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TED's Great Traffic Idea

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The TED website features a baker's dozen short videos culled from last month's Long Beach conference.

Of particular interest is, "Gary Lauder's New Traffic Sign: Take Turns." Here, the venture capitalist and public intellectual slyly advocates for a new style of street sign that's neither "yield" nor "stop."

Sound inconsequential? Lauder's brief powerpoint and speech calculates an estimated $2 million economic loss for just one existing three-way intersection. This bill includes gas, car wear-and-tear, and lost productivity while idling. Lauder points out that buying the adjacent property and cutting down the shrubbery would be cheaper.

Lauder's larger point is that intersections with stop signs can be dangerous, costly, polluting, and inefficient. He's a big fan of roundabouts -- which are more prevalent internationally, he reminds. And stateside, he's in favor of the creating and distribution of fresh guideposts shaped somewhat like a "T," and declaring, "Take Turns."

"What the world needs now," Lauder told the TED crowd, "is a new type of sign."

Watch the video and see the new sign here.


Photo Credit: The image accompanying this post was taken by Flickr user Harold Laudeus. It was used under Creative Commons license.

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