Five Congolese-made robots are now regulating traffic in Kinshasa. Other pictures. Traffic robots in action and interview of Thérèse Izay Kirongozi, robot creator, engineer and leader of Wotech (Women's Technology Association). [more inside]
How Muscle Shoals became music's most unlikely hit factory (previously, 2008) If you love music and musical history, you really owe it to yourself to see the superb "Must See" documentary Muscle Shoals now on NetFlix and other online venues - Trailer here. Rick Hall of Fame Studios is the quintessential American "rags to riches" story and the "peckerwood" group "The Swampers" (and eventually the competing Muscle Shoals Music Studio) that he unintentionlly spawned, are together responsible for many of the classic soul and R&B hits that are part of the very fabric of American Music. [more inside]
10 years of planning and several years (and almost $1 billion) of construction have come to end on I-95 south of Washington DC as the controversial "Express Lanes" are fully operational today. [more inside]
As poverty moves to the suburbs, criminalization of walking intensifies. "Jaywalking" was the reason Michael Brown was first accosted, it is the offense that nearly sent a mother to jail for vehicular homicide when a drunk driver killed her child.
How do you get your VIPs from A to B? The motorcade, that seemingly endless stream of steel and blue light which takes possession of however much public highway it likes. If you're America, Russia or China, it's almost a competitive sport over who has the longest, with city blocks and motorway lanes locked off for the security bubble. London does it a little differently... [more inside]
Crossing the Double Yellow Line
If you are like most motorists, you take the first opportunity to pass the cyclist safely, regardless of the stripe. After all, the purpose of the solid yellow line is to indicate where it is unsafe to pass, and the purpose of prohibiting drivers from crossing a solid yellow line to pass another driver is to prevent unsafe passing. So if it is safe to pass, then why is the solid yellow line there in the first place?[more inside]
"If you need a sign to tell people to slow down, you designed your street wrong." Going from "Forgiving Highways" to "Self-Explaining Roads": A longitudinal look at the Dutch and American responses to motor vehicle traffic safety. [more inside]
After a successful campaign to remind Boston drivers to use yah blinkah, the state of Massachusetts is now holding a contest to come up with additional messages to show to the drivers of the state. [more inside]
"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
Verizon and Cogent Communications are at odds over how much money needs to change hands to deliver decent Netflix performance. Verizon has developed a rival to Netflix, Redbox and have been accused of tinkering with Netflix and AWS speeds due to the recent FCC Net Neutrality ruling. Things may change again, but then again, maybe not really.
Desire paths [previously] show us where we want to walk. Snowy neckdowns, or "sneckdowns," show us where we don't need to drive. [more inside]
Email Links Top Christie Aide to GW Bridge Scandal. The week of September 9, 2013, traffic was bad on the approach to the George Washington Bridge -- the busiest bridge in the world. Cars were backed up into the streets of Fort Lee, NJ, gridlocking the entire city on the first week of school. The reason? Two tollboths leading to the GWB were closed by the Port Authority of NY and NY. The PA claimed it was for a traffic study, except that the head of the Port Authority, Pat Foye, appointed by New York Governor Cuomo, was not told about the closure, and neither was anyone else. [more inside]
San Diego Study #3: Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Car Color
Lewis Lehe created an interactive graphic that shows what happens when one driver brakes in traffic
Roads kill map: an interactive map of worldwide traffic fatalities, including causes of death and levels of enforcement, created by the Pulitzer Center. According to the WHO, road injuries are the 9th cause of death worldwide, with 90% occuring in developing countries where they are expected to rise to the 5th rank, "leapfrogging past HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis", due to growing traffic numbers and lax enforcement. (Via /.)
Truck carrying fireworks hits moose on Trans-Canada Highway, shuts down road for 5.5 hours and lights up the sky. (pictures and video, driver and passenger unharmed.)
You know how it feels when you're trying to cross the street and a driver comes through the intersection as if you’re not even there? Like he’s muscling through with that big box of metal as if to say, “Hey, get out of my way, you little flesh-and-blood weakling!”
Wouldn’t you just love to have a superhero sweep down, stand up to the jerk behind the wheel, and block the car so you could cross safely?
Enter Peatónito, the masked Mexican defender of pedestrians!
“I’ve actually started to take a different route so I don’t have to go by it,” he said. “It’s not worth it at this point.”
For the last several months in Mississauga, Ontario, someone has been repeatedly vandalising a roadside memorial at the Glen Erin Drive overpass. The memorial is maintained by the father of Thomas Jasinski, who died in a car crash at that location in 2009. After an extended investigation, the vandal in question has been found, and in today's Toronto Star he has stepped forward to give his side of the story. [more inside]
A 73 year old returned, making it seem easy, yet increased traffic left four people dead this weekend. Traffic jams at Mount Everest. [more inside]
It’s probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30% of the total data transferred across the internet.
