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Old April 9th, 2014, 01:53 PM   #9561
ChrisZwolle
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New housing developments are creeping up to I-345, though much of the surrounding area is still undeveloped / parking.

But the Dallas CBD is not entirely boxed in by freeways, there is a large new park on top of Spur 366 on the northern side.

Taking down I-345 is not just a matter of redirecting traffic onto existing freeways around the CBD. They don't have the capacity to absorb that kind of traffic. Another problem would be interchange configuration, you need to rebuild the interchanges significantly to handle that kind of turn-off flow. It makes more sense to build a tunnel at the existing location than to detour traffic around the other side of the CBD.
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Old April 9th, 2014, 01:59 PM   #9562
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Like most downtown areas in the U.S., the adjacent areas used to be industrial in character. I-345 (unsigned by the way) was routed across decayed industrial areas. As recent as 20 years ago there were almost no housing developments near it.

A removal is not an option here. There's way too much traffic. Many European countries don't even have freeways with this kind of traffic volume, for example in the UK only one motorway reaches up to 200,000 vehicles per day. If you recalculate the amount of vehicles to the amount of passengers, this little stretch of I-345 moves more than twice as many people as the 85 mile light rail system in greater Dallas (DART).

A teardown is only possible if they would replace with an alternate route, for example a tunnel. But that would be expensive and the state or city will not be able to pay for it. Tolling could be an option but would create a diversion of traffic to other - already saturated - routes and would be highly unpopular, especially because 345 is mostly used by commuters from the poorer southern side of Dallas.
I can give you real story on this road, and not the media report which I am growing to hate on both sides

First of all, this road is precisely part of what destroyed south Dallas. Its a continuation of the elevated portion of I-45 that actually cut right through a residential neighborhood and a popular semi-urban strip that has been split in two. I'm talking residential single family homes.

The truth is, Dallas has already setup an alternative route to this in Caesar Chavez Blvd, except that they forgot to add the off ramps from I-45 to Caesar Chavez(7 lane Blvd that cuts through the east side of downtown and has on ramps directly to US 75 on the northside). This was done when the DART approach was moved in order to have a split that went under I-345. This part is done and is ready for the freeway to be torn down. Yet, I read everyday about how TxDOT would have to do $1billion in correcting and rebuilding cross streets. Umm you've already done at least 50% of this and its still under construction. And to top that off they've destroyed historic buildings to do it. Thankfully some preservation groups stepped in and saved a couple of them.

The 200,000 is the biggest load of BS in the history of man. Perhaps its true they sat their counters in the middle of this road and average the vehicle counts passing over that sensor and counted from cameras in that spot, but they know they are not telling the whole story. The real story is, This road is nothing more than a reliever for I-30, an interstate they have neglected for decades. If you've ever been on this freeway, traffic from I-45 to US 75or Woodall Rogers is just plain sparse. Even at rush hour. Traffic from US 75 or Woodall Rogers to I-45 is just plain sparse. Even living in the shadow of it for a few year, I never ever saw the thru lanes have anything but sparse traffic. Where there was traffic(and still is) are the onramps to I-30 east and west. This section splits from the mainlanes of I-345 and is always crowded. At no fault of I-345s, but because I-30 in both directions is just a cluster of epic proportions. So these vehicles get counted as if they are thru traffic, but they are really just headed to sit and crawl through flyunders(mainlanes run above the interchange). I take Caesar Chavez to make this drive now, and Caesar Chavez actually has flyover ramps that go onto I-30 much more smoothly than I-345 and its a nicer drive through a landscaped boulevard through the farmers market and east side of downtown. Even if traffic were bad there, it would likely be the same sitting on the flyunder ramps that's happening now.

