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Old February 9th, 2007, 10:26 PM   #361
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I don't see the problem of mixing meters and kilometers. A distance on meters can mean the thing is near, on kilometers more far.
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Old February 9th, 2007, 10:41 PM   #362
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just a btw

Quote:
I believe after conversion those countries chose to stay with a single unit - km.
Canada doesn't abide by a single unit. Smaller measurements / nearer places use metres (like 200m) but I think you know that ("if it is 1km or more") so... meh :p

Last edited by Nero87; February 10th, 2007 at 01:06 AM.
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Old February 10th, 2007, 12:36 AM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Have you ever wondered why in Europe motorway signs use metres to indicate the distance to a local exit while in Canada and Australia they exclusively use kilometres if it is 1km or more.

As you see, the same distance is written diffrerently. What do you think could be the reason for this?

My hypothesis is simple. Before Canada and Australia converted to metric system, the distances were indicated in miles. Since miles are not conveniently related to shorter units (feet or yards), even local distances are written in miles - ¼ miles, ¾ miles, 1½ miles, etc. I believe after conversion those countries chose to stay with a single unit - km. Europe, on the other hand, converted a very long time ago, so Europeans know how to convert between metres and kilometres quite well

I personally like the European signage in metres better because it gives me the sense of precision (which might or might not be the case).
You've got half the answer right believing that it had something to do with Australia and Canada's metric conversion. The previous unit abbreviation for mile (mi) and the metric abbreviation for metre (m) would have caused some confusion during the changeover, so using km rather than m seemed more logical.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #364
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The tunnel is dead again

WSDOT has declared the tunnel suffers from several fatal safety flaws and have declared the tunnel option dead. But apparently ballots for the advisory vote on the two options is still going through? Here's hoping the city starts promoting the no build option.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...viaduct13.html
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/...e_Viaduct.html
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Old February 20th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #365
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Interstate 80 in California

On Sunday I had to make a short trip across the Sierras to Reno, Nevada, so I decided to take some pictures on the way. For those who are not familiar with this region, I-80 is a major artery connecting San Francisco with eastern regions of the country. It runs all the way from New York to San Francisco.

I started off in Aburn and headed East. The interstate there has 3 lanes (down from 4 in the greater Sacramento area) and exceptional asphalt pavement.





The pavement is very good for the first 30 or so kilometres (pics above), and then it becomes concrete and the quality decreases dramatically.





This stretch of the interstate is usually under harsh winter conditions with the temperature jumping from -10 to +10 every day, plus you add a constant lory traffic and voila - the poor road condition. As you can see, the cracks and gaps are filled with tar, so it is still more or less bearable.

On the picture below, you can clearly see that the right concrete lane is in much worse shape than the left concrete lane. That's because all the lory traffic should stick to the right.




When the quality becomes exceptionally bad, they "repair" it by putting an asphalt over the old concrete. Right lane only.




And then, the beautiful Sierra Nevada. The road is still in poor shape. Until recently, California was one of the few states that still didn't number motorway exits. They started doing it soon after I moved in. However, California still doesn't use the mile stickers (that are posted every mile), and I think it's a great disadvantage.






What I like about American road service is that they remove the snow quite quickly early in the morning. When there is a heavy snowfall, passenger cars and 2wd SUVs are required to use chains. This time, it was dry.




Finally, I reached O'Donner Summit (2203 metres above the sea level). They built a rest area exactly at the summit. By the way, check this out Donner Party (Cannibalism)




Here is something that is quite amazing - a motorway underpass that uses two roundabouts instead of STOP signs or traffic lights. As far as I know, it is one of the kind in California.




And here is my answer to one of the previous topics " Why European Highways are much better than American ones??". Here is why:





Nowhere, did I see a motorway like this. Nowhere. Even in Russia, motorways are better maintained. In this case, they didn't even care to fill it with tar. Common, is it a third-world country? And it is not a construction area. I travelled extensively througout Europe (both Eastern and Western), but I have never seen these huge cracks on the motorways (local roads - yes, but not motorways).

A couple of words about the concrete divider vs rail. Virtually all motorways in California are equipped with the concrete divider. I have seen several crashes involving the divider, and I should say that they handle collisions very good. On the other hand, I saw a collision involving a rail divider in Eastern Europe, and man, that was a mess. The rail actually went through the driver side of the car and badly injured the driver.

