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Old January 25th, 2012, 06:51 AM   #7741
rakcancer
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Westpark Tollway in Houston.
image hosted on flickr

Purple by jczart, on Flickr

First time see blue signs on US highways. Can someone explain what is going on?
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Old January 25th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #7742
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
It should be noted that very few people use the Westpark tollway (mostly because of it's proximity to free routes and HCTA's stupid policy to only allow those with EZTags to use the road).
The Westpark Tollway caters to traffic the Katy Freeway does not directly cater to, suburban east-west traffic. It's a good 5 miles south of the Katy Freeway and is a much more direct route to especially Midtown, but also Downtown if coming from the Cinco Ranch area and other suburban areas along the tollway.

All-electronic tolling is the way to go on toll roads that see little out-of-region traffic, i.e. mainly suburban toll roads. The cost of manually collecting tolls is just too high. Besides that, there is still the possibility to use ZipCash if you don't use the toll roads enough to get an EZ TAG.

An advantage of all-electronic tolling is that you don't need to reduce the number of interchanges because of manual toll collection. It can operate just like any freeway, providing much better access to the road. Classic toll roads typically have much fewer exits, making them only interesting to long-distance traffic. Managed lanes like on the Katy Freeway also have this problem.

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Originally Posted by rakcancer View Post
First time see blue signs on US highways. Can someone explain what is going on?
This is a purple sign to indicate toll roads. I believe it's now in the MUTCD too. It's a good way to indicate toll roads, even though purple may not seem like the most logical color, its contrast is pretty good.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 06:19 PM   #7743
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
It should be noted that very few people use the Westpark tollway (mostly because of it's proximity to free routes and HCTA's stupid policy to only allow those with EZTags to use the road).

Anyways here is a video of the Long Island Expressway.
good video ; trafic seems to move slowly : is the 55 mph speed limit strictly enforced?
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Old January 25th, 2012, 11:00 PM   #7744
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This is the most epic road widening project ever; I-35W in Forth Worth will be widened from 4 to 16 lanes.

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Old January 26th, 2012, 12:24 AM   #7745
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The Westpark Tollway caters to traffic the Katy Freeway does not directly cater to, suburban east-west traffic. It's a good 5 miles south of the Katy Freeway and is a much more direct route to especially Midtown, but also Downtown if coming from the Cinco Ranch area and other suburban areas along the tollway.

All-electronic tolling is the way to go on toll roads that see little out-of-region traffic, i.e. mainly suburban toll roads. The cost of manually collecting tolls is just too high. Besides that, there is still the possibility to use ZipCash if you don't use the toll roads enough to get an EZ TAG.

An advantage of all-electronic tolling is that you don't need to reduce the number of interchanges because of manual toll collection. It can operate just like any freeway, providing much better access to the road. Classic toll roads typically have much fewer exits, making them only interesting to long-distance traffic. Managed lanes like on the Katy Freeway also have this problem.
HCTRA could at least implement pay-by-mail.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 04:20 AM   #7746
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
All-electronic tolling is the way to go on toll roads that see little out-of-region traffic, i.e. mainly suburban toll roads. The cost of manually collecting tolls is just too high. Besides that, there is still the possibility to use ZipCash if you don't use the toll roads enough to get an EZ TAG.

An advantage of all-electronic tolling is that you don't need to reduce the number of interchanges because of manual toll collection. It can operate just like any freeway, providing much better access to the road. Classic toll roads typically have much fewer exits, making them only interesting to long-distance traffic. Managed lanes like on the Katy Freeway also have this problem.
Quote:
Harris County Toll Road Authority: Toll Road Information – Overview

Drivers wishing to use the Westpark Tollway must have an EZ TAG or other interoperable Texas toll payment tag. No cash payment is accepted on this roadway.
The Westpark tollway does not allow you to use it without an EZTAG (ie there is no option such as Zipcash here). Other recently opened toll roads have more or less the same setup.

