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Old 01-23-2003, 09:24 PM   #1
rkkwan
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Talking Another crazy idea about solving traffic congestion!

So, while I was waiting behind drivers with slow respsonse - i.e. all American drivers - after the traffic light goes green before I could get moving today, I came up with another crazy idea about solving a lot of traffic congestions in this country.

[My favorite is to eliminate speed limit on rural interstates, but you know that will never happen.]

And this is totaly race-inspired. I suggest they put up grids at certain highway intersections like on race tracks, so that everybody has to leave about 1.5 car-spaces behind the car in front. Now, this way, once the light turns green, everybody can start accelerate at that moment, like at car races. This, I believe, can increase the number of cars going through an intersection without any increased risk.

[Of course, that also means that if you have a fast car like the WRX, you can go between cars and pass everybody! ]

This will not work in busy city streets with shops and houses, but should help on those semi-controlled access highways like Rte 9 and Rte 1 in the suburbs of Boston.

-Ray
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Old 01-23-2003, 09:29 PM   #2
TSDScooby
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cool idea.. however, I rather take public transportation (even where the T doesn't reach). Keep your car for racing, save insurance, don't fund GWB friends

Cheers,
Emilio
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Old 01-23-2003, 09:43 PM   #3
LinuxGuy
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I vote we have flying cars, so it would take more people off public roads

The cutting off speed limits is actually a really good idea, but you gotta realise, there are idiot drivers out there that dont know how to handle high speeds, imagine the kind of accident somebody could get themselves into if they were going 90-100MPH on the highway?
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Old 01-24-2003, 08:01 AM   #4
Jack
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It's too expensive and annoying to set up grids. Just replace the normal lights with yellow, yellow, yellow, green with 1/10 seconds between each. Then have a lighted sign about 1/2 mile down with 60foot time and trap speed at the 1/4 mile mark.

(I think they already have that planned for Rt 9 near Shoppers World)

jack
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Old 01-24-2003, 08:09 AM   #5
driver8
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Default how about this?

Make the test for a drivers license more difficult. It should demonstrate that you are capable of maintaining control of your vehicle and that you actually know the traffic laws. Then make people retake a portion of it every 10 years.

That should eliminate some traffic.

I never had aspirations for public office, but if I did, THAT would be my number one issue.

Driving is not a right, it is a privilege.
</getting off my high horse>
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Old 01-24-2003, 10:30 AM   #6
Siper2
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I'm with driver8 on this one. The grid's a cool idea, but yeah, driver's education is the missing link. Driving around through two traffic lights in Salem, doing a couple three-point turns on an abandoned back road, and then parallel parking do NOT a good driver make!

Someday when I grow up and get rich, I plan on attending as many race/performance/safety driving courses as I can, getting REALLY good, and then partnering with some other good drivers to open a school of my own. That'd be fun. Maybe if we had a really comprehensive program, the government would even recognize the benefit and fund us over driver's ed programs in school.


Bwa-hahaha, then those little 15-year-olds would have to SWEAT before they got their license!




(Then, naturally, I wake up from my dream.... And there's still a zillion idiots out there.)
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Old 01-24-2003, 10:31 AM   #7
6Pack
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Great idea!

But I think you're assuming that America has good and sensible drivers. What would probably happen is some people would not notice right away , others behind would accelerate, they'd have to break, others behind would have to break and panic, causing traffic to be slower than if it were to start together at once. You can imagine if a car far down the line would have to break harder and more likely to cause accident.

What they really should do is make it more difficult to get a driver's license. Cars are a heavy weapon, and too many people just drive around ignorantly. Add something more of a track driving course in order to get your license. One that gives common situations and what you should do with them. Left lane is used only for passing not for driving slowly when cars are behind you. Yeild signs mean Yield and not stop when no one is around. Winter driving, checking tire tread. And no you don't always have the right of way. And on, and on, and on... I think if we can elminate those people before they can pass a more comprehensive test we'd get much better traffic flow and safer, more enjoyable, more fun driving.

Also there's a lot of traffic lights that aren't designed that well. Too much stop and go traffic. A lot of traffic lights need to be re-engineered. During certain times of the day, rush-hour, a lot of lights stay the wrong color for too long. For instance, there's a light right off the off-ramp of Rt.2 that I use a lot. Traffic gets backed up all the way onto live Rt.2 traffic flow. BAD! This light stays green for the side traffic to get through WAY too long because not nearly as much traffic goes through that direction. Why should cars sit on the street longer than they have to, get them going to where they want to go and off the street. Maybe some sort of AI for traffic lights would be cool too. Basically re-engineer the traffic lights.

Last edited by 6Pack; 01-24-2003 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 01-24-2003, 10:53 AM   #8
rkkwan
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6pack - I totally agree with you. The reason all this thoughs came up in the first place is my experience on Rte 9 last Sunday. It's a Sunday, but there was still some back up at a couple of lights in Natick or Wellesley. And yes, the lights were red for too long, and there's absolutely no traffic coming from the side streets or the U-turn lights.

I wonder how much resources - fuel, man-working hours, etc - are wasted over the years because the DOT doesn't care to install "smarter" traffic lights.

Same with a light I go through all the time in Swansea, MA. This is a semi-smart light, where if there's no vehicles in both left-turn directions, the left-turn lights won't come on, giving more time for the green going straight. However, even if just one car is on either left turn lane, we still get the full period of left-green while everybody's waiting to go straight.

In contrast, almost all interesections in Houston, TX near where I live have "smart" left-turn lights, that doesn't come on unless there's actually a car on that particular lane.

-Ray
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Old 01-24-2003, 11:22 AM   #9
re92
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i think we should turn the traffic lights into the christmas trees that the dragways have

raj
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Old 01-24-2003, 11:34 AM   #10
xstar
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actually, some parts of california on-ramps are setup like drag christmas lights. Cali tries to regulate the entry onto the highways to give more space between cars.

I have yet to see a smoke-out at one of those lights.
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Old 01-24-2003, 11:49 AM   #11
rkkwan
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Oh yeah, those stop lights on freeway on-ramps. Plenty of them in Houston too. Unfortunately, most people just leisurely accelerate and is only 30mph when they get up to the merging area.

They should have big signs after the lights and say "Floor it, dumb___!"

-Ray
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