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Old September 21st, 2011, 04:14 AM   #261
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Not everytime. Tokyo, Seoul, Tehran,Shanghai, Hongkong, Madrid and much more oppose the statement.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 05:03 AM   #262
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Not everytime. Tokyo, Seoul, Tehran,Shanghai, Hongkong, Madrid and much more oppose the statement.
Most of those freeways avoid the city centering, serving to only funnel people to the city and out. And Tehran as one of the greatest cities in the world? Okay...
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Old September 21st, 2011, 05:12 AM   #263
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Isn't it? Come on!! It is the biggest city in middle east after Cairo and before Istanbul!
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Old September 21st, 2011, 10:49 AM   #264
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your wrong about the Noise. .
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Originally Posted by poshbakerloo View Post
That couldn't be further from the truth!
Noise impact assessments are my living. Railway noise is significantly higher than motorway noise. Of course there are variables, but a busy railway will produce up to 80 - 85 dB at a distance of 50 meters. Motorway noise usually do not exceed 70 - 75 dB. Furthermore, motorway noise can be more effectively reduced, mainly because source reductions, like silent pavement are much more effective than rail source reductions, where about the only effective measures are driving 30 km/h or rail dampers. However, the effect of rail damper is no more than 3 dB, while porous asphalt can reduce up to 6 dB. Lowering speed limits from 130 to 100 also scrapes off another 1 - 1.5 dB.

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Exactly right! And thats 1000 cars off the road! Most people commute on their own, rush hour traffic is mostly single people in their own cars...
These statements are nonsense. First, the assumption that each train traveler means one less car on the road is absolute rubbish. A large proportion of public transport travelers do not have the option to make the same journey by car. Most students cannot afford a car, for instance. Furthermore, a trip of 3 or 4 people by train would have otherwise not necessarily been done by 3 or 4 individual cars (families, groups, etc).

Unfortunately, such things are often quoted to overstate the impact of transit in reducing road traffic.

Second, the average motor vehicle has an occupation rate of 1.2 persons, about 1.3 in urban areas due to somewhat more carpooling. With an average of 4 seats, that is an occupancy rate of 30%, which is similar to a railway network.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 10:56 AM   #265
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By and large freeways in the U.S. were intentionally built through minority neighborhoods, many of which were thriving and vibrant but turned into desolate wastelands afterwards.
minority, thriving and vibrant is realtor talk for low-income immigrant neighborhoods with higher than average crime. Typically the neighborhoods where it costs the least to build a new road through. These are just economical arguments, not racial, nobody wants to spend $ 20 million per mile when it can be done for $ 5 million. And there are many neighborhoods far from the freeway impact zones in the United States which are also desolate wastelands. Although freeways may have contributed somewhat more, it is by far not the only factor.

And, as I said before, we allow it to become that. Governments make little effort in regenerating such areas. Mostly because the U.S. problems are on a too large a scale, not only near freeways, but almost entire city proper areas, look at Detroit or Philadelphia or Washington or Saint Louis. Now you'll see some gentrification on the most valuable potential spots that should've been done decades ago.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 03:01 PM   #266
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Noise impact assessments are my living. Railway noise is significantly higher than motorway noise. Of course there are variables, but a busy railway will produce up to 80 - 85 dB at a distance of 50 meters. Motorway noise usually do not exceed 70 - 75 dB. Furthermore, motorway noise can be more effectively reduced, mainly because source reductions, like silent pavement are much more effective than rail source reductions, where about the only effective measures are driving 30 km/h or rail dampers. However, the effect of rail damper is no more than 3 dB, while porous asphalt can reduce up to 6 dB. Lowering speed limits from 130 to 100 also scrapes off another 1 - 1.5 dB.



These statements are nonsense. First, the assumption that each train traveler means one less car on the road is absolute rubbish. A large proportion of public transport travelers do not have the option to make the same journey by car. Most students cannot afford a car, for instance. Furthermore, a trip of 3 or 4 people by train would have otherwise not necessarily been done by 3 or 4 individual cars (families, groups, etc).

Unfortunately, such things are often quoted to overstate the impact of transit in reducing road traffic.

Second, the average motor vehicle has an occupation rate of 1.2 persons, about 1.3 in urban areas due to somewhat more carpooling. With an average of 4 seats, that is an occupancy rate of 30%, which is similar to a railway network.
The sound from a busy motorway is constant. Even if they noise from car is a lot less than from one train. You could have 3+ car passing at once. And then there is a constant stream of them not a few every hour like with trains...


