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 by Barry Mulligan (pseud.)

W. J. Sidis 

 © 1936  Dorrance & Co.


Dust jacket photo contributed by Jay Dillon: Rare Books + Manuscripts


"The advocacy of the universal use of one-way streets is the
most fundamental suggestion embodied in this book (page 106)."




Note: The reference numbers in the topical outline and in the text, are the topic numbers. The reader will be obliged to assume that a reference to a topic to which other topics are subordinated, includes a reference to all of the subordinated topics. Where a subordinate topic is mentioned along with its leader topic, the reader is expected to refer to the leader topic, and then directly to the subordinate topic. The latter may, in turn, be a leader to other subordinate topics, and they are included in  the reference.

Topic No.
(Click to open)
1 The Age of Transportation
2 Safety is the Object of the Present Study
3 Four Main Aspects of the Traffic Problem
4     Evolution
5     Law
6         Drawbacks to Legal methods
7         Revocation of Drivers' Licenses
8     Education
9     Engineering
10         The Problem Originated in the "Horse Age"
11         Difficulties Encountered
12     Interrelation of the Four Aspects
13 Moral Aspects of the Traffic Safety Problem
14     Pedestrian Fatalities Regarded as Homicide
15     Psychological Aspects of the Traffic Safety Problem
16     Speed, Congestion, and Collisions (ref. 168)
17     The Courts and Pedestrian Fatalities
18     Pedestrians and Motorists
19 Intangibles of the Traffic and Transportation
20     Losses Due to Traffic Accidents
21     Social Aspects of the Transportation Problem
22 The Engineer's Problem of Street and Highway Safety
23     Space Limitations and Existing Structures
24     Radical Trend of Thought (ref. 253)
25     Proposals for Solution
26         The Kinematical Problem of the Vehicle
27         The Statistical Method of Study
28             The Correlation Between Collisions and Speed
29     City Planning
30         Relation of City Planning to Traffic Safety
31         Decentralization of the People from Densely Populated Areas
32         Zoning and Public Reservations
33             Proposed Community Areas
34                 Adapted to New Subdivisions
35                 Local Streets
36                 Express Streets
37             Motor-Vehicle Service Stations (ref. 57)
38         Mass Transportation, Including Street Layout, City Freight Transportation, and vehicle Parking
39             The "Balanced Grid" (Transportation and Vehicle Parking)
40             "Arteries"
41             Traffic Interceptors (ref. 199, 234, 235)
42             Parking
43                 Opposed Interests
44                 Double Parking
45                 Enforcing regulations
46                     Rotational Parking, Fig. 1
47                 Angle Parking―Indented Curbs, Fig. 1
48                 Elimination of the Parking lane (ref. 135)
49                 Effect on Pedestrians
50                 Combination-Use Buildings (ref. 57, 255, 256)
51                 Parking Garage Buildings
52                     Fees and Taxes
53                     Exterior Appearance
54                 Parking Squares
55                 Underground Parking
56                     Under Public Parks
57                     Under City Sidewalks
58                         Ramps, Fig. 2
59                         A Proposed Design, Fig. 3
60                 Midcity Buses for Downtown Transport
61                     Downtown Population Density
62                     The "All-Day Driver"
63                     Dissatisfactions with Parking Time Restrictions
64                     Proposed Buses Would Aid All Classes of Vehicles and Relieve Streets of Some Pedestrians
65                     All-Day Parkers Kept Out of the Central Business District
66                     Design and Adaptation of the Midcity Buses
67                         Selection of Type
68                         Effect of Street Congestion
69                         Platform buses for standees to secure rapid loading and unloading
70                         Motive Power
71                     Revamping street car tracks
72                         Ultimate Downtown Transport (ref.84)
73                 Complications Resulting from Taxicab "Pickups"
74                     Solution Requires Vacant Curb Space
75                 Residential Parking
76                     For Hotels and Apartment Houses
77                     For Detached Residences
78                     For "Row" Houses
79                         Rear Exit Garages
80                 Entrances to Large Buildings
81                     Esthetic Considerations
82                     The Problem Stated
83                     Railroad Stations (ref. 241)
84             Commercial Vehicles
85                 Economic Losses Due to Lack of Coordination
86                 Off-Street Loading and Unloading (ref. 57)
87                 General Solution of Economic Problems
                  (1) Responsibility for Safe Delivery of Goods
                  (2) Standardized Quality and Brands
88                 Relation to Safety (ref. 16)
