In the Philippines people practice something called counter flowing, this is the act where a driver moves his car and enters a lane that is going at the opposite direction. You see this behavior whenever only one side of a busy road is experiencing heavy traffic. Well this behavior is dependent on two weaknesses. ONe is that when they are trying to get back at the proper lane drivers are either scared or kond enough to let them back into the proper lane. This creates a feedback loop where you one up other people by not following the rules and it is expected. This is bad because this causes the other lane to be more congested and in turn creates a very bad traffic jam. I suggest that traffic enforcers be made to book these traffic offenders to lessen this driving barbarism and that we do not let these types of drivers dominate the streets. If you read the article it has a nice dissection of the problem. The individuals are optimizing for themselves and thereby decreasing the total societal value. What is needed is for traffic enforcers to be the ones, through doing there jobs, force these players into a nash equilibrium where everyone wins!

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.

It’s not too difficult to imagine a city designed with these principles in mind. Fewer roads with slower but smoother traffic. Spaces that can easily be converted to car-free zones to suit the needs of the network. And fewer opportunities for people to drive like jerks. Sounds like a nice place to take a walk, actually.

via Does closing roads cut delays? |

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