traffic “vapour lock”?

vapour lock isn’t really the right term, but I can’t think of a better fluid-dynamics term right now.

In the sudden torrential snowfall this afternoon, I got stuck south of an intersection for about 20 minutes, unable to move. The traffic lights were synchronized, which works for normal traffic flow, but with the snow everyone was going slowly. The net result was that:

  • when the light was red to me, there was space north of the intersection for cars, but that space was quickly filled by people turning from the cross street.
  • by the time the light was green to me, there was no space left on the north side of the intersection. In fact, there was no space in the intersection, because the turning traffic was consistently filling the intersection. So I was stuck, along with everyone else.

I finally gave up, turned around, drove all the way around the block, and came at the intersection again from the cross street :). After which I encountered another roadblock; York Mills eastbound was closed at Don Mills, because cars could not make it up the hill.

It took me 1:45 to get from my office to the school…

posted at 8:13 pm on Friday, February 29, 2008 in Personal | Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Helge says:

    The word you are looking for is “grid lock”. Streets are laid out in a grid and if you cannot get anywhere it is gridlock. Old term that’s been around since cars.


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