Traffic, Philosophy of

Just some analogies I observed while driving…

Round About
A traffic system with round-abouts is a huge no-no. It creates unnecessarily delay and congestion. I’ve read somewhere that round-abouts were designed to ‘slow-down’ traffic.

Likewise, when trying to arrive at a decision, having round-abouts are like indecisiveness. Resign to the fact that you cannot make the best decision, given the situation and urgency, but come to a decision anyhow. You can always make a u-turn later, which hopefully won’t be too costly. But take action and stop beating around the bush. Seize the moment!

Traffic lights
Minimize the number of traffic lights. Roads with lots of traffic lights signifies laziness on the part of the designer. You need traffic lights, but use it very sparingly.

Traffic lights are like hesitations and mental blocks. Also, it acts like excuses. Let’s face it, you cannot please everyone on the road. Something had to give, some sacrifice must be made for the greater good. It’s about the forest, not the trees.

Multiple Lanes
You might not have the budget to build a 5-lane expressway now, but provision for future lanes in the future. It’s about thinking long term. Traffic will only keep increasing.

When making decision, make sure that you also take into account future complications. Take into account existing facts and figures, and plan for the best. Having the option to build more lanes is like having more possibilities and alternatives on the drawing board, giving you the extra flexibilities in your strategy.

U-turns are good for check and balances, and should be placed with utmost care. Too much of U-turns would result in congestion and allows too much room for errors. Place them like you would place milestones in projects where you can evaluate progress and reduce risks of going at the wrong direction for far too long.

It’s good to have GPS to ensure you stay on the right path and get to your destination with the least amount of hassle. But it can also hinder creativity and spontaneity to react to traffic conditions and exploration of uncharted routes (Waze can help to a certain extent). Use the satellites as guides, but trust your instincts.

Besides, what’s the fun driving without some ‘control’?

Speed is key, but survival is even more crucial. Go as fast as you can manage, while maintaining the ability to stop without crashing yourself and others. Going fast while disregarding the safety of yourself and others is like making tonnes of revenue without any concerns on the profit margins.

No doubt it’s a lot of action, but you might just end up back at square one. And if you have a bad crash, there’s no ‘undo’ button on this one.

2 thoughts on “Traffic, Philosophy of”

  1. Roundabout are safer than both traffic circles and junctions: 80% fewer injuries and 90% fewer serious injuries. They save life !! I’d personally compare them to 360 degree reviews and analysis process.


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