Ever wonder why so few people travel The Extra Mile, a stretch of open road seldom congested with traffic jams? Transportation engineers are also perplexed by the question.
“The Extra Mile is a very nice section of Life’s Highway System,” says Paths Lestravld, chief engineer for DeadEnd Incorporated, a transportation services company. “There must be a good reason people go to great lengths to avoid it.”
Mr. Lestravld initially believed recent high gas prices were the reason people chose alternate routes. However, once he dug into past surveys, he discovered The Extra Mile has historically been poorly traveled, even when gas cost pennies per gallon.
Next, he looked at signage, traffic signals and speed zones, on the theory that drivers needed more guidance on how to navigate The Extra Mile. Here, too, he discovered The Extra Mile traffic volume remained low no matter what improvements were made.
After months spent conducting traffic counts, analyzing accident statistics, studying speed data, and examining roadway conditions, Mr. Lestravld is no closer to a solution. Still, he’s determined to continue his investigation despite the time it takes away from his other projects.
“I try to go The Extra Mile at work,” he says. “But my boss always finds me and brings me back.”