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When will your elevator arrive? Two physicists do the math

The human world is, increasingly, an urban one—and that means elevators. Hong Kong, the hometown of physicist Zhijie Feng (Boston University), adds new elevators at the rate of roughly 1500 every year...making vertical ...

Learning about system stability from ants

A new type of collective behavior in ants has been revealed by an international team of scientists, headed by biologist Professor Iain Couzin, co-director of the Cluster of Excellence "Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective ...

African spaceports cut rocket fuel costs

Space is big business once again, Mars rovers and putative moon landings aside, there is an enormous need for geostationary satellites. With increasing traffic there is also a need for new sites for spaceports that might ...

Wall of sand engulfs Chinese town

A towering wall of sand rushed over factories and apartment blocks in northwestern China's Gansu province as seasonal sandstorms barrelled across the country, causing air pollution and traffic accidents.

Traffic

Traffic on roads may consist of pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, vehicles, streetcars and other conveyances, either singly or together, while using the public way for purposes of travel. Traffic laws are the laws which govern traffic and regulate vehicles, while rules of the road are both the laws and the informal rules that may have developed over time to facilitate the orderly and timely flow of traffic.

Organized traffic generally has well-established priorities, lanes, right-of-way, and traffic control at intersections.

Traffic is formally organized in many jurisdictions, with marked lanes, junctions, intersections, interchanges, traffic signals, or signs. Traffic is often classified by type: heavy motor vehicle (e.g., car, truck); other vehicle (e.g., moped, bicycle); and pedestrian. Different classes may share speed limits and easement, or may be segregated. Some jurisdictions may have very detailed and complex rules of the road while others rely more on drivers' common sense and willingness to cooperate.

Organization typically produces a better combination of travel safety and efficiency. Events which disrupt the flow and may cause traffic to degenerate into a disorganized mess include: road construction, collisions and debris in the roadway. On particularly busy freeways, a minor disruption may persist in a phenomenon known as traffic waves. A complete breakdown of organization may result in traffic jams and gridlock. Simulations of organized traffic frequently involve queuing theory, stochastic processes and equations of mathematical physics applied to traffic flow.

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