All forms of mass transportation should be opened up to the private sector. No subset of public transportation should be exclusively the right of government owned and/or operated vehicles. Nevertheless, all segments of the transportation industry would be subject to government oversight and relevant regulatory controls.0 Comments
Long Distance Mass Transportation
Every country should install a network of long-distance, high-speed (preferably electrically powered) mass transportation trains which connect virtually every major population center. These systems should be designed to have both the smallest aesthetic footprint possible and the smallest physical and environmental footprint on the land (by using an elevated, column-supported monorail design, for example), especially in environmentally significant areas. Even through desert areas, elevating these monorail trains would benefit the environment by not creating a physical barrier to the migration of biological organisms. Additional benefits would include a reduced chance of vandalism on the elevated tracks and a reduced chance of interruption and damage by natural environmental processes (floods, wind blown debris, earthquakes, etc.) Furthermore, the visual benefits experienced by travelers on an elevated track would include an ability to see farther than if they were at ground level, allowing both a greater enjoyment and awareness of the surrounding environment. High speed travel on elevated tracks would potentially cause less discomfort to passengers than high speed ground level transport because nearby scenery would appear to pass by slower relative to ground level transportation systems operating at the same speeds due to motion parallax.
Urban/Suburban Mass Transportation
A similar system should also be built to meet the transportation needs within cities and other urban and suburban population centers. Stops could be made by these trains as often as about every kilometer or so. By using columns to support these monorails, very minimal amounts of land would be required for a complete system allowing implementation even in high density areas. Even the space required by embarking/disembarking stations could be constructed on the rooftops of current industrial, commercial, and even residential buildings. Even in densely packed areas that are filled with high rise structures, train stations could be built right inside these existing structures, taking up a portion of one of the floors. These elevated trains could enter and exit such structures at the second or third floor levels without requiring very extensive structural reconfigurations.
Additional transportation systems, perhaps consisting of buses or vans with routes that service only the neighborhood around that particular station, could then be designed to complement the monorail systems in order to create a comprehensive, door-to-door mass transportation system.
Smaller Capacity, More Individualized, Mass Transportation Vehicles
In order to create a mass transportation system with a far higher level of comfort and appeal, it is imperative that people be able to travel from their place of origin to their destination without any transfers to any other vehicles, without being bothered by any other passengers, with a high level of privacy, without having to worry about missing their disembarking point, and not being required to walk any long distance to or from any point along such a system.
Modifications of the above proposals for a basic monorail mass transportation system would enable the creation of this more personalized form of transport. Using the same monorail infrastructure, but just extending it to create a much finer network down to the residential scale (where each residence would be serviced by such a system), and utilizing passive monorail switching methods that enable vehicles to switch from one rail to another at much higher speeds, would allow the creation of a comprehensive mass transportation system able to suit the needs of the vast majority of the population. The remaining population would still be able to use conventional road vehicles, since roads would, and should, continue to be maintained for a variety of valid reasons.
To ensure the highest capacity usages possible as well as the highest levels of safety possible, each vehicle using this monorail infrastructure, both the larger mass transit and the smaller more individualized vehicles, need to have their speeds and routes determined by an automated network of computers that allow communication among all nearby vehicles (to schedule mergers onto the same track, for example) and to determine routing information to avoid congested lines or trouble spots. If the technology is not reliable enough, it may be beneficial to have a manual override for one or more characteristics of operation.
Passive Monorail Switching
Passive monorail switching technology is essential to prevent grid-lock associated with the relatively slow conventional rail switching methods used today as well as the relatively slow speeds at which vehicles can pass through such switches due to their relatively high angles of departure from the main track. In addition, the maintenance requirements and significant breakdown and failure risks associated with active monorail switching systems are eliminated through the use of passive systems. A passive monorail switching system involve a conventional I-beam (on which the vehicle travels) gradually becoming flared from the bottom as it approaches a switch. This flaring continues until the sides of the I-beam are level with the top of the I-beam. Such I-beam flaring may proceed along a 50-200 foot segment of track, depending on the speed at which vehicles are planned to travel. Thus, the stabilizing wheels which normally ride along the sides of the I-beam would have pivoted and would now be riding along the top of the I-beam and out towards the sides of the vehicle providing the needed stability.
For the vehicle to switch to a different track, a guide pin attached to an arm directly connected to the forward wheel assembly of the vehicle would be inserted into a deep groove or channel which will veer off onto the desired track, automatically guiding the front steering wheels onto the new track. If the vehicle desires to continue on the same track, then the guide pin would be inserted into a different channel (or perhaps a deeper portion of the same channel) ensuring guidance along the same track until the switching point had passed and the flattened (flared) I-beam returns to its normal I-beam shape. Theoretically, there would be no upper limit to the speed at which vehicles could travel through switches designed in this way.
