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Old March 4th, 2010, 04:32 AM   #5381
I-275westcoastfl
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Wrong many cities in the US need a few more 10 lane highways the problem obviously is lack of mass transit but some cities lack highways.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 05:42 AM   #5382
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Signage works just fine , you Europeans seem to want us to be like you, in some aspects yes. But Freeways is are dept.
There's nothing really bad about the current FHWA signage, but I do prefer blue backgrounds. It's much more legible.

Sea-Tac airport has white-on-blue signs with clearview font and it is extremely easy to read. The green blends in too much with local surrounding trees and greenery.

Here're a few pictures:

White-on-blue at Sea-Tac airport



Standard FHWA white-on-green next to Sea-Tac airport white-on-blue

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Old March 4th, 2010, 06:27 AM   #5383
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There's nothing really bad about the current FHWA signage, but I do prefer blue backgrounds. It's much more legible.
No , thats not what i mean't some European on this forum complain about our highway standards, there just fine if you ask me. But then again Europeans complain about everything we do , apparently 160,000 people on one Subway line isn't enough they want at least 300,000 or more. Or our highways are too narrow or wide so we should fellow there standards and some Europeans on this forum don't want our country to have Balanced Rail and Transit networks , they want us to pave over neighborhoods.





I'm done ranting for now ....ugh.........
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Old March 4th, 2010, 06:36 AM   #5384
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Now that's a a real man's interchange:




Last edited by Paddington; March 4th, 2010 at 01:37 PM.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 06:52 AM   #5385
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No , thats not what i mean't some European on this forum complain about our highway standards, there just fine if you ask me. But then again Europeans complain about everything we do , apparently 160,000 people on one Subway line isn't enough they want at least 300,000 or more. Or our highways are too narrow or wide so we should fellow there standards and some Europeans on this forum don't want our country to have Balanced Rail and Transit networks , they want us to pave over neighborhoods.

I'm done ranting for now ....ugh.........
Oh I get what you're saying. Although I would appreciate distance markings, like on the Autobahn that counts down how many meters left until an exit. I also like the posts every 50m. Otherwise, American signange is very clear, although a bit text-heavy.

In many ways, I would say European highways are superior. There is more consistent grading, more consistent superelevation, more detailed signage, and much more efficient use of space. But I'll also say that most U.S. highways are old and undermaintained. The attention to detail and the expectation for quality just hasn't caught up.

But until the American people start raising their expectations for quality pavement, routine maintenance, and precise roadway geometry, we'll always be stuck with the moon-craters we see today.

And I'm a huge transit advocate. I would prefer to take as many people off the roads to relieve the strain on our roads.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #5386
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Well it depends of course the older highways are not great because they are OLD. Older infrastructure is never better than newer infrastructure. The highways I've driven on that were newly built or re-built were all of excellent quality basically all the things you wrote up on the European highway "better list".
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Old March 4th, 2010, 09:58 AM   #5387
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No , thats not what i mean't some European on this forum complain about our highway standards, there just fine if you ask me. But then again Europeans complain about everything we do , apparently 160,000 people on one Subway line isn't enough they want at least 300,000 or more. Or our highways are too narrow or wide so we should fellow there standards and some Europeans on this forum don't want our country to have Balanced Rail and Transit networks , they want us to pave over neighborhoods.

I'm done ranting for now ....ugh.........
I was complaining mostly about maintenance. I love design of your highways with wide median and long straights but they are seriously under-maintained especially in big metropolitan areas like LA or NYC. I drove in both of them an pavement on some stretches of highways looked more like in Ukraine. Cracked concrete which wasn't replaced for something like 50 years. It really looks and feels bad.
On the other hand I really enjoyed driving in rural Utah or Wyoming.

When I wrote about signage I meant use of variable signs. I hardly ever see them in US. Don't you trust them? Why is it not used more often? Like variable speed limits. I don't get why you have permanently low speed limits in many urban areas (as low as 50-55mph). In UK they use variable speed limits so when traffic is heavy limit is lower but during middle of the night you can still go 70mph. Example of that you can see on M25.

I'm also concerned about US bridges after what happened in Minneapolis. And when you look at some of the bridges and viaducts in your country they really look half rotten.

But as I said, all my points are mostly about maintenance not design. You really need higher gas tax to maintain such wast road network. Many parts are reaching their technological life end. Unfortunately it seems that most people in US don't get it. They want ludicrously cheap fuel to be able to drive over sized SUVs and don't give a damn about roads.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #5388
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When I wrote about signage I meant use of variable signs. I hardly ever see them in US. Don't you trust them? Why is it not used more often?
VMS are actually used fairly extensively in some states.