89                     Proposal for Larger Side Clearances
90                     The Clear Course Rule (ref. 304)
91                     Speeds Which Are Too Slow (ref. 135)
                      (1) Remedy Is Segregation upon One-Way Streets
                      (2) Slow Speed Driving Cannot Be Eliminated
92                     Downtown Loading and Unloading Facilities (ref. 57)
93                     Signal and Other Lamps (ref. 198)
94                     Education of Drivers
95             Taxicabs
96                 Transient Nature of the Transportation Problem (ref. 95, 117, 124, 317, 325, 326)
97                 Relation to Safety Problem
98                     Taxicab Compared to Private Automobile (ref. 326)
99                     Three Traffic Situations Created by Taxicabs (ref. 73, 91, 104, 42)  
                      (1) Cruising
                      (2) Stopping for Patrons
                      (3) Reverse Turns
100                 Methods of Supervising Taxicabs
101                     The Headquarters System
102                     Cruising
103                     Cab Stands
                      (1) At Curb
                      (2) Off-street
104                 Proposals for Solution
105                     The Inner Taxicab Zone
106                     The Taxicab Supervisor
107                 The Municipality's Problem in Costs
108                     Comparison of Street Cars and Taxicabs, Figs. 4, 14 (ref. 117, 124)
109                     Comparison of Street Cars and Private Automobiles Figs. 5, 14 (ref. 42)
110                     Comparison of Taxicabs and Automobiles Figs. 4, 5
111                 The Municipality's Problem of General Passenger Transportation (ref. 234, 253, 316)
112             Traffic Coordination
113                 Balanced Street Grid Desired
114                 Downtown Terminals for Intercity Lines Eliminated, Figs. 6, 7, 49 (ref. 234)
115                 Intercity Railroads As Line Distributors (ref. 249)
116                 Subway and Elevated Railroads
117                 Street Cars and  Buses (ref. 124, 317, 325, 326)
118                 Private Automobiles and Taxicabs (ref. 326)
119                 Suburban Transportation and City Transit Lines (ref. 60, 42)
120                 Everyday Application (ref. 234, 309)
121                 Traffic Flow and Route Studies
122                 By-pass Highways
123             Mass Transportation Defined
124             Relation of Various Types of Passenger Transportation Vehicles to Safety
              (a) Rail-wheel Vehicles Safest
              (b) Private Automobiles Not So Prevalent in Subway-Skyscraper District
              (c) Private Automobiles Compete Primarily with Street Cars
              (d) Advantages of Street Cars
              (e) Congestion and Safety Problems Due to Competition of Automobile with Street car
              (f)  Safety Contingent upon New Methods in Street Railways
                  (1) Express Needs (ref. 141)
                  (2) Social Segregations (ref. 324)
                  (3) Feeder Buses (ref. 146)
                  (4) Midcity Buses (ref. 60)
125                 Solution of the Safety Problem Should Be Based upon Study of the Causes of Accidents
126                     Avoidance of Collisions
127                         Safety and Motor Vehicle Speeds
                          (1) Schedule Speeds Too Low
                          (2) Collisions Due to High Running Speed
                          (3) The Theory of the Safe Maximum Speed
                          (4) Street Efficiency Dependent upon Higher Safe Schedule Speed
                          (5) Safe Speed a Function of Lane Width
128                         Factors in Collisions
129                             The Vehicle
130                             The Driver
                              (1) Physical and Mental Defects
                              (2) Influence of the Vehicle Factor
                              (3) Influence of the Highway Factor
131                             The Highway the Chief Problem
132                                 Division of the Problem
                                  (1) As to Type of Location
                                  (2) As to Type of Path Intersection
                                  (3) As to Angle of Path Intersection
133                                 Moving Vehicles upon City Streets
134                                     Between-Intersection Traffic
135                                         Channelization
136                                             One-Way Streets
137                                                 The Universal Right-Hand Rule, Figs. 8, 9
138                                                 Head-On Collisions Eliminated
139                                             Vehicle Segregation
140                                             Two-Way Streets
141                                             One-Way Streets (ref. 137, 187)
142                                                 Bus Routes and Street Car Tracks
143                                                     Proposed Method of Conversion  (ref. 124f1)

