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Frank Lee 05-04-2015 03:03 AM

Ten counter-intuitive traffic facts
 
10 Weird Things About Traffic And Your Commute - Tested

1. Drivers can't maintain consistent speeds and following distances. I live on an arrow-straight street and can hear all the herky-jerky throttle modulation issues.

2. Zipper merge. Problem with that is when motorists on the main drag are more interested in protecting their number in the queue than letting anyone merge in at all. Yes I'm talking to you, Omahaians. Something so simple frequently turns ugly there. :mad:

3. Bad drivers improve traffic flow...? Then we should have awesome throughput!

4. Hiding accidents reduces slowdowns. Yup. Rubbernecking.

5. Traffic lights are run by sensors. Many but not all are. In my State a motorcycle can proceed on Red after stopping and ensuring the coast is clear.

6. Jams move in waves.

7. Commutes over 45 minutes lead to more divorces. And yet so many think it's worth it.

8. Mass transit reduces congestion. A study says so.

9. Bigger roads (more lanes) increase congestion. And yet everybody thinks that is the solution. :rolleyes:

10. More roads (more routes) increase congestion. Seems to be true. :(

litesong 05-04-2015 01:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 477913)
10 Weird Things About Traffic And Your Commute - Tested

1. Drivers can't maintain consistent speeds and following distances. I live on an arrow-straight street and can hear all the herky-jerky throttle modulation issues.

2. Zipper merge. Problem with that is when motorists on the main drag are more interested in protecting their number in the queue than letting anyone merge in at all. Yes I'm talking to you, Omahaians. Something so simple frequently turns ugly there. :mad:

3. Bad drivers improve traffic flow...? Then we should have awesome throughput!

4. Hiding accidents reduces slowdowns. Yup. Rubbernecking.

5. Traffic lights are run by sensors. Many but not all are. In my State a motorcycle can proceed on Red after stopping and ensuring the coast is clear.

6. Jams move in waves.

7. Commutes over 45 minutes lead to more divorces. And yet so many think it's worth it.

8. Mass transit reduces congestion. A study says so.

9. Bigger roads (more lanes) increase congestion. And yet everybody thinks that is the solution. :rolleyes:

10. More roads (more routes) increase congestion. Seems to be true. :(

1. Radar linked to brake, accelerator & other vehicles would reduce throttle variations. Yeah, but the whole electronic inter-tied system would have electrical malfunctions, like Boeing is having with their 787's. Redundant systems would help......'cept fer all the money, which we don't have(hey, that there bridge jest collapsed).
2. Ah....the radar link would help dat.
3. Bad driver throughput? Ya talkin' about T-bones?
4. I rubberneck with difficulty with my arthritis. Give everybody arthritis of the neck.
5. Let Smart traffic lights know all the traffic within a half a mile & inter-tie the close traffic lights. Oh, yeah, 'nother bridge jest fell down.
6. Ban spreading strawberry jam on waving flags.
7. My wife takes Fridays off, now.
8. 10% of the drivers switching to bicycles helps congestion, too.
9. Lettin' rich people drive the commuter lane ain't goin' ta hep, neether.
10. Disneyland "flymobiles" ain't goin' ta help..........neether.

UFO 05-04-2015 05:38 PM

1. True. Especially if one tries to follow more than 1 vehicle length. That tailgater is only too happy to punch it, cut you off, and brake right in front of you.
2. No kidding. Then there is the person that decides they will take that slot that's not open by stopping and blocking everyone else behind them.

darcane 05-04-2015 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 477913)

As I was reading through these, each one I had either already observed on my own or intuitively made sense to me...

until I got to number 9.

So, I tried to find the study itself:
http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/pub...tecipa-370.pdf
It's rather difficult to digest, but a lot of what they base their conclusions on seems sketchy (i.e. calculating availability of mass transit not with mass transit data... but on the 1972 presidential voting record and using 1898 train maps in determining metropolitan areas) The direct 1-1 correlation mentioned in the article only seems to appear in their estimates, empirical data has a much more broad correlation, and even that seems suspicious to me.

This paper also directly contradicts Item 8 on the list, stating "that public transit does not affect traffic levels."

Frank Lee 05-04-2015 08:58 PM

Public transit DOES affect traffic levels.

darcane 05-04-2015 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 478010)
Public transit DOES affect traffic levels.

