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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:08 AM   #5201
Mateusz
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Is it pink colour ? American grotesque and kitsch at its best then, couldn't they just leave it as plain, grey concrete...
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Old February 1st, 2010, 03:26 AM   #5202
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Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
I often don't get the point of having such large interchanges. It seems like a lot of long-term waste for short-term benefits.
Its a ridiculous waste of Tax payer $$ and painting it is stupid , there just trying to make the big Concrete & Steel Monster look nice.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 03:43 AM   #5203
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Is it pink colour ? American grotesque and kitsch at its best then, couldn't they just leave it as plain, grey concrete...
Plain grey you say? Not a problem. The "spaghetti Bowl" in El Paso:




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Old February 1st, 2010, 10:14 AM   #5204
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I often don't get the point of having such large interchanges. It seems like a lot of long-term waste for short-term benefits.
This is the only freeway-to-freeway interchange in all of Albuquerque. (MSA = 845,000).
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Old February 1st, 2010, 11:35 AM   #5205
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This is the only freeway-to-freeway interchange in all of Albuquerque. (MSA = 845,000).
That shouldn't justify such a large Interchange , This trend of building huge freeways needs to stop this country , what a waste tax payer $$ and it damages the Enivorment. I'm glad they are finally taking a step in that state towards Alt Mods of Transport ie Rail, something that makes a profit.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 11:54 AM   #5206
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If they don't built such interchanges, you have bumper-to-bumper traffic all day long, no that's good for the environment. Wake up from your pink dream of rail. Not a single public transport system in the U.S. is profitable.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 12:01 PM   #5207
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If they don't built such interchanges, you have bumper-to-bumper traffic all day long, no that's good for the environment. Wake up from your pink dream of rail. Not a single public transport system in the U.S. is profitable.
It will be , we may not build a Europe system , but our system will be great. Public Transport is profitable in some places , but your right it isn't now. But nothing is at the moment. Big Interchanges take up alot space and disrupt Animal behaviors , and how would you know. As far as i can tell everything is small in Europe. .........OMG now you made my morning not so pleasant...

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Old February 1st, 2010, 12:16 PM   #5208
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Highway interchanges is like an art form in the US lol. Road transport aint all that bad, its only when you get traffic jams!
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Old February 1st, 2010, 12:34 PM   #5209
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Personally, I like the Big I or Dallas High Five much more than those standard concrete things. I can't hurt to brighten up concrete infrastructure. You don't want a train station to look like one giant cinder block too, do you?
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Old February 1st, 2010, 12:57 PM   #5210
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Personally, I like the Big I or Dallas High Five much more than those standard concrete things. I can't hurt to brighten up concrete infrastructure. You don't want a train station to look like one giant cinder block too, do you?
No , our new lines are very artistic and futuristic , we tend to make it attractive. But we don't make our Flyovers in the NE look nice, idk. Rail is very popular here in the Urban / Suburban NE, we based our network off of yours.......idk understand why you are a critic of American Rail. We need it , just like you need more Highways and wider highways in Europe.
I use this to see whats happening and will happen in the future for PT >

http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/

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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:00 PM   #5211
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That shouldn't justify such a large Interchange , This trend of building huge freeways needs to stop this country , what a waste tax payer $$ and it damages the Enivorment. I'm glad they are finally taking a step in that state towards Alt Mods of Transport ie Rail, something that makes a profit.
The Big I is still a bit smaller than Downtown Albuquerque...I think:


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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:02 PM   #5212
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Europe and the U.S. are not the same. Yes rail may be a good option in the northeast, but we're talking about desert city Albuquerque here, hundreds of miles away from other larger cities.

Albuquerque has a very small business center for a city of this size. Only a few midrises.

I wonder why Albuquerque hasn't grown as much as Phoenix.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:09 PM   #5213
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Europe and the U.S. are not the same. Yes rail may be a good option in the northeast, but we're talking about desert city Albuquerque here, hundreds of miles away from other larger cities.

