Highway to Traffic Hell


Here’s a niffy simulator of traffic patterns testing 30 different alternatives for dealing with busy intersections. The worst is one I’ve griped about numerous times here.  Among the best is a common means of moving vehicles on and off our busy interstates. Watch



14 Comments on Highway to Traffic Hell

  1. I notice that in many cases the vehicles are able to pass through each other, thus improving the traffic flow considerably. Is this a feature that will be available on next year’s models, or will it take longer to implement?

  2. That reminds me of a study done in Seattle in the ’80’s. City planners were trying to figure out how to get the highest overall average speed on Mercer Street close to Seattle Center (where the Space Needle is). The cheapest option was to time the the lights. That was also the option that would provide the highest average speed. And, of course, that was the first option rejected.

    The option they selected was the most expensive and least effective.

  3. Figure 8 roundabouts would solve a lot of the problems.

    They could set up grandstands along the shoulders and charge admission. No need for toll roads. -Dr. Tar

  4. Just ban all forms of mechanical vehicles and go back to riding donkeys (creating jobs for defeated Democrats is an added bonus)!

  5. Right before I left Charleston they made an over pass over one of the busiest intersections, never got to see it in action,wunder how it does.Didnt have room for anything else.

  6. Flip: Idiots can’t drive in 2-D; GAWD FORBID you add rain or snow to it, too… I don’t think they could handle 3-D.

  7. Colorado Springs installed a Diverging Diamond a few years ago at one of the more accident-prone intersections. The day it opened, accidents were up around 300%. This number dropped significantly as people learned to avoid the place. City Council calls that a success.
    It will take another 27 years to retire that bond.

    California, please come collect your suited hippies.

  8. Colorado Springs also just opened a Continuous Flow intersection where there has been a plain 4-way stoplight. this required the addition of 4 _more_ traffic lights, just before and just after the intersection. Apparently, stopping 3 times is better than once.
    Seattle? Please come collect your loons.

  9. The simulations with standard traffic lights did NOT behave as we witness ALL THE TIME: for 10, 20, 40 seconds at a time the pavement in the intersection is EMPTY, while hundreds of cars wait for a green light.

    Like I always say, try to imagine a NETWORK exchange built on the model of a static-timed stoplight. Ha!

    After living in Beaverton, OR with their incredibly stupid stoplight algorithms, the first time I drove around England I was massively impressed with the throughput of ordinary round-abouts. Demand-based flow control is always more efficient than stupid static time-based stoplights.

  10. I hate roundabouts. They are putting them everywhere, even out in the sticks. I believe they cause accidents because nobody knows what to do in one. Grr.

  11. anyone notice that on the Standard Roundabout w/ Hywy Mod all the traffic from West, South & East immediately exited at the next right-hand turn?
    only the traffic from the North did some go to the South exit … just like real traffic, huh?

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