Super Street Traffic Design Reroutes Left Turn Traffic

Where I live, we have two recently redesigned intersections, in which left hand turns have been eliminated. Called double crossover diamond interchange, it basically eliminates the need for left hand turns in front of oncoming traffic. At the North Carolina State University they have a similar proposal to reroute traffic by eliminating left turns at intersections. The new design is not meant for freeways, but instead is meant for thoroughfares where side streets intersect.

What is impressive about the super street design is that it is estimated that the design will reduce travel time by about 20%. In addition this type of traffic design will also reduce fuel usage by making traffic move more efficiently. Below is a picture of the proposed super street design:

In a recent article it also states that:

The researchers assessed travel time at superstreet intersections as the amount of time it takes a vehicle to pass through an intersection from the moment it reaches the intersection – whether traveling left, right or straight ahead. The travel-time data were collected from three superstreets located in eastern and central North Carolina, all of which have traffic signals. The superstreet collision data were collected from 13 superstreets located across North Carolina, none of which have traffic signals.

The superstreet concept has been around for over 20 years, but little research had been done to assess its effectiveness under real-world conditions. The NC State study is the largest analysis ever performed of the impact of superstreets in real traffic conditions.

The complete paper will be presented on January 24, 2011 to the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. , and hopefully the design will be under consideration in future designs.

In addition to smoother traffic flow, the new design will also reduce traffic collisions by an estimated 63%.

What do you think of the idea?

Comments welcome.

Source – North Carolina State University

Man Arrested On Airplane Armed With A Bagel

Once we go through the hassles of the airport security checks, one would think that security issues would be put aside. But on a flight from Boston to Washington, DC other passengers alerted crew members to what they thought was a suspicious package. It turns out the suspicious package was a set of keys, a bagel with cream cheese and a hat. Yet the man was arrested and was removed from the flight after he became upset by the accusations.

When the passenger was confronted by crew members he attempted to make a cell call. He was asked to hang up the phone and when he refused he was cuffed and arrested.

In a recent article it also stated that:

Recently, passenger complaints have resulted authorities taking action against innocent passengers who went to the bathroom too often on a flight and who were just being annoying.

In the hyper-sensitive world of flying, sneezing too often could get you kicked off a flight and questioned by the FBI.

Are passengers becoming to suspicious? Or are they just being cautious?

These questions need to be answered and air crew members trained in what is and what is not suspicious behavior. I don’t believe anyone would want to let something suspicious activity go unanswered, but who decides what is or is not suspicious?

What do you think?

Source – NBC Miami

DIRECTV – You May Be Entitled To Restitution For Alleged Illegal Practices

If you believe that DIRECTV has misled you in their offers or that you were charged fees illegally, you may be entitled restitution from DIRECTV. The company has settled an agreement with all 50 state Attorney Generals, including the District of Columbia, and will pay back some $13 million dollars to consumers. DIRECTV customers must file a claim within their state by June 9, 2011 in order to receive compensation.

Here is what the alleged claims against DIRECTV are:

  • Failed to disclose clearly its prices and commitment terms.
  • Failed to disclose clearly its promotional prices.
  • Signed you up for contract terms without clearly disclosing the terms.
  • Failed to disclose clearly that it would automatically renew a seasonal sports package.
  • Advertised but failed to provide local channels in your programming area.
  • Enrolled you without your consent in additional contracts when DIRECTV replaced defective equipment.
  • Withdrew funds from your bank account without your consent.
  • Failed to disclose clearly that it charged a fee if you cancelled a programming agreement before the end of the contract term.
  • Extended your contracts without your consent.
  • Failed to disclose that their rebates were bill credits that you had to sign up for on DIRECTV’s website.

It appears that the problem is being caused by third-party vendors that may stretch the truth in their offerings. I receive advertisements continually from third-party vendors offering DIRECTV plans that seem to good to be true. DIRECTV has stated that they are in the process of fixing the problem and want their customers to know what they are or are not getting and do not want the customer confused.

Will you be filing a claim against DIRECTV? If you are, what will you claim you were confused by? Let us know.

Comments welcome.

Source – Consumer Reports

Link to state attorney general offices

5 Tips For Email Etiquette Which Can Also Be Applied For Texting

‘LOOK AT THIS NOW’, ‘THE MOST IMPORTANT VIDEO YOU WILL EVER SEE!’, ‘IMPORTANT MESSAGE THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE’. These are some of the email message I receive which usually from the same people. I have some friends and family members who spend way too much time on the Internet and seem to think that the message they send out is the most important message we will receive during our entire life span.

Last week I had some fun with an acquaintance of mine who has made it his goal in life to share his political beliefs with the world. Since his retirement he has too much free time and has become a one person campaign to change Washington D.C., the White House and Congress all by himself.

So when I received another political message I responded negatively to his thoughts citing the fact he was a moron. I received a long response of about 10 paragraphs in which he defended himself and his beliefs. I merely sent back a response that said ‘Got You LOL’, and have a nice weekend with a ‘hee-hee’ at the end.

So when I read this article this morning about 5 tips for email etiquette I thought I would share the advice the writer has provided:

1. Watch your tone. Given the complete lack of speech nuances, facial expressions and body language, it is important to watch your tone.  Language says a lot about how you are feeling.  Now, we all have bad days and can be a bit short on email (guilty as charged).  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated or angry, don’t reply to an email that has brought you to that point.  You’ll only manage to convey how angry you are.  If it’s something worth getting angry about, it’s best to pick up the phone.  Saying words like “huh?” can come across as crass and rude.  Remember, you only have words to convey a range of different things; use them wisely.

This can also be applied to text messages. Sometimes I do not have a clue what the sender is saying or how they feel. Some people also have come up with their own set of short cuts that is known to them alone. I recently got a response from someone who said they were getting a HC. I had to text back and ask what HC was. HC to them meant haircut. Duh! How about just spelling it out! LOL

2. DON’T USE CAPITALS IN EMAILS! This is probably one of my biggest pet peeves.  Unless it’s for exciting news, i.e. OH MY GOD, I WON THE LOTTERY or THAT WAS THE BEST FIRST DATE, EVER! or CAN YOU BELIEVE I’M GOING TO BE ON THE OPRAH SHOW?, that’s fine.

3. Don’t forget your manners – Say Please and Thank You.  We often get to the point of familiarity with people over email, where we start replying in short phrases and leave the greetings and niceties at the door.

4. Ask Your Questions at the End. We go through emails everyday at an unprecedented rate.  Sometimes it goes from reading right into the bin.  Have you got something important to ask?  Ask it at the end.  If you do, it’s the last thing that will be on my mind when I respond to you.  Asking questions at the beginning or the middle of an email will result in people forgetting by the time they get to the end of the message.

5. Life is Short.  Stop Rambling. I can’t stand it when emails go on forever.  If it’s a really compelling story about, say, how you just got back from an amazing spiritual quest at the foot of the Himalayas or a recipe for an amazing chocolate cake to end all of mankind, then please, go right ahead.  If you’re “thinking out loud” on email, spare us all, please.

I know there are other tips out there. What do you recommend when sending out emails or texts? Share your thoughts with us.

Comments welcome.

Source – Speak Softly and Carry a Red Pen