The 'Diverging Diamond' Could Be Improving Traffic on a Road Near You Soon

iStock
iStock

No driver loves a left turn against traffic. They’re just a pain, especially if you’re trying to get on a highway and have no other options but to wait around hoping for a break in the stream of cars. But the left turn to a highway on-ramp may soon be a thing of the past, according to CityLab. More and more areas are embracing divergent diamond interchanges, an odd-looking road configuration that makes funneling traffic onto expressways far safer.

The diverging diamond interchange involves criss-crossing lanes that mean no more turns against traffic. Instead, traffic flows around medians and merges together in ribbons that allow you to navigate in any direction, peeling off to merge onto the on-ramp rather than making left-hand turns at a right angle. As a result, traffic doesn’t have to stop as often—sort of like with a roundabout design. Pedestrians and bikes flow the same way, separated from traffic, meaning they, too, have to stop less often. Like so:

The idea was first proposed in the early 2000s by a transportation graduate student, but it's only now beginning to catch on in North America. There are almost 90 locations throughout the U.S. where they’re either in use or in the works. The city of Calgary just opened one, as did Sarasota, Florida, and Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Though it takes some getting used to, the design has real safety impacts. In the first five years of the first one of these interchanges in the U.S.—in Springfield, Missouri—left turn-related crashes were totally eliminated, and total car crashes were reduced by 46 percent. The Department of Transportation also found that these road designs significantly reduce the cost of interchanges, since they require fewer lanes to handle heavy flows of traffic.

Cheap and safe? Sounds like you’ll be seeing a lot more diverging diamonds on your road trips.

[h/t CityLab]

Wednesday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Computer Monitors, Plant-Based Protein Powder, and Blu-ray Sets

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 2. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

Love the Smell of Soda? Make Your Whole House Smell Like it With These Recycled Can Candles

716 Candle Co.
716 Candle Co.

You won't find candles made to smell like balsam fir, ocean breezes, or fresh linen from 716 Candle Co. Instead, the Etsy store specializes in scented candles reminiscent of newly opened cans of soda, and each product comes in a clever recycled can holder to match its fragrance.

As Delish reports, 716 Candle Co. sells candles inspired by dozen of soda brands. Whether you're a Coke or Pepsi person, the shop has a candle for you in both diet and regular varieties. Other sodas that have been transformed into kitschy decor include Sprite, Orange Crush, and 7Up.

716 Candle Co.

Every candle from the Etsy shop contains 100 percent soy wax made from American-grown soybeans. The holders are real recycled soda cans that have been hand-cut and smoothed around the edges.

Whether you need a gift for the soda fanatic in your life or you like to unwind to the scent of Wild Cherry Pepsi at the end of the day, you'll find what you're looking for from 716 Candle Co. You can browse their candle offerings today, with prices ranging from $10 to $15.

[h/t Delish]