why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

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why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby bennetthaselton » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:15 pm

I haven't been to Burning Man before, so this idea may be flawed for some reason that's obvious to experienced burners. This is more of along the lines of, "If you think this wouldn't work, tell me why it wouldn't work." And who knows, maybe some modified version of this could work in the future, if the problems people point out, are fixable.

My question: Why not have a priority exodus line set aside for vehicles who leave during a designated time slot, based on the last digit of their license plate? So for example halfway through Burning Man, a random number or letter would be selected by the organizers -- say, "T". So during daylight hours on the last day, a priority exit lane is set up where from 6:00-6:30 AM, only vehicles with license plates ending in "T" can exit. Then from 6:30-7:00 AM, only vehicles with license plates ending in "U" can exit. And so on, until you've cycled through all the letters and numbers. (The initial letter in the cycle -- in this case, T -- would have to be selected after the event starts, to prevent people from gaming the system in advance, by bringing in vehicles with plates deliberately chosen to get an early exit time.) And then you have a longer line for everybody else who doesn't want to leave in their designated time slot.

I read the FAQ at http://www.burningman.com/preparation/e ... etting_Out , where one of the questions is "You should set up a system where people can register for a departure time and give them an 'express' lane", and the answer gives various reasons why that wouldn't work -- creating a registration system, verifying departure times as people leave, lost registration slips, etc. However, this idea would seem to avoid most of those problems -- nobody has to "register" for anything, and the only "verification" that volunteers have to do as cars are leaving, is eyeball the last digit of the license plate as the car slowly passes. (And if you spot somebody cheating, don't throw your body in front of the vehicle, just radio ahead with a description of the car, so that traffic control can stop the car from leaving in the priority lane -- since even in the priority lane, all these cars would be moving slowly anyway.)

People could still game the system a little bit by bringing multiple license plates and putting the earliest-departure license plate on their car after the rotation schedule is announced. However, apart from the fact that some people would be deterred from doing this by the fact that it is (I think) illegal, there'd also be diminishing returns from loading up on too many spare license plates. Out of 36 time slots (one for each letter or number), you'd have to acquire 4 different license plates to guarantee being able to leave in one of the first 9 time slots. But you'd have to get 12 different license plates to guarantee being able to leave within one of the first 3 time slots, etc. At a certain point I think most people would decide it's less work just to hang out with friends for a few more hours and wait your turn.

Is there any reason why this wouldn't be more efficient than the current system? (For example, "Some people would miss their timeslot and then have to wait in the long line" -- well yes that's true, but it would still seem more efficient than the present system, where *everybody* has to wait in the same long line.)
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby gaminwench » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:21 pm

huh.
Why on earth are you worrying about this, if you're not going/have never been?

Also, FYI, Exodus last year was a no-wait situation.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby Eric » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:07 pm

The system that is set up has been designed by people who've been going for years, who work Exodus, and who take what has & hasn't worked in the past to figure out ways to make it more functional. There is no perfect way to empty a city of 68,000 people onto a two-lane road over 2 or 3 days, but they do the best they can under the circumstances.

Trying to prioritize by licence number sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen, and would be functionally unenforceable. Wait until you go before you decide it's a problem, and if you think that it is, offer to volunteer with the Exodus staff. They are always looking for more volunteers, and the more feet they have on the ground the smoother things can go.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby GreyCoyote » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:08 pm

The total flow capacity isnt limited by the on-playa lanes. The capacity is only as good as the bottlenecks elsewhere on public roads. Having a dedicated special-letter exit lane does not improve those bottlenecks. Indeed it just introduces another cog into the system that takes time, preparation, manpower, management and discipline, all of which are in short supply at the end of the burn.

If exodus fed into an arrow straight five-lane highway with usable shoulders, this might work, but then you wouldnt need it because you could move 10,000 cars an hour without a sweat.

Check it out when you get into the dust. It will make more sense then.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby Roberto Dobbisano » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:19 pm

i smell a trap.




no one could possibly be this anal retentive.




