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Old April 9th, 2010, 03:12 AM   #5601
I-275westcoastfl
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Not to mention, many modern cars are designed to run most efficiently at 70-80 miles an hour. German especially.
It's more like 60-70 after that your gas mileage declines but common sense would have it that except maybe at highly congested areas the speed limit should be at least 60mph or about 100km/h as that is reasonable and efficient highway speed.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 07:38 AM   #5602
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It's more like 60-70 after that your gas mileage declines but common sense would have it that except maybe at highly congested areas the speed limit should be at least 60mph or about 100km/h as that is reasonable and efficient highway speed.
I guess different cars have different transmission setups. I can imagine that 8-speed transmissions on some BMWs can run extremely efficiently at 80 mph. My car has a CVT and it gets about the roughly the same mileage between 65 and 75.

Wish I had a diesel engine though.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 03:53 PM   #5603
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The Federal speed limit was 55 mph since the 1970s because it was meant to save gas (implemented by Jimmy Carter during the gasoline rationing). It was kept around because slower speeds are safer (which is true, but 45 mph is even safer, 25 mph is safer than that, 10 mph is safer than that, etc). States have been increasing speed limits where research has shown that there is not much of a decrease in safety when speeds are increased. Plus, people drive over 55 mph anyway, and research shows that people will usually do about 75 mph even if you don't give them a speed limit, so increasing the speed limit picks up the pace in the slower people and creates a more continuous flow of traffic.
You sure it wasn't Nixon or Ford, rather than Carter? My memory (I was a child at the time) is that the embargo and rationing were in 1973, and I thought that the national speed limit (which I agree was absurd) started about then.
PS and off topic - how 'bout that new batting order!
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Old April 9th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #5604
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imo it would be better if individual states harmonized speed limits, like a fixed 60 mph in urban areas, and 75 or 80 mph in rural areas. Now every single stretch of freeway can have a different speed limit. Deviation from these limits should only be done by exception (for example on antiquated urban freeways, or semi-rural areas).
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Old April 9th, 2010, 04:43 PM   #5605
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The Federal speed limit was 55 mph since the 1970s because it was meant to save gas (implemented by Jimmy Carter during the gasoline rationing).
The NMSL was indeed introduced to save gasoline, but that was during the oil crisis of 1973, when Nixon was still President (he did not resign until August 1974). So you have Tricky Dick to blame for the double-nickel speed limit, although his successors of both parties had a role in keeping it in place until the option to raise limits to 65 MPH was created in 1987 and the NMSL was abolished altogether in 1995 (by the Republican Congress during Clinton's first term).
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Old April 10th, 2010, 06:40 AM   #5606
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I guess different cars have different transmission setups. I can imagine that 8-speed transmissions on some BMWs can run extremely efficiently at 80 mph. My car has a CVT and it gets about the roughly the same mileage between 65 and 75.

Wish I had a diesel engine though.
True I hate my transmission typical cheap ass 4 speed for American cars built at the time. I can achieve about 29-32mpg+ easily between 60-65 but around 75 I'm at maybe 25-27mpg. I agree I wish I had a diesel but I just can't buy a VW TDI with all the issues those cars have because they are cheaply built in Mexico.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 07:12 AM   #5607
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You sure it wasn't Nixon or Ford, rather than Carter? My memory (I was a child at the time) is that the embargo and rationing were in 1973, and I thought that the national speed limit (which I agree was absurd) started about then.
PS and off topic - how 'bout that new batting order!
It was started under Nixon. Carter tends to get the blame because he was the "era of limits" president.
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Old April 11th, 2010, 09:14 PM   #5608
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i think NYC has some of the worst inner-city highways in the world.. Once you get off the JFK road, and hit the highway towards manhattan and queens, there are literally 1 foot deep potholes...the other day I almost lost my front wheele when hitting a cluster of these potholes after leaving the JFK airport. And its not only one or two per like 2 miles...its literally like 4 dozen potholes, and uneven roads for miles.

Also the city roads are terrible, these insurance companies take so much money and taxes are paid but nothing chances. I can look outside my window and count like 40 potholes, and not to talk about the uneven roads. You drive and then all of a sudden a huge lump appears, the roads are terribly uneven.

The avenue next to mine was reconstructed the other day, 3 months to be exact and they still haven't marked and divided the road. Overall based on the NYC experience and highways I can say that NYC has some of the worst roads in the world. You would expect it to be perfect but its terrible. I lived and went to many places in Europe and they all have better roads then NYC.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 05:51 AM   #5609
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i think NYC has some of the worst inner-city highways in the world.. Once you get off the JFK road, and hit the highway towards manhattan and queens, there are literally 1 foot deep potholes...the other day I almost lost my front wheele when hitting a cluster of these potholes after leaving the JFK airport. And its not only one or two per like 2 miles...its literally like 4 dozen potholes, and uneven roads for miles.

