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Old December 17th, 2011, 04:08 AM   #7661
Tom 958
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
To return to the I-185 in Greenville, SC discussion earlier this page.

It looks like the toll road is not really a success. Only 10,000 - 15,000 vehicles use it on a daily basis and apparently the toll road operator defaulted in 2010.
I suspect that there are two reasons why I-185 was built:

1. South Carolina is a very right wing state, and apparently quite a few people there believe (or pretend to believe) that "markets" can perform miracles.

2. The real estate developers who wanted the project assumed that once the operator defaulted, the state would give up on collecting tolls and they'd get the free, controlled access road that they needed to open their land to development.

At this point, there's surely enough "I said I-185 would be a boondoggle!" sentiment to keep tolls from being lifted even though it'd make sense to do so. The political price for admitting to such an obvious mistake would be too high, so they pretend that no mistake was made.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 11:44 AM   #7662
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
Overall Georgia is not a fan of tollroads, not surprised.
I'm not a fan of them either, but with tax income as low as it is (hardly enough to do regular maintenance) I don't really see another option. So now the toll people make their move to cash in on the traffic problems.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 07:25 PM   #7663
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I'm not a fan of them either, but with tax income as low as it is (hardly enough to do regular maintenance) I don't really see another option. So now the toll people make their move to cash in on the traffic problems.
Being from the Tampa/St. Petersburg metropolitan area where toll roads and bridges are our way of life, we're used to paying tolls rather than see our property taxes or our sales taxes go up. However, in the Jacksonville, FL metropolitan area their toll road and bridge system was mired in controversy.

Jacksonville has four major bridges, all that used to be tolled. The tolled bridges were the Mathews Bridge, the Hart Bridge, the Trout River Bridge carrying Interstate 95 and the Fuller Warren Bridge which carries Interstate 95 over the St. Johns River (just south of Interstate 10). The Fuller Warren Bridge was one of the many drawbridges that were on the interstate highway system.

Tolls are indeed the way to help keep taxes (such as property taxes or sales taxes) down. However, in the Jacksonville area their toll facilities from what I understand were rampant with fraud and theft; it got so out of control that in a November 1988 referendum the voters of the Jacksonville area approved a half-cent sales tax increase to remove the tolls.

However, tolls in the Jacksonville area are making a comeback somehow: Construction of the new First Coast Outer Beltway which will provide a tolled alternative to Interstate 295 between Interstates 10 and 95. The new toll highway will be located outside the Interstate 295 loop.

Unfortunately, with a shattered economy and property tax revenues dwindling due to lowered house values (not to mention homestead exemption), and strong voter opposition to any increase in sales taxes today, tolls are indeed the way to go. Besides, toll collection is cheaper thanks to technological advances such as SunPass in Florida and the recent conversion of several Florida toll roads from manual toll collection to all electronic toll collection such as the recent conversion of the Selmon Crosstown Expressway (FL Toll 618) in Tampa from a manual system to fully all electronic toll collection.

Link to an article on Jacksonville's First Coast Outer Beltway over at Toll Roads News.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 04:03 PM   #7664
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Florida's Sun Pass thing is sweet. You can zoom through it at 70 mph.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #7665
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Blue Route (I-476)

Pennsylvania's Blue Route turns 20 years old today...

Opened 20 years ago today, on Dec. 19, 1991, the Blue Route completed a high-speed highway network surrounding a Philadelphia that never had a real beltway.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20...lue_Route.html

[IMG]image hosted on flickr
blue-1 by williammead5, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old December 19th, 2011, 06:51 PM   #7666
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Some roadvideos while I stayed in the US.

http://youtu.be/Z9p93E-iWOQ

http://youtu.be/BuV2Tf5BQ_w

http://youtu.be/-LFBMPSL-H0
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Old December 19th, 2011, 06:59 PM   #7667
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Philadelphia probably has the most undersized freeway / expressway network of any major U.S. city, though Las Vegas is pretty bad too.

Talking of highway history, I can't imagine what traffic was in Chicago before 1950. Their first expressway opened in 1950. Chicago had 3.6 million inhabitants at that time.
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Old December 19th, 2011, 08:50 PM   #7668
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Philadelphia probably has the most undersized freeway / expressway network of any major U.S. city, though Las Vegas is pretty bad too.
95 isn't too bad but a good chunk of 76 and 476 are only four lane highways. The Pennsylvania Turnpike was recently expanded to six for several miles near Philadelphia but remains 2x2 along much of its route. And as you saw in this article I posted many of the suburbs had no motorway at all up until 20 years ago.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 12:03 AM   #7669
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I love that the Austin area and Texas in general are getting higher speed limits. I've never seen speed limits at 70+ so far into an urban area before. The tollway 45 just north of Austin now has a speed limit of 75, a speed limit I've only expected to see out in the middle of nowhere.