Exactly.

The study that item 9 is based on "proves" that it does not.

jamesqf 05-05-2015 12:04 AM

#1: Whether people are physically able to maintain consistent speed & distance is irrelevant, since almost no one even tries.

4) Maybe rubbernecking at accidents, or maybe all the road signs saying slow down for emergency vehicles, and cops waving you to go even slower through the scene.

7-10) Ah, the benefits of telecommuting, plus flexible work hours :-)

Hersbird 05-05-2015 12:08 AM

I agree #9 is specifically designed to be misleading. It says traffic increases on roads when you add a lane or two and decreases on roads when you take a lane away. What they don't say is that traffic is just moving from or to another road. So take a lane away and it doesn't get any better or worse on that road but that traffic goes somewhere else and makes it worse there. Same thing if you add a lane, more traffic goes there and it gets better somewhere else. They did a "road diet" in our town taking a lane away from a major cross town and sure traffic didn't get any worse there because nobody goes that way now, traffic on the next main road to the north and the one to the south both got worse with all the people avoiding the main road. Worst part is now people just use side streets more as well.
One thing they need to keep in mind is #2, don't add a lane in heavy traffic just to take it away a mile later. Adding a passing lane in rural areas helps move traffic safely around slow cars and trucks, but if the traffic is slow because it is bumper to bumper the passing lane just causes problems. The highway north of San Francisco bay used to be a great example of what not to do.

niky 05-05-2015 12:24 AM

#3 only works if "polite" drivers space themselves out for bad drivers.

Here, the opposite takes effect. "Good" drivers often resort to tail-gating to prevent "bad" drivers from cutting into line... leading to more snarls and micro-shockwave jams.

-

#7: 1-2 hour commute for nearly ten years before we married. It was rough, but we survived.

#9: Sad, but true.

#10: Seen this firsthand. Electronic signboards urging people to take the less congested routes seem like a good idea.

P-hack 05-05-2015 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 477913)
9. Bigger roads (more lanes) increase congestion. And yet everybody thinks that is the solution. :rolleyes:

I'm a bit sceptical about that claim, you find bigger roads where there is already lots of traffic. And there's a few spots where an offramp is so backed up that only the left lane is still moving (the zipper is stuck).

Need a big grain of salt for some of those. Especially the "you can't drive at only one speed", well if you have an ijiit at the front of the line and you are riding their tail, of course not.

Fat Charlie 05-05-2015 09:21 AM

Big roads just aim a firehose at the side streets that can't handle the flow.

UFO 05-05-2015 10:50 AM

I've been commuting the same route in Denver for almost 13 years. In that time I-25 has been widened 2 lanes, but my travel time has not changed.

It's just like you give a programmer more memory, they just code until it's full.

litesong 05-05-2015 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hersbird (Post 478028)
.....#9..... says traffic increases on roads when you add a lane or two..... Adding a passing lane in rural areas helps move traffic safely around slow cars and trucks.....

Yes, adding roads to make travel faster, causes people to move out further from their work, due to lower costs of living. Then traffic builds till the added roads are jammed again.....& costs of living (& transporting) rise, again.

"slow cars and trucks" are defined by self-righteous leadfoot drivers as people going the 55mph speed limit. Self-righteousness lets leadfooters go 80+mph in the passing lane......till the traffic jams again.....or a leadfooter causes major accidents.

jamesqf 05-05-2015 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by litesong (Post 478082)
"slow cars and trucks" are defined by self-righteous leadfoot drivers as people going the 55mph speed limit. Self-righteousness lets leadfooters go 80+mph in the passing lane......till the traffic jams again.....or a leadfooter causes major accidents.

Not always the case, as for instance the person yesterday driving his Cadillac at about 50-55 in the left lane (plenty of room in the other two lanes), where the speed limit is 65, and most sensible people speed up a bit over that because it's the bottom of a long hill, where you want a running start. Don't know how many people (besides me) had to swerve around him, or brake suddenly.

Hersbird 05-05-2015 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by litesong (Post 478082)
Yes, adding roads to make travel faster, causes people to move out further from their work, due to lower costs of living. Then traffic builds till the added roads are jammed again.....& costs of living (& transporting) rise, again.

