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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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Traffic Control

Traffic Control

(p.129) 5 Traffic Control
Fighting Traffic

Peter D. Norton

The MIT Press

This chapter looks at the problems brought in by traffic congestion thought to have been created by population density and the concentration of business in small central districts. With the chief patrons of regulation being the chambers of commerce, deconcentration of business districts was not an option, so congestion needed to be eased without a reduction in population density. Leading expert on street traffic, Miller McClintock, stated that deconcentration was the main cause of traffic congestion. Engineers used traffic surveys to work out the causes of congestion. One solution was to clear the sidewalks of all obstacles in order to create space for pedestrians. Also, around this time the first traffic light system was used. However due to its system of simultaneous signal changes, efficiency was yet to be achieved. The chapter goes on to discuss other avenues through which traffic congestion was tackled, such as parking measures.

Keywords:   traffic congestion, population density, deconcentration, Miller McClintock, traffic surveys, pedestrian traffic, traffic light

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