The Week in Traffic

  • Pac-Man is eating dots on Minnesotta Highways. Another story featuring the same item, with more detail but less video. Pac-man should have been painted in an elongated fashion like the striped words you see on streets, for better visibility by the driver. These dots are apparently supposed to deter tailgating and inform drivers what the proper safe following distance is. According to the various cited articles, they want to maintain a headway distance of 3 seconds between vehicles. That’s a long way and if the roadway in question grows toward its capacity, it probably won’t hold up. I will be interested to see the results of their before/after study
  • Capt. Fogg’s article of Tuesday December 26th illustrates what I consider to be an extreme opinion about directed traffic enforcement. Roadblocks for drunk-driving checks do not violate the Bill of Rights because people are not “their persons, houses, papers, and effects” on public-access roadways. Safety enforcement is not an unreasonable search or seizure.
  • There are a lot of websites devoted to talking about congestion shock waves. This one does it more entertainingly than most.
  • Lastly, this post talks about freeing up congestion and reducing delay by removing the forced regulation of roadways (i.e. Traffic Signals). The post cites an article that mentions Drachten, Holland, mentioned earlier on this blog. I think this will work, but not everywhere. You need both lightly regulated local roads for access (perhaps business districts, too) and more controlled arterials. That’s how a roadway network works.
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