Also If you look at any rush hour traffic jam, pretty much every car only has one person in, many except mums driving their children to school...Who Drives into central Manchester from Cheshire? Who does that when there are like 6 rail lines all going there...its these people that want the urban motorways, and spend most of the time stuck in traffic moaning when a commuter train speeds past at 80mph full of people...
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Old September 21st, 2011, 03:40 PM   #267
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The sound from a busy motorway is constant. Even if they noise from car is a lot less than from one train. You could have 3+ car passing at once. And then there is a constant stream of them not a few every hour like with trains...
That's true, but the peak noise emissions of trains are very high, whereas road traffic is fairly constant. Due to the high peaks, noise screens for instance along railways need to be much higher than along roads, which is hardly acceptable (nobody wants a 10 m tall Berlin Wall along railways). Road traffic noise can be brought to more acceptable levels of 50 - 60 dB by various measures such as a 80 - 100 km/h speed limit, 2 - 3 m tall noise barriers and silent pavement. Motorists pay enough taxes to pay for this. The U.S. ones are much worse, with concrete pavement and vehicles which are generally much louder than in Europe. Concrete alone can be as much as 10 dB more noisy than porous asphalt. (a 40 km/h speed reduction equals about 3 dB, to bring this into perspective).

The main problem in London is that the road issues are less visible. Congestion and delays along surface streets are harder to register and map than on motorways. London has many residential streets with more than 20 000 vehicles per day. The traffic is not less in London, but it's spread out over hundreds of main streets, most of which also have a residential function. There are traffic lights in London which handle more than 100 000 vehicles per day.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 04:52 PM   #268
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That's the one Spui that we have. Understand why I called the idea ridiculous?
I must say that during my few days in that neighborhood, I never once said to myself, "what this area needs is a freeway!"
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Old September 21st, 2011, 04:56 PM   #269
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The air next to railways is not dirtied by exhaust, there is little noise, and property values are not depressed.

Other than that, a rail line cutting through a city is no different than a freeway.
Not sure you're right about the property-values factor: in New York, the parts of the Upper East Side east of Third Avenue certainly benefited when the Third Avenue El was torn down.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 05:01 PM   #270
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minority, thriving and vibrant is realtor talk for low-income immigrant neighborhoods with higher than average crime. Typically the neighborhoods where it costs the least to build a new road through. These are just economical arguments, not racial, nobody wants to spend $ 20 million per mile when it can be done for $ 5 million. And there are many neighborhoods far from the freeway impact zones in the United States which are also desolate wastelands. Although freeways may have contributed somewhat more, it is by far not the only factor.

And, as I said before, we allow it to become that. Governments make little effort in regenerating such areas. Mostly because the U.S. problems are on a too large a scale, not only near freeways, but almost entire city proper areas, look at Detroit or Philadelphia or Washington or Saint Louis. Now you'll see some gentrification on the most valuable potential spots that should've been done decades ago.
Hey! Philadelphia and Washington are not as bad as people say they are. "Entire city proper areas" is certainly an exaggeration in both cases.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 05:06 PM   #271
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Hey! Philadelphia and Washington are not as bad as people say they are. "Entire city proper areas" is certainly an exaggeration in both cases.
Both city propers lost a considerable amount of their population, even with all the planned freeways being canceled. Philadelphia lost half a million people and Washington 200,000, both about 25%. Like I said, there are more factors to urban decline and population decrease in central city areas than just freeways. Crime was rampant in the 1990's.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 05:28 PM   #272
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I must say that during my few days in that neighborhood, I never once said to myself, "what this area needs is a freeway!"
Tourists arriving by air or long-distance trains have different transportation needs than people living or travelling to/from the region. And that is not only the case from Amsterdam.

I live in Southern Netherlands, occasionally I drive with friends to Amsterdam, and I DO feel the impact that lack of urban expressway spurs have. I live less than a 10-min drive (4 and 8 respectively) from both freeways that pass through my city. Then I can complete the fast-moving freeway sector, absent jams, the trip to A2 terminus in Amsterdam in about 63-71 minutes (108km). Then, the final 3,5 km to Museumplein area where I usually park takes me another 11-18 minutes off-peak time. If you get stuck behind a bus, too bad: it's impossible to beat the hideous signal priority.

In any case: the single, most dangerous issue with Amsterdam traffic are foreigners/tourists, unused to ride bikes according to traffic laws, that drive their bikes with completely disrespect for bike lanes, bike traffic lights, no-bicycle and bicycle-only-unmounted zones. Last weekend a friend of mine cracked his arm and bruised his wrist when he was hit by a foreign student that ignored a bike traffic light and hit 3 people on a pedestrian crossings. Locals behave badly sometimes, but they are more used to the traffic laws governing bike traffic, while many tourists see them as toys in a park, not as vehicular traffic that must obey rules.

