Science Under the Dome: Moving More Cars Through Smaller Spaces

Traffic congestion is a terrible problem in Detroit and major cities worldwide. Congestion wastes time, causes collisions and injuries, wastes fuel and adds harmful emissions to our atmosphere. In most US cities, easy solutions to traffic congestion have already been implemented and only expensive and disruptive choices like widening, bypasses, flyovers and changing people's travel habits remain.

Alternative designs of intersections and interchanges, where most of the congestion occurs, are a way forward that has gotten some attention and activity recently. The Michigan left turn, which is popular in the Detroit area, is an example of an alternative design. There are dozens of other alternatives. Most of the alternatives reroute left turns to simplify movements at the main junction, freeing green time for through vehicles and pedestrians.

Joseph HummerNone of the alternatives is a universal solution, but each looks like it has a niche where it could be helpful. During this presentation, Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Hummer will show why alternative intersection and interchange designs have the promise to relieve congestion. He'll review the current menu of alternative designs and show some that have not been built yet but have promise for the future.

In the end, Professor Hummer will provide a vision for a city that allows vehicles and pedestrians to flow smoothly to wherever they want to go.


Saturday,  Nov. 9, 2013 at 11 a.m.

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