Either way it is a stupid policy on their end and they should give drivers the option to pay thru the mail like they already do on Colorado's, Florida's, and North Texas toll roads.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 04:27 AM   #7747
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Originally Posted by gigilamoroso View Post
good video ; trafic seems to move slowly : is the 55 mph speed limit strictly enforced?
Considering that this is the NYC metropolitan area we are talking about here I doubt it.

However many states have become very aggresive in enforcing traffic laws because of the fact that many states are low on cash because of the current US economy.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:00 AM   #7748
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Considering that this is the NYC metropolitan area we are talking about here I doubt it.

However many states have become very aggresive in enforcing traffic laws because of the fact that many states are low on cash because of the current US economy.
There may be some jurisdictions that have stepped up speed enforcement for this reason.

As for NYC, anyone who has driven on the tollways and expressways in NYC know that speeders are rare. Most drive right around the speed limit. It is the arterials and city streets in Manhattan where speeds start to get out of hand.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:06 AM   #7749
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This is the most epic road widening project ever; I-35W in Forth Worth will be widened from 4 to 16 lanes.

Impressive, yes. Keep in mind that the far outside lanes are service roads, not part of the actual freeway per se. The middle lanes appear to be express lanes, not unusual in major cities. The Kennedy in Chicago and the I-5 in Seattle has multiple lanes used for express. Not an entirely new idea, but one that is functional and effective.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 08:31 AM   #7750
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With it's mega freeways, it's interesting that Texas doesn't have much in the way of local/express setups other than HOV lanes.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 11:41 AM   #7751
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Old January 26th, 2012, 07:38 PM   #7752
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Good news for motorists in Texas, they get rid of the prehistoric speed limits!
Portions of Texas Interstate Highways to see Speed Limit Increase

AUSTIN -- Miles and miles of Texas highway will soon see speed limit increases following Thursday’s Texas Transportation Commission action approving 75 mph designations for close to 1,500 miles of interstate.

The speed limit changes span 60 Texas counties making it the largest conversion since a new law was passed last year. The 82nd Texas Legislature passed and the Governor signed House Bill 1353 which allows the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to establish 75 mph speed limits on Texas highways providing speed studies show it can be done safely.

Since September, the agency has been reviewing existing 70 mph speed limits across the state to determine where a 75 mph limit may be safely posted. Four Central Texas highways were the first to see higher speeds after the new law took effect. Thursday’s Commission action brings the number of miles now zoned at 75 mph as a result of House Bill (HB) 1353 to 1,618.

Posting new speed limits on 1,500 miles of interstate highway is a major milestone in implementing the new law, said Carol Rawson, TxDOT Traffic Operations Division director.

"Texas’ economic strength depends on the efficient and safe movement of people and goods," Rawson explained. "These new speed limits increase highway efficiency while maintaining the safety of the transportation system."

TxDOT recommended to the Commission that speed limits be raised on segments of I-10, I-20, I-27, I-30, I-35, I-37, I-40, I-44 and I-45 after engineering studies showed that higher speeds could be posted safely.

Motorists must continue to travel at the posted speed until new signs are installed, said Rawson.

"The new speed limit is not official until the signs go up," she added.

TxDOT studies of speeds on U.S. highways, state highways, farm-to-market and ranch-to-market roads are still under way.

Prior to HB 1353, Texas had 1,445 miles of 75 mph speed limits and 521 miles of 80 mph speed limits on certain state highways. These speed limits were previously restricted to specific rural counties and highways located mostly in West Texas. Texas now has almost 3,600 miles zoned at 75 mph or higher.

