Man, traffic sucks.
Roads are congested, traffic lights aren't synched properly, the interstate's always a mess, and everyone's always trying to get somewhere the same time I'm trying to get somewhere. We talk about the problem, and talk about it, and talk about it. We here at 225 talk about it, too.
Well, what if the answer to traffic woes wasn't infrastructure improvements (like more and wider roads) but changing commuter habits? What if you were paid to go to work and leave work during off-peak hours? Stanford professor Balaji Prabhakar told the website Ars Technica that just shifting 10 percent of the commuter load from peak times to off-peak times is enough to significantly reduce congestion (read that story here).
Furthermore, Prabhakar put that idea into action, creating a program on Stanford's campus where participants have their vehicles outfitted with a small device that monitors driving habits. The participants (students, teachers and faculty) get credits for traveling outside of the big commuting hours, which can either be redeemed upfront for cash or put toward playing an online game that yields bigger prizes.
People who took part in the program say it's cut down their commute time. And I'm sure people who didn't participate also saw a change, as well. The university loved the program so much, officials plan to expand it to help alleviate parking issues (Parking! Almost as bad as traffic!). Prabhakar's also replicated the program on a larger scale in Singapore.
If you’re interested in finding out what Baton Rouge and state officials are doing to improve transit options and lots more dealing with traffic and smart growth across the state, check out the Louisiana Smart Growth Summit Aug. 27-29 at the Manship Theatre. The schedule can be found here. Early registration deadline is Aug. 23.
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Chef and 225 contributor Jay D. Ducote and Chef Chris Wadsworth hosted the Bad Guys, Good Eats! dinner at Restaurant IPO Wednesday night. The dinner was themed around famous movie villains, pairing cocktails and ales with plates of food resembling famous baddies like The Joker, Lord Voldemort, Hannibal Lector, and many others. The highlights of the night were the three middle courses—a black bean soup laced with blood sausage to signify Lord Voldemort, a brace of coneys on black eyed peas resembling Sauron, and lamb medallions atop a fava bean puree to pay homage to the famous favorite of Hannibal Lector.
Elizabeth Arkley Hammett, a local nursing student and Fur Ball co-coordinator, and her husband Grey Hammett III, who works in commercial real estate, will take you through our summer guide. And they'll look good while doing it, too. Where noted, their clothes and accessories are available from local retailers.
These swimsuits will keep you stylish all summer long
Better Block BR
On Saturday the two blocks between Bedford and Beverly drives on April 13, 2013, residents will get to see a model of what Government Street could look like if we push local and state officials to update the roadway to a safer, more "complete street" model.