                                                    Reversible Streets

145                                                     Arteries
146                                                 Safe Loading Platforms, Fig. 16
147                                         Summary (ref. 196)
148                                     The Four-Way, 90 Intersection
149                                         Curb Radius, Fig. 10
150                                         The Safety Intersection
151                                             Guard Walls
152                                             Application, Figs. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
153                                             Safety Isles
154                                                 Pedestrian Safety the Crux of the Traffic Problem
155                                                     Results of Signal Control
156                                                     Loss of Life by Children
157                                                     Pedestrian Regulation
158                                                         Pedestrian Practice                             
159                                                             At Points Not Subject to Control
160                                                             At Signal-Controlled Intersections, Figs. 21, 15, 16 (ref. 198, 185)
161                                                             At Officer-Controlled Intersections
162                                                             Delays to Pedestrians
163                                         Standardization of Intersections
164                                         One-Way Streets; Advantages at Intersections
165                                             Limited Number of Path Intersections, Figs. 17, 18, 19, 20
166                                             Safe Left Turns
167                                             Pedestrians Much Safer
168                                             Progressive Signal Timing Made Practicable (ref. 181)
169                                                 Standardization of Signals and of Signal Colors
170                                                 Significance of the Colors
171                                                         Red
172                                                         Green
173                                                         Yellow (Amber) (ref. 175)
174                                                     The Color Cycle
175                                                         Permissive Period Proposed, Fig. 21 (ref. 187, 160)
176                                                     Independent or Isolated Signals
177                                                     The Simultaneous Grouping of Signals
178                                                     The Alternate Progressive System
179                                                         Inherent Difficulties, Figs. 21, 22
180                                                     Reducing Signal Delays
181                                                     The Timing Problem, Fig. 23
182                                                         The "Solid Diagram" (ref. 210)
183                                                         Exact Calculations for An Irregular Plat, Figs. 24, 25, 26
184                                                         Ultimate Practicable Speeds
185                                                         Signal Phase Indication (ref. 187)
186                                                         Signal Connections and Control Equipment (ref. 183, 197)
187                                                         Controlled Left and Right Turns
188                                                             The Left Turn (ref. 165)
189                                                             The Right Turn (ref. 198)
190                                                         Signal Locations (ref. 174)
191                                                             Signal Housing
192                                                         Illumination and Protection
193                                                         Speed Markers
194                                                         Direction Marking
195                                                         Pedestrian Signals
196                                                         Deparking Signals
197                                                         Fire Department Signals (ref. 190, 186)
198                                                         Signals on Vehicles, Fig. 27 (ref. 187)
199                                     Special Intersections
200                                         City Platting, Ancient and Modern
201                                             Artistic Effects
202                                             Effect of Lack of Control
203                                             Street Width
204                                             Diagonal Streets
205                                         Identifying Features of Special Intersections
206                                         Classification and Method of Solution, Fig. 28
207                                         Effect of Angle of Street Intersection
208                                         Circles
209                                             Disadvantages
210                                             Advantages and Features (ref. 137)
211                                             Capacity
212                                             At Right-Angle, Four-Way Intersections
213                                         Effect of One-Way Operation
214                                             Comparative Study of Various Types
215                                                 The T-Intersection, Figs. 29, 30
216                                                 The Y-Intersection, Figs. 31, 32
217                                                 The Sharp X Four-Way Intersection, Fig. 33
218                                                 The Off-Set Four-Way Intersection, Figs. 34, 35
219                                                 The Special-Angle Four-Way Intersection, Figs. 36, 37, 38
220                                                 The Multiple Intersection
221                                                     Five-Way, Figs. 39, 40
222                                                     Five-Way with Offset, Figs. 41, 42
223                                                     Six-Way, for One-Way Traffic, Fig. 43 (ref. 210)
224                                                     Six-Way, for Special Direction One-Way Traffic, Fig. 44
225                                         The Compound Intersection, Fig. 45 (ref. 220)
226                                         Proposed New Type of Intersection
227                                             Present-Day Intersection Design (ref. 200)
228                                                 Effect of Diagonal Streets (ref. 200)
229                                             Proposed Diagonal Boulevards, Fig. 46
230                                             Standard Type Promotes Safety (ref. 234)
231                                             Five-Way Intersection Most Suitable, Fig. 47
232                                             Channelization and Signal Grouping of Vehicles
233                                             Signal Timing Calculations, Fig. 48 (ref. 183)
234         The City Plan
235             A Proposed Street Plat, Fig. 49 (ref. 114, 226)
236                 Focal Points
237                     Community Areas
238                     Zoning, Fig. 50
239                 City Growth
240                 Symmetry
241             Railroads
242                 Railroad Passenger Stations (ref. 83, 112)
243                     The Union Station
244                     Mid-City Terminals
245                     Local Transportation
246                         Improved terminal Connections Required (ref. 112, 124, 316)
247                     A Plan
248                         The Moving Platform, Fig. 51
249                 A Coordinated passenger Terminal System
250                 Local Freight Transportation in Metropolitan Districts
251                 Railroad Noise and Dirt
252                 Freight Terminals
253         The Supercity
254             The Complete-Existence Architectural Unit
255             Grade Intersection Elimination
256                 A Proposal
257                 Intercity and Suburban Roads
258                 Initial Planning for Town Sites
259                 Pedestrian Overpasses and Underpasses
260                 Elevators and Escalators
261             Regional Planning
262                 Importance of Transportation Studies
263     Intercity Highways
264         The U.S. Bureau of Public Roads
265         One-Way Operation Suggested
266         Motor Vehicle Headlights
267         Footpaths
268         Intersections (ref. 216, 216, 269, 199)
229         Speed Control
270         Superhighways
271     Railroad Grade Crossings
272         Elimination
273         Attitude of the Courts
274         Education of Drivers
275             Observed Progress
276             Psychological Aspects
277         Control by Physical Methods
278             Uncontrollable Factors
279             Signs and Signals
280 Compulsory Control Devices
281 Concomitant Features of a Grade Crossing
282             Proposals for Solution
283                 The Luminous Flashing Signal
284                     Standardized Signal Installations
285                     Standardized Reaction from Driver Required
286                     Defects Causing Excessive Stop Signal
287                 Standardization and Simplification
288                     One-Way Highway Traffic
289                         For City Streets
290                         For Intercity Highways
291                     Physical Features
292                 Summary
293     Accidents Due to Vehicle Out of Control
294         Skidding
295             Tire traction
296             Mechanics of the Skid, Fig. 52
297             Correcting A Skid by Means of the Steering Wheel
298             Skids Caused by Brake Application
299                 Four-Wheel Brakes Reduce Likelihood of Skidding
300             Road Crown As a Factor in Skids
301                 A Proposal; Riding the Crown of the Road Under One-Way Operation
302             Effect of Driving Torque (ref. 298)
303         Road Surface Conditions, Grades, Curves, and Vehicle Defects (ref. 293)
304     Driving Rules
305         The Right-Hand Rule
306         The Clear Course Rule (ref. 89)
307         The Clear Space Rule
308         Rules for Turns (ref. 175, 187, 198)
309 Relation of the Traffic Director's Office to other Departments
310     Traffic Safety Related to Questions of Policy
311     Anomalous Situation of the Traffic Director
312     Traffic Director's Office Subordinated to the Police Dept.
313     Traffic Director as Independent Municipal Official
314         The Traffic Inspector
315     The City Planner
316     The Public Utilities Commission
317         Street Car transportation
318             Recent Competition
319                 Substitution of Buses for Street Cars
320             The Flat Fare (ref. 117, 124)
321                 Defects in the Flat Fare Plan
322             The Zone Fare Scheme
323                 Fare Registration
324             Different Classes of Service (ref. 124f2)
325         Bus Transportation
326         Taxicab Transportation (ref. 95)
327 Selling Safety
328 Financial Considerations
329 Agreement Upon a Plan
330 A Program
331     For a City or Town
332     For Intercity Highways (ref. 269)




