How slow does traffic need to be going on the highway in order to justify taking surface streets?

Asked by andrew (16358) October 11th, 2007

All right Mathletes, I’m looking for pseudo-science here. Now that I have a rush-hour commute, I’m often sitting on the highway contemplating whether I should jog off and take the lights.

The surface street has lights about every 3 blocks or so, and they aren’t timed.

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I’d say take the streets for a week. Each day record the time it takes you to take the streets. Find the average.

From there, figure out how far you’re actually going on the streets and how far you’re going on the highway. (use google maps…or a long tape measure)

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Time highway = Distance highway /Speed highway

Take the streets when :
Time streets < Time highway

So:
Time streets <Distance highway / Speed highway which yields

Take the streets when:
Speed highway < Distance highway / Time streets

once you find the distance and time it should give you something like ” speed < 50 mph” Once you know that equation, there’s your rule.

Perchik (4982)

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