The Problem with Congestion

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Listen: 

Traffic congestion can affect us in many ways. 

What is congestion?

  • Road users: a road is congested when car speed falls below the usual level. 
  • Engineers: a road is congested when more vehicles try to use it than it is able to carry.

What is the cost of congestion?

  • extra driving time
  • unexpected delays
  • stressed drivers 
  • missed appointments
  • more fuel used 
  • added cost
  • higher vehicle emissions. 

The Transport Agency tries to reduce major congestion where possible. 

How is congestion managed? 

There are many ways to ease congestion, including: 

Demand management – Reducing the number of vehicles on a road at any one time. This can be done by: 

  • getting people to use public transport 
  • travelling during non-congested hours
  • tolling parts of the road.

Driver information systems - allows drivers to make decisions about their route and time of travel. 

Build more lanes so traffic is less congested -This is very expensive because the traffic peak lasts only a short time each day, so the extra lanes would be unused most of the time. 

Better use of the road space you already have – Using smart tools such as:

  • incident detection systems - keep traffic moving smoothly and help clear incidents quickly
  • Information and control systems - let people know of traffic conditions and manage traffic flows during incidents or congestion. 

Ramp signals - A traffic light at the end of an on-ramp directs traffic to enter a motorway and then merge with the mainline flow. The speed of traffic on the motorway and motorway travel times are improved with ramp signals. 

High occupancy vehicle or bus lanes - encourage people to carpool or get the bus which means fewer vehicles on the road.

 

Audio Maori keywords: 


  • Samoan keywords

    Samoan keywords: 
     sa fa’alaua’itele  public transport
     tumu  congested (crowded, full)
     avanoa  capacity
     faailoga  signals (noun)
     faatonu, tapena  manage
  • Tongan keywords

    Tongan keywords: 
     mealele  public transport
     tokolahi  congested (crowded, full)
     koe lahi o ha me'a 'oku lava ke fa'o kiai  capacity
     Faka'ilonga (singular) ngaahi faka'ilonga (plural)  signals (noun)
    Fakamā’opo’opo  manage
  • Cook Islands Māori keywords

    Cook Islands Maori keywords: 
    au  public transport
    ki  congested
    tei akono'ia  capacity
    akairo  signals (noun)
    akatere  manage
  • Niuean keywords

    Niuean keywords: 
     peleo afi no  public transport
     apiapi  congested (crowded, full)
     fiha e tagata ke hao he peleo afi  capacity
     tau fakamailoga puhala tu  signals (noun)
     fakamaopoopo/fakakatoatoa  manage

You could plan and do a study of traffic volumes outside your school at different times of the day.

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New Zealand Roads (Smart Motorways)

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A Smarter Motorway

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Traffic congestion affects people in many ways. It can also affects the environment. Image: NZTA.

Having people use public transport helps to ease traffic congestion. Image: NZTA.

Information and control systems let people know of traffic conditions and manage traffic flows during incidents or congestion. Image: HMI Technologies.

The speed of traffic on the motorway and motorway travel times are improved with ramp signals. Image: http://transportblog.co.nz/2014/02/08/do-ramp-signals-really-help/.

Comments

I wonder if congestion is only a

Comment: 
I wonder if congestion is only a problem in urban areas?

If you give drivers good

Comment: 
If you give drivers good information to make the "right decision", I wonder if they just obey or if you need tickets and fines to enforce it.