From Marginal Revolution

 I find myself intrigued…

I’d like to try this idea in Elizabeth, New Jersey

Tyler Cowen

How about cities without any traffic signs or lights?:

European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives.  They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren — by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs…Ejby, in Denmark, is participating in the experiment, as are Ipswich in England and the Belgian town of Ostende.

The logic?

It may sound like chaos, but it’s only the lesson drawn from one of the insights of traffic psychology:  Drivers will force the accelerator down ruthlessly only in situations where everything has been fully regulated.  Where the situation is unclear, they’re forced to drive more carefully and cautiously.

Some towns are even looking to abolish the distinction between roads and sidewalks.  Here is the full story, can any of you report on these experiments?  And if you are looking for your “Germany fact of the day,” the country has 648 different and valid traffic signs.

Thanks to John Durant for the pointer.  And here is Dan Klein on skating rinks.

I tend to agree with the proposition on principle. I’m not sure how well it would work in the “real” world though. Seems like there are way too many people these days who feel their life is more important, and their needs come first. Since this entire concept would cause everyone to slow done and observe the world around them, I can see a rather large portion of the population going totally crazy. Can you imagine one of the type A’s of the world trying to drive in a world where using a cell phone and a blackberry (usually together) would be tantamount to manslaughter?

I have always thought the concealed weapons laws were wrong. If you are going to let someone carry a weapon in public, they should have to display the weapon for all to see. My personal belief is that all concealed weapons should be illegal. You want to carry, you gotta show it…always. That way everyone else has the option of associating or not.

Maybe these traffic laws should work on the same principle. Since, basically they are either total anarchy or total trust…warn drivers before they enter a “zone” and give them an alternative means of passage through, around or under. Or let the pedestrians carry sidearms to protect themselves from the idiots in the SUV’s…just joking (sort of). 

Source: Marginal Revolution