Simple road rule that could end traffic jams forever
A JAPANESE engineer has boldly claimed he can solve the pain of peak-hour traffic jams by changing the driving habits of just eight motorists.
But many commuters aren’t going to like his plan because, counter intuitively, it means you’ll have to slow down to get to your destination quicker.
The University of Tokyo’s Professor Katsuhiro Nishinari studies the mathematics of traffic jams, a discipline he likes to call “jamology”.
Talking to news.com.au, he said there was one rule that would effectively render traffic jams a thing of the past — and it wasn’t just roads. Prof Nishinari said when it came to pedestrian congestion, footpaths should have a dedicated slow lane for the elderly.
Prof Nishinari, who was in Melbourne for the Transport and Tourism Forum’s Australian Transport Summit, said we could learn a lot from how insects scurry about as “ants never have traffic jams”.
That’s because ants generally don’t brake, and the chain reaction of braking is the problem.
“People are always trying to go fast. When they do, they tend to have less headway between them and the vehicle in front and that is very bad and is where traffic jams occur.”
Unlike humans, he said, ants always had a constant headway — or distance — between themselves and the ant in front.