TED2010

Maybe a new street sign is what the world needs now

GaryLauder_TakeTurns_CC.jpg What’s the best way to keep automobile traffic moving calmly and rationally through an intersection? It’s not a stoplight, it’s not a stop sign, and it’s not a yield sign (who knows what to do at a yield?).

In Session 6, Gary Lauder suggests we “Take Turns.”

Roundabouts are the best way to build intersections, he notes, but where those are not practical, instead of a ring of stop signs, some of those signs should be replaced with a new kind of sign that can save millions of dollars PER SIGN.

Here’s the street sign the world needs now. Half a stop and half a yield, the sign gives each driver a clear indication of how to behave. Below the red “Take Turns” shield is a small sign reading, “If Cars Are Waiting, Please Stop and Alternate.” And if there are no cars waiting, just blow on through. (No more stopping at red lights at 4am, on a country road, when there’s no one around for miles.)

Lauder has registered the sign with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license — so share it freely (just credit him, don’t modify the sign, and don’t sell it). And imagine a world where every street sign contains the word “Please.”