"slow cars and trucks" are defined by self-righteous leadfoot drivers as people going the 55mph speed limit. Self-righteousness lets leadfooters go 80+mph in the passing lane......till the traffic jams again.....or a leadfooter causes major accidents.

You realize the population is still growing right?

As far as passing lanes, I don't know how it is where you live but the slow cars and trucks I am talking about are 20 mph under the speed limit. That is usually until the passing lane comes and then they speed up for some magical reason. Who is the self righteous one? I'm a live and let live type. Drive slow if you want, pass if you want, but try and make things as easy as possible for everyone. If I'm going slow I use pullouts, slow down when a passing lane comes up, and wait for other traffic to go by before pulling out.

Frank Lee 05-05-2015 02:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hersbird (Post 478087)
You realize the population is still growing right?

Lovely, isn't it. Pullouts should be used more often.

UFO 05-05-2015 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesqf (Post 478085)
Not always the case, as for instance the person yesterday driving his Cadillac at about 50-55 in the left lane (plenty of room in the other two lanes), where the speed limit is 65, and most sensible people speed up a bit over that because it's the bottom of a long hill, where you want a running start. Don't know how many people (besides me) had to swerve around him, or brake suddenly.

Yet another reason to look farther ahead in traffic, keep your distance, and adjust speed in advance accordingly. If you are doing it right, you never have to brake on the highway.

litesong 05-06-2015 12:44 PM

litesong wrote:
people going the 55mph speed limit. Self-righteousness lets leadfooters go 80+mph in the passing lane..... till a leadfooter causes major accidents.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesqf (Post 478085)
Not always the case.....

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hersbird (Post 478087)
You realize the population is still growing right?
Who is the self righteous one?

I described self-righteous leadfooters going 20+mph over the speed limit. james & Hersbird reply by describing slow pokes in the left lane(not what I was talking about), but neither mentioned the 20+mph leadfooters. james & Hersbird talk about people driving the speed limit(what I was talking about) as being slow. If james & Hersbird get tickets for speeding, please talk to the patrol officer about slow drivers.

Hersbird 05-06-2015 01:26 PM

I never complained about people driving the speed limit, you must have inferred that from my post. When I said slow cars and trucks I mean slow as in under the speed limit. I really don't care about that either, but what chaffs me is those people speed up as soon as there is a passing lane or other opportunity to pass. That is being way more self righteous then somebody going over the speed limit not affecting anybody else. I drive as a profession, I am very aware of how my driving effects others every secound, and will do everything I can to make everybody's life easier.

jamesqf 05-06-2015 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by litesong (Post 478214)
I described self-righteous leadfooters going 20+mph over the speed limit. james & Hersbird reply by describing slow pokes in the left lane(not what I was talking about), but neither mentioned the 20+mph leadfooters.

I didn't mention people going 20+ over the speed limit because they seldom cause problems for the rest of us, or at least those of us who follow the "slower traffic keep right" rule.

And if rooting out self-righteousness is your goal, I suggest investing in a mirror :-)

redpoint5 05-06-2015 08:25 PM

The reason why it doesn't matter how many lanes are added is because inconsiderate people stay in the "fast lane" until the last moment before their exit, slam on the brakes, cut across all lanes of traffic causing all other lanes to hit their brakes, and then they finally exit the freeway.

By causing traffic to slow down or stop just for a single instance, that traffic pulse will exist for minutes to hours later.

If people would choose the lane they need and stick to it, making minimal lane changes, traffic would flow much smoother. People don't care that their aggressive driving, while saving them 2 seconds, will cost thousands of people extra seconds on their commute.

gone-ot 05-07-2015 05:09 PM

The German Autobahn Rule: "...the LEFT, high-speed lane is for PASSING, NOT for CRUISING in."

Xist 05-08-2015 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Old Tele man (Post 478391)
The German Autobahn Rule: "...the LEFT, high-speed lane is for PASSING, NOT for CRUISING in."

They also know how to merge!

I am surprised at how many people drive in the slow lane around here. I change lanes as they come up behind me and sometimes I end up in the fast lane!

