Traffic signals should get the red light
The Guardian

Why stop at traffic lights? Once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Ealing council in west London is taking radical action to tackle the misery of traffic jams on their streets. It is bagging over some traffic lights. As with much innovation, the evidence emerged partly by accident. The lights failed at a busy junction and the traffic flowed better than before.

The philosophy behind the move is that accidents, as well as congestion, are reduced when motorists show greater individual responsibility, rather than mentally switching off to behave like automata. Common sense and courtesy prevail against the mindlessness of sitting at a red light for no reason other than that the state tells us to. Discretion and give-and-take also work well for pedestrians. Traffic lights are a spur to frustration which can spill over into road rage.

While innovative in British terms, Ealing is following the example of the northern Dutch town of Drachten, which since 1999 has been gradually getting rid of its traffic lights. Journey times have fallen, and so have accidents. On one junction the number of crashes has decreased from 36 in the four years before the scheme to two in the following two years. There is also anecdotal, although not statistical, evidence that road users smile more.