I-beam technology would not be appropriate for residential scale service because such service needs to be at ground level to facilitate easy embarking and disembarking. But at ground level, it is not practical to design a monorail system that is easy for pedestrians to cross at all points and that does not involve much maintenance. Thus, this proposal to use monorail vehicles with the ability to transform, to a degree, to travel along flat paths would allow the much more versatile use of such vehicles in a residential environment (and a host of other environments) with much lower costs than would otherwise be the case. For example, since residential uses would be at far lower speeds and at ground level, it is not as important to provide a method of support and stability that relies on a mechanical fix against forces coming from all six directions. In addition, the stabilizing wheels that would normally be riding along the sides of the I-beam, would now be rotated to a flat position and spread out along the extreme sides of the vehicle providing as much support as conventional road vehicles are provided.
Monorail Vehicles Could Also Be Conventional Road Vehicles
In fact, such vehicles would be able to be used as conventional vehicles. While riding on the main I-beam monorail infrastructure, such vehicle could be powered by electricity obtained from the electrified I-beam itself. While traveling along the flat surface streets, batteries may provide enough energy to power the vehicles to their destination. The guide pins that would safely guide the monorail vehicles through the switches could be retracted to allow travel on surface streets just like conventional vehicles. Occupants may become drivers who may then drive these vehicles, as they would conventional ones. They could drive them into their own garages if they have bought such vehicles for their own private use. Or they could drive them to a local public monorail vehicle parking lot and walk the rest of the way home. No special infrastructures would be required by these vehicles after they leave the main monorail system and travel along flat roads.
However, public vehicles should not be limited to only licensed driver. Mature school children should also be allowed to use such vehicles, though perhaps operations should be limited to on-rail usage only so that safety could be ensured.0 Comments
A public bicycle system could also form an important part of this mass transportation system. Public bicycles (and tricycles) could be used much as shopping carts are used now in the sense that when a person is done using a bicycle, he/she could just leave it parked somewhere nearby so that any other person who wants to use it could take it from there. The government would be responsible for ensuring that an adequate number of bicycles exist to satisfy demands at each major bicycle parking location.
Public bicycles and tricycles could be used to transport people and goods from their residences and places of work to the train station. Or, for more healthy exercise, people could ride bicycles directly to their destination instead of using the trains. Essentially, the public would be free to ride the bicycles anywhere. The only restriction would be that they cannot keep them at home for their own exclusive use. Perhaps, if a user wants to own or lease one of these bicycles, they could buy them from the government or even lease them. People could use their own private bicycles as well, but they would, of course, need to lock them up so nobody else steals them.
This much more energy efficient method of transportation would not only save energy and reduce pollution emissions, it would also encourage the population to exercise by walking and cycling more and making the physical effort to carry everything they take.0 Comments
Mass transportation routes should run only along the same street for its entire length. The streets they run on should be preferably of the same name throughout the length of the route, but if that is not possible, they should either end where the street changes its name, or the name of the street should be changed. If neither of these options are possible or desirable, the route should continue on throughout the length of the new street as well, but only if that new street is a logical continuation of the previous street. That route would then need to be given the name of those two streets. There should not be any major turns or sharp breaks in the bus route that may not be perceived as logical for an average member of the public, with no access to a map, to follow. The idea is to make routes generally straight, logical, run longer distances, and not zigzag within relatively small geographical areas.
Mass transportation vehicles operating such routes should be given, not so much a number identification, but rather the names of the streets upon which they operate. In addition, instead of these vehicles merely stating their destination city or location, they should include a north, south, east, or west directional label right next to the name of the bus so that potential passengers, especially those with no knowledge of the area, would know, unmistakably, in which direction the bus is heading. Possible directional color coding could also be used.0 Comments
One single comprehensive database (i.e., website) should exist for people to get detailed information about route maps and schedules, current mass transport vehicle location and virtually all other questions people may have regarding any aspect of the mass transportation system.
Mass Transportation System Vehicle Schedules
All mass transportation vehicles (buses, trains, etc.) should operate on the same daily schedule, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year without exception. For example, if a bus normally passes by a given bus stop every 15 minutes during normal business hours, it should be required to pass by once every 15 minutes regardless of what time of day it is or what day of the year it is. This restriction is intended as a minimum guarantee only. Operators are free to run buses or trains more frequently than the scheduled 15 minutes in this example, but they cannot run any less frequently than 15 minutes. Such a requirement is essential for the public to have the necessary level of confidence in the continuous reliability of such a system. If any vehicle takes longer than this minimum time to service a scheduled stop location, all riders at that stop location should be entitled to a free ride. Instead of running big, 40-foot buses at 2 AM with very few or no riders, smaller mini-buses or vans could be used. In addition, these smaller vehicles could also be placed on certain routes to supplement the larger vehicles during times of extraordinary passenger demand or could just regularly be used to more accurately meet the needed capacity on bus routes.
Mass Transportation System Vehicle Schedule Enforcement and Real-Time Tracking
Mass transportation vehicles should compile and permanently record highly accurate records of the exact times that they have arrived at scheduled stop locations. This information should be continuously fed into a central location which integrates similar information from all other vehicles into one large comprehensive database which system managers and individual vehicle operators could refer to check up on the system-wide mass transportation scheduling performance. System managers could divert vehicles (especially buses which are easier to transfer) from one line to another to better meet demands. Individual vehicle operators would be able to use this system to find out exactly how long it has been since a mass transportation vehicle last visited any given stop. This way, vehicle operators would better know whether they should understand or dismiss rider complaints about late arrival times.
