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Highways & Autobahns All about automobility



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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:17 AM   #1
Uppsala
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First motorways in Europe

I think it's interesting to find out wich motorways in Europe was the first:

Germany: AVUS was the first. It was opened in 1921. But it was a racing track. But later more and more a motorway. AVUS was from the begin built like what we think is a motorway with dual carriageway. Köln-Bonn motorway was opened in 1932, but it was not dual carriageway the first years. Frankfurt am Main–Darmstadt opened in 1935 and was a real motorway from the begin.

Italy: The first motorway was from Milano to Varese and it was opened in 1924. But it was not dual carriageway. That was not a road we call motorway today. But those early Italian motorways was the begin of the idea of a motorway network. But the first real motorway in Italy with dual carriageway opened in 1958.

The UK: The first real motorway in the UK was the Preston bypass, now a part of M6. But there was dual carriageway roads similar to motorway earlier than this one. When did the first opened?

Sweden: The first real motorway was Malmö-Lund opened in 1953. That was built like a real motorway with dual carriageway. So its interesting to notice Sweden was earlier than Italy with real motorways with dual carriageway.

The Netherlands: The first motorway in The Netherlands the Voorburg-Zoetermeer motorway. Was that motorway a real one with dual carriageway from the begin?

Austria: First motorway opened in Salzburg in 1938. But it took a little bit longer before there was more like a motorway network in Austria.

And at last: When did this symbol came for the first time? And wich country was the first with this symbol? Germany? Italy? The UK?

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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:46 AM   #2
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This notion has been touched before and it is now known that Germans were the first with their autobahn, hence the name " Highways and Autobahns ".
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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I guess the design of the Autobahn sign was a result of the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals - 1968

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_...als#Road_signs
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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Did Germany have dual carriage motorways before the USA? I know that after the first world war, the US government did a lot of infrastructure building to easily mobilise the army around the country and highway building was part of it.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 01:19 PM   #5
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Robert Moses built many parkways in the Greater New York area, mainly New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley (not New Jersey). However, the first generation of parkways up to the mid- to late 1930's were substandard, they had left turns and often lacked a median. The left turns were eliminated pretty early on, but the medians usually weren't added until their first reconstruction in the 1950's. So it's a bit hard to tell which parkway was the first that could be considered limited access with divided roadways. Usually the Merritt Parkway is quoted as the first one, it opened in 1938.

The first real German Autobahn was the A5 between Frankfurt and Darmstadt, it opened in 1935. The current A555 between Köln and Bonn was named an Autobahn, but it had the same problem as the New York Parkways; no median divider. The AVUS is even older, but was a race track initially and did not have a public road function until later in the 1930's.

Germany had the largest motorway network in the world, with 3 896 kilometers operational by 1943. The Netherlands had the second largest network in Europe at that time, with about 200 kilometers of motorway operational in 1940. The Dutch motorways were reportedly the first with continous shoulders, which were called parking lanes at the time.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 03:57 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Uppsala;88181793]I think it's interesting to find out wich motorways in Europe was the first:

Germany: AVUS was the first. It was opened in 1921. But it was a racing track. But later more and more a motorway. AVUS was from the begin built like what we think is a motorway with dual carriageway. Köln-Bonn motorway was opened in 1932, but it was not dual carriageway the first years. Frankfurt am Main–Darmstadt opened in 1935 and was a real motorway from the begin.

Italy: The first motorway was from Milano to Varese and it was opened in 1924. But it was not dual carriageway. That was not a road we call motorway today. But those early Italian motorways was the begin of the idea of a motorway network. But the first real motorway in Italy with dual carriageway opened in 1958.

The UK: The first real motorway in the UK was the Preston bypass, now a part of M6. But there was dual carriageway roads similar to motorway earlier than this one. When did the first opened?

Sweden: The first real motorway was Malmö-Lund opened in 1953. That was built like a real motorway with dual carriageway. So its interesting to notice Sweden was earlier than Italy with real motorways with dual carriageway.

The Netherlands: The first motorway in The Netherlands the Voorburg-Zoetermeer motorway. Was that motorway a real one with dual carriageway from the begin?

Austria: First motorway opened in Salzburg in 1938. But it took a little bit longer before there was more like a motorway network in Austria.

Spain Autopista Madrid - Barajas (5/8/1952) This is the oldest one in Spain. This Highway is the first part of the old N-II Madrid - Barcelona, and now is called A2.

This photo was taken at the entrance to Madrid



The same place ten years later.

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Old February 4th, 2012, 01:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arriaca View Post
Spain Autopista Madrid - Barajas (5/8/1952) This is the oldest one in Spain. This Highway is the first part of the old N-II Madrid - Barcelona, and now is called A2.
The first motorway in Spain built to international standard (restricted access, acceleration lanes, auxiliary road for slow traffic, etc) was the A-19 from Barcelona to Mataro (1969) that the world bank forced Franco to build for the holiday tourist industry. Before that Spain had no motorways even recembling those on the continent.

In fact , in the 1970s some major national roads in Spain weren't even paved.

Last edited by gincan; February 4th, 2012 at 01:50 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 02:15 AM   #8
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Barcelona-Matarò curiosly was also the path of the first railway in (peninsular) Spain, in 1848.
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Old February 4th, 2012, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gincan View Post
The first motorway in Spain built to international standard (restricted access, acceleration lanes, auxiliary road for slow traffic, etc) was the A-19 from Barcelona to Mataro (1969) that the world bank forced Franco to build for the holiday tourist industry. Before that Spain had no motorways even recembling those on the continent.

In fact , in the 1970s some major national roads in Spain weren't even paved.

The Madrid - Barajas Motorway was built with restricted access, aceleration lanes and had no additional lanes to be of flat land. The actual motorway is the same that was built and the unique modifications have been the prolongation of the speed change lanes.

In the 70´s the Spanish Goberment had developed the "REDIA Plan" (1967), a new section for all the major roads (RIGE ) with 3,5 m wide loan and 1,5 m wide shoulder (2 m on National Radial Roads). I can remember about 80 % of "carreteras nacionales" (RIGE) is using this section now.

The first pavement roads with asphalt pavements I know was doing in the 1920s (using macadam). The dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera designed "Circuito Nacional de Firmes Especiales" (7.000 km) and planned the first motorways in Spain but this roads was thinking for the tourism like the "Paradores Nacionales" and was a very important part of public works plan that greatly respect despite changes of government and civil war.
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