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Old December 6th, 2008, 04:59 PM   #3401
ChrisZwolle
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I think I-99 only has 4 lanes between two exits, or at the interchange alone.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #3402
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OK - I knew it wouldn't be the whole way. Looking at the photo, it looks like that point there is only going to be two lanes, though the construction doesn't clear it. Still, even between two junctions, that's mental given the traffic levels. For a diverge, I could image 3 lanes splitting into 2 and 2, but 4 really is over doing it.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 09:19 PM   #3403
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Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
This doesn't look smooth, it should when new. The A4 in Poland looks way better, and I'm talking about the existing part near e.g. Opole. That's a few years old now and IMO it looks better than this.
A4 in Poland from Wroclaw east (including parts around Opole) is made of asphalt not concrete.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 10:25 PM   #3404
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Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
That pavement doesn't look new, am I right?
Think:

"winter"
"snow"
"salt"
"etc"

Stuff like that will add some visual texture to the surface until it all washes away with springtime rains. The visual effect is much greater with fresh asphalt pavement.

Mike
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Old December 6th, 2008, 11:23 PM   #3405
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Mr. Lincoln is considered to be the father of the Republican Party and a man that embodies conservative values(which in turn gives me a sense of optimism that our president-elect will end up leaning more toward the right). As for the social values, I'm not gonna dive into it too deep but I will say this. I think it stands in contrast to so-called acceptance from those of the otherside to consider "clinging" to faith as being backwards. If you choose to be very spiritual, then you should be just as accepting and respectful as you are toward all others.

President Eisenhower was a Republican btw, and he's the father of the American Interstate System.
Those were the old republican days where they accepted change and were NOT as conservative as they are now. Republicans are more right-winged than ever and the Democrats are more left-winged than ever. I support the Democrats in practically every respect.

And btw this is from the BBC:
-----
Obama vows rebuilt infrastructure

US President-elect Barack Obama has promised to invest in infrastructure on a scale not seen since the 1950s, when the US highway system was established.

He used his weekly address to outline that the spending would be part of his plan to create at least 2.5m new jobs in the ailing US economy.

He also spoke of the need for expanded access to high-speed internet and the modernisation of school buildings.

Unemployment rose by more than 500,000 during November, figures have shown.

That was the biggest monthly rise in job cuts since 1974, and it drove up the jobless rate to a 15-year high of 6.7%, up from 6.5% in October.

The figures came less than a week after the National Bureau for Economic Research said the US economy had been in recession since late 2007.

Mr Obama, who takes office on 20 January, has previously said that his incoming team will be tasked with generating 2.5m new jobs by 2011.

Broadband drive

On Saturday, speaking in his weekly address, Mr Obama outlined how most of that employment might be created.

"We will create millions of jobs by making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s," he said.

"We'll invest your precious tax dollars in new and smarter ways, and we'll set a simple rule - use it or lose it. If a state doesn't act quickly to invest in roads and bridges in their communities, they'll lose the money."

The president-elect said that broadband internet connections in the US should be available to schoolchildren and hospitals.

"In the country that invented the internet, every child should have the chance to get online and... that's how we'll strengthen America's competitiveness in the world," he said.

School buildings, he continued, would be modernised and upgraded to make them energy-efficient.

The new administration, he added, would launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs.

"Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world - we need to change that," he said.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 11:47 PM   #3406
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Hopefully more money could be put in revitalizing the many ramps and bridges in the country that are aging rapidly. Out of all the countless needs that the US needs to do to update the infrastructure, the conditions of our bridges have to be the most dear. I swear, a lot of the bridges that I've driven in the past look scary if you see how they look from close up!
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Old December 7th, 2008, 12:04 AM   #3407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
That's what I'm wondering about. Some people I know in Canada are still talking about miles and gallons, but the younger generation generally adopts the metric system very well.
This is very strange because AFAIK they converted the distances to kms about 30 years ago. Those who were just 18 at that time are about 50 now, and I don't see how they can still convert to miles given they never driven with miles in Canada.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258
Why do people want the United States to go metric? I'm very happy using miles on the highways. If someone says a city is 300km away I truly have no concept of how far that is except that it's less than 300 miles. If all highways in the United States were translated into KM I think people will be converting in their heads back to miles.
Of course, it will be hard at first. Very few long term benefits are convenient in a short term. Canadians were in this position 30 years ago, and now they only think in kilometres because that is what they are exposed to (unless they go shopping south of the border )
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Old December 7th, 2008, 12:16 AM   #3408
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This is very strange because AFAIK they converted the distances to kms about 30 years ago. Those who were just 18 at that time are about 50 now, and I don't see how they can still convert to miles given they never driven with miles in Canada.


Of course, it will be hard at first. Very few long term benefits are convenient in a short term. Canadians were in this position 30 years ago, and now they only think in kilometres because that is what they are exposed to (unless they go shopping south of the border )
We could adopt the British way of measuring speed in miles per hour and everything else in metric.

Btw here's another, more detailed article on Obama's plan

By Associated Press and KOMO Staff

CHICAGO - President-elect Barack Obama said Saturday he wants to revive the economy through a job-creating public works plan on a scale unseen since the building program of the interstate highway system in the 1950s.

He offered no price estimate for the grand plan, how the money might be divided or the effect on the country's financial health at a time of burgeoning deficits.

According to some estimates, the plan ultimately could employ millions of people and cost up to $500 billion.

The ideas were outlined in the weekly radio address the day after the government reported that employers cut 533,000 jobs in November, the most in 34 years. They are part of a vision for a massive economy recovery plan Obama wants Congress to pass and have waiting on his desk when he takes office Jan. 20.

The plan was immediately endorsed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

"I am very encouraged that President-elect Obama has initiated the first steps of an economic recovery package that would provide the states, including Washington, with substantial funds to pay for ready-to-go construction projects from roads and bridges to schools," Gregoire said.

The president-elect's address never once used the word "spend," relying instead on "invest" or "investments," and pledging wise stewardship of taxpayer money in upgrading roads and schools, and making public buildings more energy-efficient.

"We won't just throw money at the problem," Obama said. "We'll measure progress by the reforms we make and the results we achieve - by the jobs we create, by the energy we save, by whether America is more competitive in the world."

Obama said his plan would employ millions of people by "making the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s." He said state officials would lose the federal dollars if they did not quickly use the money to repair highways and bridges.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, a 1991 final estimate of the cost of the interstate system put it at $128.9 billion, with a federal share of $114.3 billion. The estimate covered only the mileage (42,795 miles) built under the interstate construction program. Construction of the system began in 1956 under President Dwight Eisenhower.

More than 5,000 highway projects are ready to go today, state transportation officials say, if Congress will pony up $64.3 billion as part of an economic aid plan. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which compiled the list, said the projects would provide jobs and help reduce a backlog of crumbling roads and bridges.

A bipartisan group of governors recently met with Obama to press for some $136 billion in infrastructure projects in addition to money for health care costs.

In addition to Gregoire, several other governors welcomed Obama's economic plan.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said the state had more than a billion dollars in "ready-to-go" projects that have been planned for and can be under contract within 180 days. "His plan will put people to work and give the economy a critically important boost," Kaine said in a written statement.

In a joint statement, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it would help the U.S. stay ahead of other countries. "To stay competitive globally, the time to repair and modernize our nation's infrastructure is now," they said.

In the address, Obama also said he wants to install energy-saving light bulbs and replace old heating systems in federal buildings to cut costs and create jobs.

School buildings would get an upgrade, too. "Because to help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools," Obama said.

As a part of the package, Obama said he wants to expand broadband Internet access in communities. "Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online," he said.

Hospitals also should be connected to each through the Internet. He said he wanted to ensure the facilities were using the latest technology and electronic medical records.

