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Old May 1st, 2015, 03:19 PM   #10521
ChrisZwolle
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On the Atlanta Downtown Connector, all traffic is dumped onto the same lanes. In Houston's scenario, there will be separate lanes for I-45 and I-69 traffic, unweaving those traffic flows. They are a freeway within a freeway. In addition, the Houston proposal is wider than the Downtown Connector.

The Atlanta Downtown Connector handles traffic to and from downtown, while the Houston I-45/69 shared alignment will handle no such traffic. That's a really different setup. Downtown-bound traffic will go through separate access points at the I-45/69 and I-10/69 interchanges, in addition to the future spur on the west side of downtown.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 08:17 PM   #10522
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Also note that the pierce elevated segment that will be removed has no ramps. It does not help unload traffic, only move 45 around downtown.

A mainline integrated into 10 and 69 does the same thing but now I presume you could stay on it then exit to any other road more than easily. At least that's my guess.

I dunno this plan does seem confusing but we'll see
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 03:43 AM   #10523
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I-5 in North Seattle, Part 1

Part 4 of the series: I-5 from Roanoke Street in Portage Bay, which isn't technically in North Seattle (since it's south of the ship canal).

Roanoke Street / State Route 520

I may or may not have trespassed onto a "closed" sidewalk to get the northbound shots.


I-5 from Roanoke Street by SounderBruce, on Flickr


I-5 from Roanoke Street by SounderBruce, on Flickr


I-5 from Roanoke Street by SounderBruce, on Flickr


I-5 from Roanoke Street by SounderBruce, on Flickr

Stay tuned for Part 5: actual North Seattle overpasses, which have surprisingly good views of the Seattle skyline from a distance.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 06:20 AM   #10524
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The concrete jungle of Houston!

Proof that highway widening does not necessarily decrease congestion.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 06:37 AM   #10525
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is it? one direction seems to be working well and the other one not
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 08:18 AM   #10526
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Proof that highway widening does not necessarily decrease congestion.
It's not proof. It's not even evidence "that highway widening does not necessarily decrease congestion" because the congestion could have been worse without the widening.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 08:56 AM   #10527
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A bit too many small twists and turns on the US city freeways, make them straight or curve in long bends.
I know the picture is over larger distance but still.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 09:18 AM   #10528
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I feel like congestion comes from crappy drivers who drive to slow, do not merge at highway speed or make driving mistakes due to lack of attention to the road.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 09:54 AM   #10529
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I feel like congestion comes from crappy drivers who drive to slow, do not merge at highway speed or make driving mistakes due to lack of attention to the road.
part of why more lanes doesn't help.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 11:04 AM   #10530
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No. Just a proof that improving traffic flow is more than just adding lanes. It's a combination out of serveral actions. Improving driving skills, extending interchanges etc. are also required.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 11:52 AM   #10531
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part of why more lanes doesn't help.
So you'd have the same amount of congestion whether it's a one lane road or a 10 lane highway?
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 11:53 AM   #10532
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It could just well be an accident. The managed lanes are dynamically priced to keep them free-flow at all times, and they are jammed up to the horizon 20 miles away. There was likely a big wreck or something.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 08:17 PM   #10533
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It's not proof. It's not even evidence "that highway widening does not necessarily decrease congestion" because the congestion could have been worse without the widening.
As someone who is familiar with Houston let me chime in. Sure after the Katy Freeway was rebuilt initially it decreased congestion but latter on many developers have been building cheap residential subdivisions further out in Katy and Fulshear attracting commuters who thought they would have an easy commute to Downtown/the Galleria area. As a result over the years you have massive amounts of traffic being dumped on that road making the newly widened sections causing the newly widened sections to become much more congested as well.

Last edited by diablo234; May 2nd, 2015 at 08:24 PM.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 08:21 PM   #10534
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Traffic volumes jumped from 250,000 to 380,000 vehicles per day since the Katy Freeway was widened. That is probably one of the strongest numerical increases in just 4 - 5 years of any freeway widening in history. On the other hand, traffic volumes did drop and are still lower than pre-2007 levels on the Westpark Tollway, Southwest Freeway, Westheimer Road and to a lesser extent, the Northwest Freeway.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 08:24 PM   #10535
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
As someone who is familiar with Houston let me chime in. Sure after the Katy Freeway was rebuilt initially it decreased congestion but latter on many have developers been building cheap residential subdivisions further out in Katy and Fulshear attracting commuters who thought they would have an easy commute to Downtown/the Galleria area. As a result over the years you have massive amounts of traffic being dumped on that road making the newly widened sections causing the newly widened sections to become much more congested as well.
But there is value in cheap residential subdivisions though, the people need to live somewhere

I wish we had such a thing here in Toronto
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 08:30 PM   #10536
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But there is value in cheap residential subdivisions though, the people need to live somewhere

I wish we had such a thing here in Toronto
I do think affordable housing options are important but I don't think widening highways to be over 10-12 lanes in width is the answer either without adding other options. That is why I think Houston should have followed Denver's example when they expanded I-25 and installed a new light rail line immediately adjacent to the freeway to serve the Denver Tech Center which is a huge employment hub.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 08:39 PM   #10537
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The Westpark Tollway was designed with a future light rail in mind.

The problem with this kind of transit is that it tries to lure people who are least likely to use it.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 09:41 PM   #10538
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Light rail is cool and all but it only works if you live close to a station and then your job is close to another station..this works in uber-crowded Tokyo but not suburbia heaven Houston.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 09:43 PM   #10539
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo234 View Post
Proof that highway widening does not necessarily decrease congestion.
Or maybe it helped keep congestion reasonable in a metro area that has terrible mass transit and is growing at a very fast rate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post


I feel like congestion comes from crappy drivers who drive to slow, do not merge at highway speed or make driving mistakes due to lack of attention to the road.
Drivers in the US are generally terrible with lane discipline but I notice that people become super lazy on wide freeways. They just kind of sit there putting along spread across many lanes which slows traffic.
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Old May 2nd, 2015, 10:58 PM   #10540
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
On the Atlanta Downtown Connector, all traffic is dumped onto the same lanes. In Houston's scenario, there will be separate lanes for I-45 and I-69 traffic, unweaving those traffic flows. They are a freeway within a freeway. In addition, the Houston proposal is wider than the Downtown Connector.
Yeah, that's a big difference, both in scale and in topology, despite my previous assertion. I must confess that my previous post was written while I was still in shock. I've more or less gotten over it now.

Another aspect of my surprise is that, while freeway removals are under discussion in many cities, I've never heard about such a thing for Houston, and it hardly fits the usual sustainability format. Now I can see how the proposal came about, but, to me, at first view it seemed to have dropped out of the sky.
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