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Hector Santiago was hired by Max Carmas to direct buses while Carmas took naps

What do you do when the man responsible for traffic safety in one of the busiest urban areas in the country is drunk? It's shocking, but a New Jersey Transit worker has been paying a homeless alcoholic to direct traffic and get him coffee while he sleeps in empty buses.

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L.A. beat out 2012 winner Honolulu

Los Angeles is a city known for it's celebrity lifestyle, but the city recently regained the number one spot in the country on a less desirable A-list, traffic congestion.

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Anyone who's sat at a red light for minutes on end in the middle of the night when there's no cross traffic can cheer on science for proving what we already knew: lights that adapt to the flow of traffic, instead of dictating the flow of traffic, can improve the flow of traffic. A team of researchers discovered that if you let lights locally decide how to time their signals based on how much traffic they're dealing with, and then communicate that with nearby lights, you get closer to the "green

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Here's a little ray of sunshine if you happen to be traveling on the G110 expressway in China. The massive, 60-mile long traffic jam that reportedly cropped up due to road maintenance between Beijing and Zhangjiaku has all but evaporated. NBC News decided to get down and dirty by heading up the afflicted highway to see the mayhem for itself, only to find that the Chinese government had successfully dissipated the clog.

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We will never complain about our commute again. Ever. According to MSNBC, gridlock traffic has now grown to cover a total of 60 miles between Beijing and Zhangjiakou. It's been that way since August 14th, and officials say that the situation doesn't look to improve until workers wrap up road repairs on September 13. If that wasn't bad enough, a slew of broken-down vehicles and fender benders have cropped up as a result of the slow-going commute.

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Unless you've had your head glued to a computer monitor for the past month (like we have), odds are you know it's Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to a modestly improving economy and bottom-basement deals on accommodations and flights, this year's summer kick off is slated to see quite a few more travelers than last year. Consumer Reports says that all in all, 32.1 million Americans will be leaving home for a little R&R over the three-day weekend. That number is up a full two million travelers c

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Traffic jams. Who doesn't love them? You've spent tens of thousands of dollars on a new car (or not) to go five miles an hour, you're wasting gas and people are getting cranky. This, my friends, is the freedom of the open road.

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Traffic congestion is good for the environment. Wait, come again? Are we talking about Bizarro World here? Actually, according to Wall Street Journal writer David Owen, excessive congestion can actually be a good thing when it convinces drivers to explorer transportation alternatives instead of sitting in endless traffic jams.

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Phantom traffic jam - Click above to watch the video after the break

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Photo: splorp - Licensed under CC 2.0

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In light of the "backwards-travelling wave" that researchers recently discovered as a cause of congestion, another study has pinpointed a possible major contributor. The University of Utah's Traffic Lab uncovered that drivers paying more attention to yapping on their phone – hands free or not – add to the suffering of us all. Talking while driving leads to drivers who take considerably longer to change lanes when following slow-moving vehicles, drive slower overall, and take longer t

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Finally, there's an explanation for those wasted hours we spent on the MassPike today asking no one in particular "what the (dirty word) is this (dirty word)?" A team of mathemeticians from the Universities of Exeter, Bristol and Budapest developed a mathematical model revealing that traffic jams are caused by idiots. Okay, not exactly. The real explanation is that unexpected events, such as being cut off, require slowing below a threshold speed for smooth traffic flow. As we've all observed, wh

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Here's one way to clear traffic jams – become the Russian President. The above picture shows you how a typical Moscow street looks at pretty much any time of day. It's bumper-to-bumper traffic as far as the eye can see. But to paraphrase Mel Brooks in History of the World, Part I, "It's good to be the Pres." When President Putin has to get somewhere in a hurry, they make sure he can arrive in a timely fashion. The following photo shows how the same streets look when his Mercedes Limo and G

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One of the curses I've faced as a recording engineer is that the symphony of every day life drills itself through my skull. It can be quite distracting. People try to converse with you, and all you can focus on is the groovy rhythm coming from a rattly interior bit. Avant-garde musicians and composers have been attuned to the music life creates for many years. John Cage, for instance, wrote pieces that use big fans as an orchestral section. Cage's 4'33 would be the perfect cellphone ringtone, bu

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