April 29, 2014

A Different Look at the Morning Commute. ~ Ashleigh Hitchcock

Phish in Miami

Traffic lights are incredibly bad for the environment.

Vehicles idling at a red light, produce unnecessary emissions. Stopping and revving up, from a standstill, are the parts of driving that use up the most fuel.

Traffic lights serve the purpose of controlling the flow of traffic, so that everyone can travel safely through the intersection. In the United States, we’ve been conditioned to believe in the necessity of traffic lights.

Surprisingly, in some other countries, traffic lights don’t exist. Even in major cities.

Meskel Square is a popular public gathering place for festivals and protests in the Ethiopian city of Addis Ababa.

Addis Ababa has a population of 3.3 million people, roughly the same as the United States city of Los Angeles.

This video displays the morning commute in Addis Abeda with no traffic lights. Wow! The result is surprising.

So, here we are, stuck in the United States, with traffic lights. How can we avoid stopping at traffic lights? In the 21st Century, it’s as easy as using an I-Phone application.

It’s called SignalGuru.

The Smartphone is attached to the car dashboard and the application takes several snapshots of approaching cars at intersections. As the driver approaches the intersection, the application makes a suggested driving speed and tells the time, in seconds, until the light will turn green. The car is constantly in motion instead of the start and stop.

This will decrease emissions and fuel use.

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Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photo: Wikipedia, used with permission from Andrew Wyatt

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