I never had such incidents, but that is only because I drive with extreme caution in areas where unruly tourists behave like they were in a resort, not in a city. I wish there were something like bike license without which one couldn't ride a bike in Netherlands.

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The sound from a busy motorway is constant. Even if they noise from car is a lot less than from one train. You could have 3+ car passing at once. And then there is a constant stream of them not a few every hour like with trains...
At the ranges concerned in these discussions (since we're not talking of extreme noises of a factory or airport runway), peak noise is more relevant than accumulated noise that could be measured as a accumulated density function.

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Also If you look at any rush hour traffic jam, pretty much every car only has one person in, many except mums driving their children to school...Who Drives into central Manchester from Cheshire? Who does that when there are like 6 rail lines all going there...its these people that want the urban motorways, and spend most of the time stuck in traffic moaning when a commuter train speeds past at 80mph full of people...
One basic big mistake one could do is to look at any point of observations for any mode of transport and draw conclusions like "what a waste, 10 cars, all with motorist only". Freeways are high-capacity corridors, bur if you were able to see the origins and destinations of people in, say, a 1500m longitudinal section of a motorway with all cars there, I doubt many of the cars found there would be coming and going to the same destinations within a 200m or 3min maximum added travel distance/time of one another.

Also, to reach that fast commuter train you need to travel much slowly from your house to the station, probably involving waiting time at your local bus stop and at the station, and then repeat the process on the other end. If you count the time since you closed your house's door to the time you are seated n a departing commuter train, for most European cities that trip (comprising walking, waiting and travelling) will rarely reach more than 10-14km/h average, if much.

There is little discussion that, comfort issues aside, a 4-track state-of-the-art railway can carry 4, 6 more passengers per hour per direction between points A and B than a 2x4-lane highway used by cars. However, people are rarely travelling from A and B, they have multiple origins and destinations, and that kills the train advantage between specific points.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 05:35 PM   #273
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Edit: this is a response to Chris, post #271.

Well, obviously, you know Philadelphia and Washington better than I do.

The part of Washington west of Rock Creek Park - roughly a third of D.C.'s territory - never declined and has remained one of the wealthiest urban areas in the country. (And has no freeways....) Central Philadelphia is fortunate never to have been abandoned by its upper to upper-middle classes, and has been growing (in population and by other measures) recently; neighborhoods farther and farther out from Center City (as we call it) are reviving... And there are outlying neighborhoods (Chestnut Hill for example) that are de facto wealthy suburbs. The city as a whole actually gained population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. As did many cities in the Northeast and Midwest that had been shrinking since 1950. In fact, it's starting to be safe to recognize a turnaround starting in the 1980s (Boston and New York grew during that decade and have continued growing since; more cities gained population during the 90s....).

I saw just the other day - I forget where - a statistic that Philadelphia has "the third-most-populous downtown" in the country. My question would be what they're defining as downtown. And in the late 90s, so it may no longer be true, I read that more people - not a larger percentage of people but actually more people - in Philadelphia walked to work than in any other city in the country. Because the neighborhoods where lawyers and professionals live tend to be within walking distance of their offices, so the type of person who in New York or Chicago would be using transit for their three-mile commute is walking a few blocks here.

And population decrease is not always an indication of decline. Many North Jersey suburbs have lost population since 1970, not because they're in decline but because the sort of house that 40 years ago was occupied by a parent and two or three kids is now occupied just by the aging parents. Houses are too expensive for young families to move in. Which is a problem but not the sort of problem that is normally associated with population decline. Likewise, a neighborhood that was a slum a century ago and is gentrified now has a smaller population now but their living conditions are better.
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Old September 21st, 2011, 06:27 PM   #274
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Both city propers lost a considerable amount of their population, even with all the planned freeways being canceled. Philadelphia lost half a million people and Washington 200,000, both about 25%. Like I said, there are more factors to urban decline and population decrease in central city areas than just freeways. Crime was rampant in the 1990's.
Actually all those areas that lost people are on the rebound and give them 2 decades and they will regain and them some. The Transit suburbs have exploded over the past decade , and some of the cities have rebounded. The Crime problem was rampant the 1980s , the clean up / Renewal was the 1990s. SEPA / Philly should see all of there Urban Areas regain there population by 2030 , and then some.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 01:20 PM   #275
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Tourists arriving by air or long-distance trains have different transportation needs than people living or travelling to/from the region. And that is not only the case from Amsterdam.
Well, I live in town and I think that there is no need at all for a freeway to the edges of the city centre, let alone straight through it. So that is two out of three groups of users.

