Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Wheeeeegenerative Brakes

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(+12, -1)
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1/2 baked ONLY in that this would only work if you were going fast enough.

Above the road, near intersections, are horizontal poles mounted about 3 car-heights above the road, spaced about 3 car lengths apart. Hanging from these poles like swings, are, "swings" that rest just at ground level.

Everyone approaches the intersection at full speed. When the light turns red, the the front of the swing has a flap that comes up about 5 feet. The flap has a cushion so that cars don't get damaged when hitting it.

Upon hitting it, all the cars go "wheeee" up and over and over and over on the swing.

When the light turns green, a little spike pops up on the road, catches the swing in the bottom position, and also triggers the flap to fold back. Cars go "whiz" with that energy conserved.

Besides saving energy, there are some other very significant benefits:

1. Faster moving of traffic, as nobody needs to slow down for intersections.

2. Less collisions at intersections, as nobody can possibly run a red light. They're caught on the swing.

3. Faster. No need for the "yellow light" phase.

4. No need to take the kiddies to an amusement park.

5. May offer weight-loss benefits, as nobody wants to do this on too full a stomach.

sophocles, Dec 10 2004

Turn the volume up real loud. http://members.shaw...ages/wheeshocks.htm
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Dec 12 2004]

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       This will work fine if you aren't going fast enough, since you are using poles. Just make sure it's moving in the right direction when you pop up the catching spike.   

       Of course, there are a thousand small details, like having only 30 swings and the 31st car approaching at full speed, or a speeding cement truck surpassing the design load of a swing. Small stuff like that.
Worldgineer, Dec 10 2004

       Yes, but these are inconsequential. Focus on the big picture and the details will work themselves out.
wagster, Dec 10 2004

       Keep the flow of vehicles pure.
mensmaximus, Dec 10 2004

       [worldgineer] Ah yes, your first paragraph is correct. The idea then has no flaws at all. (covers ears La-la-la-la-la)
sophocles, Dec 10 2004

       'Cars go "whiz"', not to mention the drivers.
half, Dec 10 2004

       Anyone want to run the calculation for the number of G's you'd have on you driving 70mph into one of these, assuming a 15' radius? I will later when I have time if not.
Worldgineer, Dec 10 2004

       Is this another revolving invention? Then I'd like a huge flywheel hooked up to both traffic directions of swing sets, suspended above the traffic, hooked up by belts, pulleys and differential. This flywheel would consume the energy of slowing cars and release it to accelerate cars, (their flywheels).   

       The 'stopped' cars could be optionally spinning on 'conveyor ramps'.
mensmaximus, Dec 11 2004

       [worldgineer]: About 19 G's. That's some serious wheeee, eh?   

       [half]: the cars go whiz. The occupants of the cars go "whee", and in cases of weak bladders, go "whiz" too... (apologies if maybe that's what you were already trying to say)   

       [mensmaximus]: Yes. And you could add that flywheel if you really want. This is one time the flywheel doesn't have to travel with the vehicle, and can stay on a permanent axis, so OK.
sophocles, Dec 11 2004

       [Sophocles], Disguised as a giant ferris wheel, swing set and roller coaster, this would be allowed in every neighborhood.
mensmaximus, Dec 11 2004

       Oh, the 19G's is only if you're going 70mph. If you're going 1/2 that (as you naturally would, being a half-bakery reader), it drops by a factor of 4 to a comfy 5G's.   

       And if you go half of that (as you naturally would, being....) it goes to 1.2 G's (that is, above & beyond the 1G you normally feel).
sophocles, Dec 20 2004

       Of course, the energy wasted in stopping from 17.5 mph isn't that great in the first place. You could up the radius for us so we can keep driving 70.
Worldgineer, Dec 20 2004

       Glad to oblige. We would simply have larger radii on the higher speed roads. Now we only have about 37 more problems left to resolve and we're in business.
sophocles, Dec 20 2004

       "Now we only have about 37 more problems left to resolve and we're in business"   

normzone, Jun 14 2012

       Almost there, just take a sharp left at these lights. Hang on...
pertinax, Jun 16 2012


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