[PW] three old questions, again

S M Colowick colowick at gmail.com
Sun Feb 14 13:58:19 PST 2021


If I'm understanding the first question correctly, this solution has
been implemented in a lot of places, but may have caused more problems
than it solved. Wikipedia says that it "caused gridlock in some cities
where it was implemented, such as New York City, where congestion
increased due to longer wait times for lights."


On Sun, Feb 14, 2021 at 12:29 PM <solomons1pal at aol.com> wrote:
> Colleagues,
> Below are three questions that I've asked before, in some cases several years before, but I'm asking them again in the hope that new members have joined Wombats, bringing new knowledge and attitudes with them. 1.  Years ago a traffic engineer proposed a new way to keep pedestrians safe from auto traffic, and autos from other autos.  He wanted traffic lights to operate in a three-phase cycle: in phase one, pedestrians would not move, and only north-south auto traffic would move; in phase two, pedestrians would not move, and only east-west auto traffic would move; in phase three, no autos would move, and pedestrians could move in any direction they pleased, including diagonally.  I believe this idea was tried in San Francisco, but obviously not adopted.  I wonder what problem was found to prevent its adoption; it looks promising to me.  When I first asked this question years ago, no one gave me any good answers; the only one I recall is that someone said that people couldn't get the hang of it.  What I'm hoping for is a pointer to some authoritative report. 2.  I wondered why, in citing books, scholars still include the "place of publication", meaning nowadays the head office of the publisher.  Up until the early 19th century, it was important to know where the publisher was located, because that's where you had to go if you wanted the book.  If it was published by Jacob Tonson, you went to Tonson's shop to buy the book.  Nowadays, of course, you go to your neighborhood book store or order the book through Abebooks.  The place where the publisher's main office is located is of no use to you; if you showed up there and said that you wanted to buy one of their books, they would think you were an eccentric, to put it gently, and direct you to the nearest bookstore.  Can anyone suggest a rational, practical reason why the formal citation of a book includes the publisher's main office, which is usually New York or London? 3.  During World War II, when what is now the U.S.Air Force was the Army Air Corps, there was a song popular among pilots whose lyrics included the line "fly low and slow, said his mother". Can anyone give me the title of the song, or a suggestion as to where I can get any information about it?    Since these are questions unlikely to be of much interest to many others, I give my email address below so that you can send whatever answers you may have just to me.                         Mark Halpern     solomons1pal at aol.com
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