I saw a fairly amusing story today, which sort of stunned me with its obtuseness: researchers in California have discovered that the car pool lane increases, instead of decreases, traffic congestion. You can read the story here, in a newspaper I completely do not know, and you can access a PDF of the original research from Berkeley. The basic research results show that if you take away one of the lanes and give it to people who wont use it as efficiently, the net result is increased congestion. Who coulda seen that coming? In point of fact, I had always assumed the car pool lane was intended to make everyone jealous of the people in the car pool lane. I hadn't see the research, referenced by the article, which indicates that "the most common form of HOV [high occupancy vehicle, or car pool] lane, where general and restricted traffic is not separated by a physical barrier, causes a fifty percent increase in accidents."
Now, please don't misunderstand - I think the research looks pretty good, and I'm sure their results are interesting. I'm more bemused by the fact that anyone is surprised by their findings.
I know, it's funny. But--as long as they exist--I'm happy to tool along a singleton in my Prius-with-HOV-sticker *BEG*on Wed Apr 5 04:41:10 2006
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