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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 Efficiency versus Motor Freedom

Traffic Efficiency versus Motor Freedom

(p.148) (p.149) 6 Traffic Efficiency versus Motor Freedom
Fighting Traffic

Peter D. Norton

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses traffic control measures taken to increase traffic efficiency. One such measure was the professionally timed traffic light. This provided increased efficiency and safety on the streets. However, engineers warned against the use of traffic lights at every single intersection. The chapter also looks at how the burgeoning automobile industry affected the railway industry, and then goes on to discuss how saturation in the automobile industry was expected and how this might affect traffic congestion. Despite the industry’s flattening of sales, many would continue to reiterate that saturation would not happen. However, the inevitable space shortage due to an increase in the number of automobiles on the road greatly affected its future. The chapter ends by looking at the Major Traffic Street Plan, which was drafted at the height of the traffic control consensus and which was a deviation from conventions of traffic control.

Keywords:   traffic control measures, traffic efficiency, traffic congestion, floor space shortage, traffic control consensus, Major Traffic Street Plan

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