Taking Pride in the Obvious, the Simple, the Strange
Sometimes I wonder where I’d be without all the mentors who have so graciously devoted both time and wisdom toward the development of my traffic engineering expertise. And if I think too long about this, I start to get a little bitter because I’d be a lot farther along than I am now. Solomon was correct when he said, “Spend time with the wise and you will become wise, but the friends of fools will suffer” (Proverbs 13.20).
Yet, there is one mentor who stands out, his name is Steve (not his real name — his real name is Roger). Now Steve had a way of contemplating traffic problems that defied human rationale. Here are a few of Steve’s observations and predictions still applicable for today (Thursday):
- Traffic volumes will level off — they must. Only so many cars can fit on a roadway and roadways can only be widened so many times. This means that…
- Cars must follow each other more closely — almost like trains — made possible with computer wizardry.
- Land developments will be multi-use allowing opportunity to live, play, and work within the confines of the development — increased walking, biking, and reduced driving.
- More people will work from home more of the time (i.e., fewer cars on the roadway).
- Fewer people will commute to work — the converse (inverse?) of #3
- People currently unable to drive (blind people, children, those without a license, etc.) taking advantage of “autonomous Uber cars” going anywhere they like.
- Obstacle avoidance technology on all vehicles thus reducing accident rates to almost zero — even on roundabouts.
- And roundabouts no longer built just for fun — they will actually be the best solution for the situation.
- Also, for those who get stuck on roundabouts, critical services such as food and fuel, provided in the center island.
Granted, some of the above comments are a bit tongue-in-cheek (two of them) the others made Steve the legend he is today.
Chet Skwarcan (traffic engineer, author, unique insights) with over 25 years of traffic engineering experience — online ideas available at TrafficEngineering.com/Services or Chet@TrafficEngineering.com.