This information should be made available to the public so that as they are walking to a bus stop, for example, they could check in to this database to find out roughly (or exactly) where a bus is and they could better determine whether they need to run to the bus stop or not.0 Comments
Information Displayed Within Vehicles
All mass transit vehicles should provide its riders with an easily viewable automated list of the next 3-5 stops and perhaps a map of where they are, at all times during their travel.
Information Displayed At Scheduled Stop Locations
Every scheduled mass transportation vehicle stop location should provide all the relevant information concerning that route. This would include a schedule and/or the frequency of vehicle visits (such as every 10 minutes), a complete route map for that line, and the webpage for a comprehensive mass transportation system database. These changes would make using mass transit much more convenient.
Countdown Until Next Arrival
Every public transportation stop location should have a countdown clock so that users standing there can know where the vehicle currently is and so that they will have a reliable estimate of how much time they will need to wait until the next public transit vehicle arrives.
GPS Info Made Public
All public transportation vehicles should have GPS devices that transmit their current locations so that they could be made public and used by whoever (like Google maps) to provide such useful information to users.
All scheduled stop locations should have at least one clock. All mass transportation vehicles should also have clocks in one or two places where virtually all riders are able to easily see them, preferably near each door.
All mass transportation scheduled stop sites (especially bus stops) in which vehicles stop only upon request, should be required to allow customers to press a button to indicate to the vehicle operator that they request to be picked up. Perhaps the customer waiting at the stop could press a button that would activate some kind of light signal (like a strobe light) directed towards the direction in which the vehicle will come. When the vehicle sees this signal, he will stop at that stop. At the same time, when a customer presses this button, perhaps a signal could be sent to the operator, indicating that there is someone waiting to be picked up at that stop. At the appropriate time, the vehicle’s interior “Stop Requested” sign would activate so everyone onboard knows that the vehicle will stop at the next stop. Perhaps there could be either an audible or visual warning to the customer waiting at the stop that the vehicle is one stop away from theirs, and to get ready.
At bus stops where more than one bus line travels, there could maybe be some kind of color coded system of lights, like different colors for different bus lines.0 Comments
Public (or private) mass transportation vehicles should enjoy merging priority over all other vehicles. Privately operated vehicles should always yield to public transportation vehicles (buses, trains, etc.) when the option is presented. For example, when public transportation buses are merging into a lane, other vehicles should allow them the right of way and should not maneuver in any way that needlessly causes the mass transportation vehicle to maneuver to avoid the other vehicle. Of course, vehicles always should be required to allow for others to merge without causing the merging vehicle undo hardships, but perhaps higher fines could be levied against vehicles who clearly refuse to allow public transportation vehicles to merge.0 Comments
The use of mass transport vehicles is a privilege, not a right. There should be enforced behavior codes on public transportation vehicles, so that if people engage in crazy talk, are drunk or on drugs, play music or talk too loudly, especially about indecent subjects such as sex, fights, etc., curse or stink excessively, put their feet up on the seats, engage in vandalism, put their hands in their nose, mouth, ears, then touch the bars or anything else, or are just annoying or engage in unsanitary behavior, they should probably be warned once, but more likely they should be cited and required to pay a fine. Depending on the offense, they should also be required to disembark at the next stop location. Minors should especially be watched for inappropriate behavior. They should be issued the same fines as adults for any inappropriate behavior. Cameras should be installed on all mass transportation vehicles and their video feeds could be monitored by both the driver/operator, and personnel at a central location. Enforcement personnel could be located both on board the vehicle or at various stations or bus stops so that offending behaviors could be corrected immediately.0 Comments
Vehicles sharing the same route for at least a significant part of the route should each be easily distinguishable from a distance by either having different colored paints, lights, or super large route name lettering on all four sides of the vehicles, especially the front and rear. The driver’s side should also have route name information that could be easily readable from a minimum distance of 100 feet.0 Comments
All public transportation seats, rails, sidings, and other parts that are often touched by passengers on buses, trains, and other public transportation systems should be cleaned and disinfected at least once a week, but preferable more often. These vehicles should prominently display to their riders when they were last cleaned. These notices could be placed at the front of buses, over exit doors, etc.0 Comments
If mass transit bus money machines (bill or coin slots, card slots, etc.) are out of order or otherwise are not to be used, the bus drivers should be required to place specially made brightly colored plastic covers over any non-functioning part so that it firmly stays in place and logically lets people know not to even try to insert bills or coins. This would eliminate a lot of confusion for passengers and reduce the need for the driver to continually tell boarding bus riders that the machine is broken.0 Comments
Automobiles, trucks, buses and other road vehicles should have a built-in mechanism that would prevent them from going over 80 mph. There is no reason automobiles should exceed 80 mph anywhere. Police or other enforcement vehicles should be exempted.
