Tuesday, June 08, 2010


Et si SimCity 4 , et plus particulièrement sa version Rush Hour, pouvait s'appliquer au monde réel ?

Et si en quelques clics, on pouvait toute à la fois avoir des infos sur le trafic, la pollution, le coûts des heures perdus dans les embouteillages, l'impact du péage urbain dans certains quartiers ou disposer du meilleurs parcours possible à certaines heures de la journée ? (voir )

Ce qui semblait il y a encore peu très hypothétique, paraît aujourd'hui possible, et ce grâce à un certain Charles Komanoff qui, si l'on en croit la dernière livraison du magazine Wired, vient de créer un logiciel capable d'analyser tous les éléments et toutes les contraintes de la mobilité urbaine : le " Balanced Transportation Analyzer".

Sous le titre "The Man Who Could Unsnarl Manhattan Traffic", voilà ce que l'on peut, en effet, lire :

"Komanoff’s spreadsheet, which he has posted online, calculates how new fees and changes to existing tolls affect traffic at different times of day. It calculates which costs are borne by city dwellers and which by suburbanites. It calculates how long it takes passengers to dig for change and board buses. And it allows any user to adjust dozens of different variables—from taxi surcharges to truck tolls—and measure their impact. The result is a kind of statistical SimCity, an opportunity to play God (or at least Robert Moses) and devise the perfect traffic policy." (...)

(...) "Komanoff’s masterpiece has impressed municipal traffic planners from New York to Paris to Guangzhou, China. “Charlie has created the first believable model of the impact of pricing on transportation choices,” says Sam Schwartz, a former New York City traffic commissioner who actually coined the word gridlock.

It’s also the most ambitious effort yet to impose mathematical rigor and predictability on an inherently chaotic phenomenon. Despite decades of attempts to curb delays—adding lanes to highways, synchronizing traffic lights—planners haven’t had much success at unsnarling gridlock. A study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that in 2007, metropolitan-area drivers in the US spent an average of 36 hours stuck in traffic—up from 14 hours in 1982. ( voir, )

But the Balanced Transportation Analyzer, Komanoff says, will finally allow engineers to model the effects of proposed transportation policies in realistic detail. He translates all traffic impacts—delays, collisions, injuries, air pollution—into dollars and cents; that way, it’s easy for users to compare the benefits and costs of different plans. He has even come up with a plan of his own that would, according to his calculations, collect $1.3 billion in motorist tolls per year—all of which would be spent on improving public transit—and save $2.5 billion in time costs by reducing delays. To that, add $190 million from decreased mortality as a result of making streets more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly, $83 million in collision damage reduction, and $34 million in lower CO2 emissions.

Article in extenso, .

" Ebb and Flow :
A Day in the Life of Manhattan Traffic :
Charles Komanoff has spent three years building a model of the traffic patterns in New York City. The result is an exhaustive accounting of every mile traveled, every slowdown encountered, and every hour wasted.
Below, a rundown of traffic on an average weekday in Manhattan’s central business district

Et beaucoup plus d'infos, et .