No Left Turns

From NYT (via Slashdot) Left-Hand-Turn Elimination UPS is trying to eliminate left-turns, which typically have more delay (and thus fuel consumption and air pollution) than through or right-turn movements. This of course should be true primarily at permitted rather than protected lefts, it wasn’t clear from the article whether UPS has signal timings in its database.

2 thoughts on “No Left Turns”

  1. This may be a reduction in fuel consumption, and therefore air pollution, per package, but not necessarily in total. If UPS can deliver one or two extra packages per route now because they can deliver each package more efficiently, they may use the same amount of fuel while delivering a few more packages. Isn’t this simply a story of efficiency gains that will quickly be eaten up by increased demand (due to potentially lower prices)? UPS wants to deliver more packages, not fewer after all. If the drivers can deliver their truckload 30 minutes faster, they probably don’t get to go home early.
    When the NYT reports that UPS has “reduced CO2 emissions by 31,000 metric tons”, does this mean in total, as a company, forever? Or does it mean on that number of packages it was already delivering? I think this simplification in reporting does a disservice. Until businesses are really paying the full cost of GHG externalities (not just the low price of fuel), we won’t see true “reductions”.

  2. after seeing the no left turn on tv on 2/13/08 on 2/14/08 i seen 3 ups trucks within 10 minutes all make left turns i just found that to be the most hilarius event all day so anyway i was wondering if the no left turn works out all the time? lol. that is a really great thing to reduce pollution and save gas and all that but it was still very funny to have seen the story on tv then the very next day seeing 3 of the trucks turning left.

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