Perhaps, as technology improves, vehicles traveling on certain roads would be able to communicate with roadway infrastructures to determine the speed limit on that road and automatically limit the vehicle’s speed accordingly.0 Comments
Trucks (and perhaps all vehicles) should have forward-looking video cameras installed that would record a wide angled view of the roadway, possibly also including the driver’s cabin so as to record driver actions as well. Not only would this provide an abundance of data during accident investigations, but it could also be a sizable source of income to drivers since cameras would also record the illegal or dangerous driving activities of other drivers. People whose vehicle cameras captured such activities could turn that information over to the police for prosecution and they should get a portion of the fine amounts levied against the violators.0 Comments
All automobiles, trucks, buses, etc., should have ‘black box’ devices that would record important data that would aid in reconstructing events that may have led up to an accident or incident or yield data that may aid law enforcement in solving crimes or other unlawful activities, such as speeding. The black boxes should record the last 24 hours of vehicle run time. It should obviously be a crime to tamper with these boxes. Some of the things recorded in these boxes should be vehicle speed, angle of steering wheels, gas and brake pedal positions and perhaps other things like the number and direction of forces acting upon the car during a crash.0 Comments
Hazard lights on motor vehicles should be characterized by the red and yellow lights on the vehicle blinking in series. Never should just one color blink because this may cause confusion among other motorists who may not see both lights, causing them to think that the vehicle with the hazard lights merely has its turn signals activated. Moreover, both sets of blinking lights would cause the vehicle to have much higher visibility among other motorists.0 Comments
Car seatbelt alarms should sound only when the occupants are not wearing seatbelts when the car is in the ‘drive’ gear. If the car has just been put into ‘drive’, but has not moved faster than 10 mph, then the alarm should sound periodically, like every 5 seconds. If the car is moving at a speed of greater than 10 mph, the seatbelt alarm should sound continuously.0 Comments
Headlights Angled Down
Vehicle headlights should not be bright enough, when viewed head on at a distance of 50 feet or so, to cause excessive glare that may be dangerous to other drivers. Maybe all non-high beam headlights should be angled down a minimum of 3 degrees.
Daytime Running Lights
All vehicles should be equipped with daytime running lights. These should probably be integrated into the regular headlights rather than require vehicles to use separate lamps. These lights should be active during all times when the motor is running. During the daytime, only head lights would be required to be luminous. Such lights make vehicles more visible during normal and inclement weather conditions significantly reducing the chances of collisions.
Nighttime Headlights – Forget To Turn On
All vehicles should be required to have some system to remind drivers to turn their vehicle lights on during the dark. Such reminders could be something like a photodetector that would detect ambient light levels and determine if lights should be turned on. Another way would be to set the lights to turn on and off automatically based on the time of the day. The vehicles’ internal clock would adjust for the drift of sunrise/sunset times across the seasons. Or these clocks could be linked to the internet.0 Comments
Automobiles, trucks, boats, and all kinds of other vehicles and machinery or products that need to be periodically licensed or registered should be required, as a condition of their license renewal or re-registration, to be thoroughly inspected to insure proper working order and to satisfy the requirements of any outstanding mandatory recalls. Roadway vehicles should be inspected at least every two years.
The organizations or agencies responsible for licensing or registration, should also be responsible for maintaining a database of all goods that have been subject to recalls and ensure that the owners or those goods know of any outstanding recalls.0 Comments
Automobiles should all be designed with their fuel tank caps located on the driver’s side of the vehicle. This way people would be required to always pull up on the right side of gasoline station pump islands. In addition, people would never be required to think about which side of the vehicle the gas cap is located.0 Comments
All automobiles should have devices on the front and rear which would tell the driver how far away the vehicle is from hitting or touching an object. Cameras would probably be the best option.0 Comments
Automakers should be encouraged to find a way for occupants in a vehicle to open electric windows without requiring a key placed in the ignition. Though it is not a general safety issue (because doors could be opened without the key from the inside), it is very frustrating for an ignition key to be required to operate electric windows. If battery power is required for this feature, then there should be an automatic timer that would shut this function off one hour after the car is turned off.
The same is true for automobile radios, which usually require an ignition key. To ensure that the radio won’t drain the car’s battery if accidentally left on, there could be a 1 hour timer that will automatically shut it off when the car is turned off. (Idea based on: John Clark, 7-13-03, USA Today.)0 Comments
Driving tests, both written and driving, should be much harder and more thorough than they are today. These tests would teach drivers all the rules of different kinds of roads and would teach the driver how to respond to virtually every type of road situation, condition, hazard, and many other things. The driver should be tested thoroughly in all situations.0 Comments
The use of handheld telephones while driving should be illegal. Hands free phones should be legal, but only if the telephone system is set up in a way that would allow it to be operated so that a minimum of attention is required of the driver to operate it (such as using speed dial, speech-based or heads up display technology). Engaging in heavy or thought-intensive conversations while driving should be prohibited.
Drivers should not be allowed to call in to radio or TV programs and be placed live on the air regardless of the type of phone used. Only car phones with speed dialing functions should be allowed. The fine for using a hand held phone while driving should be $500, while the fine for using a non-qualifying hands free phone should be $100. If the car is in the “park” gear, all restrictions on driver telephone usage do not apply.
