Road Rage.

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Re: Road Rage.

Postby Shapley » Mon May 19, 2008 2:51 pm

barfle wrote:However, I found parking in San Francisco to be far worse than driving, so I leave my car outside the city if I go there (which hasn't been for quite a while).


I drove a Mercury Marquis when I was out there, basically a battleship with tyres. The parking spaces, when you could find them, were sized with economy cars in mind. I presume the idea to force people into smaller cars by having no spaces large enough to park the large ones.

Oakland, Alameda, and the rest of the East side of the bay were better. Like you, I took the public transportation into Frisco when I went there.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: Road Rage.

Postby treebeau » Tue May 20, 2008 9:57 am

So many times I will drive out of my neighborhood and while coming up to speed will get blown past by the car that I "inconvenienced". Said car passes me by crossing a double yellow line. Then a mile up the road, said car is number 10 in line at the 3-way stop. I catch up and am car 11 and think "what was THAT all for?"

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Re: Road Rage.

Postby dai bread » Wed May 21, 2008 1:08 am

Drivers in this town are getting quite civilised. After several years of 60 additional cars per day, the roads in my part of town are clogged most of the day, and you can't go anywhere fast. So courtesy is becoming quite common. If you're waiting at a "Give Way", someone in the main stream of traffic will let you in rather than insisting on his rights. Likewise merging and changing lanes. You can't bank on receiving courtesy of course, but it's a lot more common than it was. It's usually acknowledged with a wave of the hand.

The road works necessary to ease the congestion were postponed year after year, because one of the criteria for allocating funds for road works was the number of fatal accidents. Someone pointed out that it's difficult to have a fatal accident in a traffic jam, so a lot of work was hastily scheduled, but the 60 cars a day just kept on coming.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: Road Rage.

Postby Schmeelkie » Wed May 21, 2008 2:09 pm

They've started putting in traffic circles here and there in the city. They're actually great, unless you get behind a scaredy-cat who waits until there's absolutely no one in the circle before they enter. Arg. From what I've seen, traffic circles are uncommon in the US outside of the northeast. I used to not like them - my only experience being driving in Boston, where they weren't clearly marked and drivers are very aggressive. Also, Boston is my least favorite city to drive in - bad signage, and the ability to see where you want to go without being able to physically get there - very frustrating. DC is next - those diagonal streets really mess me up... Driving in New York city is a breeze compared to those two!
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Re: Road Rage.

Postby BigJon@Work » Wed May 21, 2008 3:15 pm

I love traffic circles if they replace 4-way stop signs. I hate them if they are used instead of a major interchange with ramps.
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Re: Road Rage.

Postby Shapley » Wed May 21, 2008 3:31 pm

Here in the Midwest they don't know how to design them. They build them too narrow, with too small of a diameter, making them ill-suited for vehicles any larger than a standard automobile. I would think that the ideal way to make them would include a tangental entry and exit to the arteries, but that would require at least double the land area that they are willing to devote to them.

The first one built here in town has been torn out and reworked three times since its' installation. First to remove the raised "island" in the center, since trucks kept jumping it as they manuevered around it. Second to widen the trafic lanes so the aforementioned trucks could negotiate the turns without bringing traffic to a standstill, and then third to 'smooth out' the curbs on the arteries so that vehicles would stop jumping them as they make the corner. I gather that the original plans were drawn up on a bar napkin, as there seems to have been little sober thought put into the design other than to 'make it look nice' with raised paving-stones in the center island (since removed).

They now have plans to install a couple more. The 'artists conception' drawing shown in the paper looks like the lessons of the past have not been learned. A visit to one of the intersections proposed indicates that sufficient land area to build it correctly does not exist, based on my own unprofessional opinion. I suspect we'll pay for those three-times over, as we did the first one. I love beaurocracy.
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Re: Road Rage.

Postby barfle » Thu May 22, 2008 9:52 am

In my dear home town of Orange, California, the original center of town (expansion could only happen eastward, so some elements have shifted that way), there is a traffic circle with a park and fountain in the middle. Of course, I lived there when I learned to drive, so it wasn't a big deal to me, although you did see people who were unsure of how to negotiate it.

There was talk of taking it out and having the cross-streets go straight through it, but the residents made sure that never happened.
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Re: Road Rage.

Postby Shapley » Thu May 22, 2008 9:57 am

barfle wrote:In my dear home town of Orange, California, the original center of town (expansion could only happen eastward, so some elements have shifted that way), there is a traffic circle with a park and fountain in the middle. Of course, I lived there when I learned to drive, so it wasn't a big deal to me, although you did see people who were unsure of how to negotiate it.

There was talk of taking it out and having the cross-streets go straight through it, but the residents made sure that never happened.


I've always thought that traffic circles were the perfect expression of government - you can't get from point A to point B without getting the run-around...
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Re: Road Rage.

Postby DavidS » Thu May 22, 2008 11:12 am

Shapley wrote:I've always thought that traffic circles were the perfect expression of government - you can't get from point A to point B without getting the run-around...

That's why they are called "roundabouts" in the UK.
I have seen traffic engineers' calculations showing the optimal traffic volume values for one- and two-lane roundabouts to function effectively, as well as rules for their geometrical design (revised several times over the years based on many countries' experience).
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Re: Road Rage.

Postby piqaboo » Thu May 22, 2008 11:13 am

I suspect traffic circles are good for fuel efficiency.
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Re: Road Rage.

Postby Schmeelkie » Thu May 22, 2008 12:25 pm

piqaboo wrote:I suspect traffic circles are good for fuel efficiency.

I'm sure they are. For a couple of lights that I pass daily that are long (about 90-120 seconds per cycle), I've started turning off the van when I get there just as it's turned red. At one, the opposing traffic always gets the green before I do, so I have time to restart before the light changes. Hoping this will save a little gas... also going to try to use husbands little Saturn for around the town trips when I really don't NEED the van - it gets probably 7-9mpg better than the van. As I mentioned somewhere else, originally for Bella's travel comfort, we're not doing any long car trips (she's too little to entertain herself and too big to sleep through it) this summer. But this will have the advantage of saving gas. And I figure our train fare (Rochester to Worcester, MA) will cost only a little more than what we would have paid in gas. (thank you AAA for the great deal!)
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