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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Attention Geniuses: Traffic      Home login  
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 Muchikiluck
Joined: 4/5/2007
Msg: 21
Attention Geniuses: TrafficPage 3 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Lol--who here remembers the opening scene from Office Space?

I'm a Land Use Planner (which is kinda like real life Sim City!), so I've taken transportation planning and a number of land use courses that have pointed at a number of obvious and not-so-obvious causes and solutions. There isn't a single solution because there isn't a single contributing factor.

Commute congestion is usually linked to the fact that most metropolitan areas are broken up into suburban areas around one central business district (CBD). Obviously, if you work one place and have to live in another, you'll have to get there and back EVERY day somehow. The existence of the CBD has a lot of people moving to or across that same place in their daily commute via freeways or arterial streets. With all of these people having to move about, it usually boils down to the design of the highway system. Good signal timing, traffic calming or flow control methods are handy, as is a really solid and accessible public transit system. Multi-lane highways, multi-level highways, carpooling programs (DRCOG has a program that helps arrange a carpool and actually will pay cab fare home in an emergency here in Denver!), commuter trains and light rail. Decentralization of business areas through economic development in more rural or suburban communities (simultaneously attracting businesses and their respective workforce) is a effective. The placement of educational institutions and event centers is important, also.

Again, the design of the city and traffic system is pivotal in the implementation of either method. Sometimes the public transit system can't be put in place, isn't affordable or accessible to the target consumer, the infrastructure isn't there, NIMBY or the 5th amendment (takings clause) gets in the way. In other words, some places are just plain hosed when it comes to transit.

Another thing that helps is efficient scheduling for events. We have several major event centers in the downtown area of Denver, so the idea is to avoid the influx of two waves of traffic at once.
 Muchikiluck
Joined: 4/5/2007
Msg: 22
Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 2/16/2008 10:18:05 PM
Of course I forgot a couple other great ideas! Special lanes for trucks or High Occupancy Vehicles (to encourage carpooling) are a couple o great ideas too.
 forumschick
Joined: 1/15/2008
Msg: 23
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Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 2/19/2008 2:43:40 PM
OP:

Perhaps if we stop reproducing!!! Just kidding!!!

Actually that alone would take care of traffic, amongst other things...
There is entirely way too many people in the world, but CA's got to be the worst place to drive and live for that matter!!!

Seriously, I am with the rest of the posters here; public transportation...
 kornbluth
Joined: 12/25/2006
Msg: 24
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Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 2/20/2008 5:48:07 AM
http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_04_09.html

Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption and Travel

This is USDOT's annual tally of vehicles, fuel, miles driven, miles of pavement, time stuck in gridlock, damned wrecks etc. Better bookmark it, if you're going to think about traffic. Looks like we have about 250 million vehicles for a population of 300 million, which turn about 180 billion gallons into smog every year. If you could put 180 billion gallons into a container 2 storeys tall, I wonder if that would take acres, or square miles, or what?

Forumchick's first answer is the only hope. Of course, people aren't likely to stop reproducing, but if they don't stop over-reproducing, they'll be throwing their babies into the pit to fight each other for air. As for transportation: transportation to where?
 pappy009
Joined: 2/3/2008
Msg: 25
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Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 2/20/2008 8:10:39 AM
Get off the main grid. Create more wind turbines to support public transportation and cut the energy cost. Each city that has an established population should support the idea of manufacturing there own personal power supply outside of Privatization. Cut cost. For electrical transportation or street cars. Smaller power plant suppying the community over the larger structured plants. To much waste with the bigger operating plants we have to day. Support the growth of Hemp for Bio fuels and give the farms back to the people. Hemp will grow on a rock and adds no pollution to the air. It will smell like your cooking french fries. The first Diesel motor ran on Hemp oil. plus hemp can be made into 25,000 different products and is in direct competition with the oil industry, thats why its illegal. What I am saying is the more self suficent we are the better the outcome, we can get the people out of there cars with inexpensive transportation city wide and constantly.

Theres a city in Western Canada I don't know where that runs there street cars on Wind Energy, turbines
 chrono1985
Joined: 11/20/2004
Msg: 26
Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 2/20/2008 9:10:01 AM
Part of the problem is in the drivers choice of route, and lack thereof an alternate route. I'll give you an example:

I-75 runs North and South through the center of my city. There's also I-69 which runs diagonally South East to North West corners. At the part in example, the highway merges and breaks in several spots. There's also a main road with lots of businesses a mile from the I-75 North to I-69 North East/West merger. There's another road about a half mile down that business filled road that goes to an on/off-ramp for I-69. There's also the I-69 Business loop which connects both of the highway, only a tiny fraction of a mile North from I-75's ramp to I-69. The same distance is covered in all routes mentioned, and there's a plethora of side roads between the on ramp of I-75 and the off ramp of I-69.

Can you guess the main route people take to get from that business road to the off ramp on I-69 North West? You probably guessed right, they get on I-75, take that to the merger, then get off on I-69's off ramp. The whole time all those side roads are almost completely empty, the business road has some traffic, but mostly at the on-ramp of I-75, the connecting road to I-69 has very little traffic. The business, baron.

I don't think the problem lies with roads as much as it does with the drivers not taking the time to think through there routes. I once calculated the amount of traffic going across I-75 and I-69 during peak usage hours and watched which cars got on and off at the two ramps mentioned. Then I calculated the cars spread across just the business road, the connecting road, and the business loop. There was a slight imbalance so I threw 3% of the cars onto back roads. No traffic buildup at all, short of an accident, which could get taken care of faster with less traffic involved.
 forumschick
Joined: 1/15/2008
Msg: 27
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Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 6/16/2010 11:32:15 PM
Perhaps this has been suggested already, and I apologize if it has, considering it is two am and didn't bother to read the three pages...

