The first rule of Chinese traffic: there are no rules

Interesting article in Salon about a new school of traffic design that says to imitate the Chinese and let bikes, pedestrians, and automobiles share the road equally. Remove the traffic lights, road markings, street signs.
At first, I cringed at the suggestion. It seems that everytime I'm back in Taiwan I see the scattered remains of a motorcycle in the middle of an intersection at some point during the trip. The cab rides in Taiwan or Thailand are more terrifying than any NYC cab ride will ever be because drivers fly through single lane back streets through blind intersections without so much as a sideways glance. It's like some form of transportation roulette.
And there's Seattle. When I first moved there, I was shocked at how many four-way intersections have no stop signs or stoplights whatsoever. Right of way goes to the first car across.
But then again, I haven't witnessed any accidents at these blind intersections in Seattle in all my seven years there. And I felt safer cycling in China on roads with motorcycles, scooters, oxen, buses, cabs, and construction trucks than I do in downtown U.S. cities where cars feel they have the right to run down anyone in their path.
I think the attitude and beliefs of the automobile drivers are key. If they believe they have to share the road with pedestrians and cyclists, they'll drive that way. I've seen it in the respect drivers grant to cyclists in France, and the way Seattle drivers stop to let pedestrians cross the street around Green Lake. In NYC, on the other hand, drivers feel they own the road, and while pedestrians cross streets wherever or whenever they wish, it's at their own risk of being pancaked by a 3,500 lb cab.
The effectiveness of these varying schools of traffic design seem measurable. I'll find out very soon how well Chicago drivers treat cyclists.