Obama planned to announce more details of the economic recovery plan in the coming weeks.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 01:55 AM   #3409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
This is very strange because AFAIK they converted the distances to kms about 30 years ago. Those who were just 18 at that time are about 50 now, and I don't see how they can still convert to miles given they never driven with miles in Canada.
The people I'm talking about are about 65 years old now. And they live in Grand Forks, of all places. But that generation will be gone in a few decades, and most people will be able to use the metric system properly
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Old December 7th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #3410
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Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
The people I'm talking about are about 65 years old now. And they live in Grand Forks, of all places. But that generation will be gone in a few decades, and most people will be able to use the metric system properly
It's definitely easier said than done. Personnaly, I have no trouble using either system, even though I live in the U.S. Our science classes use metric system (always). I also have been forcing myself to use the metric system.

Other people though are still having a lot of trouble. A lot of people in my classes still have trouble visualising the metric system. But yes you're right, they're learning and will be much more comfortable than older generations. Btw, I believe Obama has a plan to convert the U.S. to the metric system.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #3411
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Btw, I believe Obama has a plan to convert the U.S. to the metric system.
That would be nice. It's good he kept it silent, because it might have worked against him. Hopefully he'll do it
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Old December 7th, 2008, 11:02 AM   #3412
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it wont be an easy job...

the problem is that we store in our brain many-many datas of prices, distances, weights, volumes, etc... which works as a coordinate system which we can use to imagine how large (or tiny) a quantity is...

when we change a unit we have to memorize new datas to create the coordinate system of the new unit...

the similar thing happens with currency change (e.g. national currency -> euro) but that is only one unit.

changing simultaneously many units makes it more difficult...
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Old December 7th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #3413
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HAWC1506, Maybe Obama read your article! I can hardly believe we will have a president who actually cares about this stuff. And a VP who rode Amtrak every single day between DC and Delaware. It'll be a nice change to a have leaders who don't think we should starve Amtrak of funding and then point to it and say 'see, it doesn't work' (well, DUH, it doesn't have any bloody money! )
We might finally be turning a corner in this country after so many years of allowing our infrastructure to crumble.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #3414
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Detroit Michigan Freeway tour:
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Old December 7th, 2008, 04:28 PM   #3415
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A drive on I-85 in the Greenville/Spartanburg, SC area

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Old December 7th, 2008, 06:28 PM   #3416
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Nobody knows... The peaks of metrication attempts always fall on democratic leadership in Congress and White House, so hopefully, Obama will resume this noble yet unappreciated quest. The problem is that the USA is very isolated in its geographical setting, and its nearest neighbours (Canada and Mexico) are not influential enough in this respect. Plus, the general US population (i.e. Jesusland) is ridiculously conservative. Heck, some Americans do not even believe there is a world beyond America (and maybe Middle East cause it's on the news 24/7)
"Jesusland" is a minority of the US population--the main reason it has been electorally successful, until 2006, is mobilization.

I would not classify myself as a conservative (even in European terms, much less American), but I do not support wholesale conversion to the metric system. The US already uses the metric system in situations where it is economically advantageous to do so, but highway construction and signing is not one of them.

Beginning in the mid-1990's, there was a centrally led effort to encourage states to convert to the metric system for producing plans for highway construction. The main advantage of metric conversion in this context was to allow bridge load resistance calculations to be checked for dimensional accuracy, which is possible in metric units but not in US customary units. The result, however, was a morass of soft and hard conversions. Many elements of American highways are supplied in standardized dimensions, which confronted states with a choice between soft-converting the existing US customary measurements for these parts, or hard-converting to round, easy-to-remember numbers in metric units and hoping that it would be possible to supply these metric components at reasonable cost.

The contracting industry hated metric plans. First, it was hard to source supplies manufactured to metric dimensions. Second, the contractors found that day laborers could understand inches, feet, yards, etc. without difficulty or special training, but struggled with metric units. The state DOTs which were first to try metric units soon found that the unit bid prices on projects designed in metric were higher than on projects designed in US customary units.