I would also like to mention that American drivers are indeed worse than Europeans in general. Only 40% of drivers care about lane discipline. On this trip alone I saw more left-lane hogs than in all of my European trips combined. I don't know what might be the reason: either people simply don't know that this rule exists or they intentionally block the fast lane. Well, the US driving exam is a joke, and it doesn't seem to get tougher anytime soon.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #366
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great report
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Old February 20th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #367
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Great photos, Alex! Thanks for posting them.

Is there anything they can do to make the pavement better able to withstand the harsh conditions, or can they only do patch-up jobs, as shown in some of your photos, or else complete reconstruction?
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Old February 20th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #368
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I have my theories about the state of motorways in the US- and of course, it differs by state, as that's how roads are dealt with in America. Not to get too political, but we spend a lot of money militarily overseas that could and should, in my opinion, stay home and on our roads. We also have a populace that seems to put up with the Interstates in the condition they are. If more North Americans were to travel and drive the motorways of Europe I think they'd be shocked at the poor state of those roads back home. I think it'd be a real wakeup call for many.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #369
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u think that Americans don´t have clue that they have so bad roads?
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Old February 20th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BL View Post
u think that Americans don´t have clue that they have so bad roads?
I don't think many understand how bad they are compared with the rest of the developed world. I think the average American assumes you just have to put up with X percent of your highway system being cracked or pot hole-ridden.
Put another way; if you were with a random American in a car through that stretch of I-80 shown above and asked what he thought about it, he'd likely say it's seen better days and should be fixed. But he would probably be very surprised to find out that in Germany, as an example, there's nothing even CLOSE to that type of pavement breakup anywhere on the motorway system over there.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 03:01 PM   #371
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
I would also like to mention that American drivers are indeed worse than Europeans in general. Only 40% of drivers care about lane discipline. On this trip alone I saw more left-lane hogs than in all of my European trips combined. I don't know what might be the reason: either people simply don't know that this rule exists or they intentionally block the fast lane. Well, the US driving exam is a joke, and it doesn't seem to get tougher anytime soon.
40%? You're being optimistic. I would say only maybe about 25% of the drivers have a good sense of how to drive (I really think it's mostly common sense). I get so pissed off when I try to get from San Francisco to Davis. I-80 there is a 3-4 lane freeway, but on most days, everyone is constantly and consistently going ~70mph, hogging the left lane up. Americans always fill up the entire road. So many people also simply should not be driving, do not signal, or simply lack the ability to drive properly...
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Old February 20th, 2007, 04:00 PM   #372
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great report! any tunnels on that road?
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Old February 20th, 2007, 04:20 PM   #373
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nice pics , i like Interstate 80 in New Jersey
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Old February 20th, 2007, 05:34 PM   #374
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On the picture below, you can clearly see that the right concrete lane is in much worse shape than the left concrete lane. That's because all the lory traffic should stick to the right.
Does the keep your lane system also apply on 2x2 lane interstates? Or you just have to keep right unless overtaking, like in Europe?
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Old February 20th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #375
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Originally Posted by Chris1491 View Post
Does the keep your lane system also apply on 2x2 lane interstates? Or you just have to keep right unless overtaking, like in Europe?
The California law states that if there are 2 or more lanes going in the same direction, all drivers should stay in the right lane unless they pass someone. And this applies to all dual carriageways as well, not only autobahnen. However, the majority of drivers simply disregard this rule. For some reason, they think they should evenly fill the entire road.

That's one thing I don't understand about America. Generally, people follow the rules and regulations, but not when it comes to cooperating with other drivers. In Europe, for instance, other drivers will never block your way and will yield to you even if they need to drive on the shoulder. It is virtually impossible in the USA. It only happened a couple of times in rural areas (both in Texas and California). On the other hand, Americans will always let you pull out of the driveway in front of them (not so in Europe). And yet, I would prefer better if instead of courtesy, Americans followed the law to the letter. Everyone would be better off.
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Old February 20th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean Luc View Post
Is there anything they can do to make the pavement better able to withstand the harsh conditions, or can they only do patch-up jobs, as shown in some of your photos, or else complete reconstruction?
I am not a civil engineer, so I can't answer your question. I know that if an asphalt pavement becomes old on usual streets, they just put a new layer of asphalt right over it. Simple as that. However, I don't know how long the new pavement will hold.

