TRAFFIC WAVES |
GOOD STUFF |
NEW STUFF |
MERGING-LANE TRAFFIC JAMS,
A SIMPLE CURE(GIF Animations are loading)
ON THE LEFT: NORMAL DRIVERS WHO PACK THEMSELVES TIGHTLY TOGETHER WHENEVER THE TRAFFIC COMES TO A STOP. NOBODY CAN MERGE EXCEPT AT THE END OF THE JAM. NOTE THEIR LOW SPEED.
ON THE RIGHT: DRIVERS WITH UNUSUAL BEHAVIOR: THEY ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO MERGE AHEAD OF THEM, AND THEY TEND TO MAINTAIN LARGE SPACES AHEAD, EVEN IF TRAFFIC SLOWS TO A CRAWL. MERGING IS EASY. SEE HOW MUCH FASTER THEY GO?
Traffic jams on highways are often triggered where two lanes must merge
Lanes of cars cannot merge if there are no large gaps between cars.
Therefore, drivers who create large gaps between cars will ease this type
of traffic jam.
To ease this type of jam:
The "zipper flow" is counterintuitive. It's created by proper
late-merging at the last minute. It's destroyed by early merging. For
this reason, the Fed Highway Admin has specific recommendations
for proper driver behavior. They and the various state highway groups
also have found the best signs to smooth the flow: "STAY IN LANE UNTIL
MERGE POINT." Then at the last minute, another sign: "MERGE HERE, TAKE
TURNS." Early merging ruins everything. Any drivers who encourage early
merging, but who tailgate to punish late merging, they've fallen for
faulty reasoning ...the situation is counterintuitive. The ideal behavior
is the exact opposite: keep everyone in their lanes, no early merging
allowed. Then take turns merging *only* at the last minute. Anything else
is a recipe for hot-headed tailgaters and jam-triggers.
Yes you're right, you cannot eliminate every problem by simply making a
big gap in front of your car. When there are too many cars on the road,
traffic slows down. But if we use these special driving habits,
the smaller jams can be erased,
and stop-and-go traffic can be smoothed out. Since many traffic jams are
caused by merging lanes, many traffic jams can be improved by the actions
of just one driver.