems. Both encourage individuals to drive more slowly so that everyone gets to his destinations faster. Both favor a holistic approach to traffic, one that designs from the perspective of the overall flow rather than that of an individual driver. And both open up more space for pedestrians."

Full Story: Does closing roads cut delays?
Tags: 

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
Woman wearing city map tote bag

City Shoulder Totes

Durable CityFabric© shoulder tote bags available from 5 different cities.
$22.00