Showing posts with label Traffic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Traffic. Show all posts

May 31, 2020

Freedom USA!

Nothing says freedom in the USA like a nice Three Wheeler Motorcycle. 

Vroom Vroom!

Super fun and a perhaps little more stability for your butt. 

If the air is clear and the road empty, you can let the wind blow through your hair and the whole world go by. 

F*** everything! 

Life was made for living.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Dossy and Andy Blumenthal)
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November 29, 2019

Impressive Brightline





Just wanted to say how impressed I was with the new Brightline train system in Florida. 

Right now it goes from Miami straight to Fort Lauderdale and then to Palm Beach. 

I took it between Fort Lauderdale and Miami and it was a quick 30 minute ride--no traffic yay!

The trains are modern and sleek, and the stations were automated, clean, secured with guards and scanners, and had a beautiful lounge waiting area (and they announce the train arrival like 10 minutes before it arrives).

Also, the staff was friendly and helpful, and they even came around with a food cart. 

I understand they are adding additional stops for Aventura and Boca Raton. 

I would definitely take this train again--way to go! ;-)

(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 16, 2016

Metro Doesn't Always Get You There

So today the Washington D.C. Metro has a full suspension of service for at least 24 hours over the entire system

Metro says it is to check safety after a fire on the system on Monday, but the hastiness and extremeness of the action has many scratching their heads and asking "Terror Threat?"

Either way, better safe than sorry!

It's funny because just on the way home yesterday, I took this photo of what I believe is a advertisement for taking Metro (instead of driving) or for some reason I took it as that. 

Metro is supposed to get you there, but doesn't always. 

Still better than sitting in traffic or getting tickets downtown. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 4, 2015

No More Flooding With Permeable Pavement



Very cool solution to flash flooding called Topmix Permeable by Tarmac (a U.K. sustainable building materials company). 

The concrete literally drinks up hundreds of gallons of water. 

Where the heck does all the water go? 

If you're walking, no more soggy shoes and pant's bottoms. 

If your driving, even more important is the potential life-saving element for about 75 people that die in vehicles every year when they try get caught in the vehicles in flash flood conditions. 

Also, many potential accidents, injuries, and deaths could be averted by people whose car's go hydroplaning on wet road surfaces.

Finally, think how transportation would be faster and more efficient (with less traffic) from better road conditions with innovations like this.

With this new material on our roads and some added heat elements to prevent snow and ice, we got some darn good road-safety going on. ;-)
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March 29, 2015

Electric Cars, Forget About It

With all the talk about electric cars, I think what we've forgotten is that they are still just cars and oh-so 20th century. 

What I mean is that they are not transformative. 

You're still in a car, traveling around 15-60(+) miles per hour, stopping at stop lights/signs, yielding to other cars and pedestrians, driving over potholes, getting stuck in traffic, and having to fill up on "juice" every few hundred miles. 


And with the cost of oil way done (about half from last year), there may be a positive environmental impact, and that's important, but that's about it for this invention. 


So if you can get over the range anxiety and fear of running out of electric power and not finding a convenient place to plug into, and you don't mind waiting an hour or so for the fill up, well then you can drive on batteries--and all the power to you. 


But like the toy cars and trucks that I played with as a child, they too often ran on batteries, and I'd zoom them around on the kitchen and dining room floor with lights and sirens flashings--now that was exciting. 


And yes, a driverless car (like from Google) is a little more of a step forward in terms of really changing how we travel...but then again, maybe it's like sitting on a bus, metro, cruise ship, or airplane today--read the paper, snooze, listen to music, or watch a video, but you don't have to do anything to move the vehicle or navigate the terrain. 


In a way, cars are pretty much just fancy horses with wheels--whether powered by hay, gas, or electric--they are terrestrial and sort of boring on the ride--even with the windows down and music playing. 


In my opinion, it is high time for some travel without the crunched seats, traffic jams, no turn lanes, traffic cameras, expensive tickets, looking for parking spaces, potholes, flat tires, and all the other nuisances of daily car commuting. 


What I like about the picture in this blog though is that it makes me think of a much greater leap when it comes to transportation--whether by transporter, jet pack, pneumatic tubes, or time/space machine--we can get there effortlessly and lippity-snappity quick.


And the car, it can stay in the garage--or find its place in the Museum of History--for all I care. ;-)


(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)

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October 17, 2014

Closed And Closed

This is sort of hilarious.

Check out the signs on either side of the road.

- Right lane closed.

- Left lane closed.

