Jason Kottke linked to a very interesting article on The New York Times, about how some European cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam can insprire new traffic patterns designs. The author of this article, architect and urban designer John Massengale, has a few ideas for New York City:
Decrease the number of Manhattan streets that function as transportation corridors primarily devoted to moving machines through the city.
Design and build Slow Zones where people actually drive slowly.
Make the transportation corridors that remain better urban places, with a better balance between city life and moving cars.
All great ideas, and I think Paris could really use one or two to improve the mess that is car traffic here.
There is surprinsigly no mention of the promises of autonomous cars: reduced number of cars on the roads in the long run, radically different traffic patterns, improved safety, etc. This article on Slate explains this very well.
There is also no mention of electric vehicles, and their undeniable positive impacts on air pollution and city noise.