Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ropes from the Moon

Several things got me thinking about the way we direct traffic recently:
  • During reconstruction of the I-35 bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, lines and lanes were re-drawn on several other major roads to accommodate the extra traffic. After the bridge was finished, some of the re-drawn lines worked so well, they have remained.
  • On winter roads covered with ice (or black ice), it's not possible to see the lane dividers.

What if we could have the lane markings always "on top", and easily changed to accommodate rush hour, presidential motorcades, HOV lanes, and so on?

Like football games on television, where they do that cool yard-line marker which is smart enough to go behind the players...or those Bluetooth projected keyboards, and Smartboard technology.

Couldn't we project the lane markers on top of the roads? Now, I recognize that out in the country, you can't project lane markers from outer space*, but in the city, near intersections, we have the infrastructure of lights and signage to house projectors.

Someone else has a similar idea to create your own bike lane:

I don't know how legal that is, but I love the idea.

*Reminds me of an infamous grade-school prank. This may be an old wive's tale, but someone told me it happened to them:

(Phone rings)
Victim: Hello?
Prankster: Hello, is Mr. Wall there?
(you know mostly where this is going, but stay with me here...)
Victim: Um, no, I think you have the wrong number.
Prankster: What about Mrs. Wall?
Victim: No, you must have the wrong number. There are no Walls here.
Prankster: Then how do you keep your roof up? Haha!

1 comment:

  1. You know the technology exists for the lane markings, so implementing it can't be all that difficult...or far off. I was visualizing projections coming from the ground up instead of projected down. As far as the "ropes from the moon", probably not just a HUGE stretch anyway, as it got me to thinking about the proposed space elevator: