Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Well, there's a better link for you. And here's a sample!

I bet there's gonna be traffic...

It comes as little surprise that Triangle software of Campbell, CA was able to create software that can model traffic and produce "traffic forecasts" for up to 7 days in advance. In many cities, I'm sure a sophisticated model is hardly necessary -- harried commuters could willy nilly predict traffic clinchpoints quite easily. (Consider the LIE as it bends to meet the VanWyck/Grand Central.) Nevertheless, a New Scientist article informs us, "Alongside the weather forecast, viewers of KXTV News 10 in Sacramento can now get 3D animations of their local road network, showing not only where the gridlock is but also where it is likely to be." Interesting concept!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

India and China: An Apt Description

Today in the NY Times Thomas L. Friedman used a beautiful highway metaphor to animadvert the essential difference between India and China:

"Every time I visit India, Indians always ask me to compare India with China. Lately, I have responded like this: If India and China were both highways, the Chinese highway would be a six-lane, perfectly paved road, but with a huge speed bump off in the distance labeled "Political reform: how in the world do we get from Communism to a more open society?" When 1.3 billion people going 80 miles an hour hit a speed bump, one of two things happens: Either the car flies into the air and slams down, and all the parts hold together and it keeps on moving - or the car flies into the air, slams down and all the wheels fall off. Which it will be with China, I don't know. India, by contrast, is like a highway full of potholes, with no sidewalks and half the streetlamps broken. But off in the distance, the road seems to smooth out, and if it does, this country will be a dynamo. The question is: Is that smoother road in the distance a mirage or the real thing?"

The Eisenhower Tunnel: "Not Just Another Bore"

The Eisenhower Tunnel (I-70, Colorado) is a marvel of highway engineering and American braggadocio. Punching through nearly 2 miles of pure Rocky Mountain granite, this sleek tunnel saves motorists from a 9-mile, overland detour through Loveland Pass, but results in significant closures of I-70 when blizzard conditions are present on either end of the tunnel. (Would you want to exit a dry tunnel only to be blasted by a blizzard and a bevy of incliment weather-related accidents?) In addition, while the tunnel was being built, "approximately 1 million cubic yards of material was cleared from each bore. 190,000 cubic yards of concrete was used for each tunnel lining." I think that's damned interesting!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

LIE Construction Progressing Smoothly

Kudos to J.D. Posillico Inc. of Farmingdale, NY! The Long Island Expressway HOV expansion project (now in their charge) has made more progress in the last two months than it seemed to in the last 5 years. The eastbound road surface is as smooth as Sade. I'm sure westbound will soon be in like condition. Despite its curvaceousness, the road has taken on the character of a genuine American Interstate Highway! Its lateral boundaries are clearly delineated, its structural elements appear strong and of characteristic Nassau brown hues, and with bright yellow underhangs, its exit signs are finally up to code! HUZZAH!

Friday, June 03, 2005

My Baby Takes The Morning Train

There's no more 9 train!