Is this a solution for congestion impacting emergency response?

  • #1
BrassOctopus
6
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Consider this situation:


I'm sure every one of us would dread being in that ambulance. So I am looking for input on this idea to assist emergency vehicles.

Suppose that the city put out a call for pedestrian volunteers to bide in segments of the city where such congestion creates these hold-ups. Give them some pretty badges and vests so they have some degree of official-looking importance. They would basically need to be paired or in good proximity to other volunteers to reach various points with celerity. I can see them on bicycles, scooters, or segways. Using a smartphone app, when emergency crews need a route cleared, the app could send requests to those volunteers to go to intersections like this, and then using a bright cord or tape, cordon off a street until the response vehicle gets through. It looks like they would only need to cordon off but one part of a single street. I'm sure the app could be set up so a driver can simply draw the route he/she needs.

I don't think this is an issue for the entire city, just areas like this where traffic and pedestrians are dense. What are your thoughts?

ADD:
I know a lot of pedestrians will just lift the cord up and disregard it, but I think most will respect it and passive persistence might condition the public over time when a physical barrier is right in front of them. It will certainly stop most of the vehicles.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
berkeman
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Consider this situation:


I'm sure every one of us would dread being in that ambulance. So I am looking for input on this idea to assist emergency vehicles.

Suppose that the city put out a call for pedestrian volunteers to bide in segments of the city where such congestion creates these hold-ups. Give them some pretty badges and vests so they have some degree of official-looking importance. They would basically need to be paired or in good proximity to other volunteers to reach various points with celerity. I can see them on bicycles, scooters, or segways. Using a smartphone app, when emergency crews need a route cleared, the app could send requests to those volunteers to go to intersections like this, and then using a bright cord or tape, cordon off a street until the response vehicle gets through. It looks like they would only need to cordon off but one part of a single street. I'm sure the app could be set up so a driver can simply draw the route he/she needs.

I don't think this is an issue for the entire city, just areas like this where traffic and pedestrians are dense. What are your thoughts?

ADD:
I know a lot of pedestrians will just lift the cord up and disregard it, but I think most will respect it and passive persistence might condition the public over time when a physical barrier is right in front of them. It will certainly stop most of the vehicles.

The problem there was the gridlock. Even with controlled intersections, you still have gridlock in the way, so there's probably not much that can be done other than using a drone ambulance.

In non-gridlock situations in many other cities, we use intersection control to clear intersections ahead of the emergency vehicle (EMS, Fire, etc.). Orthogonal streets get a long red light and the direction you are traveling has continuous green. That let's drivers in your direction of travel have the ability to move to the side of the road since they are free-flowing.
 
  • #3
BrassOctopus
6
6
Wikipedia:
Traditional gridlock is caused by cars entering an intersection on a green light without enough room on the other side of the intersection at the time of entering to go all the way through. This can lead to the car being trapped in the intersection when the light turns green in the other direction. If the same situation occurs simultaneously in multiple intersections, these cars can be trapped in the intersections indefinitely.

In many jurisdictions, drivers are therefore prohibited from entering an intersection at a green light if there is no room for them to clear the intersection. If all drivers follow this rule, gridlock is impossible.
I'm thinking that the volunteers would form the physical barrier to prevent traffic from entering those intersections, which could be planned via the phone app.
 
  • #4
berkeman
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You don't need volunteers if you have coordinated traffic lights. And the gridlock that I saw in that video was from too much traffic in that area. Even with the green light, only a couple cars could move per green light cycle.

Picking up the Patient in a Firefighter carry and humping them to the ED would probably have been quicker in that situation... You can get to the Patient faster on a bike or motorcycle, but you can't really transport them once you reach them. Honestly, the drone ambulance looks like the only improvement in that kind of situation, IMO.
 
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  • #5
256bits
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Give them some pretty badges and vests so they have some degree of official-looking importance.
Like crossing guards, or the police?
 
  • #6
BrassOctopus
6
6
Like crossing guards, or the police?
Crossing guards is close.
 
  • #7
stefan r
Science Advisor
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https://www.pyongyangtrafficgirls.com/

kud_2110.jpg


The glorious leader has considered this problem.
 

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