Umm, KC's streets are void of cars, even during rush hour. It's almost bizarre. And that's during the middle of a work day. On the weekends KC has some of the deadest streets of any large city I can think of unless there are multiple events or something and even then you will never be more than a few cars back at a traffic signal and waiting through more than one signal cycle never crosses your mind there.
Agreed which is why I'd really like to see some lanes shut completely down and turned into bike lines and/or BRT lanes/streetcar lanes.
I agree with most of the authors recommendations, although this one puzzled me:
Remove all one-way couplings. Every street will have two way traffic.
What does this achieve? It seems like one-way streets actually slow down traffic. Could you explain this a bit more?
Change all signalized intersections into a shared space area. As a temporary transition, shut off the traffic lights and paint the intersections to alert everyone that this is shared space.
This is actually quite interesting. IIRC, Tom Vanderbilt wrote a bit about this in "Traffic" when he talked about I believe it was Denmark, where an urban planner suggested getting rid of all street signs because we rely on them too much like non-thinking robots, which causes us to drive faster. If we don't have signs, we slow down, think about what we're doing, and this leads to fewer accidents and slower traffic. I think Matthew Yglesias has made this point as well, and has advocated for one traffic law - don't hit anyone. He reasons that we don't have pedestrian signs for walking on sidewalks, but we still manage to avoid slamming into each other, and cars should be the same way. I'm not sure I'm willing to go that far, but it reducing the signage and even lights might slow down traffic and reduce accidents.
Of course, traffic engineers sole task is to increase
traffic flow speed.