New 75 mph speed limits approved Thursday are located on:

I-10 -- 289 miles across El Paso, Gillespie, Kerr, Kendall, Bexar, Guadalupe, Caldwell, Gonzales, Fayette, Colorado, Austin, Jefferson and Orange counties
I-20 -- 423 miles across Crane, Ector, Midland, Martin, Howard, Mitchell, Nolan, Taylor, Callahan, Eastland, Erath, Palo Pinto, Van Zandt, Smith, Gregg and Harrison counties
I-27 -- 109 miles across Lubbock, Hale, Swisher and Randall counties
I-30 -- 139 miles across Hunt, Hopkins, Franklin, Titus, Morris and Bowie counties
I-35 -- 106 miles across Webb, Medina, Atascosa, Bexar, Hill and Cooke counties
I-37 -- 130 miles across Nueces, San Patricio, Live Oak, Atascosa and Bexar counties
I-40 -- 166 miles across Deaf Smith, Oldham, Potter, Carson, Gray, Donley and Wheeler counties
I-44 -- 11 miles across Wichita County
I-45 -- 143 miles across Walker, Madison, Leon, Freestone and Navarro counties
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Old January 27th, 2012, 02:01 AM   #7753
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This is awesome!!! I was hoping for an 80 limit on Interstate 10 between Houston and San Antonio and Interstate 37 since that's what I tend to do on those empty highways anyway. Also 80 would be perfect from Houston to Beaumont.

Hell I just want an 80 or higher on ALL highways!!!....but I'll embrace this increase by doing 80.

Map from the TxDOT website:

http://www.txdot.gov/safety/speed_limit/75mph.htm
[IMG]http://i41.************/24blnqt.jpg[/IMG]

Last edited by FM 2258; January 27th, 2012 at 02:17 AM.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 02:14 AM   #7754
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker View Post
There may be some jurisdictions that have stepped up speed enforcement for this reason.

As for NYC, anyone who has driven on the tollways and expressways in NYC know that speeders are rare. Most drive right around the speed limit. It is the arterials and city streets in Manhattan where speeds start to get out of hand.
Are you kidding me? Anyone who has driven in NYC knows nobody does the speed limit except when traffic forces you to slow down or be at a stand still. When I go up there I always have to laugh at signs saying 45mph speed limit and most people are doing at least 10 over. On the LIE (I-495) when it says 55mph most people are doing at least 65-70mph if not more. In manhattan I remember doing about 30-40mph (30mph is the city speed limit) so that isn't bad.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 02:36 AM   #7755
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Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
Are you kidding me? Anyone who has driven in NYC knows nobody does the speed limit except when traffic forces you to slow down or be at a stand still. When I go up there I always have to laugh at signs saying 45mph speed limit and most people are doing at least 10 over. On the LIE (I-495) when it says 55mph most people are doing at least 65-70mph if not more. In manhattan I remember doing about 30-40mph (30mph is the city speed limit) so that isn't bad.
I remember seeing some ridiculously low speed limits in the NYC area. In theory they might make sense but in reality once a road is in a freeway configuration it's easy to do 70.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 03:15 AM   #7756
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I wouldn't do 70 in NYC. There is usually just too much stuff to pay attention to.

On the other hand, I regularly go near 80 here on Hartford highways, haven't been caught yet.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:11 AM   #7757
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I wouldn't do 70 in NYC. There is usually just too much stuff to pay attention to.

On the other hand, I regularly go near 80 here on Hartford highways, haven't been caught yet.
On 95 south to New Haven there was a 55mph zone at a certain point...when it comes to the Merritt Parkway no one seems to follow the 55 speed limit there.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:21 AM   #7758
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Not a good idea to drive too fast on those highways either. Well, I-95 south of New Haven is usually pretty crowded anyways so you probably wouldn't have a chance. Merritt Parkway's slow speed limit is warranted, it's only two lanes in a forest with lots of turns and hills with no lights at night.

They also have lots of cops on both.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #7759
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I've driven mainly through I-35 from Laredo to San Antonio and Austin. But I think I-35 in Laredo doesn't have the conditions to make 75mph, it would be kind of dangerous, it needs improvements in exits and entrances to the main lanes first.
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Old January 27th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #7760
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
This is the most epic road widening project ever; I-35W in Forth Worth will be widened from 4 to 16 lanes.

When does this project actually get underway? Because I can show you a million renderings of road expansions that will probably never happen
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