Albuquerque has a very small business center for a city of this size. Only a few midrises.
They have a few Light Rail and Rail lines in there 2030 plans , but you can't say that building bigger highways is good. ......Large Rail will work very well in the Northeast , Midwest , Northwest and Cali , and small Rail networks will work good everywhere else. Its not a matter of if its going to happen but when.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:14 PM   #5214
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The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a commuter rail from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. It requires an annual subsidy of $ 10 million. The daily ridership of this commuter rail is a mere 2,000.

And then proponents of this rail criticized the maintenance of I-25 for being equally expensive and it would be better to construct this rail... But forgot to take into account I-25 handles over 20 times more people between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, approximately 40,000 per day, so the cost per traveler is also 20 times as high.

$ 10 million to serve 40,000 people or $ 10 million to serve 2,000 people, phew that's a tough choice (after phase II this will increase to $ 20 million in operational cost not covered by farebox revenue).
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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:18 PM   #5215
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Europe and the U.S. are not the same. Yes rail may be a good option in the northeast, but we're talking about desert city Albuquerque here, hundreds of miles away from other larger cities.

Albuquerque has a very small business center for a city of this size. Only a few midrises.

I wonder why Albuquerque hasn't grown as much as Phoenix.
Albuquerque has 5 office submarkets. Nobody has built anything except courthouses downtown for 20 years. The newer developments are miles away. Proposals to build tall skyscrapers always come at the end of real estate boom cycles so they never seem to happen. And when you think about it, if you multiply Albuquerque's skyline times 5, you get the rough equivalent to Phoenix's unimpressive jumble. Nobody builds tall in the Southwest, not here, not Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, etc. Las Vegas only builds tall towers for the tourists. Look at their downtown. Not much either.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:21 PM   #5216
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The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a commuter rail from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. It requires an annual subsidy of $ 10 million. The daily ridership of this commuter rail is a mere 2,000.

And then proponents of this rail criticized the maintenance of I-25 for being equally expensive and it would be better to construct this rail... But forgot to take into account I-25 handles over 20 times more people between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, approximately 40,000 per day, so the cost per traveler is also 20 times as high.

$ 10 million to serve 40,000 people or $ 10 million to serve 2,000 people, phew that's a tough choice
I'm split on this line though, i think they should have had more PT connections , but on the other hand i think this line once it bounces back will be very successful. So what do you think of NJT Lackawanna Restoration, which would re-leave Traffic along the I-80 and I-380 corridors. Its being built as we speak in phases. Alot ppl want it back , it will connect NYC , Newark , Central , Western Jersey with Scranton. before you say alot ppl don't live along the line , there is alot ppl who live up in Scranton or around Stroudsburg,PA and Super Commute into Central Jersey and NYC & ppl who live in NJ but work in PA.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:30 PM   #5217
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The New Mexico Rail Runner Express is a commuter rail from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. It requires an annual subsidy of $ 10 million. The daily ridership of this commuter rail is a mere 2,000.

And then proponents of this rail criticized the maintenance of I-25 for being equally expensive and it would be better to construct this rail... But forgot to take into account I-25 handles over 20 times more people between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, approximately 40,000 per day, so the cost per traveler is also 20 times as high.

$ 10 million to serve 40,000 people or $ 10 million to serve 2,000 people, phew that's a tough choice (after phase II this will increase to $ 20 million in operational cost not covered by farebox revenue).
Operating subsidies aside, here are the figures:

NM Railrunner system: 90 mile heavy commuter rail line from Belen NM to Santa Fe NM. Cost: $400+ million. ridership as high as 4,000 per day.

The Big I interchange: $300 million serving 220,000-300,000 vehicles per day.

I-40 improvements through Albuquerque, incl. the Big I: 30 miles, $1.1 billion. serving between 160,000 and 240,000 vehicles per day.

