Alexandra Flores

Ramos

Eng 1B Fri 9:00

19 September 2018

As a current college student, I have to deal with the daily hassle of waking up two hours early to leave an hour earlier than my 8 am class starts. I then take the freeway to school, which theoretically should take me around ten minutes to arrive. But this doesn’t happen; instead I wait in madness as cars congest on the freeway with angry drivers coming to a halt, this increases at a slow rate. I arrive an hour later, which typically occurs for me. Traffic is one substantial problem that occurs in the United States, something that Americans have to face daily while commuting from place to place. Life would be much easier without traffic as it is bad for “fuel economy”, “air quality”, “driving safety”, not to mention how inconvenient and infuriating traffic can be (Sorenson).

Traffic jams occur when many people drive at the same time creating a demand that approximates the limit of the freeway. This is due to the setup of our economy which people work at the same times during the day. Moreover, this influx of vehicles is mainly caused by numerous people living away from their job or school causing them to commute.  Unfortunately, the freeways current infrastructure is unable to support the large number of vehicles at peak-traffic hours, causing congesting.  As well, the large population in California can account for the traffic blockage occurring for a majority of the day because as the population increases so does the traffic. In fact, Los Angeles traffic is known as “one of the worst of the nation” according to the article (Sorenson). Alternative cause for traffic is accidents, incidentally is more likely to occur in traffic, as “about 25%” of traffic is created by accidents (Miller).

One potential solution to solving the excess of vehicular traffic  in the country could be to create more public transportation, including trains, buses, and even the expansion of car sharing. Public transportation will decrease the number of vehicles on the road, since a bus can carry a large amount of people Furthermore, public transportation is deemed effective as proven by the article, if there were no public transit, drivers would have an additional “785 million hours of delay” (Miller). If the government supplied more money toward public transportation services in order to create more buses, it might possibly be a step toward traffic alleviation. This is because it would allow it to be more convenient for people to ride the buses influencing more people to use public transportation. The expansion of car-sharing, such as Lyft and Uber, could help to decrease the traffic problem because “ each shared car takes between 10 and 25 cars off the road” (Miller).

Another solution to lower the crowding of vehicles is automated driving cars. These automatic driving cars will all be connected to the same network, drive the same speed and be able to communicate within the network. In turn, there will be less accidents and less traffic-as accidents are one of the main causes of traffic. As well, the cars will be able to merge simpler now with the communication network, there will be less road rage as human mistakes will be eradicated with the automated cars.  Automated driving cars is inevitable, in fact Tesla is already attempting to produce software for full self-driving capabilities, it is just a matter of when.

Another practical solution to minimize the halt of traffic includes adaptive traffic signals. In fact, research is currently being done to improve “the timing of traffic signals. The article argues, “By getting a better idea of traffic flow and how long a vehicle idles at stop lights, the city can better modify traffic signal timing with the changes in traffic throughout the day” (Sotra). This would most likely decrease traffic because traffic lights are an essential part of helping traffic either decrease or increase.

Some potential solutions to traffic congestion include creating a toll lane on the freeway to be most effective at peak traffic hours. Consequently, less people will be able to afford taking the toll lane and the amount of traffic on the high occupancy lane will be narrowed, to the very few who can. These, high occupancy lanes, (HOT) will be able to hold a lot of vehicles while maintaining a speed of around “60-65 miles” at “peak traffic hours” (Sorenson). As well there could be lanes dedicated to bus transit only, which allow faster public transit, and influence more people to take advantage of buses.

While many of these solutions are very sensible, the one I believe to have the most efficacy is the public transit as well as the ride-sharing one. This is because the main way to get rid of traffic is to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. The best way to do this is to encourage public transit, so that more people can rely on taking a bus rather than a private car to commute. This will lead to less vehicles being on the road. I also believe this one to be the most reasonable since, public transit already exists, it will be much easier to implement the expansion of public transit.

There are many solutions to significantly reduce traffic in order for daily life to be more convenient for the average Americans’ commute to and from work. As the article argues, “Reducing congestion should help to improve quality of life, enhance economic competitiveness,reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, improve air quality, and improve mobility for drivers and transit patrons alike” (Sorenson). Imagine a world without infuriating traffic: one where you do not have to leave several hours earlier to beat the freeway traffic rush, one where you do not have to stress driving to school, and one where there is less car pollution. This world is possible if the United States government takes action, and if you urge the government officials to do so. I urge you to take action by contacting your government officials to discuss ideas to implement that will likely reduce the amount of traffic congestion.

Image result for united states traffic

Annotated Bib

  1. Downs, Anthony. “Can TrafficCongestion Be Cured?” Brookings, Brookings, 28 July 2016, brookings.edu/opinions/can-traffic-congestion-be-cured/.

The article thoroughly explains why traffic congestion exists. Further, Explains some solutions to traffic congestions as well as downsides to the solution. As well as realistically state why some solutions would be disadvantageous. I will use it to argue why congestion occurs and to think through my solutions. The source is highly reliable because it is an institution that conducts research for solving problems.

 

  1. n Sorensen, et al. “Reducing Traffic Congestion in Los Angeles.” RAND Corporation, 3 Sept. 2008, rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9385.html.

The article explains why traffic, in la specifically, is one of the worst in the nation, and how it affects us. The article also displays results from an experiment conducted from ways to lessen traffic. I will use it in my report to have evidence from suggested recommendations that will effectively lessen traffic. The source is backed up by a study done by researchers and the researchers contacted elected officials to discuss the issue, making it reliable and more likely to be implemented. The source is highly reliable as it is a research organization that looks for solutions to problems.

 

  1. Downs, Anthony. “Traffic: Why It’s Getting Worse, What Government Can Do.” Brookings, Brookings, 3 July 2018, brookings.edu/research/traffic-why-its-getting-worse-what-government-can-do/.

The article how traffic is getting worse in growing countries. The article also gives reasons why traffic occurs. The article also states the several four ways in which traffic could be reduced and also reasons why they may be unreasonable. I will use this to explain what traffic is and why it occurs, and reasons to reduce it. The source is reliable because it is a research institution.

 

  1. Sotra, Maria “7 Smart City Solutions to Reduce Traffic Congestion.” Geotab Blog, 11 July 2018, geotab.com/blog/reduce-traffic-congestion/.

The article explains many smart and technological ways to reduce traffic through “smart city tech”. The ideas are technological such as autonomous vehical technology and adaptive traffic light signals. I will use this to argue ways to reduce traffic that are more reasonable and effective to implement in the future. The source is reliable because it is a business aimed at creating technological solutions to problems that occur.

 

  1. Miller, Steven. “Traffic Congestion: Why It’s Increasing and How To Reduce It.” LivableStreets Alliance, livablestreets.info/traffic_congestion_why_its_increasing_and_how_to_reduce_it.

The article explains why traffic occurs although, more people have looked to public transportation and  bikes. The article describes how traffic occurs and includes statistics to provide evidence. I will use this to back up my argument that traffic exists. The article is reliable because they work with agencies and communities to make the streets safer.