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Do We Need Traffic Lights?
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Do We Need Traffic Lights? - September 3, 2010, 02:26 PM

The claim here is that taking out traffic lights reduces accidents and also makes traffic flow faster.

I do think it may reduce accidents, but I think this is primarily because everything moves a lot slower. Everyone has seen these videos from Vietnam where you see a gazzilion scooters coming from every corer and somehow emerging on the other side. This is obviously not that hard to do when these vehicles move only a little faster than walking speed/bicycle speed. I have yet to see such an intersection where you have 'US speeds' of people blasting through intersections at 50 mph.

So I'm suspicious about traffic flowing faster. Maybe they are comparing to poorly timed lights/lights without sensors/etc.

That said, I am generally a fan of no traffic lights. No matter what the light, I always glance both ways - same as crossing the street.

When I went to Bogota, older parts of town have no lights/stop signs and streets are pretty narrow so it is hard to see if someone is approaching. Things move pretty fast - faster than in Asia in my experience. People tend to honk when approaching intersections. It moves quite well, but you also see people hitting the brakes hard on regular basis. When approaching these intersections, you definitely have to have the brake covered and never 'outrun' the braking distance you need to emergency stop without entering the intersection.

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September 3, 2010, 02:28 PM

Take a trip to India or Thailand and then ask yourself if we need traffic lights.



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September 3, 2010, 02:35 PM

been to pattaya beach thailand and there were like 2 traffic lights and i didnt see one accident the 4 days that i was there, lol..but as for making traffic flow faster, a$$holes around here cant even keep a constant 55mph on the highway, which as no lights, and that speed is 20mph less then most other highways. there is nothing you can do to correct idiocracy!!!!
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September 3, 2010, 02:39 PM

Ok, I thought I was the resident Looney Toone?

Obviously there are a lot of competitors here.


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September 3, 2010, 02:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heist View Post
Take a trip to India or Thailand and then ask yourself if we need traffic lights.
Not sure what your point is. I've ridden about 10,000 miles around Thailand. I may go ride India soon enough.
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September 3, 2010, 02:47 PM

More roundabouts

In Kuwait there is one roundabout with three lanes in each direction feeding into it.


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September 3, 2010, 02:49 PM

The most retarded thing about US is that many roundabouts have traffic lights. WTF is the point of all these circles in DC if they're gonna stick like a dozen lights.
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Dr.'s say I'm the illest
 
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September 3, 2010, 02:53 PM

"Do we need traffic lights" - Sounds like the start of a manifesto.


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September 3, 2010, 02:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post

When I went to Bogota,

Columbia has 29 vehicles per 100 people.


The US has 765 vehicles per 100 people.

Motor vehicles statistics - countries compared - NationMaster

Apples and oranges my friend.
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September 3, 2010, 02:56 PM

more well designed roundabouts (meaning not DC style) could help in some places and perhaps replace some traffic lights that back things up, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they we wouldn't need traffic lights anywhere at all.

We need scooter / motorcycle lanes!
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September 3, 2010, 03:08 PM

A better licensing system, much like Germany, would alleviate some traffic conditions such as fluctuating speeds, INCORRECT usage of roundabouts! YIELD means yield NOT STOP when it is empty of vehicles!!! *facepalm*

MANDATORY, be able to READ and understand the ROAD SIGNS in the country you are in/visiting/residing.... *sigh*




DMV, more so Va seems like they issue licenses at your local 7-11


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September 3, 2010, 03:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoGoGadget View Post
Columbia has 29 vehicles per 100 people.


The US has 765 vehicles per 100 people.

Motor vehicles statistics - countries compared - NationMaster

Apples and oranges my friend.
While I approve of this post, I will point out that a given person can only drive one motor vehicle at a time. Therefore, while 765 for every 100 is initially staggering, one should quickly realize that 100 per 100 is sort of the cutoff for what you're trying to explain with these numbers. I'm also curious whether the two populations were age-adjusted before calculating these figures.

Oh yeah, and this:


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September 3, 2010, 03:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeShirtDude View Post
While I approve of this post, I will point out that a given person can only drive one motor vehicle at a time. Therefore, while 765 for every 100 is initially staggering, one should quickly realize that 100 per 100 is sort of the cutoff for what you're trying to explain with these numbers.

Not quite. 200 per 100 would equal more vehicles on the road than 100 per 100.

100 per 100 means the folks who get paid to drive a vehicle and have to park them at work are walking to work. Them driving to work, then getting in their work truck/bus/ambulance etc means more vehicles on the road more often. Plus if you have 1 vehicle, and it needs work, you are not driving it while it gets work done. Having more per capita really does mean more on the road at any given time.
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September 3, 2010, 03:49 PM

remember about a month ago when we had those storms that took out all the street lights?
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September 3, 2010, 03:52 PM

Quote:
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remember about a month ago when we had those storms that took out all the street lights?
are you going to finish that thought?


ay ya yay
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