08/25/2014 03:18 PM
BATON ROUGE – One of the biggest complaints of modern life is traffic. Contrary to
popular opinion, however, there is a rhyme and reason to the way that traffic moves
on roads. In fact, there is an entire field of science and engineering that looks
at how different designs and control techniques influence driver behavior and how
that, in turn, impacts the safe and efficient movement of vehicles in cities throughout
Brian Wolshon, Edward A. Karen Wax Schmitt Professor in the LSU Department of Civil
& Environmental Engineering, is a researcher, teacher and practitioner of traffic
engineering. He will share basic principles of traffic movement and his research into
evacuations at Science Café on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at Chelsea’s Café, located at 2857
Perkins Road in Baton Rouge. Doors open at 5 p.m. for food and networking, and the
talk will start at 6 p.m.
Traffic engineering looks into why drivers need to stop for a few seconds on a freeway
ramp; why traffic comes to a dead stop on the Interstate for no apparent reason; and
why lights never seem to be timed correctly. Wolshon will discuss how the timing of
traffic signals and design of freeways effects how traffic moves and how every decision
has trade-offs – some of which make drivers happy, some of which make drivers want
to scream, but all of which seek to make the overall movement of people and freight
better, faster, safer and more efficient.
Most importantly, Wolshon will show how it is fun to apply modern tools and creative
thinking to make evacuations go faster; help traffic get out of LSU football games
smoother; and maybe even make your rush hour commute less hectic.
Science Café is open to people of all ages, so please spread the word and attend for
a fun and informative night.
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014