Traffic control is not as easy as many people believe. It is easy to take for granted the ability to drive down a street in an organized and orderly way. It is not until a person who has grown up in a city where things are well organized travels to a place where traffic is not as well organized that they realize what a blessing having traffic control is. Proof of this is also seen in well organized cities when there is a power outage. A Sunday stroll that is usually peaceful and that does not require much stress can become exceptionally stressful when the stop lights are no longer working.
There are things about traffic control that are easy to take for granted. For example, a person could be driving through the city and they could hit every single green light. They may see their hitting every green light as a lucky sign. However, what these individuals do not realize is that they’re actually benefiting from a form of traffic control called the green wave.
This idea is not new. In fact, the United States has been using some form of the green wave since the mid-1920’s. The idea of a green wave is to monitor the average speed that cars are traveling down the road and then time the changing of the lights so that if a car hits one green light, they should essentially hit all of the green lights all the way to their destination.
Traffic control is not only designed to make a person’s life more comfortable. It is designed to make one’s life safer. Simple things like temporary rumble strips that are laid out on the road during construction, clear white and yellow lines traveling down the center of the road, well organized stop signs, and a pre-ordained order for the streets are all designed to make a person’s life safer as they are traveling in a vehicle.
Usually, when there is a breakdown in traffic, such as a traffic jam, it is because a vehicle violated one of the traffic laws. The violation usually leads to some sort of accident or some sort of traffic slowdown.
There are a lot of theoretical models that are being examined as ways of making traffic safer and making it flow better. Many of these ideas are geared toward automated vehicles that do not require a driver. In a few years, with enough advances, problems in traffic may actually disappear.