Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “traffic jams”

Traffic disruption

Traffic jams seem to be a way of life here, as just about every road in town (and the next town, and the one beyond that) is being dug up, widened, repaired, resurfaced and what not. So there are detours, deviations and diversions. The freeway to Johannesburg is narrowed to two lanes, or one, while they put a new piece of a bridge in place, or something.

Eventually (they hope in time for the World Cup in June) the freeway should be widened from three lanes to four or five, though the talk is that they will then make it a toll road, which should help to cut the traffic on it, as we look for alternative routes.

But yesterday a lorry crashed into some of the roadworks, where they are building a new bridge, and the chaos was far, far worse. The lorry turned over and caught fire on the northbound carriageway, under the new Atterbury Road Bridge. The Bridge is being widened, and usually has huge traffic jam in peak hours.

The crash happened on Wednesday afternoon, and the freeway was closed most of yesterday. The lorry hit a construction crane, and moved it by about a metre, so it had to be dismantled and rebuilt. The bridge was closed altogether for parts of the day as well. My wife usually goes along the freeway under the bridge to work, and it usually takes 15 minues, but it took her over two hours to get home yesterday.

I didn’t take the photo, I don’t know who did — it was sent to me by e-mail. Reports say that one person was killed and three injured. The dead man was probably the co-driver of the truck. The driver apparently ran away, and the police are investigating a possible charge of culpable homicide.

Traffic Wave Simulation

Have you ever wondered why traffic comes to a standstill when there is an accident in the other carriageway of the freeway? Here’s a simulation to explain it. Traffic Wave Simulation – screamyGuy:

The fact that the wave propagates explains why the source of the traffic jam is often not near where the traffic will clear up. By increasing the density of the incoming traffic, you can also see how intolerant of minor disturbances a heavy flow can be. Increase the traffic rate and note that halting as little as two cars can cause a jam that fills the entire screen! This implies that the hour you spent in traffic this morning may be little more than the remnants of a near collision when someone was messing with their stereo.

Those things are so frequent on the N1 between Pretoria and Johannesburg that I try to avoid travelling to Johannesburg unless it’s absolutely necessary.
For more detailed explanations, see here http://trafficwaves.org/.

Too exhausted to blog

I have an hour or two before leaving for church at 6:45 am. In the second half of Holy Week there is little chance to read my friends blogs on my blogroll, much less write anything. At most there’s a time for a quick glance at visitors on MyBlogLog.

From Thursday we have two services a day, lasting 3-4 hours each, and about 6-8 hours travelling time each day, which doesn’t leave much for anything else except a few hours’ sleep. I fetch 3-4 people in Mamelodi, and take them to St Nicholas Orthodox Church in Brixton, Johannesburg (the only English-speaking Orthodox parish in Gauteng) a 200 km round trip. What with the speed humps in Tsamaya Avenue, and the traffic jams in Buccleuch, it’s an exhausting journey, and takes a minimum of 3 hours for the round trip. The 70c a litre petrol price increase doesn’t help either.

This year our Holy Week coincides with the Western one, in which Good Friday is a public holiday; in the years when they don’t coincide there is more traffic on the roads, so the travelling time goes up to about 8-10 hours a day.

To my Christian blogging friends: Kali Anastasi (Good Resurrection).

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