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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby lemur » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:31 pm

the BLM/NDOT/NHP mandate a maximum of 1000 cars released per hour.

it really doesnt matter who..
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby bennetthaselton » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:24 pm

@gaminwench - The FAQ at
http://www.burningman.com/preparation/e ... etting_Out
said that the queue time on Sundays has reached up to 5 hours. Some people in the camp I'm going with, have said it's sometimes up to 12 hours. Did you really leave without any wait? All I know is that's not what most people have been telling me to expect. (Unless you leave on the Tuesday afterwards.)

@GreyCoyote and @lemur -- you're correct, this will not increase the rate at which people can leave BRC since there are other bottlenecks elsewhere. The goal is not to increase the rate at which people can leave; the goal is to reduce the time spent waiting in line. If you have priority lanes for cars that leave in a scheduled time slot, the total egress rate will be the same, but you will greatly reduce the waiting-in-line time for cars who leave in their time slot.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby lemur » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:29 pm

how about this much simpler system.


some dude counts the cars as they get into line.


theres some sign or a thing with lights


it notifies you how many thousands are in line, 3.. 4... 5... 6 thousand

and you choose whether or not to get in line.. easy peasy
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby Sic Pup » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:40 pm

How about just considering exodus, like entry, like JOTS, like dust storms, dirt devils, and every other weird. frustrating, unusual, awesomely beautiful and incredibly demoralizing thing out there as part of the whole experience?

Once you make it home you won't be in such a rush to get back to defaultia.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby lemur » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:49 pm

some people want to feel in control.


this is america. duh.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby Eric » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:14 pm

bennetthaselton wrote:@gaminwench - The FAQ at
http://www.burningman.com/preparation/e ... etting_Out
said that the queue time on Sundays has reached up to 5 hours. Some people in the camp I'm going with, have said it's sometimes up to 12 hours. Did you really leave without any wait?


Note the conditional verbs? We've gotten out with no wait at all, we've been in line for 5-6 hours. You really don't know until you're ready to pull out. If you personally don't want to wait in line, I recommend leaving Sat eve just before the Man burns. Usually a pretty straight shot out. If you want to change the system, I recommend going first to see how the system works. You're basically mentally re-engineering something you've never seen, and that doesn't usually work out so well.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby gaminwench » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:31 pm

Bennett,

Last year there was no significant Exodus wait at any time. :shock:
In 2011, there was an (BMunrelated) accident on I80 that stopped everything for many hours. I heard of up to 8 hour Exodus that day (although if one had listened to BMIR, one would have known that, and could plan to delay departure until the road re-opened). :cry:
In my 14 years, I have never heard of a 12 hour Exodus wait.
If you are leaving at 'peak' times Sunday or Monday, you will most likely wait in the Exodus pulsing system; if you arrive at BRC during peak times, you will wait in line.
Many, many very competent brain cells have been utilized in developing/honing/implementing the systems used. :idea:
Many, many words have been written by folks trying to 'help' improve the system. :roll:
Please don't make the assumption that we're 'doing it all wrong', before you've participated in the experience.

If one doesn't want to wait in line (no guarantee, of course), arrive Tuesday and leave Saturday afternoon; or stay til Tuesday (helping clean up or working Exodus).

Enjoy your virgin burn!
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:33 pm

i miss the days of the drive by parking lot.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:39 pm

Hey a few decades ago we had the "odd/even" gas rationing system, you could buy gas on a particular day depending if you had an odd or even license plate number. Remember how great that worked?
I think we owe the OP a multitude of thanks for coming up with a way to adapt that brilliant plan to improve the exodus.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:29 pm

Now I know what the fuss was about...
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby Bexx » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:21 am

The exodus was fine last year. We left around 1pm Monday and hit blacktop by 2:15. Wasn't even an issue.
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Re: why not prioritize exodus by last license plate digit?

Postby graidawg » Mon Aug 12, 2013 5:47 am

I can tell you how to make exodus "better" any fuckwit driving on the playa at over 5mph is made to get out of their car and wait (in the dust clouds) until every other fucking car gets past them, possibly with somebody wheelspinnning their car right next to them so they get a clue as to how dangerous it is racing past people creating enormouse clouds of dust as they race past everyone driving sensibly.

Also any fuckwit that Moops out of their car on the way has to get out and clear 100yards each way before they can get back in their car. same goes for stupid cunts that can't pack their shit right and MOOP 447 on the way out.


as for waits at exodus, never had any problems but then i have left on tuesday/wednesday the last 2 years
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