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Stop the Red Lights

June 28, 2008

Today a whole section of the west-side of my town was out of power and I had to drive through several large unmanned intersections. It went amazingly smoothly. People immediately adopted the very natural 4-way-stop rule of first-come-first-go. Lots of smiles, hand-gestures, patience and good-will were on display. I witnessed only one instance where a sporty SUV ran after the car in front of him/her without waiting for the other lanes to take a turn. This person was obviously used to the previous set-up and it’s not even clear that they did that on purpose. I suspect that after a few days of driving with no red lights everybody would get used to it. The only doubts I still had about 4-way-stops versus red lights were in the case of large intersections and night-time or bad-weather conditions, where it might be hard to see what the other drivers’ intentions are. However, after today, I think these wouldn’t be major problems. People would find a solution.

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