BlueFoot 05-08-2015 07:44 PM

This site has a terrific analysis of many traffic problems and how even one driver doing it right can make a difference, however slight.
SCIENCE HOBBYIST: Traffic Waves, physics for bored commuters

Chrysler kid 05-13-2015 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueFoot (Post 478578)
This site has a terrific analysis of many traffic problems and how even one driver doing it right can make a difference, however slight.
SCIENCE HOBBYIST: Traffic Waves, physics for bored commuters

I want to say I was in Houston and they have traffic lights to merge on ramps onto the highway that are triggered by congestion. It didn't seem to work that day but interesting none the less.

Usually I can pick out other manual transmission cars in traffic and we make a convoy trying to reduce the amount of times we have to depress the clutch, I'd rather cruise at 20mph than constant stop and go

BlueFoot 05-14-2015 12:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chrysler kid (Post 479241)
I want to say I was in Houston and they have traffic lights to merge on ramps onto the highway that are triggered by congestion. It didn't seem to work that day but interesting none the less.

Usually I can pick out other manual transmission cars in traffic and we make a convoy trying to reduce the amount of times we have to depress the clutch, I'd rather cruise at 20mph than constant stop and go

We have those lights here too. They kind of work by spacing out the on ramp traffic so people merge in better. It wouldn't be necessary if people just let people in.

By cruising at a constant 20mph with a large buffer space in front of you, you can smooth out traffic flow for everyone behind you. If everyone did the same we wouldn't have the stop and go traffic.

Chrysler kid 05-14-2015 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlueFoot (Post 479244)
We have those lights here too. They kind of work by spacing out the on ramp traffic so people merge in better. It wouldn't be necessary if people just let people in.

By cruising at a constant 20mph with a large buffer space in front of you, you can smooth out traffic flow for everyone behind you. If everyone did the same we wouldn't have the stop and go traffic.

Dallas has gotten better with that, or at least I can get other traffic to start doing it with me and eventually get traffic back into a better pace

That being said traffic is absolutely impossible on major highways after 6:30 am. I don't know why they even bother doing traffic updates on the news. Everybody knows your gonna get backed up on every highway

I would like to start a petition though about getting fuel effecient cars and not just hybrids in the hov lane. Cars with an EPA rating over 35mpg mixed driving or sub compact should be considered hybrids.

Unfortunately that would rule out a few hyper milers but the civic hx and vx and hatchbacks should be moved in as well as the metro and diesel cars.

Or just have the obd1 inspection machines rate fuel effeciency in all cars yearly to give out EV effecient vehicle ratings

Frank Lee 05-14-2015 10:06 AM

Quote:

Everybody knows your gonna get backed up on every highway
All's y'alls like it that way. Or else you wouldn't be there, or else maybe some would make the population/congestion connection.

jamesqf 05-14-2015 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 479281)
All's y'alls like it that way. Or else you wouldn't be there, or else maybe some would make the population/congestion connection.

Yep, or you'd be telecommuting. Closest I get to traffic congestion these days is the last 3-4 miles to my friends' place, which is in a game refuge so the deer hang out beside the road, and sometimes in it.

litesong 02-12-2019 03:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamesqf (Post 479308)
......which is in a game refuge so the deer hang out beside the road.....

Sorry fer resurrectin' this ol' thread, but ah jes' gots ta tell a story. Sometimes animals jes' kan't read da signs correctly(kinda like pee-ple). I was on a road leadin' to a huntin' area during huntin' season. Shore 'nuff, a sign read, "Public Hunting"(don't know why they misspelled the word, huntin'). Provin' the sign told the truth, were 3 pheasants eatin' grasses sproutin' around the sign posts.

freebeard 02-13-2019 02:47 PM

Quote:

7. Commutes over 45 minutes lead to more divorces. And yet so many think it's worth it.
The only surprise for me. But then I don't have much experience with marriage or divorce, with one each.

slowmover 02-14-2019 06:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 591121)
The only surprise for me. But then I don't have much experience with marriage or divorce, with one each.

Because they were buying “more” house. And are now more car & job dependent than ever before. In a word, isolated. What money there is, is spoken for . . which never stops a wife.

Divorce means the house prize, and a monthly check for overhead.

samwichse 02-15-2019 01:20 PM

Microsimulation of Traffic Flow: Roundabout

Play with it a bit. Turn down the lane change politeness on the highway merge one and watch it turn to crap.

Fun times.


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