Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Originally uploaded by mpereira123.
In the Bronx, just above Manhattan at the I-95/I-87 Multiplex. PALTRY!


Originally uploaded by mpereira123.
Go, Seattle! The I-5/I-90 Multiplex in downtown Seattle. Note the MASSIVE HOV area between each flank of the expressway.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Feeling stopped-up? You're not alone...

"A Level 3 sex offender originally from Middletown climbed up onto the Tappan Zee Bridge and threatened to kill himself this afternoon. State troopers from Tarrytown were able to talk Armando Chico down from the superstructure of the bridge. He is ok and being held for psychiatric observation, according to Investigator Skylar King of Tarrytown Troop T." - "Record Online." 4/25/05.

Evidently this schmuck, Armando, did his level-best to hold up traffic as well. The bridge was closed for hours, and traffic backed up onto the Thruway (I-87) both North and South. While such backups happen anyway on a regular basis, it's even more irksome when the precipitating incident involves a hesitant psycho. I daresay he's a silly psycho: of all the bridges in New York metro to jump off of, why choose the Tappan Zee? Not by coincidence, the TZ bridge happens to be one of the lowest spans crossing either the Hudson or East rivers in the entire state. Talk about a hesitant suicide attempt...

According to Steve Anderson's, the TZ bridge has a:

Clearance at center above mean high water: 138.5 feet
Height of towers above mean high water: 293 feet.

OK, well a 138.5' drop could kill probably kill a Level 3 sex offender, but why not opt for an end on one of the Hudson River Crossings that's a mite more majestic, such as the Rip Van Winkle bridge (mid-span clearance part of Route 23), the Bear Mountain Bridge (part of Route 202 -- aha, at last we've found you in NY, Route 202!!! (see previous post)), or the George Washington Bridge (mid-span clearance 213', tower height 604'), where other motorists may join you in desperation, trying to find a faster way to get to New Jersey.

Monday, April 25, 2005

On activities performed whilst sitting in LA rush hour traffic...

"I spoke to Georgia Lee while sitting in rush hour traffic, not my original plan. As I watched the minutes tick by, and realized I wasn’t go to be where I needed to be, I thought my head was going to explode. It had been one of those days where everything has the potential to go your way, but nothing does. Furthermore, it appeared that I was the only person in the entire city that was driving with some purposeful intent. Before I dialed her number, I pointed to the sky with my middle finger one last time and took a deep breath. On the other end of the line I heard an articulate, enthusiastic, spontaneous young lady."

Source: Dominique Kalil report within "Harvardwood Highlights" e-newsletter 4/25/05.


Originally uploaded by mpereira123.
And if Teddy doesn't soothe, know that while riding through New York, Hillary is watching over you...


Originally uploaded by mpereira123.
Far less threatening than the quantitatively-oriented "speed trailer" below, with just one concerned glance from Teddy Ruxpin, any sensible motorist is bound to insert a hint of caution into his or her driving.


Originally uploaded by mpereira123.
I find speed trailers such as this one simultaneously threatening and aloof. The following suggestions would provide a more expressively human approach to speed trailing.

LIE Problem Area

LIE Problem Area
Originally uploaded by mpereira123.
After Boston-based Modern Continental (the people who brought us such wonders as "The Big Dig") defaulted on their contract to widen the LIE for most of the length of Nassau(r) county, J.D. Posillico Inc. of Farmingdale was awarded the contract. Newsday published this account of recent LIE (re-)construction history.

Atlanta Highways

Atlanta Highways
Originally uploaded by mpereira123.
The I-85/75/20 Multiplex, Atlanta, Georgia. Writ large in bold, majestic, strokes across the fertile, verdant landscape, motorists on Atlanta metro freeways must really move!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

If we hurry, we can make the light!

Yes, we all knew the title-track post would show up on this blog sooner or later, so here it is. A new study from the Institute of Transportation Engineers suggests:

"...the nation's traffic signal operations are largely inefficient, leading to frustration and unnecessary delays for motorists, wasted fuel and more air pollution as vehicles constantly stop and go."

Well I'll say!

Of particular annoyance in my duchy are:

1. The new insertion of lights in heretofore non-light-controlled intersections -- the "consecration" of the intersection.

2. The sometimes artificial (and obviously centrally-mandated) assignation of certain routes as priority corridors. When the lights on the "main drag" are green 90% of the time, it causes a backup (and contributes to mounting road rage) on feeder roads.

