Narrative of City Highways and the History of Traffic Lights


Cities and traffic jams are a common phenomenon that occurs in almost all cities in various parts of the world from ancient times to the present. Various factors trigger the emergence of traffic jams, whether caused by the growth in the number of vehicles crossing roads in the city, problems with city governance, lack of driver awareness, and others. This paper discusses the history of the beginnings of traffic lights as a solution to traffic jams in cities and order on roads. This type of research is a literature review that uses data sourced from searching various related references through books, articles and other types of scientific work. The results of the research show that historically, the forerunner to the emergence of traffic lights in their manual form began in London, England in the 19th century. In its development, electric traffic lights were discovered in 1912 in the United States.


[1] P. D. Norton, Fighting traffic: the dawn of the motor age in the American city. Mit Press, 2011.

[2] S. Soehodho, “Motorization in Indonesia and its impact to traffic accidents,” IATSS Res., vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 27–33, 2007.

[3] M. Senbil, J. Zhang, and A. Fujiwara, “Motorization in Asia: 14 countries and three metropolitan areas,” IATSS Res., vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 46–58, 2007.

[4] W. Hook and M. Replogle, “Motorization and non-motorized transport in Asia: Transport system evolution in China, Japan and Indonesia,” Land use policy, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 69–84, 1996.

[5] J. W. Creswell and C. N. Poth, Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage publications, 2016.

[6] A. Rahman et al., Metode Penelitian Ilmu Sosial. Bandung: CV WIDINA MEDIA UTAMA, 2022.

[7] H. Snyder, “Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines,” J. Bus. Res., vol. 104, pp. 333–339, 2019.

[8] R. B. Mitchell and C. Rapkin, Urban traffic: A function of land use. Columbia University Press, 1954.

[9] L. Picard, Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840--1870. Macmillan, 2006.

[10] “The Man Who Gave Us Traffic Lights,” BBC Nottingham Website, London, 2014. [Online]. Available:

[11] L. F. P. De Oliveira, L. T. Manera, and P. D. G. Da Luz, “Development of a smart traffic light control system with real-time monitoring,” IEEE Internet Things J., vol. 8, no. 5, pp. 3384–3393, 2020.

[12] J. Winter, London’s teeming streets, 1830-1914. Routledge, 2013.

[13] G. O. da Silva, “Traffic lights optimization of an intersection through the application of metaheuristics.” 2022.

[14] D. Bailey, How the Automobile Changed History. ABDO, 2015.

[15] A. Finkelstein, “Road Power: The Politics of American Highway Development, 1900-1939,” 2018.

[16] R. J. Dilger, Federalism issues in surface transportation policy: A historical perspective, vol. 40431. Congressional Research Service Washington, DC, 2015.

[17] G. Kolko, Railroads and regulations, 1877-1916, vol. 2329. Princeton University Press, 2015.

[18] A. Billingsley and C. H. Caldwell, “The church, the family, and the school in the African American community,” J. Negro Educ., vol. 60, no. 3, pp. 427–440, 1991.

[19] J. J. Corn, “Highways to Heaven: The Auto Biography of America.” JSTOR, 1995.
How to Cite
AHMADIN, Mr.. Narrative of City Highways and the History of Traffic Lights. Jurnal Kajian Sosial dan Budaya: Tebar Science, [S.l.], v. 7, n. 3, p. 128-131, nov. 2023. ISSN 2597-4114. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 23 june 2024. doi:
Artikel Vol 7 No. 3 September-Desember 2023