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Old August 2nd, 2008, 05:10 AM   #2661
HAWC1506
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
^ that pic looks like the road was opened to traffic when the asphalt was to warm
Nope, that was the quieter porous asphalt rutting after four years of studded tire damage. It was taken back in the mid-1990s.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 05:21 AM   #2662
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Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Best in what? I personally think US drivers are stupid compared to European drivers(with some exceptions of course).
There are bad drives everywhere on the planet. Drive defensively! Plenty of stupid European drivers as well.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 10:18 AM   #2663
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That pic looks extremely bad, I've never seen it like that in the Netherlands.
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 11:13 PM   #2664
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
That pic looks extremely bad, I've never seen it like that in the Netherlands.
Nederlands doesn't allow tires with tungsten carbide studs implanted in them like many USA states do, either. They are used in many northern and western USA states for better traction on ice. Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin all outlawed them (Wisconsin in about 1975 after 10 years or so of legality) because of the severe damage that they do to roads - they literally grind the surfaces away leaving dangerous and expensive to repair/replace ruts.

When I was in the Denver, CO area in the mid-1990s, the tire stud damage was so heavy that driving on the metro's freeways was like driving on cobblestones and the paving on one freeway (I-270) was worn so deep that it was even breaking through in places. This wear was even evident on the newly paved parts of I-25 in the downtown and near north area - one could follow the progress of construction related traffic lane shifts by the stud rut patterns.



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Old August 3rd, 2008, 06:49 AM   #2665
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
Nederlands doesn't allow tires with tungsten carbide studs implanted in them like many USA states do, either. They are used in many northern and western USA states for better traction on ice. Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin all outlawed them (Wisconsin in about 1975 after 10 years or so of legality) because of the severe damage that they do to roads - they literally grind the surfaces away leaving dangerous and expensive to repair/replace ruts.

When I was in the Denver, CO area in the mid-1990s, the tire stud damage was so heavy that driving on the metro's freeways was like driving on cobblestones and the paving on one freeway (I-270) was worn so deep that it was even breaking through in places. This wear was even evident on the newly paved parts of I-25 in the downtown and near north area - one could follow the progress of construction related traffic lane shifts by the stud rut patterns.



Mike
The Netherlands have pretty cold temperatures don't they? How do they drive on ice then?
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 12:21 PM   #2666
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No, we don't have much real cold. A bit of freezing during the winter. Spikes are not allowed in NL. However, they usually need to patch up some freeways after wintery conditions.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 08:22 PM   #2667
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Instead of those "exit only" signs, they should make a different road marking for exit lanes. We do it this way in the Netherlands:



Wisconsin and Illinois (and I assume the rest of the country) do the exact same lines. The "EXIT ONLY" signs are in addition to the lines, and inform you that you need to be in that lane for that specific exit.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 10:06 PM   #2668
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When I questioned WSDOT about exit-only lanes, they told me that as a general rule (in the U.S. at least), they take away lanes from the right. So if they want to drop a motorway from four lanes to three lanes, they will turn the very right lane into an exit only lane. Somehow to me, that seems a bit weird since travel lanes are to your right. You should be taking away a passing lane instead of a travel lane...

What do they do in Europe?
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 10:11 PM   #2669
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They do both in Europe. However, it makes more sense at the right, because you expect at a narrowing that traffic volumes drop substantial at or before that exit to justify this narrowing.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 10:13 PM   #2670
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There's no general rule. If the number of lanes reduces at an exit, they often make it the same here, but if not, then mostly the overtaking lane is taken away.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 01:37 AM   #2671
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
They do both in Europe. However, it makes more sense at the right, because you expect at a narrowing that traffic volumes drop substantial at or before that exit to justify this narrowing.
Yeah you're right, and the particular intersection I questioned them on was actually a ramp from State Route, so that particular ramp receives and brings in a lot of traffic. One more thing to add though is that while a lane is being taken away, the carpool lane ends to become a general purpose lane on the left. But the U.S. has so many exit only lanes it bugs me. Not only are they on the right side, they're on the left too, and that's even worse.

It's starting to be corrected though, on sections of I-5 they are starting to replace left exits with flyover ramps. The parts that have exits on the left are usually more than 40 years old. Then, they are also constructing direct access carpool ramps on the left, which I think is great though.

