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Old December 18th, 2008, 11:40 PM   #3481
ChrisZwolle
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New York is even better.
[IMG]http://i43.************/sbhfs5.jpg[/IMG]
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Old December 18th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #3482
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Well, the Netherlands is only 1,5 times bigger then Massachusetts, so I'm not surprised
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Old December 19th, 2008, 12:03 AM   #3483
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lmfao, but however many more highways are in the Netherlands, in my opinion they're still all much better looking than American highways.

I always cringe at how much room those Texas stack interchanges take up. It's a waste of space. I guess it's an American tradition. Waste...land, food, gas, trees, etc.

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Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
I beg to differ. Doesn't look anywhere like European motorway. When you drive on European rural motorway, you still somehow get an urban feeling, but driving on American urban freeway, it still feels rural. Maybe it's just me...
I think it's because American highways always look so neglected and 'dead' in a way that it doesn't look clean. European highways generally have well-maintained guardrails and pavement which makes it look like someone is actually there to care about the highway, even in rural stretches. So you get the feel that European highways are very 'developed', even if they're 100 kilometers away from a big city.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 12:04 AM   #3484
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I always cringe at how much room those Texas stack interchanges take up. It's a waste of space. I guess it's an American tradition. Waste...land, food, gas, trees, etc.
Actually, a stack consumes less space than the average Dutch full-size cloverleaf (with collector lanes). They are more visible though (although that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing).

I do agree about the aesthetics, especially in rural area's. Although the most rural parts of the Netherlands are usually less than 30 miles away from the nearest 100,000 + city. We don't have really rural areas like they even have in Eastern United States.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #3485
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Dallas - Land 'O Stacks
A couple of those look more like Whirlpool/Stack hybrids.

Texas is flat and rather empty - they can take as much space as they want, as they have miles and miles of almost nothing. What I'm surprised about is that they went to cost of those big bridges, where they could spread the junction out further.
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There are probably more stack interchanges within the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metropolitan area than in all of Europe.
The UK has 3, France and Ireland none. I don't know about other countries, but one guesses that Spain may have one or two, ditto Germany.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 05:26 PM   #3486
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Try copying the Netherlands freeways over American cities.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 06:28 PM   #3487
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Try copying the Netherlands freeways over American cities.
I could do that too
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Old December 19th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #3488
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Originally Posted by sotonsi View Post
A couple of those look more like Whirlpool/Stack hybrids.
Yes, a few of those are what I call "defective stacks" (i.e., one or more ramps missing and needed to complete the classic Maltese Cross stack configuration). But even if these are taken out of consideration, the DFW area has 13 (!!!!!!) stacks. If the stacks in Houston and San Antonio are taken into consideration, Texas has well over 25 stacks. I am pretty sure that Texas has more stacks than the rest of the United States combined and DFW alone has more stacks than the rest of the world. Here are the statistics, as near as I have been able to determine:

* Netherlands: 1 (Prins Clausplein)

* Germany: 1 (Wetzlarer Kreuz)

* United Kingdom: 3 (M4/M25, M23/M25, M4/M5)

* Spain: 1 (AP-1/M-40)

* China: 1 (?)

* Venezuela: 1 (Caracas)

In the United States, the stack runner-up to Texas is California with 9, and after California there are several states with three apiece (Arizona, Ohio, and Michigan), and a few others with two apiece (Alabama and Maryland), and a number with just one stack. About half of the US states do not have stacks.

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Texas is flat and rather empty - they can take as much space as they want, as they have miles and miles of almost nothing. What I'm surprised about is that they went to cost of those big bridges, where they could spread the junction out further.The UK has 3, France and Ireland none. I don't know about other countries, but one guesses that Spain may have one or two, ditto Germany.
Texas really isn't empty in the urban and suburban areas where stacks have to be built to accommodate the intersections of major freeways. The relevant quality is flatness, rather than emptiness. Very long bridges tend to be built in lieu of adjusting the profiles of the intersecting freeways to minimize the amount of bridge square footage. In the case of the Dallas High Five, for example, there is a minor drainage running through the heart of the interchange which I am pretty sure would have made it uneconomic to lower either I-635 or US 75 to reduce the length of the direct connector bridges or limit their altitude.

