I live in a tiny no-stoplight town on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The last time I was in Anchorage, Alaska (a town with hundreds of stoplights), I actually drove right through a red light, lost in my own oblivion. Now that I’m used to no stoplights, I find that driving in cities with them makes me crabby and impatient. I want to get where I’m going — and where I live now I don’t have to drive any more than 6 miles to do that.
The people in charge in Bohmte, Germany, think it might be a good idea to try the no-stoplight life as well. On September 12, all traffic controls disappeared from the center of the town, which sees about 13,500 cars a day. The idea was developed by Dutch traffic specialist Hans Monderman to try to reduce accidents and make life easier for pedestrians. Already, Monderman’s ideas have been implemented in the town of Drachten in the Netherlands, where all stop lights, traffic signs, pavements, and street markings have gone. Accidents in Drachten have been reduced significantly.
Half of the1.2 million euro cost of removing the lights in Bohmte will be covered by the European Union, which supports the endeavor.