Engaging in any activity or using any device that considerably distracts the drivers of any vehicles or the operators of important or potentially dangerous equipment should be banned (putting on make-up, reading, shaving, etc). Wearing earphones while driving should only be permitted if only one earphone is worn on the right ear. This way law enforcement personnel (who can see the left ear far easier than the right one) are assured that the driver has at least one ear that is free of potentially restrictive hearing impediments0 Comments
Unbelted automobile drivers who are involved in an accident and suffered greater medical injuries because they were not belted should be required to pay, as punishment, a higher medical deductible for their medical bills relating to that accident.
Similarly, people who engage in other risky behavior, like bull-running, should also be required to pay a higher deductible for any injuries suffered.0 Comments
The most important factor for determining the price of car insurance should be a driver’s number of negative incidences (accidents, tickets, etc.) per 10,000 miles driven. Different weights would be given to different categories of incidents so that accidents, for example, would be looked at far more seriously than tickets. Incidents caused by drivers who are not the registered owner of the vehicle would not negatively affect the owner. Calculations/estimates would need to be made on a yearly basis to determine the number of miles driven by each driver who shares the vehicle. This factor should be the dominant factor (90-95%) in determining vehicle insurance (excluding theft insurance, etc.) while perhaps place of residence (actually it should be the areas where the most driving occurs: home, school, work, church, etc.) and type of vehicle driven could be the next largest considerations.0 Comments
Drivers who drive without a license or one that is suspended or expired should be subject to $2,000 fine and impounding of the vehicle (unless the vehicle belongs to someone else).
Drivers who have a valid license, but forgot to carry it with them or lost it, should be required to pay a $100 fine if they are required to show their card to a law enforcement officer. Such people should make sure that they always drive with and carry a valid driver’s license card. The law enforcement officer should be required to use other methods to check the status of a driver who does not physically have their license card with them. No law enforcement officer would be allowed to impose any hardship other than this $100 fine (and possibly a longer wait time during the traffic stop) upon any individual who has a valid driver’s license but who does not physically have their license card.0 Comments
The worldwide standard should be that people should drive on the right side of the road. The same should apply to aircraft, boats/ships, walking and passing through doors and stairs. Most people tend to be right handed and have a natural tendency to keep right (www.travel-library.com). Creating a global standard to ‘Keep Right’ in all forms of transportation would make life easier for everyone in the long run. Young people, especially, should be taught this practice from an early age.
Also, people entering a main walkway path should yield to people already on that path.2 Comments
A red light should be considered to have been illegally run if the front wheels of a vehicle, traveling within 5 mph of the speed limit, have not reached/touched the last line of the crosswalk, or whatever other last line exists before the open intersection is entered, by the time the light changes from yellow to red.0 Comments
Better Way To Change From Green Light to Red
When signal lights change from green to red, the sequence should be first green only, then yellow only, then yellow and red at the same time, then red only. This entire sequence should last around twice as long as the current yellow only light lasts. This would better indicate to drivers when the light will change from green to red and give them more time to prepare to stop, preventing them from hitting hard on the brakes.
Very Low Traffic Signal Controlled Intersections
The signal lights for traffic on main roads that intersect smaller streets should be set continuously on green (or perhaps with a green and yellow light blinking in series) during periods of low traffic flow such as during the hours between 12 AM and 5 AM. Traffic on the intersecting smaller side streets would see their signals blinking red and yellow in series. The blinking red light would tell drivers to stop and the blinking yellow would warn drivers to be cautious because cross traffic has the green light and the right of way. (If drivers see only a red light blinking they might erroneously think that it is an all way stop leading to a higher risk of accidents.)0 Comments
All electronic crosswalk signals should either stop blinking 3 seconds before the light changes from green to yellow or all crosswalk signals should countdown the number of seconds to the time the light will change from green to yellow. Furthermore, these crosswalk signals, when possible, should be clearly visible to drivers and not try to be hidden. Such an arrangement will give drivers a more advanced warning of an impending signal change.0 Comments
Road signs should be kept to a minimum. Road signs should only be put up if the information displayed on them is accurate, absolutely necessary to the safe and orderly flow of traffic and if the information cannot be communicated in either a more logical or intuitive way or if that information cannot be written down on or otherwise communicated through the painting of lines on the road surface or other integrated infrastructure design changes. Necessary road information should be communicated in the least aesthetically intrusive way practical, while, still maintaining a sufficiently high safety factor. Part of this solution is inextricably linked to toughening and administering much more comprehensive driving education and driving tests for all drivers.
