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An observation on the power going out downtown today and what happened when all the traffic lights went dark.

Somebody hit a pole or something but the end result was that power was cut to a section of downtown.  The city ran cops out to control major intersections and traffic moved smoothly.

But on the smaller streets no longer controlled by stoplights an interesting thing happened.  Public works dropped off four foot high stop signs and placed them at intersections where police officers were not stationed.  And then something pretty cool happened.

Drivers politely stopped at the stop signs, looked left and right, made eye contact with other drivers and pedestrians and everyone took turns driving through the intersection.  Traffic ran smoothly, there was no stop light grand prix getting from light to light since we all knew that we’d have to stop anyway.

Amazingly, I got across town faster than I would with traffic lights in normal operation.  Right turn on red was no longer a take your life in your hands situation.  Pedestrians rejoiced.

All on a beautiful, windy and sunny November afternoon.  Have a great weekend and be careful out there.

There’s a lesson somewhere in this I’d say.