One specific characteristic of bridges in Texas stacks built in areas which are already densely developed is that they tend to be hybrids of various superstructure types. On the relatively straight portions which run parallel to one intersecting freeway or the other, and whose main purpose is to take traffic up to the apex of the ramp or down from it, precast concrete girders are typically used with tight column spacing. For the curved portions which run through the interchange core, pier spacing increases and the superstructure type changes to steel plate girder, steel box, or precast concrete segmental. In other states which have had the luxury of being able to build stacks in areas not already densely developed, the straight portions with tight column spacing and prefabricated superstructure elements tend to be replaced by embankments (which have a much higher footprint at ground level) or, more rarely, by retained fill. Texas stacks also tend to make extensive use of ramp braiding for frontage road connections, which is another reason they tend to have high bridge square footage.

But because the cost of labor and materials is low in Texas, it is generally cheaper to build a Texas stack ($270 million for the High Five, for example) than a major freeway interchange in many other states (like the Springfield Interchange at $700 million, or the Marquette interchange at $800 million).

It is certainly true that Texas stacks, and Texas freeways in general, have historically had problems with poor articulation of geometric design elements, with numerous kinks in the feeder roads which contrast unpleasantly with the much straighter and more fluid lines of the freeway mainlanes. However, recent stacks in Texas have been built with a much greater emphasis on "flowing line" alignments, and also make extensive use of surface aesthetic treatments such as color washes (gold on piers, red on girders), repeating graphic designs (often a five-pointed star or the Texas state outline), molded patterns (running horses on retaining walls in San Angelo, a shooting-star design on the Katy Freeway retaining walls), etc.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 11:55 PM   #3489
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I wonder if TX cities will continue to develop like they are now in the future.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 12:03 AM   #3490
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How large would Houston get if they add another 2.5 million people
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Old December 20th, 2008, 12:12 AM   #3491
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
How large would Houston get if they add another 2.5 million people
It wouldn't be any larger if they took care of the undeveloped land within the city

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In the United States, the stack runner-up to Texas is California with 9, and after California there are several states with three apiece (Arizona, Ohio, and Michigan), and a few others with two apiece (Alabama and Maryland), and a number with just one stack. About half of the US states do not have stacks.
I always thought US had a lot more stacks than that
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Old December 20th, 2008, 12:51 AM   #3492
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Ohio should have 4 4-level stack interchanges, 3 in Cleveland and 1 in Dayton.

After a brutal day of driving in icy conditions, I'm amazed that they're able to maintain 3 stack interchanges in Cleveland, which gets twice the snow that we do.

This is the new type of interchange that's favored by Ohio's department of transportation for expressway to expressway connections:



It takes up more horizontal space than a stack interchange, but traffic can move faster due to more gradual ramps. Also, the length that the bridges spend suspended in the air (longer = more prone to icing) is limited in this design.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 02:29 AM   #3493
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Ohio should have 4 4-level stack interchanges, 3 in Cleveland and 1 in Dayton.
I don't count Medina-Clark (I-71/I-490) because it is missing the EB to NB link ramp which would be required to complete the Maltese cross plan.

Quote:
This is the new type of interchange that's favored by Ohio's department of transportation for expressway to expressway connections:



It takes up more horizontal space than a stack interchange, but traffic can move faster due to more gradual ramps. Also, the length that the bridges spend suspended in the air (longer = more prone to icing) is limited in this design.
Designs of this kind (which are really "loop unrollings") are very common in states which insist that traffic justify each direct connector and thus stop short of building full four-level stacks. My sense has always been that TxDOT tends to choose the stack configuration for crossings of major freeways for reasons of engineering policy instead of justifying each direct connector individually on the basis of traffic, and as a result there are some movements at a number of interchanges which are catered for with excessive generosity.

P.S. Just remembered--Michigan also has three stacks. This explodes the myth that stacks are predominantly built in warm states.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:07 PM   #3494
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Atlanta - Land 'O Suburbia

Let's take a closer look to one of the greenest-looking cities in the United States, Atlanta, Georgia.

