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Transportation Software

Engineers: Traffic Studies Use Simulation Software, Not Lane Closings 265

Posted by Soulskill
from the next-you'll-tell-me-we-test-drugs-on-animals-first dept.
Lucas123 writes "The so-called 'traffic study' that closed New Jersey access lanes on the heavily traveled George Washington Bridge last September has left engineers scratching their heads, because in modern America, simulation software is used instead of closing down lanes. One of the best sources for simulation data are video camera systems that use software to count vehicles on roadways. Traffic studies use microscopic traffic simulations to create virtual environments that can model driver behavior to road changes with exacting detail. Instead, the Port Authority, under Gov. Chris Christie, shut down two of the three access lanes for four days last September from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge without warning the public, citing a 'traffic study.' 'I would be pretty confident that if we knew exactly which lanes are closed we could replicate that, and it would show exactly how bad the backups are going to be,' said Lorenzo Rotoli, an engineer and vice president at Fisher Associates, a civil engineering firm in New York that works on roads, bridges and signal systems."
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Engineers: Traffic Studies Use Simulation Software, Not Lane Closings

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  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:25PM (#45955309) Homepage Journal

    I don't even understand this story. The smoking gun has already been found, reported, and Jon Stewart did a whole send-up of it last week.

    Why would anybody still be trying to figure out if the attempted cover-up was bogus or not?

    I realize the guy has aspirations for power, but if he were successful we can be confident he'd appoint the same kind of viscous, vindictive, psychopathic cronies who would do similar things at his behest (irrespective of whether he know about this incident). That's not a tradition we can afford to continue in Washington.

  • Re:duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:27PM (#45955337) Homepage

    The real question is whether it ordered by a rogue official(s), or the governor himself. If information comes out that the governor was involved then he just lost himself a chance at being president.

    No, the real question is, has politics stooped so low that political staff (and possibly politicians) feel entitled to act like petulant little children and expect to get away with it?

    And, if so, why is society prepared to live with their politicians and staff acting like such douchebags?

    I don't care what political stripe you are, fucking with the traffic patterns to seek retribution against a political foe makes you an asshole.

  • Re:duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:37PM (#45955539)

    No, the real question is, has politics stooped so low that political staff (and possibly politicians) feel entitled to act like petulant little children and expect to get away with it?

    This question has long since been answered. Anyone who follows local politics knows that this sort of thing is a daily occurrence. The difference is that most of these politicians don't have aspirations of being president, they just want all the perks and kickbacks that come with the position. So none of it ever gets the attention it deserves.

    If you're stuck in a city or town that has voted in the same party for decades then there's corruption and nepotism on a level you can't even imagine. So the fact that it tricks up to state level isn't surprising at all. Sometimes it makes it all the way up to Federal government, but those guys are operating on a whole other level.

  • by bobbied (2522392) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:42PM (#45955637)

    Good luck getting elected now ya meathead. Rand Paul can run circles around this guy.

    Rand Paul? Ok, you are one of those people. Cruz has more name recognition and you won't find many confused Rand with Ron (his father) which is a serious problem because Ron is NUTS.

    About Christie, All I can say is it really sucks being the perceived "front runner" because *everybody* is gunning for you. It's easier to fund raise, but at three years out you'd rather not draw such attention and fund raising is not exactly in full swing yet. Nobody would care about a "traffic study" if he was #3 or #4 on the list of contenders.

  • Oh look (Score:3, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:55PM (#45955865) Journal

    Another reason to talk about the "Bridgegate" scandal instead of, I dunno, real news like Obamacare, unemployment, our moribund economy, the ongoing blunders in foreign policy, NSA surveillance, etc.

    Please, let's talk about Chris Christie some more.

  • Re:duh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bobbied (2522392) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:57PM (#45955907)

    The real question is whether it ordered by a rogue official(s), or the governor himself. If information comes out that the governor was involved then he just lost himself a chance at being president.

    No, the real question is, has politics stooped so low that political staff (and possibly politicians) feel entitled to act like petulant little children and expect to get away with it?

    Yes it has. What do you think the IRS scandal was/is? At the very best the IRS scandal was almost exactly what Christie claims his "traffic study" was. Some appointed underling did something for the political advantage of their appointer in order to try and sway an election. Of course the person in charge "didn't know" and was "surprised to learn" that his appointee did it. I call it plausible deniability because it's very likely they actually didn't know, they just appointed people who just instinctively do stuff like this.

    And, if so, why is society prepared to live with their politicians and staff acting like such douchebags?

    I don't care what political stripe you are,

    And slow rolling the tax approval of rival political groups is exactly the same kind of problem, albeit somehow more direct if you ask me. There is much to deride on both sides and the accepted political tactics they use.

  • Re:Oh look (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:36PM (#45956515) Journal
    What the hell are you talking about? Every news outlet panned the roll out obamacare, Obama had a couple of press conferences, there are constant stories about obamacare all the time. Actually I wish they will talk more about Obamacare, because now the site has turned around, and actual beneficiaries are there to talk to. Some 10 million of them. 3 million age less than 26 sticking on to parents plans, 2.2 million private enrolees and some 4.2 million medicaid expansion. Imagine where it would be if it got bit of cooperation from the Republicans.

    Unemployment is a constant news story. It keeps coming up, most recently in the disappointing job numbers for Dec 2013. Moribund economy is another constant news item. NSA surveillance is a constant news item. Foreign policy, Syria, Israel, Egypt constantly in the news.

    Just come out of the echo chamber to realize how much Democrats have been trashed by the press.

  • by ttucker (2884057) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @05:36PM (#45957361)

    I assume this is a evidence substantiated sub-theory, rather than absurdly shifted goalposts when reality shows to be the opposite of paranoid claims. Right?

    Nobody is shifting the goalposts, besides you. The original complaint was that the IRS delayed the applications, such that the groups could not participate in the political debate leading to the 2012 US presidential election. The groups in fact were not able to participate. Nobody gives a shit, really, whether they were granted the status afterwards... it is a superfluous detail, only further supporting the original thesis.

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