Navigating a New System
One of the more complex questions around this new program was how the people using these streets and moving around the city would experience the system. The act of making the streets flexible and dynamic necessitated a new wayfinding experience for inhabitants - a new generation of traffic signs and navigation systems.
Without this, understanding the traffic rules and how to get around would be confusing at best, and life-threatening at worst. Many solutions were proposed, tested, and thrown out in the course of this phase.
Everything Changes, Nothing Changes
The beauty of building this system on OpenData’s robust backbone is that patterns began to emerge, creating a certain synergy between the citizens and the infrastructure. Some streets became even more residential due to a lack of Heavy Vehicle demand, allowing co-op owners to lease road space to put in playgrounds, open-air markets, and other facilities. Other roadways became commuter highways, seeing a plethora of vehicles over the course of a day and bearing witness to the incredible diversity in transportation methods used by New Yorkers.
Although certain patterns began to develop, the system's flexibility allowed it to accommodate unforeseen circumstances such as emergencies. Autonomous vehicles are guided by an operating system integrated into the FlexStreets engine, and automatically adjust their routes. The city was able to gain major efficiencies in traffic control, and, through this innovative new approach, contribute to the health and happiness of the citizens of the city.