Even more stupid, notice that the signs are reversed (the left closure sign is on the right side of the road and the right closure sign is on the left side of the road)...oops.

Thank G-d, there were three lanes--at least for a little while. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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April 15, 2014

Futuristic Highway


Some really great ideas here for the highway of the future.

These are the inspiration of interactive artist Daan Roosegaarde.

To save energy and increase safety, there are four concepts presented:

- Glow in the dark road markings (i.e. lane dividers) with photo-luminescent paint that charges during the day and lights up at night.

- Weather symbols on the road with temperature-responsive paint, so for example, when the temperature falls below a certain level, the roads show snowflake symbols to indicate that they may be icy. 

- Motion-interactive lights on the highway that light up when cars approach and are powered by the draft of the moving cars. 

- Induction lanes that can charge car batteries as they run along them and reenergize the cars for further travel. 

Already, there is a 500 meter stretch of road in Oss, Netherlands with the glow-in-the-dark road markings--these are almost radioactive green in color and give a futuristic Tron look to the roads.

Now the question is when can we get these high-tech upgrades for I-495? 

What an awesome high-tech display befitting our nation's capital and maybe it would help with traffic as well!  ;-)
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April 14, 2014

How Do You Kill A Pothole?

With a pothole killer, of course. 

This is a funny truck roaming around Washington, D.C. 

Even the phone number tells the story...dial 1-877-Fix Road. 

All American too - red, white, and blue with the stars and stripes.

Bang, Bang. Pothole Dead. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 24, 2013

Drama In D.C.

Wanted to share two unrelated, but noteworthy items from my week so far...

First, this tree went down right in the middle of traffic in Washington, D.C. today. The BMW on the left was totaled, the van and taxi on the right had their respective front and rear-ends crushed. So much for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On another note, I taught an enterprise architecture class earlier this week here, and in discussing establishing technical standards for the organization, one student put it well when he dramatically said "everyone loves standards, that's why they make their own."  :-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 17, 2010

City 2.0 Makes City Sense

They call it City 2.0—that is cities that are IT enabled with all sorts of sensors and smart technology.

  • Cameras monitor traffic flow.
  • Sensors test water quality and monitor sewage runoff.
  • Smart meters keep track of energy usage.
  • Acoustical systems monitor structural integrity of bridges and other infrastructure.
  • Building management systems control ventilation, lighting, power, fire, and security.
  • Environmental monitoring tracks weather, smog, and even potential natural disasters.

And I think this is all probably still just the beginning…

Governing Magazine, April 2010 has an article entitled “The Sentient City” by Zach Patton” that describes how systems are helping cities “send resources to the street corner where gangs are converging, manage traffic before it becomes congested, and respond to emergencies seamlessly—automatically—before they’re even reported.”

With technology, we are able to be not only more aware of our surroundings, but also be more proactive in managing them.

There are many critical technology elements that come into play for a sentient city:

  • Sensors—for awareness of what is going on
  • Networking—for linking together the sensors with the backend systems
  • Storage—for housing all the incoming city data
  • Business Intelligence—for making sense of it all
  • Alerting—for notifying authorities and citizens of important happenings

According to analyst Rob Enderle, with technologies for a sentient city, “you can run a city cheaper and have happier and safer citizens.” Further, according to the article, the city “becomes a more efficient place for people to live and work. It also means a government can do more with less.”

Obviously, there is significant investment that needs to be made in city infrastructure, systems, and people to make this next generation of city living a complete reality.

But with the investment will come rewards of more and better information for managing all the people, places, and things interacting with each other in the environs.

The flip side of a sentient city is a certain degree of risk to people’s privacy. For example, where cameras and other sensors abound, people’s comings, goings, and doings could become subject to invasive scrutiny.

In this case, a little information can become a dangerous thing without adequate safeguards as to what can be monitored, when, and with how much personally identifiable information. For example, this issue is currently being dealt with at airports full body technology scanners that are programmed to hide a person’s facial identity.

The benefits of sensing and monitoring our environment are great in terms of efficiencies, safety, and security of our citizens, and I believe that this capability will grow from discrete sensing systems into more holistic city management systems that monitors all the city’s functions and operations, feeds this information into dynamic knowledge centers, and provides real-time information for managing day-to-day city living more intelligently and proactively.

As our population grows and our major city centers continue to have to deal with the ever greater potential for overcrowding, traffic, dirt, crime, and other facets of close knit metropolitan life, our need for more and better information for managing these will become ever more critical to support the continued livability and likability of our cities that we call home.


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