Library of Congress Control Number: 36001240 Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.) Personal Name: Mulligan, Barry, 1883- [from old catalog] Main Title: Collisions in street and highway transportation, Published/Created: Philadelphia, Dorrance & company, inc. [c1936] Description: 6 p. l., 15-310 p. illus., diagrs. 20 cm. Subjects: Traffic regulations. [from old catalog] Automobiles--Laws and regulations. [from old catalog] Automobiles--Accidents. [from old catalog] Accidents--Prevention. [from old catalog] LC Classification: HE5623 .M83


CALL NUMBER: HE5623 .M83 Copy 1 -- Request in: Jefferson or Adams Bldg General or Area Studies Reading Rms -- Status: Not Charged


LIBRARY OF CONGRESS ONLINE CATALOG Library of Congress 101 Independence Ave., SE Washington, DC 20540 EMAIL:



Email (11JUL06) from Michael J. P. Cunneen

The posting of this extremely far-sighted 1936 work on transport engineering is a valuable public service. I have done extensive research into the subject of one-way streets and "Mulligan" has been proved absolutely correct: they drastically reduce accidents, especially pedestrian accidents (by about 50%), make more efficient use of roadway space, & reduce delays. He was also quite correct that it would be a big challenge to convert traffic engineers and policy makers generally to the advantages of one-way streets.
I strongly recommend that:
1) ALL of this book be posted, especially the passages I cited below, and
2) Its central theme―one-way streets―emphasized. As Mulligan (Sidis) himself wrote:


"The advocacy of the universal use of one-way streets is the most fundamental suggestion embodied in this book (page 106)."

