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Old January 14th, 2009, 09:58 AM   #3701
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
I never understood why speed limits in the northeast and parts of the midwest is low.
High population density plus low gasoline tax = high revenue enforcement.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 06:35 PM   #3702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tollfreak View Post
.Also,CMIIW, i heard that the Alaskan Way Viaduct is not suitable for earthquakes?(I heard it in one of those Nat Geo Documentaries)
Your are indeed correct. Although by 2001 the viaduct was nearing the end of its "natural life span", it was the Nisqually earthquake of February 2001 which has spurred efforts ever since for a replacement. Another ten seconds of so of jolting and parts of the viaduct might very well have crumpled. Every few months the state comes in and buttresses some of the pillars in particularly weak areas--in spots the viaduct continues to sink and sag. Now, you have to understand that in Seattle projects such as this can drag on for years, even given the relative urgency of this particular case. And now that most of the public officials in charge have agreed upon the tunnel option, there is still the issue of how to pay for it. And in initiative-happy Washington State, a local resident has already filed papers to have the "people" vote--again on whether a tunnel should indeed be built.
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Old January 14th, 2009, 08:40 PM   #3703
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Thanks for the answers so far! I don't plan on speeding much but just a little bit. Over the super long distances we do it'll make a bit of a difference.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 12:03 AM   #3704
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
High population density plus low gasoline tax = high revenue enforcement.
Most parts of the midwest have little population density. BTW, I read somewhere that police in Chicagoland don't really enforce the speed limit on the expressways.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 01:55 AM   #3705
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Most parts of the midwest have little population density. BTW, I read somewhere that police in Chicagoland don't really enforce the speed limit on the expressways.
Having lived there, no not true. They enforce it. But Chicagoland covers a huge geographical area with hundreds of suburbs and many expressways, probably 2nd to L.A. They can't be everywhere.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 03:42 AM   #3706
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American Merge Lanes: (majority of states I've seen)



alot of onramp mergers are similar to that, although they aren't nearly as instanteous, they still don't give you a lane to merge into.

Merge Lanes in Ontario:


I don't get why US States don't have merging lanes that are dedicated. I think the latest standard permits and encourages for DOT's to mark merging lanes to the end, but in my experience, they are basically non-existent.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 04:05 AM   #3707
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@Dan:

Just use common sense and look what other drivers are doing. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. If you're the fastet car on the road, there's a good chance you'll get caught eventually. I've driven all over North America and Europe and never gotten a single ticket.

Btw, I think most people way overestimate the time they gain from speeding "just a little". You'd have to drive at Autobahn speeds and keep it up for a long distance to really notice a considerable difference. So, just relax and enjoy the trip.

my 2 cents,
snowman
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Old January 15th, 2009, 04:05 AM   #3708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02 View Post
American Merge Lanes: (majority of states I've seen)



alot of onramp mergers are similar to that, although they aren't nearly as instanteous, they still don't give you a lane to merge into.

Merge Lanes in Ontario:


I don't get why US States don't have merging lanes that are dedicated. I think the latest standard permits and encourages for DOT's to mark merging lanes to the end, but in my experience, they are basically non-existent.
You are absolutely right. Those 'merge' lanes are called parallel acceleration (for an on-ramp) or parallel deceleration lanes (for an off-ramp). What I've noticed is that American highways have very long gore points, which substitutes parallel acceleration/deceleration lanes. Many areas, especially newer sections of highways, do have those lanes.

This one's on I-90 in Washington:



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Old January 15th, 2009, 04:13 AM   #3709
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Yeah. I don't care much about offramps, or have concern with them in the USA...as long as you have time to decelerate once in your ramp. I just am generally scared about merging onto a freeway or the on-ramps.