That is not to say that people from out of town should not have proper access to the city centre. But I don't think Amsterdam is doing really badly as far as that's concerned with your 15 minute ride (my rides from the A10 to the Museumplein tend to be quicker, following "Centrum" from the A2 it not very helpful as far as this is concerned). Some European towns of comparable size do better, some do worse. The fact that Tilburg is doing better follows more or less directly from the fact that Tilburg is six times smaller than Amsterdam. Mind you, Gilze is doing even better than Tilburg, but that is not a reason to build more urban motorways in Tilburg.

I do think that the access to the Amsterdam city centre from the South and West could have been better. There is not one proper street between the A10 and the city centre; too many turns and traffic lights. And the routes are almost fully 1+1. From the North and East, the situation is much better, look at streets like Wibautstraat and Piet Heinkade. But as opposed to urban freeways, these routes do maintain a proper urban balance (in other words, they do not change the area into wasterland in the way a motorway would have done). So think of urban boulevards to the city centre instead of urban freeways.

For an urban freeway through the city centre, though, I cannot find the slightest piece of justification.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 09:22 PM   #276
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The fact that Tilburg is doing better follows more or less directly from the fact that Tilburg is six times smaller than Amsterdam. Mind you, Gilze is doing even better than Tilburg, but that is not a reason to build more urban motorways in Tilburg.
I didn't mean to compare Tilburg with Amsterdam, I was just adding up the total travel time. Tilburg is extremely underserved in terms of freeways: Breda, Eindhoven and 's-Hertogenbosch all got partial expressway ring roads, whereas we don't even have A261 to Waalwijk completed (and running through the city to reach A58).

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So think of urban boulevards to the city centre instead of urban freeways.
Urban boulevard can work well in medium-sized cities, but at least here in The Netherlands, they love to put stupid things in place like (mostly empty) bus priority, limit speed to 50 instead of 70-80, excessive number of pedestrian crossings that are not timed in long phases (meaning: if somebody push the button, they will stop the flow of cars because "OMG a pedestrian have to wait 3 minutes to cross a boulevard").

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For an urban freeway through the city centre, though, I cannot find the slightest piece of justification.
Not through the city center, around it. Creating a freeway belt (essentially encompassing a ring from the IJbrug to Plantage district to Joordan (the outer part) with many exists and nearby parking lots reasonably priced (not the scandalous € 38-51/day they charge) so then people can walk from them into the smaller canal streets and so.

An elevated freeway can actually be an addition to an otherwise dated place, bringing some touches of modernity to mix with the old. Looks at this example: Genova, Italy. It's an area close to the old port, full of 18th century buildings. In the 1950s, they cleared whole swaths (the city had many, didn't make any loss to tear down two or three hundreds of them) to make way for this wide boulevard + elevated freeway (see it here on Google). The result was awesome, the are is not in decay - on the contrary - and the freeway provide easy access through the area.

So if they demolished a whole swath of the Oud Zuid in Amsterdam for a freeway spur, it wouldn't make much a difference, for instance, as the city has so many old buildings anyway.
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Old September 22nd, 2011, 11:51 PM   #277
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The one in Genova is simply horrendous.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 01:11 AM   #278
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The one in Genova is simply horrendous.
IT's not horrendous, it has a higher than average clearance, and it provides much needed breathing space (once, there were claustrophobic streets no wider than 3m (I'm serious: check Google Street View around that link northward and you'll see how horrendous that area is) all the way to the docks.

A first clearance was made when they opened the railway in 19th century, then they cleared some much-needed space near the waterfront.

The views you get from driving there are a-ma-zing!
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:29 AM   #279
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Isn't it? Come on!! It is the biggest city in middle east after Cairo and before Istanbul!
Just because a city is big does not mean the city is great.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 02:23 PM   #280
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The Sopraelevata of Genova may have been much needed in terms of traffic relief, but in urban terms it is indeed horrendous, unless you prefer asphalt and noise over cityscapes. But since you call the former "modernity" and the latter "the old", it seems that you do. And of course nobody can stop you on this point, but at least you should be aware that you are a <1% minority.

Back to the urban boulevards, I do see the point of capacity reduction through bus lanes, but that is not something you have on the Amsterdam roads that I mentioned. Pedestrian crossings? Maybe, but they don't prevent that access from the A10 to the Amsterdam city centre from the East is relatively quick, also when compared to other cities of comparable size. Completely removing pedestrians is even quicker of course, but contrary to Suburbanist's thinking, pedestrians are there and a balance needs to be struck. Suburbanist seems to have lost every sense of balance with wet dreams of towns made up out of cars, in which non-cars are only tolerated if they live by the rules of the cars.
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