Posts tagged ‘travel’

Maximizing Traffic Flow

As much as I hate driving in Michigan (road conditions, number of drivers on the road, etc), I have to hand it to the engineer who decided to make the left turn arrow at the end of the light. In other locations, drivers get a left turn arrow at the beginning of the light, allowing cars to turn unobstructed. But then you get a few cars hanging out in the middle of the intersection waiting to turn who end up going on the yellow or red light to clear the intersection. This not only increases the risk of an accident (misjudging oncoming cars stopping at the yellow light) but can delay traffic from starting to cross once they get the green light. By having the left turn light at the end of the light signal, the entire left lane is moving. This allows the last few cars that in the other sequence would be sitting in the middle of the intersection to safely clear, because they don’t have to wait for oncoming traffic to stop and to get their car moving.

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February 9, 2009 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

Open Road Phenomenon

Have you ever noticed on the highway that when the road curves, traffic seems to open up? I first thought that perhaps the turn itself had some impact on the positioning of cars within the lanes, but the more I thought about it, I came to another conclusion.

When driving on the highway, most of the time you can see a good distance in front of you. Because of this, you usually see a fair amount of traffic in front of you. Although these cars are pretty far away, the traffic seems heavy. However, when the road curves, especially those long winding curves, the road seems to empty. Only the cars immediately in front and visible to you make up your perception of how heavy the traffic is.

Oh the thoughts you can have during a 4 hour Sunday drive

October 20, 2008 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

Avoiding Jet Lag

In my recent travels, I have come to find a schedule that works reasonably well to combat jet-lag when making the passage between the East and West coast, and vice-versa.

I like to take an evening flight when traveling west, getting in around 10 local time or 1 EST. This makes sleeping in until 6:30 or 7 AM PST an easier task. The first day on PST may feel a little longer than usual, but I find myself able to go to bed at my regular time the first night.

Flying east is a little trickier. I’ve become a fan of the 9:40 PST flight that lands somewhere between 4:30 and 5:30 EST. By sleeping on the plan, although only for maybe four hours, you can sleep another four when you get home and it’s only 10 AM EST. The first day back is probably a little more tiring than most, but you end up going to bed on EST pretty easily after not having a great nights sleep the night before.

August 18, 2008 at 8:28 pm 1 comment

Government Spending at it’s Best

I flew out of Traverse City Airport, a small 8 gate facility, this week. The airport itself was actually very nice, most likely being constructed or remodeled within the last 5 years. There were a total of 10 flights leaving the airport the day I was flying, but one thing struck me as odd.

As I went through security, one baggage inspection conveyor and one metal detector, I couldn’t help but notice there were eight TSA agents working the checkpoint. I’m all for safety while traveling and don’t mind the security checks, but the number of government employees on duty at this tiny airport seemed skewed. Not to mention however many were working behind the scenes inspecting all the luggage that was being checked, but I assume there were at least two more. The Detroit airport has a couple of security entrances, but each of these multi-stall stations are run by the same number of people that worked the one in TC.

I’m not complaining about the security. I appreciate the people who work to ensure that flights are safe. However, I think a few less people could have done the job.

July 17, 2008 at 5:33 pm 1 comment