Saturday, October 17, 2009

Business/Government Lesson

I've posted this video before, maybe even a couple of times. Today it is here to demonstrate something. But before I get up on the soapbox, here's the video for you to watch:

Now, if you noticed, the traffic seemed to be flowing pretty smoothly despite the seeming chaotic nature of everything. Backups were minimal.

Notice also that there was no form of formalized traffic control - that is, no traffic signals, stop signs, cop directing traffic, etc.

Everything functioned well on its own.

Now imagine putting a traffic signal or other means of control at that intersection. Do you really think it would make things move any more smoothly? Me, I don't think so. It would have the opposite effect. Not only that, but there would be a cost involved of implementing that control, something that would have to be borne through taxation.

Now there are always going to be those people who view the video and the first thing that comes to their mind will be, "Oh my goodness! They need to put in a traffic light before someone gets killed!!" And they will immediately call for the government to get involved.

That means someone has to form a committee. Then they have to establish a department to handle this matter, and hire a bunch of bureaucrats to manage it and then hire a staff to process paperwork. And do several traffic studies, impact studies, etc. and then go out to bid for who is going to install the control devices.

And after the signals are installed and traffic begins backing up and severe jams begin to form, this will affect all the other intersections down the line of the streets feeding into the original one, which will then themselves require government intervention, repeating the same process and so on and so forth.

And that's the lessonfor today!

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