This is a prime example of something I experienced, in the state of Washington actually, and almost got into and accident.

http://maps.google.com/maps?t=h&hl=e...,0.004828&z=18

Extremely dangerous and primitive don't you think?
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Old January 15th, 2009, 04:35 AM   #3710
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I-90 around Snoqualmie pass?
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Old January 15th, 2009, 05:53 AM   #3711
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk View Post
Most parts of the midwest have little population density. BTW, I read somewhere that police in Chicagoland don't really enforce the speed limit on the expressways.
By US standards, they have higher population density. Remember, we're talking about comparisons to states the size of Germany which have total populations of less than one million people.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 06:25 AM   #3712
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02 View Post
Yeah. I don't care much about offramps, or have concern with them in the USA...as long as you have time to decelerate once in your ramp. I just am generally scared about merging onto a freeway or the on-ramps.

This is a prime example of something I experienced, in the state of Washington actually, and almost got into and accident.

http://maps.google.com/maps?t=h&hl=e...,0.004828&z=18

Extremely dangerous and primitive don't you think?
Yeah, Washington has a lot of outdated designs. We've got left-side exits on many highways, many cloverleafs, weaves, no parallel acceleration lanes, etc. They're fixing them one by one, but I still don't see parallel acceleration lanes being addressed. It's definitely dangerous. I'll send an e-mail to WSDOT and see what they say.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 06:28 AM   #3713
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02 View Post
http://maps.google.com/maps?t=h&hl=e...,0.004828&z=18

Extremely dangerous and primitive don't you think?
Then take a look at this one:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...=20&iwloc=addr

NYC has quite a few of those. But once you've mastered the art of getting around double and triple parked cars, it's not such a big deal anymore.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #3714
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman159 View Post
Then take a look at this one:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...=20&iwloc=addr

NYC has quite a few of those. But once you've mastered the art of getting around double and triple parked cars, it's not such a big deal anymore.
you forgot to mention this though:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...=20&iwloc=addr
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Old January 15th, 2009, 08:01 AM   #3715
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Yeah, Washington has a lot of outdated designs. We've got left-side exits on many highways, many cloverleafs, weaves, no parallel acceleration lanes, etc. They're fixing them one by one, but I still don't see parallel acceleration lanes being addressed. It's definitely dangerous. I'll send an e-mail to WSDOT and see what they say.
Yeah. I barely drive in the USA, but I notice that Ontario (my home province in Canada) has that down-pat.

I'm actually right pretty near the Washington-BC border now, by about 15 miles north of the Peace Arch.

I actually did sent WSDOT a letter complaining about something else. I sent it a week and a half ago, and just today I got a response, typical you know..thanks for your comments...and all that, but I got a fairly detailed response saying that they usually do do that, and that the Beacons were flashing to tune into the radio at 96 milemarker on I-82 (which 96 miles from I-90), but I definitely didn't see them, or else we would have stopped in Yakima.

Snoqualmie (I-90) Pass was closed from 10:30 AM onwards. I was driving from Salt Lake City up through Oregon.

here is a map for reference:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...775391&t=h&z=6

Anyways. WSDOT had no reference to the highway being closed there along I-82 until we passed Yakima. Now it we had planned to stop in Ellensburg for the night (right where I-82 ends at I-90). However, that was basically the last town before the closure.

What i was peeved about was that we could have just played it safe if we had known and stayed in Yakima. Instead we had to search around Ellensburg for a room (we did get one, but it was on our fourth attempt in the town)

And my #1 complaint was about lake of notification. We passed several VMS signs, including near the Oregon-Washington Border that were blank.

I figured they could at least mention it there, being only 10 miles or so away from I-84 that they could take the alternate route of I-84 West into Portland and go up I-5. Instead I was well over 100 miles into the state before I knew about the closure. And we found out around 6 PM local time or 7.5 hours after the pass was shut.

thankfully it did reopen..actually that night around 8:30 PM, and remained open, but the fact WSDOT did not give any information until we about 40 miles away of the closure, especially when the website stated there likely would be maybe very limited openings for the next several days.

It all worked out, but as someone driving across the continent (from near Toronto, to Vancouver taking I-80 to Salt Lake, and then up to Seattle) Let's just say I think better notification would have been nice.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #3716
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I agree the notification signs could be more numerous, but transportation budgets are tight. As for the sign in Oregon being blank, I think that most states that use these signs focus only on their own state, so if there were no problems in Oregon, it would be blank.

