Greater City Providence

TED Talk: Gary Lauder’s new traffic sign: Take Turns


Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.


  • This makes sense. At abrupt highway merges in Germany, signs instruct both incoming streams of traffic “let only one car in before you.” Both sides keep moving. When you expect people to pay attention and act right, they do.

  • interesting idea, unfortunately, many(most?) stop signs are used improperly to reduce the speeds of traffic because its cheaper than doing proper street design and very easy to retrofit onto existing intersections.

  • Having played the “you go you go first” at four way stops it might be nice to try. I always thought it was come to a complete stop and let the car to your right go first…i.e. moving counter clockwise. Its a shame we have to use signs to remind people of basic rules of the road and common courtesy.

  • The idea is a good one, but wouldn’t it be cheaper
    to just issue each cop a small bag of common sence
    and change the current law to allow drivers to slow down
    and continue on if there is no chance of a collision? Cops need
    to be allowed to use a little common sence in a lot of traffic
    enforcement otherwise they are just collecting revenue and
    public safety has nothing to do with their job.

  • when I lived in Portland Oregon, many of the neighborhood streets had these 4 way stops that worked just like that. You go, then you go, then the other guy goes etc.

    Never a problem in the year and a half I lived there. There were even some streets that didn’t even have stop signs and we would still take turns going through the intersection. The choreography was quite amazing.

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