Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Traffic Rules

Yesterday it took me an hour and a half to get home from work.. Hour and a half of driving time.. Normally it takes me 25-30 mins.. Obviously, I thought something should be done about it.. The strange part is, that I have no idea what the problem was, since I decided to take a diversion (and got stuck in an equally bad jam there as well)..
 
I am also reading a book called the Undercover Economist (not while driving, don't worry.. It's too dark at nights). Highly recommended. My respect for Economics and economists has gone up tremendously since reading Freakonomics, and has gone up a step since this book. Why people do what they do, is such a great mystery, and economics attacks this problem. The author, Tim Harford, has addressed problems as diverse (and day - to - day) as coffee bars, supermarkets, and traffic through the eyes of an economist (an undercover economist) and has shown ways and means to solve the queues and crowd through economic incentives. He has shown the problem with the point of charging an upfront tax while buying a vehicle and not charging individual drives, and how this correlates with the traffic problem. London now has a charge for entering the city, and this has helped in a dramatic reduction in the use of the cars. Which brings me to my main question.
 
Can we have an economist in Pune solve the traffic problem??
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