Traffic Tidbits: 4 January 2008

Presidential Candidates and Transit: How do the Democratic and Republican candidates stack up on the Transportation issue? Live from the Third Rail has the lowdown.

New Rules for Lithium Batteries on Airplanes: Passengers beware. There are now restrictions on lithium-ion batteries in your check luggage. Essentially, you may only place them in checked luggage if they are inside the device they are intended to power.

Cell Talkers Drive Slowly: A study out of the University of Utah finds that people talking on cell phones, even with hands-free devices, drive more slowly and make fewer lane changes. The study indicates the implication that this may cause increased traffic congestion. The Media has locked on to this saying that CELL PHONES CAUSE TRAFFIC JAMS which is not a legitimate conclusion from the study. I do not deny that this is probable, but the conclusion reached by media outlets is overstretching the data.

Maintenance is Key: A pothole (called a crater here) has caused months of congestion in Kolkata, India. Maintenance of existing infrastructure is important. Inter-agency agreements are even more important.

Mathematical Modeling of Traffic Jams: Backward-moving waves of traffic jam congestion have been a topic of study for some time. A team of mathematicians at the Univerity of Exeter have produced a model that accurately reproduces congestion. I’d like to say this was a break-through, as the article implies, but it’s not. These sorts of events have been studied for a long time.

Public Transportation for Dummies1: A brief primer for beginners who are not used to the public transportation system.

1If I were trying to be a gamer-geek, I would have said, Public Transportation for n00bs, but that would be posing

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