There Are Better Ways to Kill Traffic Than Lying to Waze | Wired


Aarian Marshall in Wired writes: “There Are Better Ways to Kill Traffic Than Lying to Waze“, probably inspired by my Tweet:

Speed bump sign
Speed bump sign



I gave a quote for the article and led him to some contacts. My quote


Burn It All Down

The other option is ugly. It’s brutal. Don’t do it, probably. But the absolute best way to reduce cut-through traffic is to transform your neighborhood into a grid. Cut-through traffic “is particularly a problem in areas that try to concentrate traffic onto a few major roads, but leave only a few other routes besides main arterials connected,” says David Levinson, a civil engineer with the University of Minnesota. Streets arranged as connected grids, on the other hand, “tend to distribute traffic more evenly.” That means that even if your neighborhood’s fave arterial road gets shuttered, vehicles fleeing congestion will spread out across the area. No one road will bear the brunt of the nuttiness.

Tragically, there are no shortcuts to beating residential traffic. Instead of using your phone to sabotage Waze, try using it to call your local transportation commissioner.

Dealing with Mess

Every profession deals with a certain type of mess. Doctors deal with the sick and injured, which creates an obvious type of messiness involving various bodily fluids. Sanitation workers deal with another obvious mess. Day care workers deal with the messiness of the pre-school child (both literally and figuratively). Civil engineers deal with messiness of transforming nature into civilization, transforming Rome from a city of mud to a city of marble as Marcus Agrippa did.  The chef deals with the messiness of transforming raw food into something to be eaten while the busboy cleans up the mess of the finished meal. Even accountants deal with the messiness of bureaucratic monetary shell games and the tax code, often dealing with paper receipts and ordering that into systematic data.

A few of us have the luxury of the ivory tower. Our messes are more abstract: turning the jumbled observable facts of the world into coherent theory, turning the jumbled and distracted minds of 19 year olds into ordered thinkers. But we still deal with chaos. Professors are still occasionally killed in the process.

The beauty of the market economy is that people have specialized jobs, so specialized that they can abstract almost everything that is not their job into a comparatively seamless service.