Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Turning off the lights: Chaos Emerges.

See what happened when Portishead, England turned off their traffic lights in September 2009 in this video. And don’t miss “Portishead traffic lights set to stay out after trial” in the Bristol Evening Post.

2 comments on "Turning off the lights: Chaos Emerges."

  • beri says:

    REally interesting. I’d like to know the population of this place. It’s a great idea but does it work because there isn’t that much traffic?

  • Cryptodendrum says:


    There’s been several townships / cities in the Netherlands that have also conducted experiments with this, and the result is always surprising to those who subscribe to conventional wisdom.
    In fact, several years ago, in an opposite move, Rotterdam converted an uncontrolled intersection (a giant rotunda) at the base of an exit point of the A20 highway loop around Rotterdam in front of Blijdorp Zoo, where traffic never backed up due to congestion at the intersection, into a 5 way controlled intersection and the results have literally been disastrous. Congestion abounds now, as have the number of traffic accidents (rear ends accidents as people come off the highway are up).

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