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Old July 23rd, 2009, 04:09 PM   #4561
ChrisZwolle
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Stubs off I-64 in St. Louis.
[IMG]http://i26.************/29qmhoz.jpg[/IMG]
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 10:54 PM   #4562
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weird
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Old July 24th, 2009, 03:48 AM   #4563
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weird
Weird, yes. Uncommon, no. There are a lot of unfinished freeways/interchanges in the U.S. due mainly to the freeway revolts that occured in the 1960's and 1970's.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 04:52 AM   #4564
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weird
Another casualty of the freeway wars of the '60s and '70s
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:08 AM   #4565
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That was planned to be an inner beltline around the west edge of downtown Saint Louis, starting at the incompleted interchange at I-44/55, running north using that stub and then connecting to I-70 on the near north side. Interestingly, the neighborhoods went bad anyways and a planned new Mississippi River crossing will be using ROW in that same area on the north edge of downtown Saint Louis.

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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:34 AM   #4566
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Quote:
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Weird, yes. Uncommon, no. There are a lot of unfinished freeways/interchanges in the U.S. due mainly to the freeway revolts that occured in the 1960's and 1970's.
Ah those idiots... They made commuting so much more fun in many cities.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #4567
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Ah those idiots... They made commuting so much more fun in many cities.
Why should your road to work run through a black person's bedroom?

It's not hard to see why the freeway revolts occurred when you look at right-of-way maps from the 1950's and 1960's which show large tracts of housing within control-of-access lines.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 11:57 AM   #4568
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The biggest problem in St. Louis seems to be the I-70. It runs depressed with only 4 lanes through downtown, though traffic volumes are around 80,000 which will cause traffic jams during rushhour. That's also why the Poplar Street Bridge is congested. Technically speaking, the Poplar Street Bridge has no capacity problems, it has 8 lanes, and an AADT of 99,000 which is very sufficient. 8 lanes can handle up to 200,000 if necessary. I-64 also has sufficient capacity at 90,000 AADT on 6 lanes. So the problem seems to be the I-55/I-64/I-70 interchange plus the I-70 itself.

I'm afraid St. Louis proper is some kind of a lost cause though. I bet most jobs in the metropolitan area are by far outside of downtown, and except for the southern 3rd part of St. Louis, most of the city is experiencing urban prairie, sometimes on Detroit scale. Neighboring East St. Louis also has this problem. I wonder what they can do to save the city from running completely empty. The city had a population of 857,000 in 1950, down to 350,000 today, which is even a bigger decrease than Detroit. (percentage-wise). The per capita income is less than 40% of the US average. Crime is high. I think they won't get much further than revitalizing the downtown core for now, but most of the city is a problem. Housing in the southern, less bad part of St. Louis is also aging, so I doubt if they will steer clear of the urban prairie problem in the future.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #4569
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Heres some Google Streetview HD photos of the 710 freeway in Los Angele's
Accident on the 710


The 710 @ 405



The 710 @ Willow Street


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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:35 PM   #4570
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Quote:
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Why should your road to work run through a black person's bedroom?

It's not hard to see why the freeway revolts occurred when you look at right-of-way maps from the 1950's and 1960's which show large tracts of housing within control-of-access lines.
Well the road to work that ran through there ended up getting built anyways. Instead of a highway those people got overcrowded artery roads which means they got all that traffic anyways along with loud, slow moving traffic. My county had a great freeway plan that would have made commuting smooth and getting from point a to b quickly. Instead my county is referred to "the land of traffic lights" because we have poor artery roads to get everywhere. Those residents of the past were idiots because they didn't think long term and I see now in many cases they built artery roads through residential areas to relieve traffic from other roads.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 08:49 PM   #4571
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You don't know that. Houston only had one major freeway cancellation (TX 225 within the loop) and traffic is still a nightmare at rush hour.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 09:07 PM   #4572
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Hmmm, Houston was the only city reducing traffic congestion in the last 25 years... but it grew tremendously. How long would it take to get to downtown from the edges of town (Woodlands, Sugar Land etc.) during rushhour?
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Old July 25th, 2009, 01:16 AM   #4573
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Hmmm, Houston was the only city reducing traffic congestion in the last 25 years... but it grew tremendously. How long would it take to get to downtown from the edges of town (Woodlands, Sugar Land etc.) during rushhour?
Driving from where I used to work (Meyerland, southwest Loop 610) to where I lived at the time (Spring, 7 miles south of the Woodlands), would take about 1:15 on a decent-flowing day, and up to 2 hours if there were accidents.

Congestion did drop after the late 1980s - early 1990s reconstruction boom, particularly when the West Sam Houston Tollway was built - but it did not take long for it to reach back to familiar levels. While much of it was due to growth, it also had to do with the increased capacity paradox - as freeways were widened, people who took alternative routes to dodge freeway traffic returned to the highways. For example, I would take surface streets from where I worked to Downtown, and then up the Hardy Toll Road. That would usually take about 55 minutes, but still cost me $3.00 per trip. Most people will not take the toll road if the freeway capacity is enhanced - see low Hardy traffic before the airport connector, and the drastic decrease in Westpark Tollway usage as they've opened up the new Katy Freeway, which parallels the toll road.

