During high-traffic hours the main road intersections in a city become jammed by the cars that entered the intersection from all directions, and they are all waiting on each other.

How to fix or prevent this?

slug: article38 date: 2013-11-07 03:52:18 title: author: SorinPostelnicusorin_postelnicu@yahoo.com tags: type: answer toslug: article37 —

Possible solutions:

  • Make it illegal for a car to be waiting in the intersection. So the cars will then wait BEFORE entering the intersection to make sure that they will have enough space where to go after transiting the intersection, otherwise they will receive a fine.

Advantages: This makes people aware of the problem and "forces" them to care more about the fluidity of the entire traffic, not only about themselves and their desire to be the first who cross the intersection.

Disadvantages: This solution is too "dictatorial". Plus, there will clearly be cases in which two cars coming from different sides will meet and at least one of them will have to wait for the other, thus being possible to be fined.

  • A better solution is to eliminate completely the possibility that a car can enter the intersection in front of other cars and block their passage - by installing round-abouts at every intersection that has such high-traffic. Of course, these must be coupled with the law that in a round-about the cars have left-priority (roundabout priority) rather than the usual right-priority. (Unlike in Belgium! :p)

Advantages: The traffic will be much more fluid. Also, the mayor can then use the space now available in the center of the roundabout to plant a tree, or to install a pole with security cameras or traffic cameras.

Disadvantages: It is more costly. Also, this will introduce two more small problems:

  - The problem of public procurement [insert link here]. This should be solved by allowing the local community to vote for the tenderer that will win the contract to construct the roundabout. (Also worth mentioning here that in the cities (of Romania :p) where the mayor is not doing it's job, the local community should come with a "Public Request [insert link here]" to ask the mayor to install a roundabout.)

  - The problem of "starvation" of one of the sides of the intersection in case there is much higher traffic coming from the other side. These can be solved by additionally installing semaphores, with the timers set based on the intensity of the traffic from the different directions. Of course, this comes back again to the problem of more money being needed, and again the problem of public procurement and the bribes and corruption associated. (Which can of course be solved by eliminating the Democracy-via-Representatives and replacing it with Direct-Democracy :p)

Note that installing just semaphores without a roundabout doesn't usually solve the problem of jammed intersections, because people making a turn will usually still try to enter the intersection even if the direction where they are going is blocked by traffic, so they will thus jam the intersection.