Signs that warn of “road construction ahead” or “end of construction” are useless clutter. People only need to know things relating to closed exits or lane shut downs. Drivers only need to know things directly related to navigational issues like traffic flow, traffic safety, slippery roads, etc.0 Comments
The lettering used on all road signs should be made using both lower and upper case letters, with the lower case letters being no more than 2/3rds the height of the upper case letters. The letters used should be of a sans-serif font, containing absolutely no fancy strokes or unnecessary curves or flairs. All letters should be purely simple and constructed with only the fundamentally important strokes essential to forming the letter. Signs using these easy to read fonts should be phased onto all roadways, but especially on those with speed limits over 75 kilometers per hour (47 MPH).0 Comments
The pattern of broken white lines dividing two lanes that are about to merge should be painted on the road surface in a manner that would more clearly indicate that the lanes are about to merge. For example, each line segment could continue to be painted straight but at an angle of about 20˚ to the direction of travel. Each such line segment should begin about one or two feet inside the edge of the lane that is about to end (merge) and should terminate about one or two feet inside the lane that is receiving the merging lane. Perhaps even little arrows could be painted at the end of each segment to further indicate into which lane vehicles must merge. The use of such logically painted lines would give drivers a more visible warning that their lane is about to end and that they must merge into the next lane. At the same time, drivers in the lane receiving the merger would be made more aware that another lane is about to merge and to be more cautious. Not only would this information be located at a much more appropriate place, it would also be directed more specifically at only the drivers who need to know this information, namely those located within the two lanes affected by the merger. Using this way to communicate would mean that putting up a sign that indicates a lane merger may not be necessary.
Furthermore, on all roads, especially freeways, when there is a new lane from a different road (such as an on-ramp to a freeway) that is merging with an existing lane, the existing lane should be separated from its neighboring lane (in the same direction of travel) with a solid white line rather than the usual broken white lines that exist between lanes. This solid white line should exist throughout the entire length of the merger and even up to two hundred feet before the beginning of the merger. The idea is to prevent vehicles from entering a lane during the same stretch in which another lanes is merging into it.0 Comments
Roadways should be designed for safe use with minimal lighting. Instead of extensively lighting the roadways using lights on tall poles, lighting should be more strategically located on important and significant roadway features. Greater use of reflectors, glow-in-the-dark paints and other highly visible materials could provide safe navigation under lower lighting conditions.
Missing roadway reflectors should be replaced within a week of being noticed missing or defective.
For further safety, greatly increased emphasis would be placed by law enforcement on the proper functioning and maintenance of all automobile/vehicle lights.0 Comments
Roadside memorials should be allowed to be placed alongside roads in areas which do not pose a significant visual impairment or distraction for drivers. Permits should be required for such installations and they should be removed after 13 months from the date of the accident unless the government permits an extension for the display.0 Comments
Signs, plaques or other forms of notation should be placed along roads and other areas to inform passersby of significant events that have taken place at that location in the past. Such things would both educate people and give them a greater sense of understanding and connection to a site.0 Comments
All vehicle owners should be required to purchase on-street parking permits if they desire the privilege of using city property (i.e., the streets) to park within two blocks of their home. This would encourage people to park on their own properties, thus freeing up more space on streets for moving traffic while also keeping the streets cleaner by reducing the amount of oil that stains and drips onto them from parked cars. People could park farther away than two blocks without requiring a permit. So, for example, visitors could park on the street without worrying about getting a ticket (unless they live around the corner and decided to drive) because they live farther than two blocks away.
Parking enforcement personnel would check the license plate numbers of cars parked on the street with the addresses to which they are registered. A ticket would be issued if the location of the car is less than two blocks away from the address listed on the license. The fine would be $100, equivalent to the yearly parking permit fee. If a vehicle is listed under a false address, the penalty should be $1,000 plus the $100 for parking on the street without a permit.0 Comments
Bicyclists should not be allowed to ride on major roadways where there is no dedicated bike lane or where there is not enough space to allow a bicyclist to ride without causing regular vehicular traffic to swerve around the bicyclist. In these cases, bicyclists should use the sidewalk. However, in cases where there is no sidewalk or any alternative, bicyclists may be allowed to ride in the street. Also, bicyclists should not be allowed to use automotive turning lanes, but rather should use crosswalks, unless crosswalks are not available.0 Comments
Traffic reports should be limited to include only traffic problems such as delays, hazards, detours, road closures, etc. They should not include accident descriptions or any other information indirectly related to traffic conditions.
Traffic reports should describe virtually all traffic problems in terms of minutes of delay. If an accident occurred, but was cleared off traffic lanes and no significant slowing occurred, then nothing about this event should be mentioned in a traffic report. Or if work crews are working on the freeway at 3:00 AM and three of the four lanes are closed but no slowing or backups are occurring, neither should this event be reported.0 Comments
All principal arterial (including freeways and major arteries) and minor arterial (major collector roads) roadways should be required to have ‘Class I’ dedicated bicycle lanes physically separated from the regular traffic lanes. Minor collector roads should be required to have designated bike lanes. There should be a complete network of integrated bicycle roadways in all urban and suburban area.
All bicycle paths should be twice as wide so that it allowed for two marked lanes of travel in each directions. Especially with increasing use, it is becoming ever more dangerous for faster travelers to pass slower travelers by going into lanes dedicated for opposing traffic.0 Comments
Every major metropolitan area should have a dedicated traffic radio station (or some permanently accessible database) that broadcasts nothing but continually updated traffic reports 24 hours a day. All vehicular radios could be equipped with a button that automatically tunes into that area’s traffic broadcasting radio station. Such a service could be commercially financed. This traffic information should probably be Internet-based instead of radio-based.
