After yesterday’s post on why we should all ask for more roundabouts, I thought you would enjoy the following from xkcd:
Where are we going? To how our highways might be better designed.
As you can see below, we waste a lot of time driving to work:
And most of us commute by car:
Our Bottom Line: An Innovative Transportation Infrastructure
While the xkcd cartoon is whimsical, it can take us to the current state of road design. In a 2013 article, transportation scholar Clifford Winston tells us how our roads might be designed more productively.
- He reminds us that rather than recognizing rush hour realities, road design is based on “free-flow traffic speeds.” Instead designers could install illuminated lane dividers “that can be adjusted to increase or decrease the number of lanes that are available in response to traffic volume.”
- Looking at road building and maintenance, he suggests that road builders use thicker pavement that requires less maintenance. The benefit would be less time lost from road repair and less wear and tear on our vehicles.
I’ve noted only two of Winston’s insights. But his bottom line is that we could do a much better job designing our transportation infrastructure.