Speed limits going up on area highways

Full article:
http://www.statesman.com/news/local/...s-2040146.html

Quote:
Signs with an unfamiliar message "speed limit 75" have been showing up on major Central Texas roads this fall, the result of a change in state law earlier in the year. And limits on Interstate 35 through Austin, now 55 mph to 70 mph, likewise will be inching up 5 to 10 mph in many sections during the next week or so.

The local changes are probably a harbinger of higher speed limits statewide. Texas Department of Transportation officials have embarked on a $7.5 million program of highway traffic studies around the state on roads with 70-mph limits, a required step for raising the limits to 75 mph. Between now and January 2013, TxDOT plans to conduct 3,600 such studies to identify the "85th percentile" speed, meaning that for every 100 passing cars, 85 are at or below that speed.

The new limit is then set near that speed on a number ending in 0 or 5, and not higher than 75.

Changing the signs on up to 50,000 miles of highway will carry a cost that will be contingent on the number of speed limit changes. The new law also eliminated lower night and truck-only speed limits.

The official analysis last spring of House Bill 1353, which allowed the higher speed limits when it became law, showed "no significant fiscal implication" for state government by raising the legal speeds.

It remains unclear just what the higher numbers on those black-and-white signs will mean to driver behavior and safety.

TxDOT officials say that, by and large, actual highway speeds won't increase because the overwhelming majority of drivers tend to stay at a prudent pace based on the design of the road and the topography surrounding it. In other words, if 85 percent of motorists are currently driving 75 mph or slower on a road posted for 70, increasing the legal maximum to 75 mph won't mean that most drivers will reflexively begin going 80. ...
Map:

[IMG]http://i43.************/jg2l38.jpg[/IMG]
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Old December 20th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #7670
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Detroit has a lot of 70 mph expressways.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 07:10 PM   #7671
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As someone who lives in LA, I always thought The OC had nice freeways.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 07:48 PM   #7672
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
Detroit has a lot of 70 mph expressways.
That's good. It seems like a lot of cities in the U.S. put ridiculously low speed limits on freeways in urban areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soup or man View Post
As someone who lives in LA, I always thought The OC had nice freeways.
Nice video..

Last edited by FM 2258; December 20th, 2011 at 07:58 PM.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 09:31 PM   #7673
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Construction of the I-40 Crosstown replacement in Oklahoma City continues. Partial traffic flow is to be transferred onto the new I-40, located several blocks south of the current I-40 bridge structure, in January 2012. Complete transfer should occur 4-6 weeks thereafter.

Courtesy of SEEiYah on OKCTALK.

























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Last edited by Classof2010; December 21st, 2011 at 12:00 AM.
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Old December 21st, 2011, 07:53 AM   #7674
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Awesome shots!
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Old December 21st, 2011, 07:54 AM   #7675
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LA 110 at the 105

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[email protected] by The Chris Valle, on Flickr
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Old December 21st, 2011, 02:20 PM   #7676
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I-70 New Mississippi River Bridge

Photos from December 2011:

image hosted on flickr

2011-12-01-mrbtower-07 by missriverbridge_photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

2011-12-01-mrbtower-90 by missriverbridge_photos, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

2011-12-01-mrbtower-45 by missriverbridge_photos, on Flickr
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 02:21 AM   #7677
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
I love that the Austin area and Texas in general are getting higher speed limits. I've never seen speed limits at 70+ so far into an urban area before. The tollway 45 just north of Austin now has a speed limit of 75, a speed limit I've only expected to see out in the middle of nowhere.


Speed limits going up on area highways

Full article:
http://www.statesman.com/news/local/...s-2040146.html



Map:

[IMG]http://i43.************/jg2l38.jpg[/IMG]
So it will be
A: 120 km/h
B: 120 km/h
C: 110 km/h
D: 110 km/h
E: 95 km/h
F: 95 km/h
G: 95 km/h
H: 110 km/h



It is not too much. in europe almost every motorway has a speed limit of 130 km/h
In Iran 95 km/h is the speed limit for undevided non-motorway rural roads!
Why don't they increase the limit to a more logical value??
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 02:28 AM   #7678
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nima-Farid View Post
It is not too much. in europe almost every motorway has a speed limit of 130 km/h
In Iran 95 km/h is the speed limit for undevided non-motorway rural roads!
Why don't they increase the limit to a more logical value??
Can you read other posts more carefully? The main point was that these limits were raised in urban areas. Can you name many urban motorways where the speed limit is 120 km/h?
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 02:54 AM   #7679
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America is unique whereby a left shoulder lane is standard on any new Highway, is this correct? If so, it's good planning. Here in Europe, many new Highways rarely have a left shoulder lane (except the 'Superhighways').
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Old December 23rd, 2011, 03:10 AM   #7680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
That's good. It seems like a lot of cities in the U.S. put ridiculously low speed limits on freeways in urban areas.
Luckily they are pretty much ignored by most people, I always have to laugh when driving through Atlanta with a 55mph speed limit everybody is doing 80+mph.
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