The trend on highway information has been moving to on-line and cell phone. For example, a lot of States, including Washington use the phone number 511 to get up to date road conditions.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 03:03 AM   #3717
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker View Post
I agree the notification signs could be more numerous, but transportation budgets are tight. As for the sign in Oregon being blank, I think that most states that use these signs focus only on their own state, so if there were no problems in Oregon, it would be blank.

The trend on highway information has been moving to on-line and cell phone. For example, a lot of States, including Washington use the phone number 511 to get up to date road conditions.
Just want to quickly clarify. We passed several empty/blank signs. I'm talking about the sign in Washington, right at the Oregon border. That is WSDOT management.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 12:23 PM   #3718
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Atlanta downtown tour

A nice drive through Atlanta, it looks more urban than I expected.

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Old January 16th, 2009, 12:50 PM   #3719
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watertowndailytimes
Rooftop highway

The "rooftop highway" has gotten a lot of lip service from local officials for decades. Now it's time for them to take the next step.

The much-talked-about project is little more than a concept. It aims to create a four-lane road across the top of the state from Interstate 81 in Watertown to Interstate 87 in Plattsburgh to improve travel and aid in economic development. However, not much is settled about the highway beyond its start and finish. Getting from here to there is the problem.


Gov. David A. Paterson recognized the shortcoming when he was questioned about his support for the project at Sunday's town-hall meeting in Watertown. Like other state leaders, he endorsed the concept, but with a qualification: "The state has a commitment to the idea if the local government also does as well. One of the areas that's going to be so important is: Exactly what is the location of the highway? And it will help us considerably if those issues are resolved."

Local governments need to respond to the challenge and take the initiative. Some tentative steps have been taken. About 100 people, including local government officials, economic developers and business leaders, gathered in Norwood to talk about promoting the highway, which included the timeworn resolutions of endorsement from every village, town and county government and school board in Northern New York.

Local government officials must go further as suggested Tuesday. They have to come together to outline an acceptable route for the expressway. Will the expressway follow Route 11 or Route 37? What villages will it pass through and which ones will it bypass? Will spurs to other communities be built? How will those communities react to the plan?

An exact location is not necessary, but a coalition of local officials must build a political consensus for an agreed-upon route if the project is to get serious consideration from the state and federal governments.
An expressway from Watertown to Plattsburgh (New York state)? Would that be necessary? It's a sparsely populated area north of the Adirondacks...

Traffic volumes are only 5,000 between towns and 10,000 in towns. That doesn't really requires an expressway...
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Old January 16th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #3720
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Quote:
Caltrans pushes back from I-215 construction deals

Caltrans says the state budget crisis means it is unable to sign a deal now with San Bernardino Associated Governments to continue widening Interstate 215 through San Bernardino.

Wednesday evening, a day before SANBAG was set to approve an agreement with the agency, Caltrans indicated it could not enter into the agreement, said Gary Cohoe, director of freeway construction for SANBAG.


The first two phases of the I-215 widening -- a new Fifth Street bridge and a segment from Orange Show Road to Rialto Avenue -- are under way. The remaining portions include widening the freeway from Rialto Avenue to Highway 210 and constructing freeway connectors between I-215 and the 210.

SANBAG is hoping to award a $289 million contract for the segments between Rialto Avenue and Highway 210 in June, for construction to begin in September. But the project is funded in part through Prop. 1B state transportation bonds and another transportation program known as the State Transportation Improvement Program.

Last month, the state froze short-term financing for bond projects due to California's poor credit rating. On Wednesday, the California Transportation Commission extended that freeze to additional transportation funds.

SANBAG officials are hoping to find other funding sources, such as a proposed federal economic stimulus package, so as not to delay the start of construction. Still, Cohoe said he is concerned that a delay may occur.

The SANBAG committee did go forward with a Caltrans agreement for another portion of the widening project: building connecting ramps from Highway 210 to I-215. That portion of the project is scheduled to go to construction this fall and could face delays because it, too, relies on bond financing.

However, since Caltrans is the lead agency on that segment, it has more flexibility to halt the project later in the process if needed, and therefore was able to go ahead with the funding agreement, Cohoe said.
Something for a stimulus package?
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