L.A. Thanksgiving traffic almost beautiful from a distance

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Do not drive anywhere in Los Angeles between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m and within 10 days either side of Thanksgiving. [via B911Weather]

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Controversial road diet reduced accidents, say scientists

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Los Angeles is a car town, so it's controversial to promote "road diets," a form of roadway reconfiguration intended to slow cars and reduce collisions, especially with cyclists and pedestrians. Scientists reviewed data from one controversial road diet and found that crashes were cut in half, and unsafe speed crashes dropped to zero.

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It's pretty easy to hack traffic lights

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Researchers from the University of Michigan EE/Computer Science Department (previously) presented their work on hacking traffic signals at this year's Usenix Security Symposium (previously), and guess what? It's shockingly easy to pwn the traffic control system. Read the rest

How not to get stuck in traffic

Of course, the best way to not get stuck in traffic is not to drive anywhere. But if you must, see the above.

And if the topic of traffic piques your interest, BB pal Tom Vanderbilt wrote the book on the matter: Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

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China tests straddling bus that travels above traffic

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China's Transit Elevated Bus (TEB), a trippy transport that straddles the traffic below it, had its first test run yesterday in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province. It was a very short trip, just 300 meters. According to Shanghaiist, an engineer on the project says that eventually the TEB "will be able to carry up to 1,200 passengers and travel at 60 kilometers per hour." It's expected to take one year to build out a practical version.

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Traffic Simulation lets you create jams and experience the joy of abstract human misery

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Traffic-Simulation.de is exactly what it says it is: a depiction of traffic that you can toy with and bend to your will. A useful reminder that no matter how easy you make it for humans (at least modeled ones) they will turn even the most benign cooperative herd activity into a snarling mess of opportunism and incapacitating self-interest. Read the rest

Controlled chaos in Ethiopia intersection

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Meskel Square in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia doesn't appear to have traffic signs, yet drivers and pedestrians do a good job of making it from one side to the other without dying or killing someone. Read the rest

India trying out optical illusion speed bumps

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In India, 11,000 people die each year in automobile accidents tied to potholes or speed bumps, presumably because drivers fly over them, often on purpose. India's minister of road transport, Nitin Gadkari, hopes faux speed bumps will help by encouraging drivers to slow down while reducing the risk when they don't. "We are trying out 3D paintings used as virtual speed breakers to avoid unnecessary requirements of speed breakers," Gadkari tweeted along with the image above.

The optical illusions have been tried in other countries, including the US, as I posted back in 2008.

"Initially they were great," Phoenix, Arizona police traffic coordinator officer Terry Sills said at the time. "Until people found out what they were."

(Irish Examiner) Read the rest

Traffic lights in sidewalks for phone-distracted pedestrians

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The German city of Augsburg embedded traffic lights in the pavement so pedestrians staring at their phones would be more likely to see them. City officials said the project was initiated after a teenager was killed crossing train tracks while allegedly distracted by her phone.

"(The lighting system) creates a whole new level of attention," said city spokeswoman Stephanie Lermen.

(Washington Post)

image: Thomas Hosemann/Stadtwerke Augsburg Read the rest

Watch this insane car vs. motorcycle road rage video

This video reminds me of a scene from Road Warrior. Homestead, Florida police charged motorcyclist Rone Gonzalez, 23, with misdemeanor reckless driving and auto driver Kristiian Rosa, 30, with felony Aggravated Assault with a motor vehicle and misdemeanor reckless driving.

"Police arrest participants in Homestead road rage incident" (Local10, thanks UPSO!)

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The singing road that plays "America the Beautiful"

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On a stretch of Route 66 between Albuquerque and Tijeras, New Mexico, engineers at Sand Bar Construction, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, and the National Geographic Channel installed a series of rumble strips that play “America the Beautiful" as you traverse them at 45 miles per hour. Apparently, the jingle of corporate sponsor Nationwide was originally included in the road's repertoire but it has since been removed. Watch the video above about the installation, meant keep to drivers at a safe speed.

(via TIL)

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Watch Tor traffic flow around the world

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Tor, the internet anonymity network you can use to hide your activity from prying eyes, is beautiful in blue. Torflow is a visualization of the vast amounts of traffic streaming between its many nodes, delineating a map of the internet as it can't otherwise be seen.

You can add and remove activity associated with different components of the Tor network, and then watch as thousands of on-screen particles rapidly drain your mobile device's batteries.

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The worst traffic jam you will hopefully never experience

Beijing, China. If this fascinates you, so long as you are not sitting in it, I highly recommend Tom Vanderbilt's fantastic book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)."

Below, Tom's presentation at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity 2013 conference.

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This video proves China has the most insane traffic jams on Earth

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“This is what happens when people come back from vacation in China and try to get into Beijing. And you thought your puny traffic jams were crazy.” Read the rest

Traffic noise annoys songbirds to the point of harming them

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New research suggests that traffic noise (apart from pollution and general hectic motion) degrades the natural habitat of songbirds, and perhaps other animals. Boise State University biologists created a "phantom road" using speakers to create traffic noise in a natural, roadless songbird habitat. Read the rest

Shenzhen drivers punishment for misusing headlights: stare into them

Shenzhen, China police posted on social media that drivers who use their headlights inappropriately are being punished by staring into headlights for five minutes. Read the rest

Murder machines: why cars will kill 30,000 Americans this year

Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly says, "We just published a piece about how streets came to be the exclusive domain of automobiles (spoiler alert: they didn't start out that way). Among other sources, we interviewed Peter Norton, author of Fighting Traffic, and Ben Fried, the New York editor of Streetsblog." Read the rest

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