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Old February 10th, 2016, 04:53 PM   #11281
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Not expecting agreement, but condescension without knowledge is another thing
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Old February 10th, 2016, 05:02 PM   #11282
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post

I think Dallas aiming for Central Park is a tad, er, optimistic. But it might be able to hit something like Millennium Park or Fairmount Park if it's done well.
I'd rank Fairmount Park ahead of Central Park. Seriously. I once walked, at peak foliage time, from Center City to Chestnut Hill. A good 12 miles....
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Old February 10th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #11283
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Not expecting agreement, but condescension without knowledge is another thing
I wasn't lacking any knowledge. Again, I wasn't being condescending, I was being critical. Drop it.
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Old February 10th, 2016, 07:08 PM   #11284
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The Bay Lights display on the San Francisco Bay Bridge (I-80) has been made permanent.


http://sf.funcheap.com/bay-lights-re...ge-light-show/

Here's a picture with the Super Bowl fireworks:


https://www.flickr.com/photos/maktrak/24733825105
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Old February 10th, 2016, 09:52 PM   #11285
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Excellent choice of keeping those LED lights on permanently! At least until they wear out and become a maintenance hassle that is, I wonder how many strands or sections have to burn out before it becomes ugly?

But still, looks really cool!
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Old February 11th, 2016, 02:49 AM   #11286
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You're right, Joshua's claim is about size. StoJa9's however is about quality. An urban park with many major road bridges running through it has literally major obstacles to overcome if it's going to be a successful gathering place. People tend to not like to hang out next to towering viaducts with a lot of freeway noise (except for homeless maybe?). No need to be sensitive, I'm being wary of the park plan, nothing against you personally. It's just my opinion man, which is what this forum is for. You certainly have a right to disagree.
How many people spend considerable time hanging out in Central Park? Homeless people
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Old February 11th, 2016, 04:27 AM   #11287
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A local news story about the express toll lanes on the I-405 outside of Seattle.
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Report: I-405 tolls making traffic worse in general purpose lanes
Updated: Feb 10, 2016 - 1:11 PM


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A new report by the Kirkland traffic data company INRIX says express toll lanes on Interstate 405 are making traffic worse for drivers in the general purpose lanes.

The report compares vehicle speeds from October 2014 with speeds from October 2015, the month after express toll lanes were introduced.

Click here to download report
INRIX found there is a benefit to drivers taking the express toll lanes, which are free during peak hours to drivers with at least two passengers or to drivers willing to pay a toll, which can range from 75 cents to $10, depending on congestion..

Officials at WSDOT's toll division say "INRIX’s data sample is very small to reflect any comprehensive insight about I-405 performance where express toll lanes have been implemented."

Reporter Graham Johnson is speaking with Inrix and breaking down the report's findings for KIRO 7 News at 5.

Just yesterday, KIRO 7 News reported that the toll lanes are making much more money than expected.

Between the Sept. 27 grand opening and the end of 2015, toll payers spent $3.7 million, compared with the $1 million predicted, in the corridor between Lynnwood and Bellevue. Read more here
Quote:
Originally Posted by SounderBruce View Post
The express toll lanes (do note the difference; "express lanes" refer to the I-5 and I-90 systems, which are completely different) are a definite disaster and cost the state DOT their administrator.

The only good thing about them is the speediness of buses in the lanes...which then get stuck trying to weave out of the lanes to exit and serve stops on offramps because WSDOT forgot to include median stations and direct access ramps like those found on SR 520.

Also, Lynnwood and the northern suburbs along I-405 are far from working class...they're a tier below Bellevue/Kirkland on the wealth bracket, but well above places like Everett and Marysville.

Increasing capacity, as said time and time again, is not the right way and would not fly in Seattle--and especially on the Eastside.

And at least the money might go towards I-405 corridor improvements--if there's any left over after the operators take a cut.
I do agree that the buses need their own ramps. However the 405 does need more capacity. Go to any major city in the US and find me a major regional and commuter highway that is as small at I-405. The fact that it only has two general purpose lanes for significant stretches is a joke, it needs to be at least double that. Its a suburban highway/bypass in a built up area with few alternative roads. It needs to be widened or we need an alternative highway.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 04:56 AM   #11288
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Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
I do agree that the buses need their own ramps. However the 405 does need more capacity. Go to any major city in the US and find me a major regional and commuter highway that is as small at I-405. The fact that it only has two general purpose lanes for significant stretches is a joke, it needs to be at least double that. Its a suburban highway/bypass in a built up area with few alternative roads. It needs to be widened or we need an alternative highway.
Seattle is just fine without having massive superhighways. Anything over 3+1HOV per direction is qualified as such. We just don't need it when automobile use is in decline and every other alternative mode is exploding across the board.