Drivers would be able to get traffic reports the instant they are ready for them. They would no longer need to wait around for a few minutes on some other radio station until their regularly scheduled traffic report airs. A dedicated traffic reports information service would save people an incredible amount of time. People who care about traffic reports would save time by not having to wait for traffic reports until their regular radio stations broadcast them between their other programming. People who couldn’t care less about traffic reports would save even more time by not having to sit through hundreds of annoying and useless traffic reports a year.
An additional benefit may also be that traffic reporting becomes more consistent and less confusing with fewer contradictions being reported while also using a single kind of format and style that everyone will quickly become familiar with.
Ideally, an Internet based traffic reporting system should be used so that people can choose to receive personalized reports or just l/aook upon a continuously updated map to see traffic hotspots.0 Comments
During major traffic-disrupting events (a marathon, for example) temporary pedestrian bridges should be constructed and placed over major, important, or critical automobile traffic choke points. For example, marathon runners would be required to run up and down over temporary bridges (maybe arched bridges) so that normal automotive traffic patterns would not be excessively disrupted.
Also, during such large planned or even unplanned (if possible) traffic disruption events, police officers and traffic enforcement/guiding personnel should be required to give out free copies of maps to affected motorists and others who ask. These maps should map out the entire area and delineate as specifically as possible the major streets (and other areas) affected as all road blockages or closures, detour routes, and the schedules (if available) of the disruptive events.0 Comments
Commercial airports ought to have video recorders located throughout the airport recording virtually all airplanes during take offs, landings (including take off and landing glide slopes), taxiing, at terminals, and during loading and unloading operations. If accidents or sabotage were to occur, there would then be a far higher likelihood of obtaining much more useful information much quicker because of these recordings.0 Comments
All airports with sufficiently high traffic should be required to install a system of traffic lights at runway and taxiway intersections as well as a ground-based or GPS-based aircraft tracking system (as is now beginning to occur) in order to keep track and maintain better control of all airplanes on the ground and in the air during all types of weather.0 Comments
All aircraft over 2,000 pounds or aircraft of any weight designed to carry three or more people should be required to be fitted with flight data and voice recorders. In addition, planes designed to carry more than 10 passengers should be required to have a minimum of two cameras, one mounted in the rear of the cockpit facing forward to include the pilot and copilot as well as a good portion of the instrument panel and a view out the front cockpit windows, and another camera (or as many as necessary) in the main passenger cabin monitoring both passenger behavior and environmental conditions there. Additional cameras may be placed around the outsides of aircraft to monitor their external physical health. Furthermore, aircraft designed to carry 10 or more passengers should be required to gather various significant aircraft operational data that would potentially be useful in reconstructing virtually any possible incident involving the aircraft. Additionally, at least one portable camera should be on board each aircraft so that the crew can record or document other things that may not be able to be recorded by the fixed cameras aboard elsewhere.
All of this information from the cameras, including portable cameras, and all the aircraft data being gathered should be permanently recorded, or at least recorded through 24-hour loop recordings. Ideally, and if the technology is reliable enough, all of this data should be constantly transmitted live from each aircraft to ground recording stations. However, conventional ‘black box’ recorders may still be required to remain and operate concurrently aboard aircraft as backup recorders in case something goes wrong with the transmission or recording of the live data feeds. It should be impossible to stop the transmission of this data to ground stations while the aircraft is in flight. Only technicians on the ground accessing the aircraft from an external hatch should be allowed to stop such transmissions.
Pilots, flight attendants, and any members of the official crew would be able to press a ‘panic button’ which would automatically begin sending out a distress signal. On board computers could also trigger a ‘panic button’ if they detect a critical anomaly that may lead to injury or loss of life. Such distress signals should include within them some kind of message describing the nature of the emergency. Once turned on, these distress signals should only be able to be turned off from the outside of the aircraft (i.e., once the aircraft has landed), thus preventing airborne terrorists from silencing them). These devices should also be able to transmit its current geographical coordinates.
Aircraft should also have emergency broadcasting equipment. All multi-person aircraft or aircraft weighing more than 2,000 pounds should be required to carry a crash-resistant emergency distress signal broadcasting device that can be used as an emergency electronic locator beacon, as well.
Aircraft designed to carry 10 or more passengers should also be required to carry small, mobile versions of these devices. Such portable beacons could also serve double functions as two-way radio communication devices between rescue crews and survivors. This way a group of survivors who leave the crash site to go looking for help can be found. To increase their chances of survival after a crash, these devices should be located at the rear of the plane. Emergency locator beacons would need to be able to be turned on by search crews if they, for some reason, have not been turned on by the plane’s crew. Such devices should have the ability to last a minimum of three days without being recharged, and they should be rechargeable through the use of solar and/or hand-operated generators.
