ACCESS 17, Fall 2000

Comment: Autonomous Decongestants

Melvin M. Webber

Despite universal complaints and many proposed remedies, it seems there’s still no cure for traffic congestion. As a mirror on a city’s economic vitality and the pace of its social life, congestion is a built-in attribute of the prosperous metropolis. Heavy traffic volumes are a positive index of a city’s range of opportunities and the richness of its residents’ lives. The city with but little traffic is a city that may be stagnating.

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2017-05-31T21:26:22+00:00Categories: ACCESS 17, Fall 2000|Tags: |

Brooklyn’s Boulevards

Elizabeth Macdonald</a

Brooklyn is not known for its great streets. And yet, like Paris, it enjoys a remarkable legacy of several mid-19th century boulevards. At the same time that Baron Haussmann was building boulevards in Paris, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, landscape architects for the Brooklyn Park Commission, designed and supervised construction of two major landscaped thoroughfares in Brooklyn.

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2017-05-31T21:26:34+00:00Categories: ACCESS 17, Fall 2000|Tags: |

A Question of Timing

Rosella Picado

To help workers avoid the peak-hour commute, employers have been adopting flextime work schedules. Some workers’ jobs already permit flexible work hours, so a lot of employees should be commuting during off-peak hours. But, alas, the survey I’ve just completed finds it ain’t necessarily so. Given the opportunity to avoid heavy traffic, I had to ask: why does anyone still commute during the peak hours?

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2017-05-31T21:26:45+00:00Categories: ACCESS 17, Fall 2000|Tags: |

Taking Turns: Rx for Congestion

Carlos Daganzo

Freeway congestion at bottlenecks is different from tie-ups caused by accidents and other random incidents. It’s recurrent and therefore more easily diagnosed and perhaps even more easily controlled. Thus, at least in principle, we can reduce bottleneck congestion by modifying either the freeway’s design or the management policies that affect freeway operations. Unfortunately, the most obvious modifications often redistribute benefits and burdens unevenly, so some people feel they’d be worse off of the so-called improvements. The resulting clamor often leads to inaction, leaving congestion unabated. So we need to find win-win strategies that everyone might like—lowering bottleneck congestion while garnering widespread support.

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What Can a Trucker Do?

Amelia Regan

Trucks play critically important roles in the US economy. Measured by its value, nearly seventy percent of freight is carried exclusively by truck while another eighteen percent spends at least part of its journey on the road. For most motorists, traffic congestion is a nuisance; for truckers, it can be crippling. If truckers are inconvenienced, costs rise for everyone. The strength of each region’s industrial base depends on the ability of freight-transport companies to provide swift and reliable goods movement at tolerable costs. In addition, trucks caught in traffic congestion generate significant negative externalities including pollution, lost productivity, accident costs, and stress.

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2017-05-31T21:27:06+00:00Categories: ACCESS 17, Fall 2000|Tags: |

The Road Ahead: Managing Pavements

Samer Madanat

A new-laid stretch of pavement is not a finished product. Traffic pounds it; hot sun heats and expands it; water gets inside and washes away the soil beneath. Depending on these forces and the quality of its design and construction, a pavement will last only a limited time before it needs repair or replacement. Because there are so many factors involved, it’s not possible to just schedule a replacement in x number of years. The pavement has to be checked periodically for potholes and cracks and ruts. Visual and manual inspections can be slow, hazardous, and fraught with uncertainty. But that’s the way it’s always been done.

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2017-05-31T21:27:16+00:00Categories: ACCESS 17, Fall 2000|Tags: |

THE ACCESS ALMANAC: The Parking of Nations

Donald Shoup and Seth Stark

Vehicle ownership increased much faster in the US than in other nations during the 20th century. For every 1,000 persons, the US had 87 vehicles in 1920, 325 vehicles in 1950, and 767 in 1995. Ownership rates in 28 other nations in 1995 are noted in the accompanying graph to correspond with the year in which the US had the same rate. For example, in 1995 Bangladesh had the same vehicle-ownership rate as the US in 1905, Argentina the same as the US in 1925, and Denmark the same as the US in 1956.

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2017-05-31T21:27:25+00:00Categories: ACCESS 17, Fall 2000|Tags: |
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