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great report! any tunnels on that road?
Not in California. I know they dig tunnels through Rockies, but in Sierra Nevada you will not find many (if any at all).
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Old February 21st, 2007, 12:05 AM   #377
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So one stretch of rural highway in a sparsely populated part of America that gets some of the most severe weather of the entire continent has a few cracks in the road, and this singlehandedly proves the "superiority" of the German road.

What's the deal with Germans and trying to prove their alleged superiority all the time anyway?

I can't believe you were surrounded by all that spectacular scenery, and all that you focus on were a few potholes in the road to assure yourself of the "superiority" of Germany. That's pathetic.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 01:39 AM   #378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
So one stretch of rural highway in a sparsely populated part of America that gets some of the most severe weather of the entire continent has a few cracks in the road, and this singlehandedly proves the "superiority" of the German road.

What's the deal with Germans and trying to prove their alleged superiority all the time anyway?

I can't believe you were surrounded by all that spectacular scenery, and all that you focus on were a few potholes in the road to assure yourself of the "superiority" of Germany. That's pathetic.

Well, I'm American and I'm the one who brought up the German comparison, so you can bash me as well. And this is a sub forum for motorways, so you might want to go to the mountain/scenary forum for talk of natuaral beauty.

And finally, those "few cracks in the road" are not acceptable to me in a country as rich as ours--- in fact, you've proven my point that the average American is very accepting of this kind of infrastructure dificiency.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 03:55 AM   #379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
The California law states that if there are 2 or more lanes going in the same direction, all drivers should stay in the right lane unless they pass someone. And this applies to all dual carriageways as well, not only autobahnen. However, the majority of drivers simply disregard this rule. For some reason, they think they should evenly fill the entire road.

That's one thing I don't understand about America. Generally, people follow the rules and regulations, but not when it comes to cooperating with other drivers. In Europe, for instance, other drivers will never block your way and will yield to you even if they need to drive on the shoulder. It is virtually impossible in the USA. It only happened a couple of times in rural areas (both in Texas and California). On the other hand, Americans will always let you pull out of the driveway in front of them (not so in Europe). And yet, I would prefer better if instead of courtesy, Americans followed the law to the letter. Everyone would be better off.
Slow people moving over to the right should be common courtesy too. I think most Americans are too selfish with their cars.
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Old February 21st, 2007, 07:57 AM   #380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
So one stretch of rural highway in a sparsely populated part of America that gets some of the most severe weather of the entire continent has a few cracks in the road, and this singlehandedly proves the "superiority" of the German road.

What's the deal with Germans and trying to prove their alleged superiority all the time anyway?
Have you heard of the Straw Man Fallacy? That is what you are using now. In my narrative I haven't used word "German" a single time. Furthermore, I personally consider Italian autostradas to be of better quality than German autobahnen. But that would be another discussion.

I indeed compared my experience with American and European motorways by saying that none of the latter were in such a sorry shape as I-80, but such comparison is based on the objective reality. Something that I saw with my own eyes.

What you call "a few cracks" is actually a 60-km (underestimation) stretch of a major interstate connecting Northern California with the rest of the country. This route is vital to the region's economy, and it is a shame that California government cannot keep it in a good shape.

Quote:
I can't believe you were surrounded by all that spectacular scenery, and all that you focus on were a few potholes in the road to assure yourself of the "superiority" of Germany. That's pathetic.
Again Germany? Stop beating the dead horse already.

For your information, I live here. For seven years I have been using this interstate, and I think I have a better understanding of what is going on with I-80. The road has been in this unsatisfactory state for at least 7 years, and there are no talks about making a major restoration yet.

And now my main point. This time I had to use the I-80 to go on a business trip to Reno. This means minimum attention to scenery and maximum effort to get from point A to point B as smoothly and as quickly as possible. I think it would be fair to mention that the majority of other drivers also don't drive there to enjoy the scenery because they have seen it numerous times. What they want now is the smooth road and the quick ride. Frankly, my ride was anything but smooth.
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