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Old April 14th, 2007, 09:42 PM   #661
Minato ku
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1491 View Post
Traffic near larger US cities are significant higher than their European counterparts, however, European motorways are often overcrowded and mostly not wider dan 2x4 lanes, while 12 or more lanes is common in US cities.
Exactly that I said, the traffic in europe is not less important,

For me 100,000 cars for 4 lanes in Europe, this is 25,000 cars per lane.
and 300,000 cars for 12 lanes in USA, this 25,000 cars per lane.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #662
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I've lived on both coasts, the center of the country, driven completely across it more than 10 times on most routes north and south, and all I can say like many others before is IT VARIES.

Maryland had excellently maintained roads, they were just horribly over crowded (anyone driven on the beltway or I-95 during rush hour in DC?). The pavement was pretty smooth, no big cracks or anything, but just far too many people. Take a quick drive north to PA, and your car immediately dives into a pothole. I used to joke that i could FEEL the border between the two states on I-70, just because the roads turned to crap so quickly. I think PA is actually famous (or infamous, however you want to call it) for it.

Colorado's roads were interesting in that there were a lot of mountain passes, and freeways through canyons etc. I-70 through Glennwood Canyon was a very interesting drive. All roads seemed to be well maintained, but the pavement was maybe a little rough.

In Seattle, my car has developed so many rattles and squeaks just from being shaken to death on the crappy roads and highways through the city. But then you get just a few miles north to the Lynnwood and Everett area, and its like you've gone deaf from how quiet the road is. They just finished a large paving project, and the road runs great now.

I know Seattle is in for a big mess this august because they are CLOSING I-5 North just south of downtown for up to a month to fix failing bridge joints. Its the first time I've ever seen a city agency actually recommend taking a vacation for that month (yes, they are actually asking people to get the eff out of the city).

But yes, it all comes down to state priorities.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #663
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Yeah borders...

here is the Dutch border with Belgium in the extreme south of NL:

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Old April 15th, 2007, 12:04 PM   #664
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I'm curious to see what effect light rail will have on traffic. It itself will basically become a main north south route, and once the UW link is complete, thats 70,000 fewer drivers on either I-5 or 99.

Also, I don't get the whole traffic apocalypse theory of taking out the viaduct, and why everyone assumes it needs to be replaced with a 50 mph freeway. It's 1 mile long.... time to travel 1 mile at 50mph: 1.2 min, at 35 mph: 1.7 min. Maybe add 5 minutes for waiting at signals? your "commute" just went from 1.2 minutes to 6.7 minutes... oh drat... thats 5.5 minutes of my life I want back. I'm not saying it will be perfect, but I think a little inconvenience is worth getting that ugly piece of crap off the waterfront.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #665
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Based on the lighting I assume that the photographer was in Belgium?

I also believe Belgian roads vary based on the region they're in; i.e. Flanders, etc.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 04:21 PM   #666
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Based on the lighting I assume that the photographer was in Belgium?

I also believe Belgian roads vary based on the region they're in; i.e. Flanders, etc.
Yes it's in Belgium, those guys have some kind of a light fetisj or something

Well, until recently, almost every Belgian road was just crap. No wonder; they'd build a road in the sixties/seventies and never looked back at it in maintenance.

Well, that is starting to change. Specially in the Wallonie region in the south, major parts of the E25 and E411 are being repaved, or better said; completely rebuild (imagine how bad those roads were), but there are still some horrible motorways leftover.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #667
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Interesting.
There are some very good looking photos of Belgian roads here:

http://europe.aaroads.com/belgium/index.htm

It looks like their signage standards, while certainly OK, are not quite up to Dutch standards and will also change based on when they were installed or, again, what region is putting them up.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #668
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Those pictures on that site are actually from the better Belgium roads. For instance the E313, E314, E34, E42 are in much worse conditions. When you drive it, it sounds like your car is about to take off.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 07:23 PM   #669
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Maybe they should divert some of the funds from the overhead lighting to pavement maintenance.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 07:59 PM   #670
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Quote:
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Maybe they should divert some of the funds from the overhead lighting to pavement maintenance.
Very true I remember a significant difference when I entered Belgium from Germany. The roads were not as smooth and the signage was not as clear as German ones, but lighting was unbelievable.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 08:00 PM   #671
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Their lightning power comes from power that is leftover at nuclear power stations.
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Old April 15th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #672
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Belgium motorways are know for their bad quality.
The worst in western europe
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Old April 15th, 2007, 11:30 PM   #673
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Well, I've never advocated rebuilding the viaduct "just for the views"...Views are a bonus from highway design, but shouldn't be a justification for highway design.