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Like variable speed limits. I don't get why you have permanently low speed limits in many urban areas (as low as 50-55mph).
In order to improve access to central business districts, we typically routed Interstates through cities when we were building the network. As a result, these lengths of urban Interstate tend to have fairly low design speeds and thus typically receive lower speed limits. This has not been done to nearly the same extent in Europe but when motorways do enter densely built-up areas, they too receive lower speed limits (the M4 in central London has a 50 limit and 50 limits are very common on British urban motorways built as what is called "principal road motorway"--i.e. maintained by a local authority rather than a trunk roads agency).

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In UK they use variable speed limits so when traffic is heavy limit is lower but during middle of the night you can still go 70mph. Example of that you can see on M25.
The M25 is safe for a 70 rural limit when not congested, because it was built to rural motorway standards.

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I'm also concerned about US bridges after what happened in Minneapolis. And when you look at some of the bridges and viaducts in your country they really look half rotten.
Yes, this is a problem which needs attention and is being addressed as funds become available. The US has tended to go for deck truss bridges for long valley crossings, rather than the prestressed concrete segmental bridges which were preferred in Europe from an earlier date. Quite a few deck truss bridges are being replaced by precast concrete segmental bridges and no new ones are being built, so progress is being made.

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But as I said, all my points are mostly about maintenance not design. You really need higher gas tax to maintain such wast road network. Many parts are reaching their technological life end. Unfortunately it seems that most people in US don't get it. They want ludicrously cheap fuel to be able to drive over sized SUVs and don't give a damn about roads.
I agree the gas tax is too low. I have suggested in a number of forums that it should be tripled in order to meet outstanding needs for rehabilitation and reconstruction and to finance a comprehensive, and ongoing, program of capital improvement to accommodate traffic growth. However, American politicians tend to regard the gas tax as a "third rail" and so increases in the gas tax tend to be very spotty.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #5389
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Corridor X (Future I-22) heading west. This portion is opened to local traffic only.













The proposed interchange with I-65 would be about 1 mile beyond that overpass

Downtown Birmingham is about 7-10 miles from here
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Old March 4th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #5390
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Awesome video from Freewayjim of I-20 through Birmingham, Alabama. Better watch it on full res on the Youtube site.



Freewayjim surely offers one of the best in road movies on Youtube. If you like them, be sure to also check out the videos of FreewayBrent (all over North America) and ScrewdUPClickV2 (mainly Texas).
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Old March 4th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #5391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
I was complaining mostly about maintenance. I love design of your highways with wide median and long straights but they are seriously under-maintained especially in big metropolitan areas like LA or NYC. I drove in both of them an pavement on some stretches of highways looked more like in Ukraine. Cracked concrete which wasn't replaced for something like 50 years. It really looks and feels bad.
On the other hand I really enjoyed driving in rural Utah or Wyoming.

When I wrote about signage I meant use of variable signs. I hardly ever see them in US. Don't you trust them? Why is it not used more often? Like variable speed limits. I don't get why you have permanently low speed limits in many urban areas (as low as 50-55mph). In UK they use variable speed limits so when traffic is heavy limit is lower but during middle of the night you can still go 70mph. Example of that you can see on M25.

I'm also concerned about US bridges after what happened in Minneapolis. And when you look at some of the bridges and viaducts in your country they really look half rotten.

But as I said, all my points are mostly about maintenance not design. You really need higher gas tax to maintain such wast road network. Many parts are reaching their technological life end. Unfortunately it seems that most people in US don't get it. They want ludicrously cheap fuel to be able to drive over sized SUVs and don't give a damn about roads.




It's coming! http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/smarterhighways/

The pavement is still crap, but at least the technology's improving. That section of I-5 is around 40 years old. Reconstruction won't happen until 2017.
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Old March 4th, 2010, 10:41 PM   #5392
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Washington State seems to be leading with traffic management.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #5393
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Speed limit 75mph in urban areas, 85 in rural areas....that's what I call traffic management.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 03:02 AM   #5394
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Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post




It's coming! http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/smarterhighways/

The pavement is still crap, but at least the technology's improving. That section of I-5 is around 40 years old. Reconstruction won't happen until 2017.
Good to know that technology is coming. Still, I hope it will be used much more widely. It is probably one of the easiest way of improving capacity and safety.
Pavement has 40 years, so it means that by the time of reconstruction it will have about 50. Wow that quite a lot. Such old pavements in Europe you can see probably only in eastern Europe (in Poland we had 80 years old pavement for a while but even there we modernize road network quite rapidly.
I think US did great job building interstate highways system but then sort of left it alone hoping it will last forever without spending money on it.
It is shame because I love driving it, so I hope it will be properly maintained
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Old March 5th, 2010, 05:58 PM   #5395
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Wrong many cities in the US need a few more 10 lane highways the problem obviously is lack of mass transit but some cities lack highways.
No city in the world needs them. London doesn't have any highways running thru the middle, just the M25 around it and a few 2x2 A roads in the middle. Inner-city 10 lane highways are equivalent to commuter railways. Just take out the cars and the asphalt, and replace it with rails and 4 trains per hour, you get the same type of thing, just better for the environment.

