Last week’s “Smart City Challenge” issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation invites us to rethink our wasteful transportation system [“Paul Allen joins USDOT to offer $50 million Smart City contest,” Local News, Dec. 7]. Seattle has a great opportunity to lead the pack by quickly eliminating most roadway congestion and transforming this destructive problem into a profitable and exportable solution.
Futuristic high-tech is not required; even human psychology can assist. As example of an appropriate technology solution, northbound Interstate 5’s current speed limit displays seen driving into Seattle are dynamically calculated to solve most congestion. Unfortunately, many selfish, competitive and ignorant motorists create even more congestion by attempting 60 mph in clearly marked 35 mph lanes. But by incorporating speed detection with accurate vehicle identification (such as the 520 bridge’s automated toll system) those aggressive violators could be reformed or, if necessary, removed from their driving privileges.
Cost-effective solutions have previously been restricted by the “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices” and corporate profits. Now, simple free-flow models such as Go-Light or pacing LEDs can accelerate vehicles out of all man-made congestion types and into a congestion-free future. These cures are available cost-free to any responsible community, town, county, city or nation actively working to honestly solve their traffic congestion.
Eric Hagen, Hoodsport, and Paul Hagen, Woodinville