Traffic Experiment

Traffic has been such a problematic phenomenon in this country, but there have been few steps to prevent it. I want to change that.

I have long been interested in a project to get rid of useless traffic buildup on a stretch of I-35 that causes all the traffic by Downtown Austin. I’ve had a proposal and demonstration ready for years, but never carried through with it. I’m not doing this as a money-making venture just yet, it’s just something that interests me. If it works, who knows what may follow.

A quick synopsis of the experiment:

Traffic is usually “stop and go” during rush hour, causing slowdowns, unnecessary gas usage and frustration. It generally looks something like:

The Solution:
As one car stops, the car behind it stops and so forth, creating a “Traffic Wave.” To “eat” this traffic wave, simply place a slower moving vehicle that leaves plenty of space in front of it in all lanes, much like large trucks do. This effectively regulates the speed of traffic and eliminates the “stop and go” action. It also allows time for the traffic wave to be eaten. The regulating cars should theoretically create smoothly flowing lines of traffic behind them.

I got permission to take a couple of pictures and observe I-35 from three adjacent buildings: The Marriott, the Austin Municipal Water Works building and The Crowne Plaza Hotel.

All three buildings had great views of I-35, but the Marriot and Crowne Plaza offered the best view of the particular sections that cause the most buildup:

The best part about this little trip was the free stuff. Both the Crowne Plaza and Marriott were hosting business events, so I walked in like I belonged, grabbed some free food and a bottle of Sprite and walked out. I had a free lunch that day.

You can view a more complete proposal at:
Credit must be given to William Beaty for research and animations. Original Work

I will further pursue this experiment in my spare time. I’ve already done the experiment with friends and IT WORKS. Now I have to videotape it in action and convince law makers to pass legislation on it.

On a more financial note,
I’ve started trying to build up my spending account for next week as it will be pretty expensive. I plan to do a lot of wining/dining, boating, 6th-Streeting, 4th-Streeting and traveling that weekend. I’ve gone into super-cheap mode in order to have sufficient funds available for the weekend.