The last thing I will say is I'm disappointed in the exorbitant numbers that are being thrown around with this tiny stretch of freeway. So they are trying to tell us this road will cost half of the LBJ express project's total cost and be close to its construction cost? The LBJ express is 13+ miles long. It is basically building a 10 lane elevated freeway that is cantilevered over a 6 lane tollway that sits below grade. If anyone has seen it in person, the trench for the tollway is massive, and this is for probably 10 of the 13 miles. They are also building frontage roads the entire length of the project. They have put in an electronic tolling system that can adjust prices on the fly based on speeds. They are completely building a new interchange at I-35e/I-635 that interwines with the old to form a complete HOV/toll interchange of a height and complexity no interchange in Texas will be able to challenge. And they are building what is basically an elevated tollway from Northwest Highway to I-635 along I-35e. Not to mention reconstruction every overpass bridge and underpass crossing(of which there are several major roads in North Dallas).Yet somehow, not rebuilding, but tearing down I-345 is going to cost the same as the destruction, digging and reconstruction of what I have described in this paragraph. They say, well there's infrastructure work underneath. Well perhaps at the south end where the grid actually fits and the roads are already working? Or perhaps the roads on the northern half that you are already working on? Fishy? Very Fishy. I think they are just surprised at the notion that someone might look at this road and say, wow, its really not used that much and its very, very wide and cruddy at parts at ground level.

They really should rebuild I-30 before they assess this stretch of road.
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Old April 9th, 2014, 02:22 PM   #9563
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The freeways around Dallas CBD were designed in the 1950s/60s when traffic patterns were remarkably different from today. With the Dallas Horseshoe project they cited that about 85% of the traffic on I-35E does not have an origin or destination in the CBD, but the configuration of the freeway and ramps are designed for to/from CBD traffic. I-30 also suffers from this outdated configuration.
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Old April 10th, 2014, 05:14 AM   #9564
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one thing they could do is rebuild it to be more pedestrian friendly to cross over. its essentially impossible right now. They just finished decking over a chunk of it, maybe deck over as much as possible and try to simplify and shrink the ramps into and out of the core.
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Old April 10th, 2014, 06:21 AM   #9565
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Look at this beautiful proposal from a member of the archboston site of the I-90 Interchange improvement project in Allston...

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Old April 10th, 2014, 08:12 AM   #9566
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So the reconstructed "Dallas Horseshoe" (which is part of the Downtown Dallas Freeway Loop) won't even handle the added traffic that is diverted from I-345 freeway if the I-345 freeway were removed?
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Old April 10th, 2014, 03:58 PM   #9567
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Through traffic on I-345 is approximately 150,000 vehicles per day. 50,000 have an origin or destination in the CBD.

The current AADT on I-35E is 223,000 vehicles per day at the CBD (north of I-30). If you remove I-345 with no alternate (such as a tunnel) or high-capacity at-grade corridor (such as a 12 lane urban arterial with traffic lights), traffic on I-35E will increase to the 300,000 - 350,000 vehicles per day range. There are currently no freeways in DFW that handle that kind of traffic. You're talking about an 16 to 18-lane corridor to handle that kind of traffic. This requires major modifications to interchanges that are not part of the Horseshoe project.

Another problem is through traffic from 45 to 75. Long-distance traffic could use I-635 around the city, but local urban traffic will continue to pass by the CBD.

Freeway removal proponents often suggest that replacing a freeway by a boulevard would turn it into a pedestrian-friendly environment. But that's not what will happen, instead of a freeway you have a wide boulevard with constant stop-and-go traffic, basically a road where pedestrians and cyclists have to cross freeway-grade traffic.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 04:19 AM   #9568
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sponge_bob View Post
Reversible is where you have an EG 8 ( or 10 or 12) lane road into a big town and you maybe have 6 lanes in and 2 lanes out in the morning and 6 lanes out and 2 lanes in in the evening. You use traffic lights to indicate the current direction of travel so you have a regular bank of 8 lights and they are either green or red.

Having 4 lanes each way all the time means jams at peak times in one direction and empty road the other way ...in that example.