Last edited by HAWC1506; August 4th, 2008 at 02:13 AM.
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Old August 4th, 2008, 02:08 AM   #2672
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Check out this project:

Major I-405 closures in South Bellevue begin Friday, August 8

Date: Friday, August 01, 2008

Contact: Steve Peer, WSDOT Communications, (425) 301-2023 (Bellevue)
Stacy Trussler, I-405 Deputy Project Director, (425) 401-4126 (Bellevue)

Plan ahead to avoid congestion on all major Seattle and Bellevue highways and arterials

BELLEVUE – Major I-405 closures in South Bellevue are on track to begin Friday, Aug. 8. WSDOT traffic engineers predict major traffic congestion.

During the weekend of August 8 through 11 crews will:

* close all southbound lanes of I-405 between SE 8th Street and I-90 Friday, Aug. 8 at 11 p.m. The lanes will reopen Monday, Aug. 11 at 5 a.m.
* close multiple ramps leading to I-405 in south Bellevue.
* close the ramp from eastbound SR 520 to southbound I-405.

During the 54-hour closure, crews will dump sand to protect the roadway and begin demolishing the Wilburton Tunnel just north of I-90 in South Bellevue. Removing the tunnel will allow contractor crews to begin widening this section of I-405 to 6 lanes. This is part of a $124 million dollar project to eliminate one of the biggest traffic chokepoints in the state.

“To avoid major back-ups throughout the region, we recommend people travel close to home,” said Stacy Trussler, I-405 Deputy Project Director. Trussler added that, “No changes in driving behavior could lead to 13-mile backups on southbound I-405.” Northbound I-405 should not be affected.

During the closure, drivers should:

* avoid the closure area
* use alternate routes in to and out of Bellevue
* check the WSDOT traffic cameras before they use I-5, I-405, SR 520 and SR 522 this weekend at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle/
* vanpool, carpool or take the bus

WSDOT is fully prepared for the closure. We have:

* suspended all construction on parallel or alternate routes
* coordinated extensively with the city of Bellevue to manage increased traffic on city streets into and out of the downtown retail core
* changed the express lanes schedule on both I-5 and I-90. The I-5 express lanes will run southbound throughout the weekend and the I-90 express lanes will run eastbound to carry traffic back over to the eastside.

Contractors estimate it will take three long weekends to bring the tunnel down.

The closures will also take place

* 11 p.m., Friday, Aug. 15 to 5 a.m., Monday, Aug. 18
* 11 p.m., Friday, Aug. 22 to 5 a.m., Monday, Aug. 25

During construction weekends, drivers will see increased traffic on all regional freeways between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. In addition to I-405, I-90, SR 520, the I-405 closures will likely affect I-5 and SR 99 southbound traffic, which is typically already heavy on weekends.

“We recommend that people take a ‘staycation’,” Trussler said. “If you need to travel, do it early or late in the day, and leave plenty of time.” Trussler added that Bellevue is open for business during construction. Drivers heading to Bellevue should avoid the freeways and take local arterials.

Many say they don’t even know where the Wilburton Tunnel is located. When headed southbound on I-405, drivers go under the tunnel as they approach the I-90/I-405 interchange. The tunnel spans 360 feet from entrance to exit. Once the highway is widened, WSDOT expects smoother and safer traffic flow for drivers approaching the I-90/I-405 interchange.

WSDOT has developed a Web resource to help drivers plan their trips and avoid backups during closures. The transportation department encourages drivers to visit: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/i40.../wilburton.htm. On the Web page, drivers will find links to up-to-the-minute traffic conditions, recommended detours and transportation tips.

I-405 is renowned in Washington for having the most congested freeway section in the state between Tukwila and Bellevue. With downtown Bellevue employment expected to grow by about 40 percent, from 33,000 to 48,000, between 2006 and 2010, improvements such as the South Bellevue Widening Project are critical to relieve I 405 congestion now and into the future.

WSDOT worked with cities and counties in the region to craft a long-term I-405 master plan to address traffic congestion along the corridor. The Wilburton Tunnel removal is part of the I-405 South Bellevue Widening Project, which is a component of the master plan. Also known as the I 405/112th Ave SE to SE 8th St Widening Project, the project is one of three I-405 "Nickel Projects" funded in part by the 2003 nickel funds as well as the 2005 Transportation Partnership Account.