3. The new and uncertain designation of light-controlled left- and right-hand turn lanes. Why do we need to control more right-hand turns? Give us the liberty to turn right, or give us death!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Virgin Mary Beneath the Underpass

Beneath the Chicago's Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94), some of the Faithful have imputed divine origins to some concrete rot/water damage on the wall of an underpass. While the Kennedy is indubitably a nice road, it's unlikely to be the place where God would want to manifest his/her/its immanence.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Not Just Concrete

In Today's NY Times, in an article about novel uses of fabrics, I discovered:

"In fact, textiles have long been used for more than clothes and rugs, said Dr. Peter Schwartz, head of the textile engineering department at Auburn University. "The Romans used jute fabrics for road stabilization," he said."

Imagine driving (a horse?) over a rug-like road surface!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Impeding MY Web Presence

Who is this schlameil anyway?

United Artists

While we're off the subject, I fell asleep to an American Experience piece that mentioned how the distribution company, "United Artists," was formed. It got me thinking about how "talent" is managed in any large organization. It also got me thinking specifically about how "talent" is managed at advertising agencies. While it is arguable that there is no such thing as talent in ad agencies (those who can don't work in advertising...) it seems that things would be much cheaper for those who purchase marketing services if there were less corporate structure around the "talent" that is being utilized. If some post-modern, post-blog, post-wiki, post-Internet talent pool were created in which all of those people who normally reported to work for a particular company (ad agency) to work in the service of another company (the client) could collaborate (loosely) and receive only the most necessary guidance, it seems we'd cut down significantly on administrative and management costs. Since managers do nothing, and administrators do even less, this seems like an ideal solution to me. As "the client" grows more sophisticated, will it be possible to avoid such direct harnessing of "talented" resources?

Beginning to go off-topic

Although I'm fairly certain I'll never run out of things to say about roadwork, the fact that I'm having so much trouble getting Hello! to send pictures to this blog has prompted me to go off-topic for a moment.

Why doesn't Google's new blog photo insertion solution, "Hello!," work as promised? "Hello?" I try to publish pictures to my blog, but it's no dice! Some sites say that Blogger provides free photo hosting, other say it doesn't. Does anyone know how to make this work?

"Speed Trailers"

Yesterday I saw my first speed-monitoring sign in an expressway setting. Normally these signs (which prominently post the speed limit and your current speed -- presumably detected by some sort of radar -- beside it) are found on the side of secondary roads, or country roads where speed limits are in the 30s. Actually, you can find them anywhere where the municipality has the funds to erect one, and where motorists often travel above the posted speed limit. The thinking goes as follows: drivers, presumably shocked to find that they're travelling at least 10-15 miles per hour above the posted speed limit, will notice their imprudent speeding and feel compelled to slow down. Somehow this never happens to me.

That is, until I saw such a device work at expressway speeds. Remarkably, such a device was sitting in the as-yet-unopened HOV lane of the westbound LIE in the great expanse of darkness between Jericho Turnpike and Glen Cove Road. Alone in the dark, motorists zoomed past this sign (placed next to the road's left-most lane) at 72+ MPH. It was quite a stunning sight to see my fellow motorist blithely ignore the posted speed limits and continue to accelerate as they passed the sign. (In this particular work zone, the actual speed limit was 45 MPH).

Personally, this extrinsic reminder of my in flagrante delicto was enough to make me slow down momentarily. Others appraently perceived it as a challenge -- egging them on accusatory amber digits -- and kicked up as much gravel as possible in the general direction of the helpless sign.

Were there more of these signs on Long Island highways, operating at different times of day, they might have an opposite road-rage-inducing effect: reminding motorists of just how slowly they're actually moving.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Hacked Highway Sign Sets Speed Limit At 100 MPH

Message Changed On Construction Sign

POSTED: 9:24 am EDT April 8, 2005

VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- The message was too good to be true.

An electronic highway sign on Interstate 75 in Michigan told drivers: "Speed limit 100 mph go go go."

For months, the signboard in Genesee County had been alerting commuters to construction that starts this month.

Someone hacked the sign, which is controlled by a computer through a subcontractor.

State highway officials say they're investigating who changed it and how.

The speed limit in the area is 70.

Bill Shreck, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation, said officials "weren't amused" by the traffic message.

Source: Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Interstate 85

So after a little huntin' around Google's satellite/map surfer (you can switch back and forth between them!), I decided to test the premise that Atlanta's highways are more magnificent than LA's. Indeed, it seems they are, at least, wider...! They look simply resplendent. I can't wait to taste them! Behold the I-20-I-85/75 Multiplex:,GA&ll=33.744067,-84.391083&spn=0.004957,0.007693&t=k&hl=en