At the beginning of this project, I had some question ideas that I thought could be solvable in the long run. I brainstormed multiple questions that dealt with traffic flow to pedestrian walkways and how those are calculated. We all were assigned to brainstorm three possible questions that could potentially work for our projects. The three I came up with was:
- What do the pedestrian hand buttons do? Why do some crosswalks have them and some don't?
- Do reaction times differ whether you are driving straight or turning?
- How do they time the lights? What determines this?
To create a mathematical framework for this project I made a list of what needed to be solved in order to find a reasonable answer to my question. I needed to know how many cars on average would be at each side of the intersection based upon the estimated amount I had set previously. I also needed to figure out how many cars would be backed up when the cycle wasn’t on that light, and how long it would take cars to cross the intersection safely. Knowing these things could give me a sense on how much time any given lane would need in order to keep the amount of cars backed up to the minimum and keep things safe. |
As I did the math, I couldn’t stop! After I solved one variable, another one would pop up and I had a good time solving them. I started off by just calculating the amount of cars on average that would come through each lane during a one minute period. After figuring that out, I realized that I would also have to factor in more cars after 7:40 because traffic get increasingly worse the closer to 8:00 we get. After doing this I had to calculate the amount of time it would take for cars to get safely across the intersection and found the amount of time left for cars to turn left into Durango High School. For this problem I mainly focused on the cars coming from the north side of town.
After doing all the math, I realized that having a 120 second cycle for traffic may be very beneficial for our community. I realized that it didn’t take that much time to cross the intersections for cars and this would leave time and space for more traffic to be allowed through than faster times would. Now obviously this could also not be the best solution because the amount of traffic that could potentially get backed up waiting for the three other light cycles to go might get harsh, but all in all I thought that my math supports that we move towards putting the overall cycle at 120 seconds. |

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