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Nice job on a very interesting and thought-provoking article; I have a long commute myself over here on the East Coast, and I appreciate the usefulness of fluid dynamics when it comes to analyzing traffic patterns and the causes of traffic jams.
But I often find myself wondering if anyone's given any thought to the impact on traffic flow of the ever-increasing size of the 'molecules' themselves. Everybody knows tractor trailers, school buses and other big vehicles can't move nearly as fast as our zippy little Toyotas and Hondas, and many of us get extremely frustrated when we get stuck behind them. Simple physics is all you need to realize that the bigger and heavier a vehicle is, the higher its center of gravity and the longer it takes to get up to speed, slow down, turn and do all the other things you need to do in traffic. As a result, the more of them there are on the road, the slower traffic moves overall.
But what are we doing in America? We're buying bigger and bigger SUVs and minivans and more and more of them every day. I can't help but thiink this has to be a major contributor to traffic problems. To keep traffic moving, we're going to have to move slower and slower ...and slower...
Just something to think about.
Joe J.