Christian Long

Gary Lauder: New Traffic Sign – Take Turns

In TED Talks on May 23, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Reflection by MICHAEL P.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Gary Lauder:  New Traffic Sign – Take Turns

I think it is a great idea to have roundabouts instead of normal intersections, whether they have stop signs or traffic lights. Not that I like roundabouts or anything. I actually think they are very confusing. But if it reduces crashes and wrecks, as well as decreases the amount of wasted gas, I’m all for it. Just imagine how much gas is wasted every day, every year, all around the world, at stop signs and traffic lights.

I’d guess millions of gallons and dollars are wasted every day in every country around the world because of stop lights and stop signs. Roundabouts would eliminate the need to sit and idle for 30 seconds every intersections. You never have to completely stop moving. People would not run red lights, because there would be no red lights to run. This would reduce car accidents and deaths. This is also why generally, people get better gas milage in europe. Like Gary Lauder said in the video, just one stop sign can cause millions of dollars in gas, vehicle wear, and time over the years. If that had been a roundabout, there would be a massive gas savings, less wear and tear on brakes, and it also saves time, which is also money.

Unfortunantly, changing all stop signs and traffic lights would be very costly. I imagine many people would be opposed to this change as well. While I don’t think it will happen anytime soon, and when it does, it will take a long time, I think it will improve road safety, save gas, money, and time.

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  1. Nice! Agree–your planning folks (local, region, state) evaluate their intersections and prioritize for roundabout conversion. Criteria for rating can include pollution reduced, injuries reduced, gateway function, transit benefit, walker route improvement, etc. Roundabout first since the birth of the town center to give a walker a break!

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