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Old June 6th, 2008, 03:14 AM   #2361
seawastate
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In urban areas, the grassy median can also serve as a future right of way for mass transit such as light rail.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 04:07 AM   #2362
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Still, the majority of the highways (especially Rural highways) that have this grassy median will not be widened inwards as there is not enough traffic to justify it.

Furthermore, it is inaesthetic. Plain ugly and a big waste of space. Unfortunately, in Canada all of our highways are like this, except for a small portion of the 401 near Peterborough. Strangely, I find it to be the best stretch of the 401.

There is a reason why this only exists here. I know North America is vast and all, but this is an useless waste of space, IMO. We really should emulate what Europe has done in every segment of urban planning, especially in terms of highways (signage, fonts, paint, configuration).
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Old June 6th, 2008, 05:52 AM   #2363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyunltd View Post
Still, the majority of the highways (especially Rural highways) that have this grassy median will not be widened inwards as there is not enough traffic to justify it.

Furthermore, it is inaesthetic. Plain ugly and a big waste of space. Unfortunately, in Canada all of our highways are like this, except for a small portion of the 401 near Peterborough. Strangely, I find it to be the best stretch of the 401.

There is a reason why this only exists here. I know North America is vast and all, but this is an useless waste of space, IMO. We really should emulate what Europe has done in every segment of urban planning, especially in terms of highways (signage, fonts, paint, configuration).

What's with all the hate on the wide medians? Why would this:



Be better than this? Especially at night. Why would you want to be closer to oncoming traffic when you're on a high speed roadway? Get me as far away from oncoming traffic as possible.








...and NO, I don't want our highways to look anything like European or Chinese highways. Narrow medians and funky looking signage aren't for me. Give me green signs that blend better with the surroundings and warning signs with the different colors I've learned to recognize. Orange=construction, Yellow=Warning, Red=restriction....etc. I'm not sure why people on this forum want to change how things are done in the United States so much. It's the way we do it and we don't care how it's done across the pond.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 05:58 AM   #2364
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The wider medians are mainly for safety measures, I believe. It gives plenty of room for if someone drives off of the road and starts flipping. The big amount of space is basically to let a car slow down and stop (or stop flipping) without being too dangerous to other drivers.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 06:55 AM   #2365
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its funny how this is such an international forum, where you would think to find open minds, and its exactly the opposite
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Old June 6th, 2008, 08:10 AM   #2366
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To me, a German autobahn with narrow grass median and a metal guard-rail looks very good from an aesthetical point of view. Wide grass medians without a crash barrier are not safe because it would be very easy to cross this median and collide with oncoming traffic. Such collisions are not uncommon in the USA. On the other hand, metal guard-rails may not be strong enough to prevent head-on collisions. To really ensure the separation of the opposite traffics, a concrete barrier should be built. Yes, it looks ugly and boring, but it is by far the most efficient method in preventing head-on collisions.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #2367
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Don't forget most collisions with a guardrail are not right at it, but more from the side, so it can keep the car off the other direction lanes. In the Netherlands, we have usually lanes quite close to eachother, though it barely happens when a car or truck manages to break through the barrier.
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Old June 6th, 2008, 11:04 PM   #2368
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I was just checking some AADT stats around Chicago, and the I-80 has a staggering 42,000 trucks per day. I think this is the highest in the world, second highest would be the I-710 in Long Beach, California.

42,000 trucks is a line of 470 miles. You need 2x3 lanes for the trucks alone.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 02:50 AM   #2369
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I see an advantage of a grassed median being that if a vehicle does go off the road where there is no crash barrier, chances are that driver will need nothing more than a tow to moving again. If they hit a guiderail, they will damage their car because of their mistake.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 03:44 AM   #2370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
It's the way we do it and we don't care how it's done across the pond.
That attitude is the reason your country is by far the most hated on Earth.

European highways, ChrisZwolle or Alex will confirm, are far better and more efficient than American highways (I include Canada as well). Why not use this opportunity (of learning from them) in order to have better highways.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 04:50 AM   #2371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
I was just checking some AADT stats around Chicago, and the I-80 has a staggering 42,000 trucks per day. I think this is the highest in the world, second highest would be the I-710 in Long Beach, California.

42,000 trucks is a line of 470 miles. You need 2x3 lanes for the trucks alone.
I-80/94 at the Illinois/Indiana state line is now 2x4 and yes, it is about 1/3 big-rigs. It's truly astounding to drive and a major choke point in the USA's transportation network. In Indiana, the big-rig traffic splits about evenly between I-65 towards Indianapolis, I-80/90 (Indiana Toll Road) to the northeastern USA and I-94 into Michigan. In Illinois, it splits about evenly between I-94 into Chicago proper (including some Wisconsin traffic), I-294 (Tri-State Tollway) to the west suburbs, Wisconsin and points northwest and I-80 towards the far western and northwestern USA.

