William Phelps Eno (1858 - 1945)

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About William Phelps Eno


William Phelps Eno (June 3, 1858-December 3, 1945) was an American businessman responsible for many of the earliest innovations in road safety and traffic control. He is sometimes known as the "Father of traffic safety", despite never having learned to drive a car himself.

He graduated from Yale University in 1882, where he had been a member of Skull and Bones.

Though automobiles were rare until Eno was an older man, horse-drawn carriages were already causing significant traffic problems in urban areas like Eno's home town of New York City. In 1900, he wrote a piece on traffic safety entitled Reform in Our Street Traffic Urgently Needed. In 1903, he wrote a city traffic code for New York, the first such code in the world. He designed traffic plans for New York, London, and Paris.

Among the innovations credited to Eno are the stop sign, the pedestrian crosswalk, the traffic circle, the one-way street, the taxi stand, and pedestrian safety islands.

In 1921 Eno founded the Eno Foundation for Highway Traffic Control, today known as the Eno Transportation Foundation. The Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to studying and promoting transportation safety. Eno was one of the first honorary members of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

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William Phelps Eno ("Father of Traffic Safety")'s Timeline

June 3, 1858
December 3, 1945
Age 87