The multiple-CBD nature of Houston also contributes to the traffic issues here. When working in the Woodlands, both outbound and inbound traffic is very heavy during rush hour, despite I-45 being 4x4 + 3x3 frontage road. That's because of A. crappy engineering (putting a direct connector/flyover exit just past an onramp) and B. traffic both trying to leave the Woodlands to get to work closer to town, and coming to the Woodlands to work there. Of course, this multi-centered nature wouldn't exist without the massive freeways in the first place.

As you can see, it's pretty complicated.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 01:37 AM   #4574
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While much of it was due to growth, it also had to do with the increased capacity paradox - as freeways were widened, people who took alternative routes to dodge freeway traffic returned to the highways.
Also a problem with the hub-and-spoke system. Some areas are quite far from freeways (especially further from the center). Traffic volumes on surface roads are quite high, so if the freeway flows again, it's not weird people choose the freeway again. However, any traffic engineer worth his salt calculates these things into a widening project.

As you mentioned, toll roads are also a problem. They only work if free routes are very congested. That's why I'd rather see tax-financed freeways than toll roads.

However, any really big city (metro over 5 million) becomes problematic. You'll get such significant rushhour flows that you will need massive freeways to handle that traffic. If you don't want to widen freeways that much, multiple CBD's are the best solution imo. They did quite a job on that in cities like Atlanta and Houston, and other naturally multi-cored metropolises like Dallas and the San Francisco Bay area. 5+ million metropolitan areas centered on one single downtown creates nearly uncontrollable commuter flows.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 03:23 AM   #4575
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Also a problem with the hub-and-spoke system. Some areas are quite far from freeways (especially further from the center). Traffic volumes on surface roads are quite high, so if the freeway flows again, it's not weird people choose the freeway again. However, any traffic engineer worth his salt calculates these things into a widening project.

As you mentioned, toll roads are also a problem. They only work if free routes are very congested. That's why I'd rather see tax-financed freeways than toll roads.

However, any really big city (metro over 5 million) becomes problematic. You'll get such significant rushhour flows that you will need massive freeways to handle that traffic. If you don't want to widen freeways that much, multiple CBD's are the best solution imo. They did quite a job on that in cities like Atlanta and Houston, and other naturally multi-cored metropolises like Dallas and the San Francisco Bay area. 5+ million metropolitan areas centered on one single downtown creates nearly uncontrollable commuter flows.
Yes, but at what cost? While it's true that you don't have massive exoduses from a city center with a multiple CBD setup, you also disincentivize living close to your place of work and encourage sprawl (as you'll just have to take the freeways anyway, and you might as well live somewhere you can get the residence you want for the price you want). It seriously reduces the number of options for those who want the amenities of a more dense, urban environment, as there rarely exists in one area the critical mass to create these amenities.

Likewise, it sets into stone the requirement for personal transportation to be your main means of moving about anywhere, as the level of service for public transportation that this setup requires would require large, politically-infeasible subsidies as no route would get to the level of ridership that is necessary to become economically viable. This isn't a huge loss if you're of some means, but having to own a car and insurance can be a major pinch on lower-income making people, and having that car break down on you can be catastrophic, particularly if one cannot afford the repairs or another car.

Not only that, but while you'll not have frozen seas of cars from 5-9am and 4-8pm with a multi-CBD setup (always), you will have high levels of traffic at all hours of the day, as businesses and clients interact and engage with each other, not to mention support services go about their daily business - and since anyone who needs to do anything must jump in the car in the first place, and we're so conditioned to using the freeways anyway, you can see how traffic can build up at incredibly odd hours. Not only that, but there's rarely a means of traveling quickly against the flow - if there's traffic in one direction, there's traffic in the other, since people are all going to different places from different places.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 12:46 AM   #4576
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Nice new bridge on I-95 in New Haven. It will replace the current 6-lane bridge.
[IMG]http://i32.************/jfgcwg.jpg[/IMG]

CURRENT BRIDGE:
[IMG]http://i31.************/34eez29.jpg[/IMG]
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 09:05 AM   #4577
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That's the bridge that CONNDOT was putting almost 1/3rd of their budget in back in 2007 or so.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 05:46 AM   #4578
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I had no idea that bridge was getting replaced.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 03:09 PM   #4579
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They need to widen the I-91 SB to I-95 NB to at least 2 lanes and CONNDOT needs to widen I-95 to 5x5 from New Haven to NY, although that will probably not ever happen.
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 06:32 PM   #4580
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No, it probably won't happen. That would be massively expensive because the area that I-95 from New Haven to the NY border is situated in a very developed area with prohibitively high land costs (some of the highest in the nation). It was very hard from them to improve the highway in Bridgeport when they did it a few years ago. The state has no choice but to improve Metro North to keep the area from further congestion.

Unless you're going to any of the cities on I-95, I'd avoid it altogether. The Merritt Parkway is a much more better ride. Other than going through Hartford and Waterbury which sees high traffic, I-84/I-684 is another better way to get to New York. I never take I-95 anymore, not worth the stress.
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