Live feeds of information directly from aircraft to ground stations would enable a far greater improvement in the ability of ground personnel to troubleshoot various potential problems in conjunction with the airplane crew. Live feeds would also significantly improve the responsive abilities of emergency crews to prepare to deal with the aircraft and passengers after landing. An additional potential benefit of increasing the amount and timeliness of relevant information to decision makers and emergency crews on the ground would be the reduction in the number of injuries resulting from emergency disembarkment procedures. If the nature of the emergency is better understood, the more extreme precautions could likely be deemed unnecessary well before the moments they are required to be implemented.
Aircraft flight recorders ought to have a built-in warning system that would alert maintenance crews if the recorders are not operating properly and in need of maintenance. It should also be impossible to turn off any ‘black boxes’ or transponders on an aircraft from the cockpit. It should only be possible, if anything, to turn them on from the cockpit.0 Comments
There should be a small, one-way window or some other type of secure viewing method so that only people in the cockpit would be able to see who is in the cabin side of the wall separating the cockpit and cabin. In the larger jets, there should also be video and even audio feeds to the cockpit from the main cabin.0 Comments
Airline crews ought to be trained on how to use stun guns and similar devices as well as various other methods on how to successfully subdue a small group of hijackers and guard against terrorism.
Two people should be required to be in the cockpit at all times. (Idea from William Saletan) This would help reduce the likelihood of deranged individuals taking over control of the plane for suicidal purposes.0 Comments
Sidewalk ownership and maintenance should be a local government (usually city) responsibility. Homeowners should not need to contribute to any sidewalk maintenance costs, nor should they be held liable their falling into disrepair (unless the adjacent property owner was responsible for such damages). However, homeowners or business owners adjacent to the section of sidewalk in disrepair should take it upon themselves to call the responsible agency to report the condition of the sidewalk. (Anyone who notices that any public property is in disrepair should, as a responsible citizen, take it upon themselves to call it in.)
Perhaps to make the maintenance of sidewalks easier, they should be built into prefabricated standard-sized slab sections which are 2 meters long and 150 centimeter wide. (This should be the standard width for residential sidewalks.) All sidewalks should be built with strong, crack-resistant, and durable materials including rebar or possibly using other materials or techniques. They should be built in such a way that ensures their extreme durability.
Sidewalks constructed in this manner could easily be removed by either a group of workers using manual cranes or a crane mounted on a truck parked on the street along side the segment of sidewalk needing repair. The sidewalk’s subsurface could then be releveled by having workers cut any offending roots, fill in soil, etc. Furthermore, access to underground utility lines or other infrastructures could be more easily obtained with this system of sidewalk construction. When the workers are finished, they simply replace the same segment of sidewalk. If the slab is in need of replacement, they could just replace it with another slab, since they would all be of standard dimensions. Though normally utility lines run underneath the street surface, it is often frustrating to have the street cut up and patched (and living with the street scars for many years) to fix something below. But of course there may be many other obstacles near and under sidewalks like individual home utility feeds, tree roots, beautiful parking strip landscaping (including trees), etc., that would be practical inhibitions. But maybe with better long-term planning (placing sidewalks immediately adjacent to the curbs of streets), such a reality could occur.0 Comments
All vehicles (planes, trains, ships, motor vehicles, etc.) and their cargoes (all shipping containers, bulk payloads, etc.) traveling to the US from abroad must be inspected immediately upon arrival in the US to insure that no illegal goods or exotic species are being transported, either intentionally or accidentally. The shipping companies will be responsible for paying the costs of these inspections.0 Comments
The operators of all transportation systems, (buses, trains, ships, airplanes, etc.) whether they are commercial or nonprofit, civilian or military, (with some exceptions, such as during emergencies or wartime rush situations) should be required to be able to provide, at all times during the trip, a complete manifest list of all people (passengers and crew) and cargo aboard any of their transportation vehicles.0 Comments
Ships and airplanes, especially those carrying dangerous or precious cargo (including all passenger craft), should have a collision warning system that would notify the navigators of such craft when they are on a collision course with objects such as sandbars, mountains, and other ships or airplanes.0 Comments
Airlines, trains, and all other businesses involved in human transportation should be required, in the event of an approaching natural disaster, such as a hurricane, to keep, for example, their scheduled flights operating for as long as safely possible or until the airport or other essential transportation infrastructure is closed. If the owners of planes, trains or other transportation vehicles declare their preference to the government that they do not wish to send their vehicles to service such areas the company deems too risky, but the government requires them to continue service anyway, the government should be required to guarantee the owners of the vehicles full compensation for any and all direct and indirect economic damages caused to the vehicle and company, including compensation for lost profits that would likely have been earned by the damaged or destroyed vehicle for a period of up to 12 months after the event.
This policy will help result in fewer people left stranded at the last minute forcing them to endure a natural disaster such as a hurricane at the airport, which may not be set up to adequately shelter so many people. Companies who have been found to try to take advantage of this government guarantee by not making a reasonable effort to get their equipment out of the danger area, after ordered into service, should be charged with theft or attempted theft.0 Comments
All traffic or other tickets issued for violations of the law should have either detailed instructions listed somewhere on them for the options available to resolve the ticket or they should have a website, telephone number or other easily found reference for finding detailed instructions on the options.0 Comments