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Rush Hour with No Traffic Lights: Spontaneous Order in Action

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Uploaded on Oct 14, 2011

How often do you get to witness spontaneous order happen right before your eyes?

As I was walking home from the Silver Spring, MD metro station, I got to the intersection of East-West Highway and Colesville road and noticed something odd.The crosswalk signs were out, as were all of the stoplights.

At rush hour, this is a very busy intersection, and for a moment it seemed potentially dangerous to pedestrians like myself as well as to drivers... But as I stood there on the corner, I got to watch what happens when people are allowed to think for themselves... For about 10 minutes, I stood and watched (and filmed with my cellphone) as cars and pedestrians entered the busy intersection and simply paid careful attention to what they were doing.

No car hit any other, no pedestrians were injured, no roadway was blocked and everyone was able to get through the intersection in a reasonable amount of time. No one even had to honk. People made eye contact, communicated peacefully and politely, and without a single police officer to direct traffic, they directed themselves safely and efficiently.

This is what free people can do if given a chance.

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