Also the city roads are terrible, these insurance companies take so much money and taxes are paid but nothing chances. I can look outside my window and count like 40 potholes, and not to talk about the uneven roads. You drive and then all of a sudden a huge lump appears, the roads are terribly uneven.

The avenue next to mine was reconstructed the other day, 3 months to be exact and they still haven't marked and divided the road. Overall based on the NYC experience and highways I can say that NYC has some of the worst roads in the world. You would expect it to be perfect but its terrible. I lived and went to many places in Europe and they all have better roads then NYC.
Is it safe to assume that the roads on the east coast are worse than usual due to their hell of a winter this year?
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Old April 12th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #5610
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Is it safe to assume that the roads on the east coast are worse than usual due to their hell of a winter this year?
There worse this year , then this time last year & the bulk of it has to do with the winter weather.
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Old April 12th, 2010, 06:44 PM   #5611
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Pictures from last week of the construction of the future I-99. These pictures are from the section from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to Painted Post, New York.


NORTHBOUND

The most recent section of the future I-99 expressway is complete. This section is between Trout Run and Steam Valley, in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.



Scenery from U.S. Route 15, along much older sections of expressway.





The expressway used to end here when travelling northbound, at the intersection with Pennsylvania Route 287 north of Tioga. The section in the background was opened sometime in late 2008 or early 2009.



The expressway now continues into New York, with completion of the section mentioned above.



Construction of the last section is underway. Currently, traffic exits onto surface streets at Watson Creek Road, south of Lindley, New York.



Working on the new section.



The Town of Lindley, with the last section of the expressway being built on the hillside.



This stretch of the current U.S. Route 15, at the bottom of a steep and rocky hillside, will be bypassed in a couple years.



SOUTHBOUND

The expressway from Painted Post south towards Pennsylvania has always turned into a surface street near Presho, a hamlet in the Town of Lindley, since I was a kid in the 1980s. The surface street now turns back into an expressway at the Green Shingles Inn, at Watson Creek Road in Lindley.



Driving on the new portion of the expressway in between Steam Valley and Trout Run. Last year, this section that the picture was taken from was under construction, and traffic in both directions used the northbound side (one lane for each direction).



A view between the mountains from the new section of expressway.

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Old April 12th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #5612
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Can anyone tell me why there building I-99 , it seems like an utter waste. as opposed to a 2+1 highway. And they should make a toll highway, because PA can't keep building these highways without a way to pay for them.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 04:38 AM   #5613
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Yeah, and it totally destroys the whole sequence. I-99 should be hugging the Atlantic, not in the middle of PA.

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Is it safe to assume that the roads on the east coast are worse than usual due to their hell of a winter this year?
Well, that and the fact that New York has some of the oldest highways in the nation. All grandfathered into the system.

I remember reading once that all of the Interstates in NYC's city limits are below interstate standard except for I-295 in Queens...
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Old April 13th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #5614
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Oh, and Route 15 is a pretty good ride in the areas where it has been improved.

I went down it once when going from Buffalo to DC in 2008. Too bad that they are never planning to turn the part between Williamsport and Harrisburg into a highway AFAIK...although I think it would cost too much and might ruin the nice scenery on it next to the Susquehanna River.

And it could have connected to I-83 in Harrisburg. If that happened, then they just extend I-83 further north into New York so it could take over I-390 so Upstate New York could finally have a direct one Interstate connection to DC-Baltimore! Maybe one day.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 05:53 AM   #5615
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Can anyone tell me why there building I-99 , it seems like an utter waste. as opposed to a 2+1 highway. And they should make a toll highway, because PA can't keep building these highways without a way to pay for them.
Some common reasons cited for building I-99:
- I-99 bypasses the two-lane former US 220, which had a high accident rate when it was the main route from Bedford to State College. The conflict between regional and local traffic was significant and triggered accidents. I-99 was built here both as a relief route and a needed safety improvement.

- I-99 bypasses PA 26 north of State College to I-80, which was operating beyond its capacity and needed relief. State College is a growing college town and there is a notable need for a high-capacity connection to I-80.

- High accident rates are also cited in the freeway gap of US 220 between Williamsport and Jersey Shore. Freeway alternatives have been studied here in the past decade, but there is no funding to design or build them. Some safety improvements have been made to the deadlier intersections instead.

- North of Williamsport, there is no other four-lane highway suitable for heavy truck traffic without going as far east as I-81 or as far west as I-79. Using those highways to safely and quickly travel to destinations that I-99 will serve is a long detour. I-99 filled in a wide void in the freeway system.

Some think I-99 was a poor numbering choice because it fits between I-79 and I-81 and breaks the sequence. It can be argued that the poor numbering choices were due to the lack of foresight in the 1950s that missed that a multi-state north-south freeway would be needed between I-79 and I-81. In fact, three north-south corridors have been studied over the recent decades as possible Interstate highways (US 219, US 220, and US 15/US 111), yet only one number (I-83) had been left to fill in the gap. All three of these corridors are longer than the intended length of 3-digit Interstates.

