Friday, November 7, 2008

An analyzation of a Bottleneck

A bottleneck is a traffic term for when lots of traffic gets forced through a small space. Take a small bottle of soda, twist the cap open, turn it upside down, and then watch as the liquid struggles to escape. The liquid would escape much faster and smoother if the hole was wider.

I am grateful that I don't usually drive when and where there is traffic, but the pictures below show a situation that could escalate to bottlenecking madness very quickly if it was later in the day.

Midtown
IMG_9572
Double parking taxis in the left lane, and double parking tour buses in the right lane, shrink the width of 7th Avenue, causing this bus to block the whole street. Sometimes there are triple parked buses and cars on both sides. Note the green light, above.

IMG_9573
And now, the red light.

This is a symptom of a lack of planning, in my opinion, by the street planners. There isn't enough accommodations for all the buses, taxis, trucks, and vans.

Buses-
If we had the bus stops and bus layover parking zones to match all the bus companies we have, than buses would no longer pose a problem. Measures also need to be taken to enforce ticketing for buses and trucks that block the intersection when they proceed through yellow and red traffic lights only to find no space on the other side of the intersection.

Taxis-
We need more taxi stands, real full fledged taxi stands, not just small spaces for one and two cabs. Imagine how serene New York City life would be if every 10 blocks there were taxi stands accommodating 10 to 15 cabs. Eliminate street parking, increase the amount of taxi stands, and for hire vehicle standing zones. With less taxis cruising, there will be far less density in our traffic and less reckless driving. For hire vehicles A.K.A. limousines are constantly looking for spaces to wait until they are called, and adequate waiting zones for them is also necessary or else they slow down traffic causing bottlenecks. 

Trucks and commercial vans-
Ugh, these are a few of my least favorite things. Other cities have certain hours where deliveries are allowed, but in New York City, there are always deliveries all the time. Again I think we should reduce civilian parking while increasing commercial vehicle parking. The existing commercial loading sites, and there are plenty, need to change from part-time regulation hours to full-time. All non commercial vehicles should be towed and ticketed. To regulate the time a particular delivery  can last, these commercial zones should have muni-meter regulations with an hour limit. If a vehicle stays on the block for more than an hour, they should be ticketed the first hour after, and towed the next hour after. Double parking shouldn't be legal for anyone, anywhere.

Garbage collection-
Here's an idea: have designated streets for both deliveries and garbage pick-up leaving the rest of us to clear streets elsewhere.

But most importantly, all rules are nothing without constant enforcement. But I digress, if the streets were properly laid out for all the action, more standing zones for all and less parking for regular cars, then streets would flow smoothly and perhaps there would be less rules broken, less tickets issued, and thus less income for the City of New York.
 

1 comment:

Gilighan Qabista said...

My graceful lawyer, the best taxi defender in NYC (Michael Spevack) even says... it's all a joke with these cops and judges. No common sense. Just pure, unfiltered capitalism.