I'm not saying huge highways are bad, but in a lot of cases they are not needed. They were just built instead of mass-transit.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 06:17 PM   #5396
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Just take out the cars and the asphalt, and replace it with rails and 4 trains per hour, you get the same type of thing, just better for the environment.
Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Those cars are still there, but they use other roads, often residential roads, or other streets that were not intended or designed for that kind of usage.

Freeways drain large areas. If you remove the freeway, or don't build them, traffic will use the existing streets, not one street, but many streets. 7 or 8 main roads with one lane each way can carry as much traffic as 8 lane freeways. Only you have a lowered traffic safety and increased emissions because such streets carry traffic at a much lower level of service and fuel efficiency than freeways. So it's not better for the environment at all.

I really don't get why people like it so much to force people into mass transit. If you build two networks inside one city, a mass transit one and a freeway one, which one would be overloaded by it's own success? The freeway. Because personal transport offers a flexibility, efficiency, comfort and personal space mass transit will never offer.

Do you know which cities in the US tops the list of commute times? Not Los Angeles or Houston, but mass transit cities New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. Mass transit is efficient in a collective point of view, but not for the individual traveler which makes up the transit ridership.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #5397
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Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Those cars are still there, but they use other roads, often residential roads, or other streets that were not intended or designed for that kind of usage.

If you remove the freeway, or don't build them, traffic will use the existing streets, not one street

I really don't get why people like it so much to force people into mass transit. If you build two networks inside one city, a mass transit one and a freeway one, which one would be overloaded by it's own success? .
The cars are only there as there isn't any other way to travel. It cities such as New York loads of people don't even own cars. In London its much better to do with out a car. I have friends that live in central London and I never take a car there, and most of them don't even own a car, but just rent when they leave the city!

The car traffic will only remain there if driving is the only good way to go. Outside the big North Eastern cities in the US driving is the easiest way to get around, this is because rather than building mass transit lines, they built expressways etc, this was ok at the time, but now that concept is getting dated with gas prices going up and co2 emotions and the only way to increase capacity is to make the roads bigger and bigger.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #5398
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CO2 emissions are close to irrelevant in urban mobility policies. CO2 emissions by traffic are, at best, between 3 and 10% of the urban CO2 emissions. For example, the city of Rotterdam, which has freeways between 100,000 to 250,000 AADT around the city, has a road traffic CO2 emission of 3.8% of the overall urban CO2 emissions. Building or widening a freeway, and generate somewhat more road traffic has such a small increase in CO2 emissions it's not even worth mentioning.

Of course, traffic emit more than just CO2, but pollutants of PM10 and NOx are guarded by strict regulations. However, the road traffic share in those concentrations are also not very relevant, for example road traffic in the Netherlands adds 4% of total PM10 (particle) concentrations. Limits are only exceeded on a few spots, and is mainly caused by non-local background concentrations.
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Old March 5th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #5399
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No city in the world needs them. London doesn't have any highways running thru the middle, just the M25 around it and a few 2x2 A roads in the middle. Inner-city 10 lane highways are equivalent to commuter railways. Just take out the cars and the asphalt, and replace it with rails and 4 trains per hour, you get the same type of thing, just better for the environment.

I'm not saying huge highways are bad, but in a lot of cases they are not needed. They were just built instead of mass-transit.
Well, then you will have Moscow.



Moscow (as in 'Russia') is a reeeeeally big city (as big as or bigger than all of Chicagoland in population) with oodles and oodles of cars - and only the barest of road and street networks to carry them all - this in addition to their World-class subway system. I challenge you to check some of the Google earth images of Moscow and see the unGodly-wide streets with mind-blowing intersections that carry that traffic. I'll betcha that MANY Muscovites would very much like for a cohesive network of eight and ten-lane freeways to be developed in their city!

Mike
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Old March 5th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #5400
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Well, then you will have Moscow.



Moscow (as in 'Russia') is a reeeeeally big city (as big as or bigger than all of Chicagoland in population) with oodles and oodles of cars - and only the barest of road and street networks to carry them all - this in addition to their World-class subway system. I challenge you to check some of the Google earth images of Moscow and see the unGodly-wide streets with mind-blowing intersections that carry that traffic. I'll betcha that MANY Muscovites would very much like for a cohesive network of eight and ten-lane freeways to be developed in their city!

Mike
I know that as I used to live in Moscow. The like I said before, the cars are there because the roads are there. It is a pretty exceptional example tho. Driving in Moscow was never very easy due to the traffic, which is why I used to take the metro to most places. But the thing is with Moscow is that the roads weren't built because they were needed. Some of the roads such as I think its the Nov. Arbat where built as easy access to the country side. And others, like in Paris for ceremonial reasons etc, they just filled with cars later...This is the main difference with the US's freeways which were built specially for all the cars used in suburban areas...
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