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Friday, April 14th, 2006

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FasTrak for traffic lights
FasTrak lets drivers cruise through toll plazas without slowing down (much), why not apply this to traffic lights? As I approach a red light, I can choose to pay some small amount to have the light turn green for me. State DOT or the City gets some share of that, *but*, so do the drivers on the other side that get an early red. Seems only fair, no?

In fact, let's make this a market. Every driver can bid for the state of the light they wish to have. If you win, you pay, if you lose, you get a consolation prize. Everyone who wins pays a share, but of course you might get swept through without having bid; sometimes you're lucky. Everyone who bid but lost shares the consolation. The more people who lost, the less you get. Maybe you should have bid more to get the green.

I don't think this ideas is an entirely crazy one. I surely wouldn't mind paying $1-$2 each day to not stop on the way home. What's wild is that this would create an industry of drivers who intentionally look for red lights and just *sit there* and earn money because other drivers frequently outbid them for the greens.

Surely, this idea has been suggested before. Time for some web searching...

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