They have been used since the 1970s in the UK and probably as long in the US.
Here are a couple of pics I took of reversible lanes on a surface arterial in the Salt Lake City area (5400 South). There are 3 lanes in the middle that are reversible. I was there mid-day, so they had one of these lanes west, one east, and one for left turns in both directions. I didn't see the peak hour flow, but I'd guess there are in total 4 lanes in one direction, 2 lanes in the other, and one lane for left turns. You can see this requires a lot of signalling! You'd think there would be a high potential for accidents, but I guess they've been tested and have worked out OK.



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Old April 11th, 2014, 01:32 PM   #9569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Freeway removal proponents often suggest that replacing a freeway by a boulevard would turn it into a pedestrian-friendly environment. But that's not what will happen, instead of a freeway you have a wide boulevard with constant stop-and-go traffic, basically a road where pedestrians and cyclists have to cross freeway-grade traffic.
Or, to put it more bluntly, people will die there.

Also, while it's tempting to suppose that the light rail network could absorb a meaningful proportion of the diverted traffic, it has core capacity issues of its own that already prevent adequate train headways on the existing lines. A downtown reliever line is needed, but it, too, is unfunded, and even if funds were found, it'd take time to design and build.

I'm viscerally in favor of freeway teardowns, but IMO this one's a bit much.

That said, it would be nice if the local MPO did some modeling to inform the discussion.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 03:59 PM   #9570
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Quote:
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Here are a couple of pics I took of reversible lanes on a surface arterial in the Salt Lake City area (5400 South). There are 3 lanes in the middle that are reversible.
They call them "flex lanes". They do include a center turn lane. They only exist in Utah as far as I am aware.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 04:55 PM   #9571
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In Pittsburgh they have interchangeable lanes called HOV lanes in the middle of the highway. They built them for the northwest side of the suburbs to get to the city and now that the west and east/southeast side of the suburbs are built up they have no HOV lanes and they cause massive backups during the rush hour commute home and to work.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 05:00 PM   #9572
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Those are reversible lanes, they can be found in many locations. However flex lanes are urban arterials that can change the direction of the three center lanes, and can also change the position of the center turn lane.
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Old April 11th, 2014, 10:02 PM   #9573
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I-81 Syracuse, NY

I-81 in Syracuse, New York is another possible freeway viaduct removal. It was built on viaducts around downtown in the 1960s and is reaching the end of its useful life soon.

Details are not widely published yet, but a tunnel option could cost as much as $ 1.6 - 3.9 billion, depending on the alternative chosen.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.s...9_billion.html
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Old April 12th, 2014, 12:40 AM   #9574
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theres no way that would ever happen.. no way its worth it. Its only a 2x2 lane freeway! rip it down, maybe build a bypass around town if you have to redirect traffic..

as for urban boulevards, they absolutely improve the pedestrian environment. Take a look at the Embarcadaro in SF or the west side highway in NYC. Drivers are expecting lights and pedestrians, and drivers are travelling much slower. Compare to freeway off ramps where they come barrelling down, braking for the light from 70mph instead of 35 or 40 mph. The key to creating a more ped. friendly environment is to slow traffic down and create eye contact with the peds and drivers, which urban boulevards do and freeways don't. Never mind the overhead structures of elevated freeways that create an environment that is extremely unwelcoming.

Compare this:


To this:



Which one would you rather cross as a pedestrian?

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Old April 12th, 2014, 01:35 AM   #9575
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the second one obviously, there are no cars there
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Old April 12th, 2014, 01:51 AM   #9576
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somehow I get the feeling you don't have a whole lot of experience as a pedestrian.. the very fact that there are or aren't cars doesn't make it ped friendly, its the way they interact. On the first example, the pedestrians have clear signals when to cross, they can cross from both(!) sides of the street, they are visible from all vehicles while waiting for a signal change, they have the right of way over vehicles at a walk signal, etc. compare to Syracuse where there are right hand merge lanes, only allowed to cross on a single side of the street, multiple crossing points requiring multiple light cycles to cross the entire highway, etc. Its the difference between making a pleasant stroll over to the other side of the highway and avoiding that crossing entirely, whether that means driving over it instead or (much more often) simply not crossing it at all.

