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Old 09-10-2007, 04:16 PM   #1
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hardcore traffic help

Well, I just started a new job. I will be sending metal samples out to companies interested in some of the products we make. The company/ job seems great. You can check out their web site at:

www.forms-surfaces.com

The only problem is I have a 20 mile commute that goes at a snail pace. It takes me about 40-50 minutes (or more) to get to work. Anyone have any tips for multi-light delays? I know killing the engine would help, but there would just be too many start stop cycles. I guess just keeping a reasonable buffer of the car in front of me would help (unfortunately when I leave a buffer people just jump in front causing me to just go slower).

I am planning on possibly getting an apartment soon. There are plenty of housing options in the under 5mile range. It would be even better if I can find one in the under 1 mile range so I can walk.
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Old 09-10-2007, 06:01 PM   #2
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Well... congrats on the job. Bites about the commute though!

Are you talking freeway start & stops, or traffic light stuff?

Is keeping the buffer really that bad? I drive in Ottawa and Toronto occasionally and I'm able to do it there (on the freeway stop & crawl) for the most part. People will always jump in occasionally, but I just focus on making it a game.

That's the kind of commute where hybrids shine. Not because you can't do (or beat) their FE in a non-hybrid (except for the EV stuff in the Toyotas/Fords), but because it takes so much less work to spit out the crazy numbers in them than our regular cars.
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Old 09-10-2007, 06:09 PM   #3
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Big Buffer If people jumping in front of you slows you down -- you don't have a big enough buffer. It helps having the buffer before you reach very slow traffic (if possible).

Idling in 5th gear - I'm going something around 20-25, getting 43mpg on a flat. That's slightly slower than your average - but moving slower than average could yield a close to non stop ride.... Of course, that doesn't really work if you have an auto :/
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:56 PM   #4
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I like to accellerate from a stop at a brisk pace. This helps keep the bufffer zone smaller and avoids others cutting in front. When approaching a stop I back off the gas early and coast in neutral. I back off early so I limit my gas use, but my speed is still high enough while coasting to discourage others from cutting in. If you do this right, you should be able to coast to the stop without using the brakes much, which is a sign that you didn't waste the gas keeping the car moving fast. I like to rank my brake usage in city driving like this; If I need to apply brakes at 35mph, I wasted too much gas and should've started coasting earlier. Beginning to brake for a stop around 20mph is average, braking at 15mph is good, braking at 10mph is great but annoys traffic behind me and opens big gaps in front of me. Sure, there will always be someone who stays on the gas hard, cuts in front of you and slams on the brakes at the last second, but you don't want to compete with them. They're having a 'Lets see how much gas I can waste so I can save 1/2 second off my commute' contest. In that type of competition everyone looses.
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Old 09-11-2007, 02:03 PM   #5
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Maybe put together and electric bike if you can plug it in at work? If you gear it right I'm sure you and it would be capable of ~20mph. Or just find someplace close and bike. A car in a situation like that seems so slow...
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Old 09-11-2007, 02:15 PM   #6
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I get my chance at both red light traffic and highway traffic. The red light traffic is what really gets to me.

I am looking for ways for detouring around some are the really bad red lights. I work 7 to 3:30. Usually it isn't that bad coming in. Just going home is slow.
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Old 09-12-2007, 06:40 PM   #7
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I feel your pain. The first mile of my commute (coming home) before getting on the on ramp to the highway/bridge often really puts a damper on my MPG. It has taken me as much as 40 minutes to go that mile, seeing the stoplights cycle again and again. Sometimes I just give up and wait till later evening. The only good thing that has come of it is that it makes me try even harder to reach better FE when the road is open.
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