It’s apparently working in Europe:
It started in the Dutch city of Drachten: Anarchy on the roads, no signs, no lights. Now they are trying in in the German town of Bohmte: no signs or lights, ripping up the sidewalks and asphalt and replacing it all with cobblestones. It’s called “shared space,” a concept developed by Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman.
Speigel notes: According to the concept, road users have to negotiate their behavior with each other, rather than have it prescribed by rules — the idea being that people will pay more attention to what other road users are doing and hence cause fewer accidents. They report that the Drachten experience worked; accidents there have declined dramatically since the new regime was introduced.
“The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate. We’re losing our capacity for socially responsible behavior,” says Monderman. “The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people’s sense of personal responsibility dwindles.”