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Old February 5th, 2009, 04:21 PM   #3841
ChrisZwolle
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5 mph exit! :O

[IMG]http://i43.************/sc5bhh.jpg[/IMG]
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Old February 5th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #3842
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
This is an amazing part of the Interstate system.

by Freewayjim
I drove there two years ago but in fog and drizzle so missed most of the scenery
Even when I stopped at some of the viewpoints couldn't see much.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 06:14 PM   #3843
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Pasadena Freeway in Los Angeles, what a load of crap.
[IMG]http://i44.************/5lvxj9.jpg[/IMG]

The pavement is 69 years old now.
Do you think we could get "West Germany" to unify with us?
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Old February 5th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #3844
mgk920
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That part of the Pasadena Freeway (CA 110, NOT an interstate) indeed predates WWII, but it also has historic landmark protection of some sort and commercial trucks are prohibited on it (it was originally called the Arroyo Seco Parkway).

OTOH, yes, I also do believe that the time has come for Caltrans to do some reconstructive surgery on it, but in a tasteful manner. It does not connect with any other freeway at its north end, instead feeding only into downtown Pasadena streets and has attributes more like a northeastern USA 'parkway' than a true freeway.

BUT - money is a real issue now with the State of California and we shall see....

Mike
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Old February 5th, 2009, 07:48 PM   #3845
J N Winkler
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Quote:
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That part of the Pasadena Freeway (CA 110, NOT an interstate) indeed predates WWII, but it also has historic landmark protection of some sort and commercial trucks are prohibited on it (it was originally called the Arroyo Seco Parkway).
Yup. The Engineering Bureau of the City of Los Angeles has the construction plans for it available to download through its online Engineering Vault. (The easiest way to find them is to proceed through this search page, check "Street," and enter "Arroyo Seco Pkwy" in the "Contains" box.)

Quote:
OTOH, yes, I also do believe that the time has come for Caltrans to do some reconstructive surgery on it, but in a tasteful manner. It does not connect with any other freeway at its north end, instead feeding only into downtown Pasadena streets and has attributes more like a northeastern USA 'parkway' than a true freeway.
Caltrans has advertised a contract (Caltrans project number 07-2395U4; plans available here) to replace the existing metal beam guardrail with concrete Jersey barriers. So the Arroyo Seco Parkway is receiving some cosmetic improvements, but none of the major alignment upgrades which would be required to bring it to something like Caltrans standards for new-build freeways. It will continue to function as a "museum freeway." Frankly, I am content for it to do that. Because it is essentially a spur off the downtown Los Angeles freeway ring, it is not as if its landmark status is standing in the way of needed upgrades.

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BUT - money is a real issue now with the State of California and we shall see....
Caltrans has actually managed to let a surprising number of large ($50 million-$100 million range) contracts over the past year. I don't think California has the debt capacity to sustain a comparable letting volume this year, however.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #3846
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
5 mph exit! :O

[IMG]http://i43.************/sc5bhh.jpg[/IMG]
Nice deceleration lane.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 12:19 PM   #3847
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Do you think we could get "West Germany" to unify with us?
ROFL.

I didn't realise California could ever have highways in such a bad state.

The USA's highways are like an art form usually.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 03:26 PM   #3848
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Don't laugh at the 5mph exit. That's one of the oldest expressways in the country. It was built back when you lot were still getting around on cart and donkey.

I kid, I kid.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 05:49 PM   #3849
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Don't laugh at the 5mph exit. That's one of the oldest expressways in the country. It was built back when you lot were still getting around on cart and donkey.
lol. there's truth to that.

people can't say anything negative about our country. we did everything back when others didn't even have any clue. lol..

yeah some of our highways our bad...







but that's because they were built more than half a century ago. let that help you put things in perspective.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 05:56 PM   #3850
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So? Dutch freeways were also build half a century ago and have very good asphalt pavement. It all comes down to maintenance, and California doesn't seem to know how to implement that word.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 09:35 PM   #3851
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^ some sections of freeway are certainly bad. but california has more freeway miles than the netherlands, an aversion to taxes, and money going towards freeway expansion and road widening

some of the freeways in la are very impressive, some are not. ca 110, well, is prob the best example of the worst
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Old February 7th, 2009, 09:53 PM   #3852
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They keyword seems to be "tax". Increase fuel tax as a user fee, and switch to more fuel efficient vehicles.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 10:04 PM   #3853
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The idea of age being an excuse for the condition of that road is silly. Will it ever get repaired? Or once built is it going to go untouched for a thousand years?
Many German motorways are older than American ones yet are in better shape. We've just decided we want a huge country without paying for it. It's a shame really.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #3854
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Quote:
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The idea of age being an excuse for the condition of that road is silly. Will it ever get repaired? Or once built is it going to go untouched for a thousand years?
I have already pointed out that the median barrier is to be replaced. As for the rest of it, it is in reasonably good condition. The asphalt pavement is almost certainly not original (at bare minimum it will have been cold-planed and overlaid several times since 1940, when the road was built), while the concrete pavement is original but in good condition for its age with not too much D-cracking. The clip-clop when going over joints can get annoying, but at the 45 MPH speed limit it is not going to tear your suspension to pieces.