Anyway, another way would be to design an alternative route where you could divert commercial traffic exclusively during rush hours. Once there is an alternative, mandate all commercial vehicles (Semi trucks mainly) to stay out of the freeways throughout city’s downtown during rush hours. Although the majority of their drivers are rather skillful, they are definitely limited on speed considering their loads, and do tend to slow down the flow of traffic.

And if you don’t think that this idea is just brilliant, well I don’t know what to tell ya, all I can say is: "Give me a break okay, it is two am, you really shouldn't expect much from me or listen to me at this hour...”

Or any other time for that matter...

 x_file_
Joined: 9/30/2009
Msg: 28
Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 6/17/2010 8:46:47 PM

Given the power to make laws or allocate funding, how would you fix the traffic on the freeways?


Decrease population via:

Education:

Make university education mandatory and funded by the government. Generally speaking people of higher intelligence have timid sexual desires and are more responsible and wise - they won't f*ck anything that moves, or spread their legs for "love" or "popularity".

Life Style:

Make the pursuit of knowledge, excellence, and well-being a lifestyle. This goes hand in hand with education. The idea here is to direct a person on the path to becoming a better person, and therefore making better choices in every area of their life.

Significant reduction of poverty:

A person in poverty cannot follow the path of education, or the lifestyle of inquiry described above. Poverty, like in Africa or India leads to more of the same.

Military reduction:

All of the above can be achieved if the US reduces its military spending by half. Even then the US military will STILL be the largest in the world. In fact it will be the largest in the world even if all other countries combine their military powers.

Enforce birth control:

Government will only give child benefits to families who have planned, and have signed an agreement to have children prior to having children. Government will tax parents of "unplanned" children.

Revisit, reanalyze, clarify or redefine basic social concepts:

Few of my suggestions:

1. Separate parenthood from marriage, and abolish marriage. Parenthood and children should take higher priority in the scheme of things. Serious relationships should be based around parenthood and children, not marriage. Make new laws concerning relationships from the perspective of parenthood or "parentships", not marriage.

2. Abolish all current laws concerning male-female relationships. There should only be laws concerning "individuals". Get the government out of male-female relationships.

The idea here is to free people to pursuit whatever relationships they wish to form among one another while still be accountable to nature's consequences. (i.e. parenthood)
 JP1111
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 29
Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 6/17/2010 9:08:44 PM
The way you could beat the traffic is to use the highways at times when it is not too occupied. So if you shift is at 8:00, either leave at 6:00 and try to change your work schedule from 7:00 to 3:00 if possible. Use public transportation since, some bus routes use lanes reserved to only them.
 chrono1985
Joined: 11/20/2004
Msg: 30
Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 6/21/2010 4:04:12 PM
The problem with that JP1111 is that if enough people listen to your suggestion you'll only end up shifting the traffic into a different time frame.

Recently I seen a really cool analogy to traffic jams, it was tailored to implementing the math behind it into a video game, but held some neat real world observations. A common form of traffic jam is very close to a standing wave, forming when enough aggressive drivers speed up on a defensive driver only to slam their breaks causing the cars behind them to do the same. It forms a situation where all of the aggressive drivers slow down and close the gap between the car in front of them, with the car at the end of the wave speeding out of it.

Think of one of those desk ornament with the 5 metal balls hanging from strings, you pull back a ball on one side and release it, the 3 balls in center stay relatively still, while throwing the ball at the opposing into the air. Those balls in the center will almost never move any significant distance, instead transferring the force right to the one at the opposite end. Unlike that ornament cars have means to provide their own energy for movement, along with the capacity for correcting speed to compensate for a standing wave.

Steps can be taken to break a standing wave however, very simple steps at that. Instead of slowing down to the speed of those cars when you get to them, slow down gradually from a distance, and leave space in front of you for a few cars. In the worse case you'll just move the wave backward a bit, but with a little practice you can obliterate that wave before you even get to it, simply by giving it time to dissipate. It's a simple matter of physics, to fuel a stable reaction you must provide a constant flow of fuel, destabilize that flow and the reaction will dissipate.

It's the entire purpose of the question on the written test for a drivers license "How many car spaces ahead of you should you maintain for x amount of speed". No amount of law or road fixes will compensate for bad driving habits.
 FrankNStein902
Joined: 12/26/2009
Msg: 31
Attention Geniuses: Traffic
Posted: 6/22/2010 7:49:59 AM

Given the power to make laws or allocate funding, how would you fix the traffic on the freeways?

By training and educating the drivers to pay attention.

Next time you are in your car at an intersection with a left turning lane, observe the traffic. Watch how quickly large gaps occur and congestion is created and then creating an environment for a traffic ghost to be created.


This Japanese studied this.

Shockwave traffic jam recreated for first time
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13402

Traffic that grinds to a halt and then restarts for no apparent reason is one of the biggest causes of frustration for drivers. Now a team of Japanese researchers has recreated the phenomenon on a test-track for the first time.

The mathematical theory behind these so-called "shockwave" jams was developed more than 15 years ago using models that show jams appear from nowhere on roads carrying their maximum capacity of free-flowing traffic - typically triggered by a single driver slowing down.

After that first vehicle brakes, the driver behind must also slow, and a shock-wave jam of bunching cars appears, traveling backwards through the traffic.

The theory has frequently been modeled in computer simulations, and seems to fit with observations of real traffic, but has never been recreated experimentally until now....




IMO
Most of it comes down to lazy drivers that have no idea how and or posses the ability to keep a proper pace and thus they create traffic jams.
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