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After reading a recent review, we just put this book on our reading list: Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt.

As if it isn’t enough to deal with traffic and more traffic every day, somebody feels he has to study it and write about it! Some of his observations per the review.

How long is the ideal commute? 16 min. (ideal length for a slice of alone time.)

His visit with Hans Monderman we found fascinating.

At one point, Vanderbilt visits with celebrated Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman, who created the “intersection heard around the world.” Monderman redesigned a congested four-way crossing in the city of Drachten by basically removing all of the traffic signs. The lack of signals created uncertainty and forced drivers to slow down, cooperate with one another, and watch out for bicyclists and pedestrians. It also allowed traffic to flow more smoothly. His animating idea was to put some of the “social world” into the “traffic world.” While talking with Vanderbilt, Monderman demonstrated the success of his concept by walking backward into the street—with his eyes closed.

And everybody is a bad driver. We all have driving habits that we are not aware of, that make us accidents waiting to happen. (We have just been lucky so far.)

Open your eyes, people!

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