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Traffic Capacitors

Large mobile towers can be placed at various intersections to relieve extreme congestion.
  (+10, -4)
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The idea is to haul some sort of massive structure in on a giant helicopter and lay it down in the center of the intersection. It causes the intersection to effectively turn into an extra mile of road in any direction. Cars can travel up and down the tower, literally taking cars off the road at adjacent locations and allowing for more efficient removal of nearby traffic jams.
daseva, Aug 09 2010

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       Hands up! Who nicked [daseva]?
gnomethang, Aug 09 2010
  

       Awesome [+]
pocmloc, Aug 09 2010
  

       Why a tower? I'd think a tunnel would be more practical. (Would have to be permanent, not portable, but that's no problem if traffic patterns are predictable.)   

       Also: the drivers would hate this. An alternative would be a "spare" lane that was closed off until needed. This would be irritating as well, but not -- I'd think -- much more than HOV lanes, or breakdown lanes.
mouseposture, Aug 10 2010
  

       I chose a tower as opposed to any other structures (bridges, tunnels, etc.) because I wanted to work within the smallest surface area possible to minimize the effects on infrastructure.
daseva, Aug 10 2010
  

       Get a bigger helicopter then
pocmloc, Aug 10 2010
  

       After the tower fills up with cars, could the helicopter pull it out again and set it down in a pasture somewhere? I see a need for a fleet of these towers rotating in and out at key intersections everywhere. [Auto/Pedestrian] accidents down; [Auto/Farm Animal] accidents up. You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Bun! [+]
Grogster, Aug 11 2010
  

       There are already traffic capacitors in London. Certain key traffic lights in London are controlled centrally by people looking at traffic cameras. When traffic is unusually heavy there are roads in which traffic can safely be 'stored' by adjusting the traffic light timings without it having a knock-on effect anywhere else. One such road is the northbound side of Park Lane.
hippo, Aug 11 2010
  

       <ee-pedant> I believe this should really be termed "Traffic Inductors," as the analogy to electronics would be storage of current, (flowing cars) not voltage. </ee-pedant>
csea, Aug 11 2010
  

       I’ve always thought cars should be ramp-shaped on all sides so other vehicles could drive straight over the top of them if they were in the way.
pocmloc, Aug 11 2010
  

       //Get a bigger helicopter then// [marked-for-tagline]
shapu, Aug 12 2010
  

       What if those towers were shaped like DNA double helices? Then cars can drive up one helix and down the other. There need to be lots of places where they can cross over. When traffic is busy, they cross at the top; when traffic is slow, they cross at the bottom. It allows the structures to be permanent; no helicopters needed. :)   

       [pocmloc], you might like my "Level Rail Pseudo-Coaster" Idea.
Vernon, Aug 12 2010
  

       Just came back to this and I really like [Vernon]'s idea of making them permanent by having path switching within the structure.
daseva, May 25 2011
  

       I think the only solution is to have car counters at the entrances and exits of the city, and only allow new cars into the city if there are less than say, 100,000 already in there.
phundug, May 26 2011
  
      
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