It is a road crying for redundancy.

I-90 (Indiana Toll Road) in that area is fairly lightly used due to the tolls and that it only feeds into the congested Dan Ryan a short distance south of downtown Chicago.

Mike
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:45 AM   #2372
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Beware Cordele!

I drove through Cordele, GA, on I-75 this week, and, if you're going through there yourself, beware. All traffic has been detoured onto the northbound roadway-- nothing new about that for I-75 in Georgia-- but the on- and offramp detours are very poorly configured. There's at least one dead yield for an onramp (no taper or merge lane at all), and the offramp detours are confusing and poorly marked, especially for night travel. Exiting motorists slow to ridiculously low speeds while still in the through lanes because they can't tell where they're supposed to go and there's no decel lane. One of these folks did so in front of me, and I almost got an 18 wheeler up my @$$. Fortunately the 18 wheeler was able to swerve around me, but if traffic were heavier it could've been ugly.

So, be careful out there.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 07:18 AM   #2373
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyunltd View Post
European highways, ChrisZwolle or Alex will confirm, are far better and more efficient than American highways (I include Canada as well).
Oh, Chriszwolle is a secret admirer of the USA Count him out.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #2374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyunltd View Post
That attitude is the reason your country is by far the most hated on Earth.

European highways, ChrisZwolle or Alex will confirm, are far better and more efficient than American highways (I include Canada as well). Why not use this opportunity (of learning from them) in order to have better highways.
Being a resident in the United States, I really do admire highways in Europe. The concrete rivers we have in California are just a pain to watch and a big waste of space and money. I'd rather a smaller, properly maintained, efficient highway than a mega highway that feels like it's about to fall apart. Americans need to change their way of thinking, the Europeans have a much safer and efficient highway because they are better drivers. We should train our drivers around the roads, not build the roads around the drivers.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #2375
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
I see an advantage of a grassed median being that if a vehicle does go off the road where there is no crash barrier, chances are that driver will need nothing more than a tow to moving again. If they hit a guiderail, they will damage their car because of their mistake.
At the end, a damaged car doesn't matter that much anymore if the driver has survived, does it?
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Old June 7th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #2376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Being a resident in the United States, I really do admire highways in Europe. The concrete rivers we have in California are just a pain to watch and a big waste of space and money. I'd rather a smaller, properly maintained, efficient highway than a mega highway that feels like it's about to fall apart. Americans need to change their way of thinking, the Europeans have a much safer and efficient highway because they are better drivers. We should train our drivers around the roads, not build the roads around the drivers.
Your roads could be as good as the European ones, if you guys would pay more taxes. I know you guys are complaining about the high gas prices, however it's nothing compared to most of the world. Even the poorer European countries have a gas prices that's near twice the US gas price.

However, i wouldn't get blinded by the smoothness of some European motorways, since a lot of them are also in disrepair, especially in countries where most of the network is tolled, the non-tolled sections can be in horrible condition (France) and in Germany they are far behind the needed schedule when it comes to road widening and repaving.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #2377
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At the end, a damaged car doesn't matter that much anymore if the driver has survived, does it?
Why doesn't it? 99% of accidents aren't severe enough to injure a driver, so isn't it a nice bonus that if a driver swerves to miss a deer on the highway they don't smack up their car on a piece of steel, they just roll to a stop on the grass.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 04:57 PM   #2378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
I was just checking some AADT stats around Chicago, and the I-80 has a staggering 42,000 trucks per day. I think this is the highest in the world, second highest would be the I-710 in Long Beach, California.

42,000 trucks is a line of 470 miles. You need 2x3 lanes for the trucks alone.
That number of trucks is similar to traffic on some Italian highways.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #2379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Oh, Chriszwolle is a secret admirer of the USA
QFT
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:42 PM   #2380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Oh, Chriszwolle is a secret admirer of the USA Count him out.
you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
Why doesn't it? 99% of accidents aren't severe enough to injure a driver, so isn't it a nice bonus that if a driver swerves to miss a deer on the highway they don't smack up their car on a piece of steel, they just roll to a stop on the grass.
Actually, most of the car-insurance payments go to parking accidents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyunltd View Post
European highways, ChrisZwolle or Alex will confirm, are far better and more efficient than American highways (I include Canada as well). Why not use this opportunity (of learning from them) in order to have better highways.
Usually the pavement is better, though American freeways have a capacity that's better adjusted to reality, especially in the midwest. In Europe, they always though not adding capacity reduces traffic. We now know how that turned out.
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