I believe Seattle needs to improve its north-south corridors, both with I-5 and the waterfront. Anyone familiar with I-5 through Seattle knows that about 80% of the time it is a bottleneck. There needs to be a total redesign there, but unfortunately, other projects (520, and the Viaduct), have priority. I believe that shutting down the viaduct (either temporarily or permanently) will just divert more traffic to an already clogged I-5. What is truely needed is an expanded I-5, (with fewer lane endings/restrictions, etc.), combined with an expanded Viaduct-99, frankly tunnel or elevated doesn't matter to me (although the cost will be higher with tunnel). Bottom line is you need these N-S routes in a very narrow land-mass.
I agree with you about I-5. Unfortunately, if we thought replacing the viaduct was expensive, a total redesign of I-5 would be even more so. I have absolutely no experience in financing highway projects, so this is just a random ballpark figure, but 8 billion seems about right to me for something of that scale.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 01:42 AM   #674
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I agree with you about I-5. Unfortunately, if we thought replacing the viaduct was expensive, a total redesign of I-5 would be even more so. I have absolutely no experience in financing highway projects, so this is just a random ballpark figure, but 8 billion seems about right to me for something of that scale.
I'm not sure either, but to do it right will be expensive. In my opinion I-5 needs to be rebuilt from 520 south to Dearborn, starting with a new flyover from 520 to the right side of I-5. It would probably make sense to do a SB flyover to 520 at the same time. The I-90 exit needs to be simplified, and NB needs more lanes through downtown. Doubt this this will happen in the next decade or two...perhaps someday.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 04:56 AM   #675
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The problem with road maintanence and construction here in the USofA is, in my opinion, mostly due to the fact that when taxing fuel was first used as a main source of roadbuilding money, it was never set up to easily respond to inflation. It was set as a straight volume based tax, not a percentage of the price based tax. As inflation happens, proposals to adjust it to keep pace are very unpopular and a favorite target of politicians. The USA's federal fuel tax has not been adjusted since the late 1980s and now has less than half of the real-world buying power that it had when it was last set.

The situation is just as bad, if not worse, in most states.

As for the reason why Belgium has lights on all of their motorways, the best explanation that I have heard is that the country did a study on safety and found that the cost of lighting was less than the cost of crashes that could occur without them. YMMV.

Mike
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 06:27 AM   #676
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I guess if a country is relatively small, has a high population density and extensive motorway network - then it makes sense to install continuous lighting on every kilometre of the motorway.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 08:24 AM   #677
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Thank god we didn´t do that in The Netherlands. There is enough light pollution here at night.

There aren´t already places where you can´t see city lights at night, since there are hardly any places more than 20-30km away from a larger city.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 05:06 PM   #678
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Quote:
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I guess if a country is relatively small, has a high population density and extensive motorway network - then it makes sense to install continuous lighting on every kilometre of the motorway.
Yeah, imagine if you put lights up on I-94 from Fargo to Billings. That stretch basically just has one urban area of 90,000, and covers almost 1,000 KM's. What a waste of electricity!
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 05:21 PM   #679
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The problem with road maintanence and construction here in the USofA is, in my opinion, mostly due to the fact that when taxing fuel was first used as a main source of roadbuilding money, it was never set up to easily respond to inflation. It was set as a straight volume based tax, not a percentage of the price based tax. As inflation happens, proposals to adjust it to keep pace are very unpopular and a favorite target of politicians. The USA's federal fuel tax has not been adjusted since the late 1980s and now has less than half of the real-world buying power that it had when it was last set.

The situation is just as bad, if not worse, in most states.

As for the reason why Belgium has lights on all of their motorways, the best explanation that I have heard is that the country did a study on safety and found that the cost of lighting was less than the cost of crashes that could occur without them. YMMV.

Mike
Not necessarily as I found roads / highways in Minnesota were better than in Illinois! I think a lot of it has to do with big internal corruption that is there in the bureaucracy of big cities.
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Old April 23rd, 2007, 11:06 PM   #680
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Thank god we didn´t do that in The Netherlands. There is enough light pollution here at night.

There aren´t already places where you can´t see city lights at night, since there are hardly any places more than 20-30km away from a larger city.
I thank my mum and dad for living in a country where I can see the stars .
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