If the cost to the driver in time and frustration of current congestion is reduced more people will choose to drive. And fixing one part of a congested system simply moves the problem to the next segment, as the traffic pileups on either side of the smooth-flowing Big Dig tunnels prove. Good news: Embedded sensors. Video monitoring cameras. Adjustable traffic signals that change the timing or divert people into alternative routes. These are extraordinarily expensive, require enormously skilled operational refinements and maintenance after installation, and lock cities up into endless and also expensive upgrading.
At the price of personal privacy, new apps take car location and speed and let drivers detour. Driverless cars may someday allow cars to be more closely packed on roads without causing accidents. Reducing the number of cars on the road is a complementary strategy. The spread of car-sharing services, both for-profit and publicly owned, has gone along with the reduction in car ownership. Public transit is even more powerful.
The number of cars one full bus eliminates from the road is so large that increasing the amount, effectiveness, and attraction of public transit is a powerful strategy even if it requires creating reserved bus and HOV lanes during rush hours. Counterintuitively, in addition to reducing our still-appalling level of road kill, a similar traffic improvement effect comes from Traffic Calming using a variety of techniques to slow cars to a desired speed and Complete Streets giving equal priority to facilities for transit vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians as well as cars and trucks.
These safety-enhancing strategies are often blamed for congestion because they visible reduce road widths, reduce speeds, and sometimes eliminate lanes. But study after study shows that these first impressions are not only wrong, but backward, at least in urban areas. First, by making non-car modes safer and more attractive, these strategies reduce car traffic and free up parking — partly by facilitating mode shifts among current residents but probably also by tilting the mix of new residents towards people looking for a place where they can walk or bike rather than drive.
Reducing VMT is a particularly effective strategy for reducing car-related injuries — the fewer miles people drive the fewer people get hurt. This is the opposite of bicycle riding, where increasing number lowers the rate of injury and whose public health benefit increases along with increased participation.
Second, high speed driving in cities is usually the result of driver impatience and seldom lowers the time it takes to get through any trip of more than a few blocks. This speed had little connection to the width of the road or of a crosswalk. Using road space for improved pedestrian and bicycle safety has little impact.
And a malfunctioning signal can lead to more congestion than having no signal at all. But reducing theoretical road capacity is not the issue: Cambridge, for example, cut three lanes out of Mass Ave in Central Square to install bike lanes and while traffic is definitely slower the total number of vehicles passing through per hour has not been reduced.
The current installation of a protected bike lane on Western Ave. European countries have hugely higher levels of sales tax on car purchases, annual excise tax for ownership as a surrogate for usage , and per-gallon gasoline taxes — all of which does provide a market-based incentive to not own or use a car to the extent possible.
What was Microsoft Streets and Trips? Microsoft Streets and Trips was revolutionary for its time. With an extremely user-friendly interface, it featured ground-breaking technology that contained more than six million miles of map. Its first version was released in with the ability to create detailed maps and driving routes.
Also, it had a robust database of restaurants, gas stations, hospitals and more. You may be thinking this sounds like a GPS. Well, it is! It paved the way by creating the first visual routing system. The software would identify roads that were under construction and provide information on how to avoid them.
The combination of business data and route optimization was a smashing success within sales departments. It provided a comprehensive solution that offered territory creation, route optimization , management efficiency, and territory mapping. This revolutionized the sales industry. A simple Google search will lead to hundreds of forum posts raving about the benefits of Streets and Trips.
But in , Microsoft chose to discontinue the product and in it ended Streets and Trips support lines. Why did this happen? It was mostly thanks to a little thing called Bing. In , Microsoft was pouring resources into Bing, largely due to an ongoing arms race it was in with Google.
In the end, Streets and Trips released a goodbye message urging their customers to use Bing Maps instead. But Microsoft made the mistake of tailoring Bing Maps to everyone, and — as a result — they lost sight of the business market that MapPoint had once held. Can Streets and Trips be Replaced? But for a long time, that audience had no suitable alternative. That costs money. In the case of navigation i. There is no cost in this case. Think of this like a standard radio receiver like am or fm.
Terry confront5 Oh, OK, that makes since. GPS in this case, is strictly one way. Your device does not send any information, it only receives a data stream from the various satellites and determines you location and speed from that information.
It sends that information on to the computer via its USB connection. Terry confront5 OK, wow, I appreciate the help! For sure. That makes total sense. I should have that receiver from Amazon here in a couple days, I also had them send me and extra length of USB cable.
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