“Here is a great story from the Netherlands. As in most cities, the consequences of increasing traffic were a major problem in the city of Drachten. Traffic jams and accidents in the town centre were steadily increasing, as did the doses of the standard medicine for this modern disease; more traffic lights and more signs to regulate and control drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. The same medicine as any other growing city would chose to combat its traffic problems. However, traffic authorities in Drachten found that increasing doses did not help. In 2003 the city decided to challenge accepted truth. A bold decision was made to remove all traffic lights and signs in the town centre, based on a belief that people pay more attention to their surroundings when they cannot rely on strict traffic rules.
Results were impressive. On the busiest intersections crossing times fell significantly, and accidents were reduced to almost zero.”