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Old 01-25-2010, 03:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
This doesn't always work, as there are jerks who keep aggresively accelerating and braking, instead of driving smoothly, even though they have no chance of passing.

Maybe ecodrivers should have flashing lights and a sign in the back saying:

Traffic wave cancellation lead car.
Follow at safe distance. Do not pass.
Dziekuje, Piwo! I got a good laugh out of that one.

Unfortunately, I don't think that would work in the Chicago rush hour traffic (or any hour, for that matter.) I've tried that style of driving myself, and I've noticed that the most cars subscribe to the "nature abhors a vacuum" (traffic jams abhor more than one car length?) concept. If there is an opening in any lane, it will immediately be filled with another car.

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Old 01-26-2010, 12:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I noticed this when I started hypermiling. Usually, when I was a left laner, I was the one flipping back and forth trying to get another car ahead and going gas/brake, gas/brake.

I noticed another advantage to hypermiling and similar to this. There is one merge where there is a busy 3 lane onramp entering my 8 lane divided highway on the right. One by one the lanes merge and end. In my left lane days I ALWAYS was in the left lane and had to come to almost a complete stop when this traffic merged down into our 4 lanes. Then I would gas/brake, gas/brake along for maybe to mile to get out of it. Traveling at 60 mph (psl 65 mph) in the right lane I noticed that I would not even have to slow down most days. In fact I might have to slow down, not stop, once every 2 or 3 weeks. What I see is that I used to be right in a pack and would have to brake because all the other vehicles were braking. For some reason, by me going a few mph slower, I am just about always between the packs of vehicles when I reach this merge. Also the merging vehicles all zip over to the left ASAP and cause those lanes to have more traffic entering and everyone leaving the left lanes.

I know I am not adjusting my speed to avoid the traffic, this is my regular commute and I have the speeds down. I come to the top of a hill before this spot doing 55 mph, and I can see the traffic merging ahead. I accelerate to 60 mph (slight downhill) just before the merge and by the time all the lanes have merged (slight uphill) I am going 55 mph and hit my exit at 50 mph FASing to the light with just enough speed so as not to piss folks behind me off.

Just thought it was interesting that by going a little slower than the major flow of traffic I have avoided using brakes for this merge.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadisonMPG View Post
A secondary wave would result. It only takes on person slowing down to start a huge wave.

OK! LET ME VENT! I HAVE BAD MEMORIES!
i was in the air force. we marched a lot.. it was boring, but efficient.
along roads where we had to be single file, we would walk.

my lastname initial is near the end of the alphabet, so i was one of the few on the end of the line. the waves produced at the front of the line were so exaggerated once they reached us at the end.
it was terribly hard and painful to walk a few steps then run to keep up.. walk.. run alot.. walk.. run alot, repeat.

i think everyone should experience hours of that. just so i don't resent it so bad.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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...it's also called "rubber-banding" where traffic cyclically 'bunches up" and "stretches out" over and over again.

...one (ugh!) countermeasure to this are California's "on-ramp" traffic-lamps which keep the number of "on-rampers" trying to get onto the freeway at a single time (usually right after a cross-street red-light) from "crowding" the slow-speed (right) freeway lane.

...a single Highway Patrol car in the high-speed lane also works too.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NiHaoMike View Post
What if there was a group of hypermilers doing "wave cancellation" in each lane such that they cannot be passed?
Back in the Seventies during the gas crisis, when the 55 MPH speed limit was the national obsession and became law, some state highway patrols decided it would be a good idea for them to drive three patrol cars abreast of each other on interstate highways at 55 to keep traffic from passing them. They stopped that practice because it was found to be unsafe.

Hey, if anyone wants to drive more slowly than other traffic, that's their privilege - but not in the left lane. Live and let live.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Over the past year or so I've noticed a trend toward a higher percentage of the drivers behind me noticing what I'm up to and staying patiently behind me rolling up to the stop light. And a curious skeptic will then notice with how much remaining momentum we can cruise across the intersection when light turns green. So there's hope for mankind yet.

BTW here's a pretty cool JavaScript microsimulation of road traffic:
Welcome to the Physics and Traffic Homepage of Martin Treiber
You can adjust the various traffic volumes and observe the effects.

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