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Dual-Striping of Lanes

One normal set, plus one narrow set
  (+1, -2)
(+1, -2)
  [vote for,
against]

Consider your average 2-lane road (2 lanes in each direction). The width of each lane is pretty much an International Standard (ignoring modest variations), because cars are sold all over the world, and drivers expect their cars to fit on the lanes.

We note that in most places the color "white" is used for painting various stripes on the roadway, to indicate to drivers the limits of the lanes.

Nowadays, mostly due to fuel prices, a lot of smaller-sized cars are being sold. They are smaller both in length and in width --some of them are enough narrower that you could probably fit 3 of them side-by side on a 2-lane road, and still have a safe distance between them.

Idea!

Paint additional lane-stripes on the road, in a different color (perhaps that glaring "yellow-green" color). If you are driving an ordinary car, use the white lines as normal. If you are driving a narrow car, use the new lane lines, mostly the left or right lines, not the middle lane.

Use the middle lane ONLY when the cars to the left and right are also narrow cars.

The net effect is that more cars overall can fit in a given "length" of rush-hour traffic (EVEN more when you include the fact that the narrow cars are also shorter).

This Idea could encourage greater sales of narrower cars, simply because their drivers can feel special, because the special lanes would exist. And the more narrow cars on the road, the more often that middle lane can have a car in it.

Overall, we have a positive feed-back loop that encourages less material resources be used on each car, less energy be used to move each car, and so on.

Vernon, Dec 07 2013

guantlet track http://en.m.wikiped...wiki/Gauntlet_track
[the porpoise, Dec 07 2013]

Growing VW Golfs http://t0.gstatic.c...egFb1Mij2jdXlfDx6gw
[bs0u0155, Dec 07 2013]

Commuter Cars http://www.commutercars.com/
Or just but put two in a single lane. [scad mientist, Dec 09 2013]

[link]






       // The width of each lane is pretty much an International Standard //   

       I beg to differ, Sir Vernon. Ever been to Yorkshire? I almost lost a mirror to an oncoming Vauxhall Astra on a B-road, which apparently is considered quite roomy by English standards. I'd hate to think what a massacre it might have been if I wasn't on a motorcycle.
Alterother, Dec 07 2013
  

       [Alterother], perhaps you missed the parenthetical (2 lanes in each direction)? So far as I know, places that actually have 4 lanes total, for bi-directional traffic, are using lane-widths that resemble an International Standard.
Vernon, Dec 07 2013
  

       Perhaps it's the standard in some nations and not others. The motorways and A-roads in England certainly share the generous dimensions of most North American roadways, but large thoroughfares in Italy, for instance, seem built to some insane Lilliputian standard. The Swiss think it's perfectly acceptable to drive semi trucks down lanes no wider than my upstairs hallway, and my Uncle Mike claims there are no roads in rural Hungary capable of accomodating a Toyota Hilux, not that it stops the Hungarians trying to pass each other on blind curves as a matter of common practice. Maybe this standard lane width only applies in built-up areas.   

       Anyway, with so many companies branching into microcars and advanced hybrids (which, ironically, use more petrochemicals, rare-earth metals, and vile pollutants in construction than their lowered 'carbon footprint' could compensate for in a hundred years), it hardly seems necessary to further encourage the trend by wasting paint.
Alterother, Dec 07 2013
  

       Cairo during rush hour is this idea minus the lines: the cars are on the small side and pack six abreast on a nominally four-lane road.
sninctown, Dec 07 2013
  

       There is a thing in railways called a gauntlet track [link]. It's insane. This is slightly less insane. But it takes for granted that motorists are rational and cooperative so [+] for optimism.
the porpoise, Dec 07 2013
  

       the idea that // smaller-sized cars are being sold// is false. Cars have grown, pretty dramatically, due to safety standards. The best evidence, is something like a VW golf, small by US standards but look at Mk1 Vs 2,3,4,5 etc. The new Mini, for example has a bigger footprint than the original Land Rover.
bs0u0155, Dec 07 2013
  

       Canada tends to use yellow lines to delineate the boundary between oncoming traffic (yellow also shows up better when there's a bit of snow or frost around) and use white lines to delineate lanes going in the same direction.   

       The problem with this posting is that it requires common sense and judgement from the drivers as to whether or not their car and others nearby are narrow 'enough' to go 3 abreast. That's just asking for trouble.
AusCan531, Dec 08 2013
  

       // (which, ironically, use more petrochemicals, rare-earth metals, and vile pollutants in construction than their lowered 'carbon footprint' could compensate for in a hundred years)//   

       Please cite a source. The only paper I've seen that actually suggested that was a deliberate hit piece, and gave the credit for every bit of pollution from several rather old mines exclusively to hybrid cars. Most impartial studies suggest that the cradle to grave resource consumption of a Toyota Prius is comparable to similarly sized cars if no extraordinary recycling programs are used (meaning only steel and such that is typically recycled), and potentially much better if decent recycling programs are used.   

       This tips further in favor of the hybrid if both vehicles are built in "zero-landfill" plants, which are becoming more and more common.
MechE, Dec 08 2013
  

       An idea like this is taken to the max by Commuter Cars. <link>
scad mientist, Dec 09 2013
  

       In my case because it's still rather difficult to stick your head inside a machine while working from home.
MechE, Dec 09 2013
  

       This idea is not without merit for those who appreciate the frisson of riding a motorcycle in Lane 2A.   

       // Ever been to Yorkshire?//   

       Clearly not.   

       // I almost lost a mirror to an oncoming Vauxhall Astra on a B-road, which apparently is considered quite roomy by English standards. I'd hate to think what a massacre it might have been if I wasn't on a motorcycle //   

       Try North Wales, or Cornwall, or the North-West of Scotland.   

       Admittedly in North Wales the main hazard tends to be sheep doing a runner from their pimps. Cornwall bears a striking resemblance tor the Bocage country of Normandy, about which much has been written*. North-West Scotland simply suffers from a lack of anything resembling civilization; roads, houses, cooking food, not living in trees, a spoken languagem or the use of fire. But they do seem to have grasped very firmly the concept of edged weapons, as clearly as they grasp the weapons themselves.The Romans, having visited briefly, built a wall; it's easy to see why.   

       * Welding large steel wedges to the front of an M4 Sherman tank is highly recommended. Make sure you have the Firefly version, up-gunned to carry the British 17-pdr antitank gun, otherwise you may find parking in Rouen a bit of a trial; the .30cal Browning on the turret is handy for explaining that no, you do not want to pay for having your windscreen washed as an alternative to having your aerial snapped off.
8th of 7, Dec 09 2013
  

       //        Please cite a source. //   

       Upon close scrutiny of various outlets, I cannot cite a credible source. It appears I have been duped by internet rumor.
Alterother, Dec 09 2013
  

       I wish cradle-to-grave figures were available for cars, obviously new ones would have to be estimates, but I think there's a chance Ferrari do quite well out of it.
bs0u0155, Dec 10 2013
  
      
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