The 5 MPH ramps and the limited provision of clear with both on the mainline and at the interchanges are, IMO, the most problematic aspects of the Arroyo Seco as it now stands. But the alignment is so confined that it is impossible to do anything about them without taking land. I am not sure whether the surrounding area has conservation status, but I can guarantee that any acquisition of new ROW would be fiercely opposed. Plus, as noted, there is little to be gained from making alignment improvements because the Arroyo Seco is a spur with no realistic prospect of being connected to another freeway at its northern end.

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Many German motorways are older than American ones yet are in better shape.
Comparisons have to be apples-to-apples. In terms of the functions they serve, I don't see much difference between the Arroyo Seco and the few 1930's Autobahnen I have ridden on. The Autobahnen are likely to be somewhat smoother, but then they have to be, because they carry traffic at almost twice the speed of the Arroyo Seco.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 05:37 AM   #3855
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Caltrans built some amazing freeways with outstanding signage back in the 50s.

Then they never bothered to keep up with the times, either with maintenance or standards beyond what the Feds forced upon them.

I never got that.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #3856
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I still think LA's freeway system is far superior to most other freeway networks of major cities, in term of design, especially when compared to the 1930's standard of most New York Parkways. Ramps and connectors are better designed to handle high volumes at high speeds.

The problem is that it lacks capacity (The LA metro freeway system is very minimal when compared to population), and the pavement quality is low, or even unacceptable to European standards.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 06:14 PM   #3857
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Quote:
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Caltrans built some amazing freeways with outstanding signage back in the 50s.

Then they never bothered to keep up with the times, either with maintenance or standards beyond what the Feds forced upon them.

I never got that.
Where guide signing is concerned, the Caltrans philosophy has traditionally been to use materials and hardware which will survive well in any of California's several climates for 50 years or more. This has resulted in what we now realize is a problem of excess durability.

Funding is another consideration. In the early 1960's, Caltrans (or rather its predecessor agency) was flush with cash, and went out of its way to conform to emerging national (AASHO) and federal standards. For instance, in 1958 Caltrans unilaterally changed to green background on all of its freeway guide signs, not just on Interstates (AASHO and the BPR required green background on Interstates beginning in 1958, but FHWA did not require it for other freeways until 1971).

But the standards continued to change while the real purchasing power of the gasoline tax continued to fall. Remember also that Reagan was governor of California in the late 1960's and was already starting to push the familiar hard-right mantras--local control with local funding, no unfunded federal mandates, let's keep government small and taxes low even if it means shuttering universities, etc. In 1971 Caltrans took a long hard look at the costs and technical possibilities involved in complying with emerging federal standards for sign color and Interstate exit numbering, and made a very deliberate decision to step off the treadmill.

This means that Caltrans now has vast quantities of signs and sign hardware on its infrastructure which are still in good repair, but are considered obsolete because they do not provide a service (retroreflectivity for true color at night) which the motoring public now expects. Some types of hardware, such as formed panels in removable sign panel frames, are fundamentally incompatible with new standards like exit numbering. Meanwhile, Caltrans' funding position is no better now than it was in the early 1970's. Therefore Caltrans is now making halfway attempts to conform (retroreflective sheeting on laminated or formed panels, "bitten-out" exit tabs, etc.) instead of clearing out all the old hardware and starting with new standards which can better accommodate retroreflective sheeting, exit numbering, and the driving public's expectation of periodic renewal of sheeting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I still think LA's freeway system is far superior to most other freeway networks of major cities, in term of design, especially when compared to the 1930's standard of most New York Parkways. Ramps and connectors are better designed to handle high volumes at high speeds.
The Arroyo Seco Parkway was a critical first step in that optimization process. When it opened, both legislators and engineers realized that comprehensive grade separation of all intersecting roads saved lives, but also that it would be possible to build freeways capable of carrying more traffic more safely, at much higher speeds, and with geometry allowing more gradual changes of speed at interchanges, at little cost over and above that of a comparable freeway built to the same specification as the Arroyo Seco.

To an extent the engineers already knew that they were building the Arroyo Seco to scaled-down standards because of its location in parkland (they very consciously chose the New York parkways as a design model), but its overwhelming success--combined with early negative experience of design features such as the absent shoulders, short ramps, etc.--concentrated their minds on the need to provide the very best practicable design features on the other freeways whose corridors had already been identified. (After the war, Caltrans' predecessor agency started building the other "parkways" in Los Angeles, which were called "freeways" instead by the early 1950's--Hollywood Parkway, Harbor Parkway, Ramona Parkway, Santa Ana Parkway, Cahuenga Parkway, etc.)
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Old February 8th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #3858
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I have zero issue with California or any other state having limited-access highways that are below motorway standard- but I don't think it's asking too much to have decent surface conditions, signage and road markings. I grow tired at times of looking at highways in "the richest country in the world" (so called) looking worse than what I see in most other advanced nations. Enough....let's fix it.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 10:42 PM   #3859
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That is a bad surface, but at least it doesn't seem to have potholes.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 12:49 AM   #3860
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I still think LA's freeway system is far superior to most other freeway networks of major cities, in term of design, especially when compared to the 1930's standard of most New York Parkways. Ramps and connectors are better designed to handle high volumes at high speeds.

The problem is that it lacks capacity (The LA metro freeway system is very minimal when compared to population), and the pavement quality is low, or even unacceptable to European standards.
LA is not the only city in the US that lacks freeway capacity. New York, Phoenix, Miami, and Chicago are the other major metro areas that lack freeway capacity.
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