Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Chinese scholars propose use of traffic lights for highway entrance ramps

Highway ramp control via fuzzy logic
Shing-Fei Lee You-Wei Teng Wen-June Wang
Dept. of Electr. Eng., Nat. Central Univ., Chung-Li;
This paper appears in: Fuzzy Systems, 2000. FUZZ IEEE 2000. The Ninth IEEE International Conference on
Publication Date: 7-10 May 2000
Volume: 1, On page(s): 274-278 vol.1
Meeting Date: 05/07/2000 - 05/10/2000
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
ISBN: 0-7803-5877-5
References Cited: 15
INSPEC Accession Number: 6622913
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/FUZZY.2000.838671
Posted online: 2002-08-06 23:07:08.0

Utilizes the fuzzy control concept to design a highway on-ramp control (HORC) such that the traffic light in the on-ramp works well to maintain the smoothness of the traffic flow on the highway. The HORC includes a fuzzy decision base (FDB) to estimate the probability of the light change and a decision function to decide the change making of the light. In this HORC, we only need one sensor to measure the speed and the speed change rate of the vehicles on the highway. Our simulation shows that the HORC has a good performance

Accident # 29: Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another accident at the t-bone. Reminder: I can only report accidents that my wife or I see, so there are obviously quite a few that go unreported on this blog.

I wasn't home for today's incident, so I give my wife Rita's report. She does not use the SLR, so there is no picture. Here is her report:
12:35 p.m. Feb. 27, '08
red car bumps into gray station wagon waiting to get on BQE; both pull over, check damage to rear. red car makes a call; g.s.w. keeps checking through hatchback (people inside ?), kicks back of car several times, closes back.
12:56 police car appears, drives away ..
1:03 another p0l. car appears, drives away
1:16 tow truck arrives, parks in "triangle"
1:17 2 police cars, one leaves.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Saturday, Feb. 23., 2008, 5:15 p.m.

Accident #28 since Aug. 23, 2007 at this spot. When, oh when my Lord, will the powers that be take action ?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Brooklyn Paper Covers the T-Bone

This week's Brooklyn Paper is covering our t-bone. It's worse than even I thought ! Do read this article.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Traffic Lights Can Save Lives

Photo by Kirst0714

As other jurisdictions have learned, traffic lights on the highway can save lives. If it's too expensive to provide a proper acceleration ramp, it's always possible to provide safe access through the use of traffic lights.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The State Bureaucracy: Our Ramp Doesn't Measure Up

Commissioner Astrid C. Glynn, NYS Department of Transportation

Douglas A. Currey, Regional Director, NYSDOT

The State bureaucracy has spoken: the t-bone entrance is "below current standards." But the State also feels that to improve the lane "would require major capital work," which "is not feasible." On the other hand, some minor steps are being taken. In my view, these are no more than cosmetic.

The State position was outlined in a January 29 letter by Douglas Currey, Regional Director of the State's Department of Transportation, to Craig Hammerman, District Manager of Community Board Six. Hammerman had previously written to DOT to express concern over the safety issues posed by the notorious t-bone entrance to the BQE near Congress Street.

Here is the text of Currey's letter:

This is in response to your recent letter regarding safety concerns at the entrance ramp from Congress Street to the westboud Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

My staff has investigated the conditions at this ramp, including a review of the accident history, and determined that the acceleration lane for entering traffic is below current standards. To improve the acceleration lane would require major captial work on the Congress Street overpass, which we feel at this time is not feasible. As such, we have recently implemented several other measures to enhance safety at this location. For example, we have installed a curve warning sign with an advisory speed limit sign on the mainline at the ramp. We have also installed solid white barrier lines between the travel lanes to discourage lane changing on the mainline, so that more gaps in the mainline flow of the right lane can occur. In addition, we are evaluating the installation of a ramp metering system for this location so that we can regulate the pace at which vehicles enter the mainline flow.

Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.

I do understand the problem the State has: many of its highways have severe safety flaws, and not all of these can be corrected all at once. (For instance, I have noticed some very dangerous t-bone entrances to the FDR Drive in Manhattan). Here are my suggestions:

1. The public needs to know the extent of the problem at the various locations that have been implicated in the numerous accidents. I have requested such comparative data in my FOIL request, but this request remains unfulfilled. Mr. Currey says that he has reviewed the accident history here at this t-bone, but he does not disclose what his review has revealed.

2. If there is no money to fix the most dangerous conditions, the really bad ramps should be closed. If, for example, the bad t-bone here at Congress Street were closed, the inconvenience to the public would be minimal; there are a number of safer entrances to the BQE within minutes of this one. I personally never use this entrance; I find alternate routes without trouble.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

One more ! 27th accident since August 23, 2007

Tuesday, February 5, 2008, about 8:45 p.m. Same spot: the on-ramp of the BQE, Congress Street entrance.