It’s probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30% of the total data transferred across the internet.
Traffic jams without bottlenecks—experimental evidence for the physical mechanism of the formation of a jam
The mathematical theory behind shockwave traffic jams was developed more than 20 years ago using models that show jams appearing from nowhere on roads carrying their maximum capacity of free-flowing traffic - typically triggered by a single driver slowing down. After that first vehicle brakes, the driver behind must also slow, and a shockwave jam of bunching cars appears, traveling backwards through the traffic. The theory has frequently been modeled in computer simulations, and seems to fit with observations of real traffic, but had never been recreated experimentally until recently (PDF of SCIENCE). The authors also released video of their experiments which has since been posted to YouTube. [more inside]
"Where I come from, a little patience at the crosswalk usually rewards me with a stoplight-induced pause in traffic, but here things are different. One had to simply cross, stride forward into the asphalt gauntlet with no fear, just faith that two intersecting streams of traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, would reconcile themselves. And they always did." Photographer Rob Whitworth stitches together 10,000 images to bring you a very kinetic time-lapse video of "Traffic in Frenetic HCMC, Vietnam." [via]
Infographics that give a little insight into the history of public transport(ation) in the UK.
The BBC has put up a page presenting statistics dealing with deaths on British roads between 1999 and 2010. A slightly older page presenting mostly the same statistics (up to 2008) can be visited here; this earlier version was published in conjunction with several other articles, including one looking in-depth at a single crash and its aftermath in Stevenage in 2007.
The Stop Sign Wasn’t Always Red. Yellow signs were used before there was a way produce a reflective material in red that would last. We have the Mississippi Valley Association of State Highway Departments to thank for the stop sign’s iconic shape. In 1923, the association developed an influential set of recommendations about street-sign shapes whose impact is still felt today. The recommendations were based on a simple, albeit not exactly intuitive, idea: the more sides a sign has, the higher the danger level it invokes. [more inside]
In the early 1960s, East German Karl Peglau came up with the idea to put hats on pedestrian crossing signal figures. To commemorate the 50th anniversary, Der Spiegel has posted pictures of two dozen crossing signals from around the world.
People often think that other drivers are nuts. The Nigerian authorities have taken things a step further, now requiring drivers accused of going the wrong way down a one way street to get psychiatric exams.
One of the best things you can do to increase your happiness is to move closer to where you work. [Previously]
24 hours of L.A. traffic set to music. (SLunder2minuteYT) (May be considered a rebuttal to "You are listening to Los Angeles". Or maybe "Monster Commute".)2>
10 years ago Metafilter discussed William Beaty's Traffic Wave theories about why traffic jams happen. Since then he's conducted some experiments that he says prove regular drivers can help stop them from happening. [more inside]
Felix Salmon formulates a theory regarding the interaction of cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians in New York City: "Cyclists get no respect as road users. Instead, tragically, they’re treated like pedestrians."
Drivers in West Vancouver will soon see a 3D image in the street of a small girl chasing a ball. The BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation is teaming with Preventable to create the image with the goal of enhancing traffic safety. [more inside]
A 60-mile traffic jam in northern China has entered its tenth day, and could last for weeks longer.
Arizona has turned off every speed camera on its highways after complaints that they violated privacy and were designed to generate revenue rather than promote road safety. The 76 cameras took 2.7 million photographs, but only 16 per cent of drivers who received a speeding ticket paid up. [more inside]
A short story of traffic tickets, goldfish, and love starring David Tennant and Sophie Hunter
Air traffic in much of northern Europe halted – due to ash from a volcanic eruption under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland. The volcano under the glacier erupted for the first time in 200 years last month and whilst Iceland is renowned for its volcanic and geologic activity the sheer ferocity of the latest eruption (thought to be 20 times more powerful than the initial eruption on the 20th March) and prevailing wind conditions have culminated in the current traffic chaos. Flightradar24.com shows the current impact on the skies. Whilst the particles will disperse at high altitude and pose no threat to those on the ground, the volcanic ash is very dangerous to aircraft . Not only is there the problem of it clouding pilot vision but the ash can cause engine malfunction and damage the delicate airframe skin. One silver lining in all this is the anticipated glorious red sunset that should follow.
Kolelinia is a city fly attempt. We are born to move, this makes us alive. The transport is not only a transport, it has to be an experience! (via)
With a forecast of 20 percent growth in sales throughout 2009, China is a fascinating example of a society grappling with the effects that the automobile brings. Personally, I'd stick with bikes for the city, guys - it seems more fun.