The backsliding started in 2000. Caltrans was an early and enthusiastic adopter of metric units, but now most Caltrans plans are in US customary units. In Kansas in 2003, the contracting industry lobbied hard for a bill in the legislature which would have prohibited KDOT from letting contracts with metric units, even for existing projects where metric-unit plans were substantially complete. The newly appointed KDOT secretary opted to pre-empt this bill by announcing that metric would be phased out and all new KDOT projects would use US customary units. In doing this, she made a clean break with her predecessor, who had pushed metric hard against opposition from the contractors. It is now increasingly rare to see metric unit plans from any state.

The MUTCD has used dual units since (at least) the 2001 edition, both for the specified dimensions of signs and for sign messages which refer to measurements. However, FHWA has tried twice to come up with suitable ways of metricating sign messages without leading to confusion with existing signs in US customary units, and both have been failures. The first approach was to use a black-on-yellow "METRIC" plate above signs using metric units, which were otherwise designed in the same manner as their US customary equivalents. No states or local agencies were interested in spending extra money for "METRIC" plates. In the 2003 MUTCD, FHWA tried putting metric measurements in circles. This eliminates the need for separate metric plates, but these signs suffer in legibility because the numerals have to be smaller in order to fit in a circle which must in turn fit into the same size envelope as the existing numerals on US customary signs. Quite a few state MUTCDs now prohibit the state DOT and local agencies from using FHWA's metric signs, in either version.

None of the standard arguments in favor of metrication apply in the US, which has had a long history of converting to metric in situations where it is economically expedient to do so. (The IT industry, for example, uses metric almost exclusively.) Metric is poorly understood outside scientific and engineering contexts, while US customary units are understood well in everyday life (driving a car, operating a front-end loader, etc.). The US market is so large that there is no effective loss of scale in supplying materials in US customary units to the construction industry. The construction-related goods and services the US is most likely to supply abroad are consultancy services for road and bridge design; this is knowledge-based and the people who work in this segment of the market are already familiar with metric units and can work with them easily in other countries which are natively metric. The failed experiment in metricating road design within the US (i.e., producing plans for construction on roads in the US) shows that the switching costs are real and large, with no guarantee that they would come down in the long term, or be repaid in higher output in the future. FHWA's attempt to have co-existing metric and US unit signs is both a failure and an argument against an incremental approach to metrication.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 12:06 AM   #3417
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HAWC1506, Maybe Obama read your article! I can hardly believe we will have a president who actually cares about this stuff. And a VP who rode Amtrak every single day between DC and Delaware. It'll be a nice change to a have leaders who don't think we should starve Amtrak of funding and then point to it and say 'see, it doesn't work' (well, DUH, it doesn't have any bloody money! )
We might finally be turning a corner in this country after so many years of allowing our infrastructure to crumble.
Haha Obama would not think my article was credible enough. But I agree, it's nice to see that there is finally a plan.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 01:36 AM   #3418
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the similar thing happens with currency change (e.g. national currency -> euro) but that is only one unit.
It's horrible.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 04:26 AM   #3419
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The US is already de-facto metric. It may not be easy to notice, but it's a lot more metric than in the past. You can't label any kind of product without putting the metric units, and if you're in the science or engineering fields, you can't last long without knowing metric. Even our Coke or Pepsi drinks are metric...we all get 2 liter Cokes at the grocery store. How about that?

I use metric predominately myself and I live in the US. It's not as hard to learn as it looks...it's actually much easier than customary when you start learning it. More basic. But, it will costs billions to implement the change (as well as changing the thousands of signs nationwide) that it really isn't worth making the change...but the US will eventually, if not in our lifetimes, change to metric.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 04:31 AM   #3420
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Late 1970's, they experimented with metric signs in the Syracuse, NY area:
Exit numbers are based on miles right? So is the exit no. on that sign metric as well?

I'd like to switch to metric. Standard measurement irritates me. Decimal>Fraction
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