Light rail trolley for Albuquerque, phase one, $400 million, 10 miles, serving unknown ridership. (not likely to exceed 10,000)

Overall, the costs are high no matter what options are used. The point of public transit out here is simply to take the pressure off freeways so they don't have to be rebuild every 20 years at over $1 billion. Transit was never intended to replace anything.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:33 PM   #5218
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The I-80 and I-380 aren't exactly overloaded freeways in Pennsylvania. How many people will commute all the way from Scranton to Manhattan every day?

I read the restoration will cost $ 550 million for 6,000 travelers a day, and an operational deficit of 40% or $ 12 million per year. That's a lot of money for a small number of travelers. The American taxpayer will pay $ 2,000 per traveler every year just to cover the operational deficit.

This comes on top of the $ 92,000 investment required per traveler to restore this line in the first place.

The main problem with rail is that every single line or system has an operational deficit, usually the farebox revenue is between 30 and 50% of the operational cost. Add the burden of the initial investment to that, and you require a lot of tax money to keep these lines operational. To make public transport profitable, the farebox revenue must greatly exceed 100% to cover the initial investment as well. So even transit systems with a farebox revenue over 100% (these exist in Asia) are not necessarily profitable. But transit systems do not need to be profitable, but there must be some boundaries when the cost per traveler is just too high to justify the investment.

This is different with roads. Roads are not subsidized, yes, they are payed with tax money, but unlike rail, the revenues from tax money related to automobility are enough to cover the initial investment and operational cost. The main reason why DOT's have such problems with funding is the financial burden of the public transport systems.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 01:36 PM   #5219
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The I-80 and I-380 aren't exactly overloaded freeways in Pennsylvania. How many people will commute all the way from Scranton to Manhattan every day?

I read the restoration will cost $ 550 million for 6,000 travelers a day, and an operational deficit of 40% or $ 12 million per year. That's a lot of money for a small number of travelers. The American taxpayer will pay $ 2,000 per traveler every year just to cover the operational deficit.

This comes on top of the $ 92,000 investment required per traveler to restore this line in the first place.

The main problem with rail is that every single line or system has an operational deficit, usually the farebox revenue is between 30 and 50% of the operational cost. Add the burder of the initial investment to that, and you require a lot of tax money to keep these lines operational.

This is different with roads. Roads are not subsidized, yes, they are payed with tax money, but unlike rail, the revenues from tax money related to automobility are enough to cover the initial investment and operational cost. The main reason why DOT's have such problems with funding are financial burden of the public transport systems.
Our property taxes very high in NJ so alot ppl live out there but still work in NJ and alot PA ppl work in Manhattan or NJ Gold Coast, i think ridership is a bit , i think it will be around 10,000-14,000. Becuz you also have NJ ppl working along the line PA. But when gas rises and it will line will become very popular. + its a dual state and FED payed for project.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 02:20 PM   #5220
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I have to be blunt: a lot of rubbish has been written upthread about the Big I.

First, to address the claim that it is wasteful, the relevant portion of the Big I construction website is still available through the Web Archive:

http://web.archive.org/web/200202191...o/benefits.asp

Salient points:

* Estimated annual savings of $1370 in fuel, time, and accident losses for each Albuquerque-area commuter over the life of the project, or about $10 billion overall. (Considering that the entire interchange complex, including not just the Big I itself but also widening of I-25 and I-40 and improvements to frontage roads and adjacent service interchanges, was let to construction for $276 million, this is almost a 40-to-1 payoff.)

* 400-500 new jobs during construction and $44 million in direct benefits to the New Mexico economy.

* Indirect benefits to economic development as a result of improved traffic flow through central Albuquerque.

* Acceptable LOS (given projected traffic volumes) on I-25 and I-40 through 2020.