1. I-20 / I-75+I-85. Spaghetti interchange.
[IMG]http://i41.************/2ut70xi.jpg[/IMG]

2. I-20 / I-285 East Atlanta. Cloverleaf/Turbine hybrid.
[IMG]http://i43.************/oldnk.jpg[/IMG]

3. I-20 / I-285 West Atlanta. Cloverleaf with mostly direct connectors.
[IMG]http://i39.************/53u2vd.jpg[/IMG]

4. I-75/I-85 North split. Trumpet interchange.
[IMG]http://i40.************/11lnf51.jpg[/IMG]

5. I-75 / I-85 South split. Simple split with grade-separated access for weaving lanes.
[IMG]http://i40.************/33jo6jd.jpg[/IMG]

6. I-75 / I-285 North Atlanta. Modified cloverleaf with extra carriageways and direct connectors.
[IMG]http://i39.************/2s0d7oy.jpg[/IMG]

7. I-75 / I-285 South Atlanta. Modified Cloverleaf with direct connectors.
[IMG]http://i43.************/2f06tg7.jpg[/IMG]

8. I-85 / I-285 South Atlanta. Three-way split with grade separated weaving lanes.

[IMG]http://i43.************/nmn79t.jpg[/IMG]

9. I-85 / I-285 Southwest Atlanta. Cloverleaf with direct connectors.
[IMG]http://i40.************/do2fd4.jpg[/IMG]

10. I-85 / I-285 Northeast Atlanta. Stack interchange.
[IMG]http://i41.************/23mkjdu.jpg[/IMG]

11. I-285 / SR-400 Cloverleaf with direct connectors.
[IMG]http://i39.************/2cnjnes.jpg[/IMG]
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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:22 PM   #3495
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I personally don't see cities like Atlanta surviving in the future.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 10:32 PM   #3496
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Me neither. Atlanta's metropolitan area population density is even only half the average population density of the entire Netherlands. New suburbs are now over 40 miles of downtown. Population density is also too low to run an extensive commuter rail that's some kind of cost efficient. (common problem in US suburbs).

Atlanta's DOT has to face the problem; should they spend a very large percentage of their yearly budget to a modality only a few percent use, and is also unlike likely to reach a significant modal split? I think they shouldn't spend more than is necessary to maintain a basic public transportation for those who have no other kind of mobility unless drastic spatial planning changes appear. The latter would more or less mean the entire restructuring of the Atlanta (sub)urban area. You can want extensive PT so bad, but the spatial environment must be right to support that.

Last edited by ChrisZwolle; December 21st, 2008 at 12:29 AM.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #3497
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And most U.S. cities still don't realise their sprawling mistakes. The majority of the U.S. population still has conservative 1950s thinking.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 12:28 AM   #3498
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Me neither. Atlanta's metropolitan area population density is even only half the average population density of the entire Netherlands. New suburbs are now over 40 miles of downtown. Population density is also too low to run an extensive commuter rail that's some kind of cost efficient. (common problem in US suburbs).

Atlanta's DOT has to face the problem; should they spend a very large percentage of their yearly budget to a modality only a few percent use, and is also unlike likely to reach a significant modal split. I think they shouldn't spend more than is necessary to maintain a basic public transportation for those who have no other kind of mobility unless drastic spatial planning changes appear. The latter would more or less mean the entire restructuring of the Atlanta (sub)urban area. You can want extensive PT so bad, but the spatial environment must be right to support that.
Please don't let Atlanta speak for all of Georgia's metropolitan areas.

The other big 4(Columbus, Macon, Augusta, and Savannah) are all much more compact in terms of city and metropolitan areas. The one thing that these cities do have are extremely large US Military Bases.

Fort Benning, outside of Columbus: www.infantry.army.mil/
Robins Air Force Base, outside of Macon: www.robins.af.mil/
Fort Gordon, outside of Augusta: www.gordon.army.mil/
Fort Stewart, outside of Savannah: www.stewart.army.mil/

Examine how these military bases are laid out, and you'll begin to see why I'm a supporter of seeing more efficient building and design like we see on American military bases and the cities right near them.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 06:03 PM   #3499
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Quote:
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Population density is also too low to run an extensive commuter rail that's some kind of cost efficient.
And that will never change so long as Georgia builds wide highways to suburbs 40 miles from center city and doesn't provide commuter rail. I realize it's a chicken and egg argument but you can't have development that centers on commuter rail stations if you don't have commuter rail stations.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 06:30 PM   #3500
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I fail to see why Atlanta wouldn't survive.

Not that I'm a particularly big fan of Atlanta. But most of those people who live 40 miles away in a suburb don't drive downtown everyday. Most of them work locally.

I know a lot of environmentalists/anti-sprawl types like to fantasize that if gas prices hit $10 or whatever, then American suburbs will collapse overnight, but that's hardly the case. More likely, people will remain in their suburbs and continue to work at their nearby suburban office parks, continue to go to their suburban schools, continue to shop at their suburban malls, etc.
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