This is why elevated highways, despite technically being capable of crossing as a pedestrian, create such huge barriers. You cross it in constant fear of being hit by a vehicle, it takes an overly long time to cross, cars travel at extremely high speeds in and around them, their ROWs are much wider than an urban boulevard, etc.

The question isn't whether urban boulevards are more pedestrian friendly, they are, the question is whether making it more pedestrian friendly is worth the traffic impacts. This varies. In areas like Dallas it probably isn't worth it, the 345 is too important for the city, but for cities like Syracuse, the elevated highway is already rather low traffic and it could easily be replaced by a 6-8 lane boulevard that provides a much more pedestrian friendly experience.
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Old April 12th, 2014, 02:10 AM   #9577
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But when I am walking, I don't want to wait for a signal change (ain't nobody got time for that). Having less conflicts, less traffic and thus less waiting for light to change is clearly better. I am not sure what you mean of "not experience", I have both feet still solidly attached and mobile...

The "is it worth it" though is certainly a useful question - in both photos you placed you see no people walking whatsoever, whereas many people driving. Probably better to close off the at-grade pedestrian crossing entirely of picture #1.
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Old April 12th, 2014, 02:45 AM   #9578
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Quote:
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But when I am walking, I don't want to wait for a signal change (ain't nobody got time for that). Having less conflicts, less traffic and thus less waiting for light to change is clearly better. I am not sure what you mean of "not experience", I have both feet still solidly attached and mobile...

The "is it worth it" though is certainly a useful question - in both photos you placed you see no people walking whatsoever, whereas many people driving. Probably better to close off the at-grade pedestrian crossing entirely of picture #1.
that first photo was taken on a rainy day in January. It of course will not have many people out and about crossing to enjoy a park when it is freezing rain out.

as for the second photo, there are obviously not many people walking as there is nothing to walk to and it is such a difficult area to walk through.
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Old April 12th, 2014, 10:28 AM   #9579
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The Embarcadero was an oversized offramp. The Gardiner or I-345 are freeways with much higher traffic volumes. They both carry substantially more traffic than any urban arterial in North America. You need pedestrian bridges to cross that kind of traffic safely.

This is the busiest signalized intersection in North America: Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles, at Veterans Avenue. Approximately 100,000 vehicles per day cross it. How is this a pedestrian friendly situation?


You can actually use the space below elevated highways for shops. This is much more pedestrian-friendly than if you were to cross six lanes of intense traffic:

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Old April 12th, 2014, 12:26 PM   #9580
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I-77 Charlotte, NC

NCDOT Announces Public-Private Partnership Project to Improve I-77 Traffic Flow in Charlotte Area

The N.C. Department of Transportation announces the apparent successful bidder for its first Public-Private-Partnership (P3) contract to improve the traffic flow along 26 miles of I-77 in the Charlotte area, one of the most congested roadways in the state.

Cintra, a world-wide leader in managed lanes projects, estimates the total project cost at $655 million. Cintra will invest the majority of that in return for toll revenue generated from the managed lanes. NCDOT will contribute $88 million for the project, which is significantly less than the $170 million it had projected.

The agreement is expected to be signed in June, with construction beginning as early as this December. The project is expected to be complete in 2018.

The project will add capacity to I-77 between Brookshire Freeway (Exit 11) in Charlotte and N.C. 150 (Exit 36) in Iredell County. This portion of the I-77 corridor already experiences significant congestion and projections show a 2-to-3 percent increase in traffic volume is expected every year through 2030.

Improvements will also include a flyover bridge to provide the managed lanes direct access from I-77 to I-277, and the widening of southbound I-77 lanes in some areas. The added lanes will increase capacity through the corridor, improve travel time reliability, improve air quality and better manage traffic flow along I-77.
Full press release: https://apps.ncdot.gov/newsreleases/details.aspx?r=9720
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