The current Big I was built in the early noughties and replaces a three-level fully directional interchange, also known as the Big I, which was planned and constructed in the early 1960's and opened to traffic around 1965. At the time of its opening, it was the only three-level freeway interchange in New Mexico. Because it was a fully directional interchange, all of the left-turning movements were handled by left exits and entrances--with resulting penalties in safe operation which grew worse as traffic through the interchange increased over the following 30 years--and it also had a huge empty space in the middle. The northbound I-25 lanes also passed over a summit in the middle of the interchange and this added to the difficulties of dealing with traffic merging from the left. When the current Big I was under construction, part of the empty space in the interchange core became a casting yard (the precast concrete segments for the flyover bridges were fabricated on-site). The original Big I was so big overall that it was possible to build its replacement with minimal acquisition of new right-of-way.

There were several reasons the former Big I could not be retained in place. First, the bridges were near the end of their useful lives and would have had to be replaced in any case. Second, although New Mexico has experienced far less population growth in the postwar period than other Southwestern states like Arizona and Nevada, the growth it has experienced is still significant and the majority of it is concentrated on Albuquerque because it is the leading center for employment in the state. Because Albuquerque has no beltway or relief route, let alone one which is up to freeway standard, it eventually became necessary not just to reconstruct the Big I, but also to widen I-25 and I-40 to add one lane in each direction on both freeways. Big I reconstruction was designed partly to maintain lane continuity on both freeways on either side of the system interchange. (New Mexico in general is underprovided with freeways. It has just two two-digit Interstates, neither of which has any three-digit child loops or spurs. It also has a very small mileage of US and state route freeways, US 70 east of Las Cruces and US 84-285 north of Santa Fé being the longest. Many of the so-called "relief routes" around New Mexican cities like Roswell and Santa Fé are actually expressways with interspersed interchanges and level intersections.)

I followed construction of the Big I while it was in progress and, a few years after it was finished, I obtained a complete set of the construction plans. It is my impression, formed after study of the construction plans and confirmed by driving through the interchange in several directions, that it is competently designed with regard to traffic handling. My main objection to the final design relates to the direct connector between I-25 northbound and I-40 eastbound, which begins on a steep upward gradient but abruptly drops to leave adequate clearance under the direct connector from I-25 southbound to I-40 eastbound, which flies over the right-turning movement and merges onto I-40 eastbound further east. The algebraic change in grade is something like 10% over a very short distance (from memory, about 100 feet) and this results in a k-value for the summit curve which just barely complies with Green Book specifications. In my view this is highly undesirable since the summit curve hides a sharp right-hand curve until the last possible moment.

The current Big I is a stack/turban hybrid. I would personally have preferred that the original Big I be replaced with a true Maltese cross stack, but I assume this solution was not adopted for reasons of constructability.

As to the tan and turquoise color washes used through the interchange complex, I have no settled opinion. I am not convinced that they are necessarily more or less visually appealing than the blank whitish gray of uncoated concrete. I do agree that color washes in general create the potential for ugly results if they are not designed and applied with an artist's eye. However, I would offer the following observations:

* Color washes can simplify graffiti removal by covering up the small surface voids in concrete which would otherwise make spray paint very difficult to remove or obscure.

* Research has shown that graffiti artists are less likely to attack public spaces which look like they are cared for. Large areas of color wash, especially if accompanied by signs of articulation such as the use of a different color for detail elements like railings, bridge girders, or moldings, can send the message to graffiti artists that the surfaces so treated are features of public art, and thus discourage them from tagging them with spray paint.

* When used sensitively, color washes can restore a sense of unity to visually disparate elements which nevertheless have a similar engineering function. TxDOT occasionally uses a common red color wash in an overall tan scheme for both steel and concrete structural members to establish visual unity when a direct connector (in a stack, e.g.) begins and ends with precast concrete girder units but has steel plate or steel box girders for the curved central section. The result is often more visually pleasing than the alternative of leaving the precast girders white and using Cor-Ten for the steel elements, which rusts to a dark brown finish and can leave ugly dark brown trails on gray elements like piers unless drainage is very carefully detailed.
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