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traffic waves - Accretions

Fata Morgana
2004-06-09 02:11
traffic waves
Public
frustratedfrustrated
In addition to taking driver's ed, people should be required to take an introductory course on nonlinear fluid dynamics before they're allowed to drive. Especially on freeways at rush hour. Then they might have a clue about how to facilitate merging and changing lanes (such as, not tailgating) without setting up standing waves of traffic that can persist until rush hour traffic subsides.

If they don't take a course on nonlinear fluid dynamics, they should at least read this website.

(Of course, if public transit to the studio in the city where I practice ballroom was more reliable and didn't take three to four times longer than driving, I wouldn't have to be frustrated with traffic at all.)
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nikita
hukuma
2004-06-09 16:21 (UTC)
(no subject)
If I understand things, the lessons are accelerate quickly and decelerate slowly, which is pretty much the opposite of what most people do. I was a little skeptical when I was reading about truckers, since I recall the traffic studies leading up to metering on bridges suggesting that trucks accelerating slowly is one reason why stop & go traffic is slower than smooth traffic. But I can see how smoother braking & keeping your distance can help things...

Actually, when I was first driving, my friend suggested me that the goal in freeway driving is to use the brakes as little as possible. I guess I've forgotten that lesson...
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pr0lix
2004-06-09 18:34 (UTC)
No brakes!
I was taught this one a long time ago. I took a trip to LA and had to ride in a shuttle from the airport. We were in very heavy traffic, and yet our average speed was about 45 mph. I quickly realized that if anyone slammed on their breaks, there would be a massive pile up. But as I looked out into the field of cars, I would only rarely see brake lights, and then only for a short period of time.

Though I still don't understand how the shuttle driver merged into and out of this heavy traffic.
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Fata Morgana
chimerically
2004-06-10 18:57 (UTC)
(no subject)
If I understand things, the lessons are accelerate quickly and decelerate slowly, which is pretty much the opposite of what most people do.

That, and keep a largish buffer space in front of you, so they when others have to merge or change lanes they can without braking or otherwise screwing up traffic patterns. (The author of the page says that if everyone actually did it it'd only need to be the recommended few car lengths, but since many don't, you should make it more.)
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Olego
olego
2004-06-09 20:55 (UTC)
(no subject)
Wow, this is just what I've been looking for!!
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shallwedance_
shallwedance_
2004-06-10 20:07 (UTC)
(no subject)
Hehe. I've been wanting to make fliers with such advice and hand them out on the freeway, but something tells me many drivers won't take too kindly to that.
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shallwedance_
shallwedance_
2004-06-11 00:21 (UTC)
(no subject)
In the tradition of "when it rains, it pours," I just heard of http://www.wordspy.com/words/mobilespeedbump.asp and had a good laugh. Then I realized it's not quite the same thing, but I thought I'd share anyway.
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