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Less Traffic Lights, Less Government Works!

May 29, 2013

By John K Rooney

A couple of years ago, our community was hit by a hurricane that brought gale force winds to Central Virginia. Power outages were widespread in the area which included about all of Petersburg for 1-3 days.  I remember driving through intersections without working stoplights and imagining how Hollywood might depict such a scenario.  It might go like this: traffic accidents at every intersection, riots breaking out across the city, rampant looting with general mayhem unleashed.  The reality was quite the opposite.  Drivers were polite, overall, and patiently taking turns with few accidents as I remember the time.  Obviously, there were exceptions, but society was coping and it even seemed as if my drive times were shorter than normal, compared to when traffic controls were fully operational.

Have you noticed lately there are fewer red lights on Petersburg’s streets?  It is working. The truth is, we just don’t need so many of those expensive traffic lights. I commend the city’s effort to cut cost and lower regulations on the road by eliminating some of those lights and allowing more right turns at red.  Most of our existence has been saturated with government rules, red tape and demands on our activities and possessions.  What if a great many of these ordinances, agencies, requirements, fees and taxes that we have tolerated for so long are also unnecessary, or even harmful?  What if many of these government intrusions into our lives are actually suffocating us, taking from us our vitality in slow motion?

Let’s experiment with eliminating other areas of big government that seem so permanent or necessary.   I’m convinced, they are not as important as we are led to believe.  The private sector and common sense can address most problems with much greater efficiency.

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