US 15 between Williamsport and Harrisburg was studied for a possible freeway upgrade that might later have been called I-83. Parts of the corridor were built as freeways (I-180 around Muncy, White Deer Bypass near I-80, Selinsgrove Bypass near US 522, Dauphin bypass near Dauphin). Another part needs to be bypassed by a freeway (Shamokin Dam-Northumberland bypass) but the project currently sits waiting for funding to begin construction, just as it did in the 1970s when funding dried up just after the Selinsgrove bypass was built. Other parts were found to be better served by a lesser four-lane highway because of the great expense and local access problems that a freeway would entail for the terrain along the Susquehanna River. The existing three-lane route from Selinsgrove to US 22/US 322 had inadequate capacity but wasn't upgradable without severing local traffic access. An inland new alignment was too expensive. This is why US 11/US 15 was rebuilt as a compromise: it has four lanes, is mostly divided with partial access control via jughandles, but has zero traffic lights and a 55 mph speed limit. It flows like a four-lane freeway while allowing the small amount of cross traffic (mainly to/from the west) to enter/exit at a relatively small number of intersections.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:38 AM   #5616
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I-99 was given its number by Federal law under its pet project creator, Bud Shuster, who represented the area. It is not allowed to have any other number, regardless of where it fits in the numbering system. It's pretty egotistical, but oh well.

Some sort of semi-limited access highway, like the continuation of U.S. Route 15 from Williamsport south towards Harrisburg (I-99 north of Williamsport is also Route 15), probably could've worked. the stretches of road that were divided but more winding worked well when I used them. But, I'll still welcome the improvements.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:50 AM   #5617
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By the way, Route 15 between Selinsgrove and Duncannon was upgraded to semi-limited access about 10 years ago. I think it's safe to say that an expressway won't be built along this particular route more a long time.

U.S. 322 near Dauphin and Fishing Creek was upgraded even more recently, maybe 6 or 7 years ago. Some of it was two-lane roads before upgrading. Much of the divided highway on that stretch has been around since the 1980s, when I first remember riding on it.

I wonder if the expressway that ends in a farm field at Selinsgrove will ever get built. According to Wikipedia, it is supposed to be a bypass around Shamokin Dam, Selinsgrove, Lewisburg, and that "mini-metro". A new expressway section would connect with the current route at Winfield (people familiar with this highway or area will know it as the only traffic light for a few miles in each direction, disrupting your progress, and also where there's the strange merge-from-the-left-after-getting-a-green-light for cars heading north on Route 15 from Route 304).

But, back to I-99...
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Old April 14th, 2010, 08:53 AM   #5618
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Whoohoo! It's almost here! It's quite funny that our signs are being built in Croatia.





New freeway signs will razzle, dazzle, and save you time

SEATTLE -- Drivers are about to get an eye-full driving up Interstate 5 in Seattle as $20 million in new electronic signs will start going up this weekend.

They razzle and dazzle and are supposed to save you time.

"It's patterned after European experience they refer to as 'active traffic management,' " said Ten Trepanier with the Department of Transportation.

Signs on northbound I-5 starting at the Boeing Access Road will guide drivers into downtown.

"With these signs, we can let people know when there is lane closures more effectively," said Patty Rubstello with DOT. "(And) which lane is actually closed, which lane they need to merge into."

The signs are 7 feet tall and when the project is complete, there will be nearly 100 of them.

The signs are made by a company from Croatia and the type of technology is already used all over Europe.

The project is costing $20 million, but it's paid for with federal dollars to ease congestion when the Alaskan Way Viaduct is eventually torn down.

"We are expecting about 6,000 more trips a day using I-5 and we think these signs will help," Rubstello said.

But to install the signs, I-5 will have to be shut down at times over the next 3 weekends.

The first closure comes Friday night from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Then Saturday night from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday morning. When the system goes online, drivers will get updates every half mile.

But is that too much information for drivers at freeway speed? The DOT says no.

"Very easily understood messages, Trepanier said. "Speed limit, or merge, and 'X' for a lane closure."

They hope getting your attention will get you through faster.

The same sign system will be installed on I-90 and SR-520 by the end of next year.

Last edited by HAWC1506; April 14th, 2010 at 09:03 AM.
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Old April 14th, 2010, 09:26 AM   #5619
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You mean to tell me , we don't even have a US Company that can make them.....
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Last edited by ChrisZwolle; April 14th, 2010 at 11:08 AM. Reason: ^don't use the damn quotes if it is not necessary
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Old April 14th, 2010, 09:54 AM   #5620
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You mean to tell me , we don't even have a US Company that can make them.....
Apparently not. It's the first time this system is even being implemented in the U.S., so I'm not surprised that we don't have the expertise.

The same can be said for any sort of rail technology that was developed after the 1950s. Seattle had to purchase their light rail vehicles from Japan, Portland got theirs from Germany, Tacoma got their streetcar from the Czech Republic, and so on...

Our fastest train, the Acela, was built by a Canadian company (Bombardier) borrowing French technology.
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