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An article from San Francisco indicates:

...in the days since the more secure movable

median barrier was installed, the average speed of drivers on the approach from the north has jumped even though the speed limit was lowered from 55 to 45 miles per hour.

"We're really seeing unreasonable speeds on the bridge, much faster than before," said Priya David Clemens, a representative for the Golden Gate Bridge District.

a)    Explain to the transportation officials why the presumption that a divider would increase net safety would lead to a violation of the equilibrium conditions in a simple economic model of this behavior.


b)    Does the fact that drivers chose to go faster when the wall was present imply that drivers are irrational? I argue no. But explain how, according to a simple model, it would appear that they are irrational.


c)    Based on your answer in (b) above, how would you amend a simple economic model to ensure that the conclusions you draw based on the observations of how people actually behaved once the barriers were installed do not appear irrational? (Hint: recall the selection in Friedman's textbook discussing the "irrationality" of 18th century British soldiers brandishing bright red uniforms and marching in neat formations, the "error" in criticizing them is that we look at the British from the standpoint of opposing armies and they appear to be irrational for fighting in the way that they do)

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