Road space rationing is a method of decreasing traffic congestion in a city by limiting the amount of vehicles allowed in a certain area based on license plate numbers. This method is usually exercised during peak periods in heavily congested city centers. The objective is to reduce vehicles in order to reduce traffic jams and air pollution.
With population growth on the rise, many urban areas are growing faster than their city’s infrastructure and transportation networks. Last year the world’s population exceeded seven billion people and many large cities are already encountering overcrowding on public transit, increased pollution levels, and longer traffic delays.
The GPS manufacturer, Tom Tom, published its latest Congestion Index, which measures congestion as a percentage difference when compared to free-flow traffic. This percentage indicates how much longer it will take to travel through the city with the normal amount of traffic than if there were no vehicles or congestion on the road.
North American congestion is rated at 20%. This week, we’ll review the top 5 congested cities in North America.
Last week’s blog article was the first half of a two part blog exploring how arterial roads can be improved to reduce crashes from a traffic engineer’s perspective. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), crashes on arterial roads are becoming exceeding serious due to the frequency of travel and because many urban arterial roads weren’t designed to accommodate the current vehicle capacity within the USA.
Although fatal crashes are more likely to occur on rural arterial roads, most occur on urban streets due to the sheer volume and frequency of traffic. This week’s blog will be a ‘two parter’, exploring how arterial roads can be improved to reduce crashes from a traffic engineer’s perspective.
With consistent population growth, many urban cities are expanding their transportation networks which not only includes vehicles but also pedestrians as well. Vehicles need to accommodate the pedestrians especially in areas that are multi-modal with public transit, bike routes, sidewalks and neighbourhoods with heavy foot traffic.
The US has about 300,000 traffic signals and Canada has about 50,000. Many of the signals could improve their operations simply by adjusting the timing and/or updating equipment. Signal optimization is one of the most cost effective measures that can significantly reduce congestion and help with traffic flow on arterial roads.
Road tubes have been used for decades for average annual daily traffic (AADT) counts (also average daily traffic (ADT), automatic traffic recorder (ATR) counts, midblock counts or link counts). They have been effective in capturing ADT counts in the past, however, improvements in technology have made road tubes the “VHS” of data collection.
The American transportation network is in dire need of highway maintenance and reconstruction. Valued at $1.75 trillion, it has endured years of wear and tear, increased traffic, inconsistent maintenance and varying weather conditions. All of these variables, along with higher construction costs and reduced government funding have contributed to only half of the nation’s roads being in good condition.
Roundabouts are becoming more common in urban areas and with good reason. They are known to improve traffic flow and safety in comparison to other forms of intersection control such as traffic signals. However, problems can arise from using roundabouts since traffic signals and signs have been the standard for so long. Understanding how to best optimize roundabouts and prevent accidents will ensure that traffic flow is being optimized.
I’m not sure what it’s like in your city, but from the Miovision offices, Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) and surrounding areas are aggressively expanding. With each new subdivision built, there are new plazas, office buildings, and parkades popping up. In certain areas of the city, the landscape (or what used to be landscape) has completely transformed.
One area in particular has completely changed – the Ira Needles area. This previously empty area was just an open field next to Trussler and Erbsville Road. In 2009, it was transformed into the largest commercial centre in the KW area that spans across 88.5 acres. To accommodate the anticipated influx of traffic, additional roads were built as well as 6 roundabouts were utilized rather than lights to facilitate traffic flow.
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