More quotations...
The best solution would extend the use of one-way streets to cover all streets...from a safety standpoint then, this is the most logical reason for adoption of one-way methods. (page 100)
The proposal is to use one-way methods upon all of these streets; to minimize the amount of vehicle stopping and waiting due to signals or other interference; to minimize the likelihood of vehicle collision; to satisfactorily provide for one-way street cars, local and express, upon the two streets, and to have safe and convenient conditions for pedestrians. (page 212)
Vehicles may better channelize themselves in lanes of adequate width, and higher speeds will be safe. (page 100)
The absence of conflicting vehicle paths upon one-way streets will give the motorist greater safety and peace of mind … two -way streets produce head-on collisions. The effect of one-way streets in permitting higher safe speeds is obvious. (page 104)
Safety considerations...Are wholly in favor of the one-way idea. (page 251)
The advocacy of the universal use of one-way streets is the most fundamental suggestion embodied in this book … there does not appear to be any important reason why streets in cities should be operated upon the two-way principle. (page 106)
There are several rather important advantages in a universal one-way system of street operation. (page 106)
One of the chief advantages of one-way operation will be in the simplification of the intersection problem. (page 132)
With a universal system of one-way streets, the troublesome and dangerous left turn becomes as simple as a right turn. (page 132)
Pedestrians Much streets help the pedestrian to an extraordinary extent. (page 134)
The one-way operation of roads will insure a large measure of safety for pedestrians crossing at any point. (page 256)
The one-way street proposal eliminates all turns at two of the four corners of an intersection, and pedestrians crossing any street will encounter but one stream of turning vehicles. (page 165)
The eight turning movements regularly possible upon two-way streets, will be reduced to two for one-way streets. (page 172)
Progressive Signal Timing Made Practicable...One of the important advantages of one-way streets is in connection with their effect upon the timing of automatic signals at intersection… for two-way operation the signal timing cannot, in general, be adjusted or equalized for the variables found in practice. (page 134)
Under one-way operation he noted that vehicles will be permitted to move past the progressively adjusted signals at higher schedule speeds than now prevail, and the loss of time in waiting and useless speeding will be greatly reduced. (page 164)
Traffic signals will undoubtedly be most successfully applied to city street traffic where they permit the largest amount of continuous driving, and this condition will be much easier to attain where city street grids are operated upon the one-way plan. One-way street operation permits equalization of the timing of the traffic signals to secure fairly continuous driving upon all streets, whereas two-way street operation requires considerable variation in vehicular speed and stopping and waiting. Equalization of signal timing is, in general, not possible for two-way street grids.  (page 271)
Intercity and Suburban Roads...If a universal one-way road system were in use, the construction of these over-pass and under-pass arrangements would be greatly simplified, and the cost and amount of land required would be greatly reduced. (page 144)
The entire road system of the country should be remapped to conform to the one-way idea. (page 251)
For Intercity Highways...One-way operation of intercity highways and country recommended on account of the greater convenience, comfort, and safety which would result. (page 271)
A study of ‘The T intersection”...and “The Y intersection" well into the author’s proposal for operation of all intercity highways and country roads by one-way methods. If traffic, operated one-way upon an intercity highway, met only T and Y intersections, there would be no intersecting vehicle paths, and intersection hazards would be greatly reduced. Vehicles entering or leaving the highway would make a left or right turn without crossing the through lanes. (page 255)
The literature of traffic engineering indicates that the leaders are groping in the dark for safety ideas, and the author believes that they will continue to do so. (page 251)

He further envisioned:

one-way operation of country roads and trunk line roads between the large population centers...(page 249)
It seems imperative for traffic experts to acquire the one-way road idea; after that its realization is assured. (page 250)
The question is, whether this new building can be directed in such a way as to make the one-way principle an actual realization, or whether it will continue to ignore this fundamental method, of which the safety and usefulness have been amply demonstrated. (page 250)


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