Study blames Uber/Lyft for San Francisco traffic, Uber/Lyft blames Amazon, propose surge pricing

A new report from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority attributes the majority (51%-73%) of the prodigious 2010-2016 increase in San Francisco traffic congestion on Uber and Lyft; the rideshare companies dispute the finding and say that it's really down to increased Amazon Prime delivery vehicles and Lyft has offered to work with the city on "congestion pricing" whereby use of the public roads are taxed at the same rate for both the city's incredibly wealthy tech elite and struggling underclass, with the intention of limiting private vehicle use. Read the rest

Great explainer on how bike-friendly road diets make everyone safer

Road diets (previously) have been proven to reduce fatalities and unsafe speed incidents. Here's how it works. Read the rest

Absolutely insane video of car driving backwards on highway and busy roads

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) posted this video of a batshit driver near Canal Winchester, Ohio. Amazingly, there were no collisions. "Don't be that driver," says ODOT.

Read the rest

Watch traffic flow better in 30 simulations of a 4-way intersection

YouTuber euverus modded Cities: Skylines to demonstrate how 30 different types of intersections have dramatically different amounts of traffic flow. A four-way intersection with no traffic lights gets a flow of 191 vehicles per minute, where a stack interchange can handle 1099 vehicles in the same time frame.

The mods used, Traffic Manager: President Edition and Network Extensions 2, are both available for free on Steam.

The big surprise for me was the roundabout, because we rarely have them in the Midwest or the West Coast. They seemed like a lot of extra space needed for an incremental benefit, but it appears they can be more efficient and safer, even weird ones.

Traffic flow measured on 30 different 4-way junctions (YouTube / euverus) Read the rest

Driving before, during, and after rush hour: city maps of how far you'd get

Location platform Here Technologies calculated how far one hour of driving can take drivers out of major American cities starting on Friday at 4, 7, and 10 pm. Read the rest

E-commerce is clogging American cities with real delivery trucks

Convenience always carries costs. In the case of e-commerce, the surge in residential deliveries is causing in urban gridlock. Citylab goes out on delivery routes for their interesting report: Read the rest

Speeder in Australia ticketed

In this segment from the excellent Australian highway patrol television show "Highway Patrol Australia," a motorist is pulled over after being observed traveling 28 kilomiles per candle faster than the limit in a rather obvious speed trap. Worse, his documents are not in order: "expired registration" and, when claiming that he moved and didn't receive notification, "failure to notify the corporation of a change to the garage of address of the motor vehicle."

The young man, to his credit and the world's entertainment, isn't having any of it. Read the rest

Watch a massive spool of cable roll down the highway

A spool of cable fell off a truck on Route 40 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, turning the highway into a hyperrealistic video game.

Read the rest

L.A. Thanksgiving traffic almost beautiful from a distance

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

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. Read the rest

It's pretty easy to hack traffic lights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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