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Old 10-10-2008, 03:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Article: Closing Roads Reduces Congestion?

I know, the title seems like nonsense -- but Scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have identified trends in driver traffic decisions that mimic network data movement. The phenomenon is akin to Braess' Paradox, which is described in WIRED.com's blog network.

My biggest question is the performance of FE vs. route choice. Is there an instance where you have outsmarted other drivers and taken the road less traveled and achieved better fuel consumption?

(Take note that the term Fuel Consumption is used in the inquiry. It is possible to attain better overall FE with route choice, but end up actually using more fuel in the process.)


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Old 10-10-2008, 01:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Guess I don't get how it would work in the real world. They are assuming that everybody is going to the same place.

I can get better mpg when taking the old Mackinaw trail instead of the freeway when going downstate. I believe it is mainly due to the wind from the clear-cut freeway, plus driving the minimum speed is not the greatest feeling when everyone else is going considerably over the speed limit.

Plus its not just better mpg. Several times coming home, I filled up at the same station downstate first then came straight home. But when taking old side road, I found that it is 150 miles, and taking the freeway is 155 miles. More fuel saved.

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Old 10-10-2008, 04:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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In city driving, nope, never. Every time I tried to outsmart the traffic route wise, I ended up with an higher fuel consumption and more wasted time. What's worked best for me it to take the shortest route and manage how I deal with the traffic as best as I can.

In interurban driving though, I often tell my mapping software to pull me an itinerary excluding highways. I always have lower fuel consumption when I avoid highways. Not only is FE higher, but the trip is often a percent or two shorter. However, average speed for the trip is significantly lower, which often makes a 2:30 hours highway trip between Quebec and Montreal into a 4 hours scenic route joyride.


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