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This is an Engineering Research Paper. What is operations research? Operations research is the application of the methods of science to complex problems arising in the direction and management of large systems of men, machines material, and money in industry, business, government and defense. The distinctive approach is to develop a scientific model of the system, incorporating measurements of factors such as chance and risk, with which to predict and compare the outcomes of alternative decisions, strategies or controls. The purpose is to help management determine its policy and actions scientifically. (Ravindran, Phillips and Solberg 1987). How does operations research apply to highway systems inefficiency?
Let's find out! "Automakers don't build roads and governments don't build autos, yet we expect cars and roads to mesh together seamlessly to form a transportation network. " For year's automakers and regional transportation planners have been working to put information age technology to work solving traffic problems. All over the world people are choosing to travel by automobile because this flexible mode of travel best meets their needs. But grid locked expressways threaten to take the "mobile" out of "automobile. " This presentation will try to show reasons why our expressways are so congested, what the Federal Highway Administration proposals are to alleviate congestion and the advantages and disadvantages of these proposals under review. Firstly what are some of the causes of urban highway congestion? Rush hour traffic is one of the leading contributors of highway congestion.
It isn't our imagination. Every year commute times to work take longer and longer. Since 1986 car travel has increased almost 40 %, while highway capacity has barley grown. As a result most major interstate routes in Metropolitan areas are jammed during rush hours. Grid locked cost Americans almost the equivalent of $ 51 billion a year in lost wages and wasted fuel. And the situation is only going to get worse. (Steisand, Betsy. 1996).
What causes rush hour traffic? Simply put, at specific times of the day be it in the morning or evening motorists in general are either on their way to work or home. There is such a glut of vehicles on the expressways at this time. They all need to get to their destinations at peak times of the day. It is a simple equation: Too many cars incorporated with the lack of sufficient roadways equals traffic build up or congestion. Bottlenecks are another issue of heated debate.
How is it possible to have a six lane major highway, miraculously turn or transform itself into a four-lane system? It is not possible for the quantity of cars traveling on the highways to get through this section of roadway without some delay. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this solution, which is sometimes unavoidable due to land constraints, is simply unacceptable in today's fast paced economy. Another issue that is at the forefront of this subject is aggressive driving leading to highway accidents. We " ve all been there: stuck behind the slow moving truck crawling up hill on a two lane road; cut off by a speeding car that zips in front of us; tailgated by a driver who wants to practice for the Indy 500 on the local highway. (William, Cassidy 1997). " Road rage" and aggressive driving cause about one-third of highway accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concludes that these drivers must be stopped because their driving is taking a toll on America's highways.
The top causes of aggressive driving are irresponsibility on the driver's part, reduced traffic enforcement, and increased congestion and traffic in urban cities. Forces of nature also play a significant part in this scenario. In bad weather like snow, rain and fog people have a natural tendency to be more cautious and deliberate when behind the wheel of a car with these conditions. Slower movement of traffic suggests that these cars are not traveling at the recommended speeds causing a build up of cars for every section of highway. We refer back to the equation; more cars equals traffic congestion. Even though nature cannot be controlled its repercussions on the expressways of urban cities today is having a profound effect.
Tolls are another situation begging for attention when transportation planners and organizers develop their models of these systems, in order to attain results for real life implementation. Tolls are necessary, but it too is a traffic flow delay on most expressways. Despite the fact that it costs a great deal of expense to use a piece of real estate which was and is supposed to be free of charge, its existence is vital for revenue generated to have roadways maintained. However, flow of traffic is always interrupted by motorists who wait until the last moment to pay their toll only to realize that they don't have the required amount, are in the lane which explicitly says "exact change" and they have a twenty dollar bill in hand, or they simply are not coordinated enough to deposit the money in the change bin preventing the barricade from lifting and allowing them to proceed. These motorists frequently cause a "pile up" of cars behind them, which in a short space of time can stretch for miles. (Mackprang and Parker, 1999). Road construction too is also a contributor to urban highway congestion.
As motorists we ask ourselves; why is it necessary to keep building if all it would accomplish in encourage more cars on the roads? The solution: construction, although a headache at times is necessary for the expressways to function at optimum levels. Before these detours are placed on the road ways models of these scenarios are developed to give transportation officials some idea or clue that the rate of flow of cars, time it takes the navigate through the detour, also the number of cars in this juncture of the road, is at a specific quantity or time to warrant the necessary construction. These obstacles on the expressways that alter the flow and cause delays are planned very methodically for minimum delay but also within optimum capacity and functioning constraints. Upon determining some of the leading causes of urban highway congestion it must be shown that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) does have proposals to help solve these problems. There are many proposals that are currently under review and consideration by transportation authorities that will have a profound effect on the condition of the expressways today.
One such proposal is High Speed Rail Systems (HSR). In 1992 there were negotiations underway in Florida that amended its 1984 Transportation Act authorizing (FDOT) Florida Department Of Transportation to implement innovative mechanisms required to effect the joint venture approach to planning, locating, permitting, managing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining an Inter Regional High Speed Rail System for the state linking, Tampa, Orlando and Miami. It does not depend on Federal Government for financial support, instead will be funded by the private sector of the economy. This system would prove very useful in this state since the state's environmental organizations have for the most part embraced high speed rail as a good way to solve air pollution and congestion problems, especially since it would not have to build new airport or highway infrastructure. (Vantuoro, William 1995). A second such proposal that has already been implemented is the use of a High Occupancy Vehicle lane (HOV).
This technique encourages carpooling, recognizing that the objective is to move people, not vehicles. The carpooling system suggests that this lane of traffic flow should be used by motorists with three or more passengers and also no heavy vehicles (E. g. Trucks, etc).
The logic is that passengers in these lanes would essentially have to commute in one vehicle instead of four separate ones to get to their destination. Fewer cars on the roadways suggest a reduction in traffic congestion. A h...
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Research essay sample on Aggressive Driving Profound Effect