Traffic Waves

Great discussion on the the physics behind traffic jams.

One of the crazy things about driving in Auckland is that I find it is common to see a grandmother with kids in the back seat running red lights. In one case, I had a “grandma with kid car” next to me, she was speeding up for a yellow. Then she saw a police car about to enter the intersection from the cross direction. She had more than enough time to stop, but it was obvious that without the cop, she’d have run that red light.

The most annoying about driving in Auckland are the drivers that get onto the motorway, pull straight into the right (fast) lane and sit on 90. Its like they prefer cars overtaking them on the left. Transit NZ should start putting “Keep Left” signs on the motorway.

I think there is a shortage of “smart motorist” in Auckland.

While we are on this topic, I have this one comment. More roads do not mean less congestion. They simply mean bigger car parks for when the population of the town has increased and the balance between car ownership vs no public transport infrastructure meets needing to work on the other side of town.

1 Comment

  1. Richard Said,

    October 13, 2004 @ 12:09 pm

    It’s quite interesting, this whole dynamic about cars and motorways. It’s not just AKL where people drive with their ass, it’s very common for people in Welly to do it to – it’s why I own a bike, you just cut them up and you’re out of there.

    A possible solution is to have viable public transport, but there’s so many reasons why that doesn’t work well in Auckland (or indeed, New Zealand). Part of the problem is cost vs. pain – if I want to get from my home to my work, I need to catch two trains. Each train is about $4 each way. That’s $16/day round trip, with 10% discount for ten trips or larger discounts for a monthly pass. There’s a 15 minute walk at each end station to home/work, so that’s an hour of walking each day, and about an hour and a half to two hours in the rail system.

    Face that with my hopping on the bike or in the car, and it’s 25 minutes door to door. Even if I got charged for parking (which I don’t, but let’s say I do) I’d be paying $10/day for that, and still be in credit over my rail charges. I can factor in gas and maintenance too, but I’m still well ahead especially if you consider the cost to me of losing three hours each day in transport time.

    That’s why I don’t use public transport. There’s lots of other reasons (safety, convenience, and so on), but until this is solved more people will use more cars – thus more traffic, and more pain. At some stage it will reach a point where this pain is greater than that of public transport, but wouldn’t it be nice if local bodies solved the public transport problem earlier?

    I leave you with this:

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