Tunnel Demolition brochure:
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres...ard_071008.pdf

I-405 and I-90 Interchange Now:



After the widening project:



The Master Plan (unfunded)

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Old August 6th, 2008, 06:03 AM   #2673
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US extends Mexico truck program despite objections

WASHINGTON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - The Bush administration on Monday extended a test program allowing long-haul trucks from Mexico full access to U.S. highways for up to two years, despite pending legislation in Congress to shut it down.

"We intend this extension to reassure trucking companies that they will have sufficient time to realize a return on their investment, and we anticipate additional participation with this extra time," said John Hill, the Transportation Department's top trucking safety regulator.

Participation has been limited, regulators said, because of political wrangling about the program's future.

Organized labor, highway safety and consumer groups have fiercely opposed the initiative, which was permitted under NAFTA -- the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trucks from Mexico have historically been confined to U.S. border areas where they offload goods to be trucked by American companies.

Last year, regulators approved a one-year pilot program to allow a limited number of Mexican trucks full access to U.S. roads over congressional objections. American trucks were also allowed to operate in Mexico.

Ten U.S. carriers with 55 trucks and 27 Mexican carriers with 107 trucks have participated in the program as of July without incident, U.S. and Mexican officials said.

They also said vehicles participating in the program meet safety requirements. But officials from U.S.-based unions say disputed safety issues remain unresolved.

Last week, the House of Representatives Transportation Committee voted to end the pilot as scheduled next month. The bill also requires congressional authority to restart the initiative.

The panel's chairman, Rep. James Oberstar, was furious at the move by transportation regulators, which occurred as Congress began a month-long recess.

"I intend to move our bill as quickly as possible and make certain that the voice of Congress is heard loud and clear at the Department of Transportation and that this program is finally shut down," the Minnesota Democrat said in a statement.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 01:59 AM   #2674
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this is unacceptable, they should keep their third world trucks across the border.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 02:35 AM   #2675
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wow this thread just...died...did I offend anyone?
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Old August 7th, 2008, 09:03 AM   #2676
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike7743 View Post
this is unacceptable, they should keep their third world trucks across the border.
Third World trucks.
This is a protectionism issue more than anything else.
US and Mexico has the same trucks, cars, etc. If you were more informed, you would know that almost the majority of trucks and cars that exist in the US were assembled in Mexico, and for your surprise Mexican trucks and Cars looks the same as US trucks and cars.
Come on Mexico is not Cuba
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Old August 7th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #2677
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Originally Posted by ManRegio View Post
Third World trucks.
This is a protectionism issue more than anything else.
US and Mexico has the same trucks, cars, etc. If you were more informed, you would know that almost the majority of trucks and cars that exist in the US were assembled in Mexico, and for your surprise Mexican trucks and Cars looks the same as US trucks and cars.
Come on Mexico is not Cuba
It's the emissions issue and driving standards too. You look at the environmental record of the cars allowed to drive in Mexico's 30 states vs. our 50 states(and Canada's 10 provinces) and you'll see why we're able to find such easy ways to hide behind our protectionism. And ironically, it's the American Unions that are hating because apparently according to them, the Mexican Unions haven't tried to rise up and demand the same quality pay and training that American Unions have for their employees.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 09:20 AM   #2678
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I think the current legislation is very outdated. C'mon, let the Mexicans also profit from the American economy. Protectionism is outdated in this time and age of global (free) trade.

When i was in Germany, I saw many Russian trucks, most of them were more modern than the average German truck. It's just a matter of time.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #2679
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
I think the current legislation is very outdated. C'mon, let the Mexicans also profit from the American economy. Protectionism is outdated in this time and age of global (free) trade.

When i was in Germany, I saw many Russian trucks, most of them were more modern than the average German truck. It's just a matter of time.
Ah, so the Unions of the Central European nations are being protectionist because they feel that the Unions of the Eastern European nations are weaker and therefore will not fight to pay their truckers as much as the going rate in Germany/NL/etc?
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Old August 7th, 2008, 10:26 PM   #2680
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Nope. I'll try and keep it alive.

I was not aware of that I-90/I-405 redo on Seattle's eastside. You say it isn't funded and that is even tougher now with lower gas tax revenue coming in. But it looks like a good project. I also heard plans for a similar highrise interchange at I-405 and SR167 in Renton. That's probably on hold too.

Last edited by pwalker; August 8th, 2008 at 12:00 AM.
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