Saturday I sat in traffic in Seattle with the traffic backed up miles in both directions while the express lanes remained closed. Opening those lanes would have cleared out at least one direction.

Ten years ago Cisco, IBM, and other big IT companies promoted the “Smart City” as a way for cities to make themselves the envy of the world if they would only spend millions on new software and sensors. But cities can save that money. All they have to do is designate someone to work weekends and flip those switches when they see Google Maps traffic turn red or black. That’s a matter of an attentive employee and a supervisor who cares about the quality of everyday life.