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Fighting TrafficThe Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City$
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Peter D. Norton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262141000

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262141000.001.0001

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Streets as Public Utilities

Streets as Public Utilities

Chapter:
(p.105) 4 Streets as Public Utilities
Source:
Fighting Traffic
Author(s):

Peter D. Norton

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262141000.003.0005

This chapter looks at how traffic problems were addressed by a new paradigm. In the 1910s and 1920s, traffic engineers viewed traffic problems from a technical perspective. Their application of the principles of public utility regulation to traffic regulation would result in professional traffic control. Much hope lay with the engineers, as Henry Gantt and other champions of efficiency agreed, and the aim was to replace police trial-and-error methods with systematic analysis. In the end, both scientific management and public utility regulation provided universal benefits for efficiency in street traffic.

Keywords:   efficiency, Progressive Era, public utility regulation, professional traffic control, Henry Gantt, police trial-and-error, public utility model

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