I-405 is certainly not designed for suburban use (it was a bypass through scattered farms and forests back when it was built), but it's far too late to "fix" that by highway expansion.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 05:11 AM   #11289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SounderBruce View Post
Seattle is just fine without having massive superhighways. Anything over 3+1HOV per direction is qualified as such. We just don't need it when automobile use is in decline and every other alternative mode is exploding across the board.

I-405 is certainly not designed for suburban use (it was a bypass through scattered farms and forests back when it was built), but it's far too late to "fix" that by highway expansion.
Seattle's traffic congestion rankings say otherwise. The fact that we rank along side of cities double our size or larger says something. Just because automobile use is in slight decline does not mean we shouldn't invest in roads. Especially in a booming metro area like Seattle. Its definitely not too late to fix I-405, plenty of room for improvements.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 05:21 AM   #11290
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Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
Seattle's traffic congestion rankings say otherwise. The fact that we rank along side of cities double our size or larger says something. Just because automobile use is in slight decline does not mean we shouldn't invest in roads. Especially in a booming metro area like Seattle. Its definitely not too late to fix I-405, plenty of room for improvements.
I'm all for improvements and investment, but not expansion. That's a slippery slope that leads to some very unhealthy lifestyle choices for cities.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 06:27 AM   #11291
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Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
Go to any major city in the US and find me a major regional and commuter highway that is as small at I-405.
PA Turnpike, 309, US 1, and Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia.

Hutchinson River Parkway, Bronx River Parkway, Cross-County Parkway, Palisades Parkway, Merritt Parkway. All in NYC area.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 06:29 AM   #11292
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The funniest (or worst actually) thing about I-405 is when you see two left lanes clear and people driving fast while the three on the right are jammed beyond belief. Actually I would rank the stretch further south in Renton to be the worst highway in the state (only two SOV lanes) but there isn't as much money there to complain about the jams.

As bad as the traffic is there, taking the bus is still more inconvenient.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 06:56 AM   #11293
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Not expecting agreement, but condescension without knowledge is another thing
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Old February 11th, 2016, 07:07 AM   #11294
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Originally Posted by 00Zy99 View Post
PA Turnpike, 309, US 1, and Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia.

Hutchinson River Parkway, Bronx River Parkway, Cross-County Parkway, Palisades Parkway, Merritt Parkway. All in NYC area.
I should have said suburban highways but I'll give you the Philly ones especially the Schuylkill. The NYC ones all have alternate routes nearby. I remember being stuck on I-87 near Yonkers and drove about 1 mile over to the Bronx River Parkway and continued on. But NYC is a well planned city with good mass transit and reasonable highway network given the age of them and the density of the city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
The funniest (or worst actually) thing about I-405 is when you see two left lanes clear and people driving fast while the three on the right are jammed beyond belief. Actually I would rank the stretch further south in Renton to be the worst highway in the state (only two SOV lanes) but there isn't as much money there to complain about the jams.

As bad as the traffic is there, taking the bus is still more inconvenient.
The area around Bothell and Lynnwood is just as bad. Only 2 general purpose lanes and the tolled HOV lane. Taking the bus from the suburbs is a joke, my commute time would be doubled if I had to take the bus.

Last edited by I-275westcoastfl; February 11th, 2016 at 07:14 AM.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 07:47 AM   #11295
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The entire highway needs to have at least 8 general purpose lanes minimum I think. Won't be cheap though.

Unfortunately WSDOT doesn't have much money, so all new projects need tolls one way or another.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 07:49 AM   #11296
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
I'd rank Fairmount Park ahead of Central Park. Seriously. I once walked, at peak foliage time, from Center City to Chestnut Hill. A good 12 miles....
Other than the abominations down by the Art Museum and Girard Avenue, Fairmount Park and the Wissahickon Gorge have some really amazing bridges, too:















Well-designed bridges are park assets, regardless of what uses them.
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Old February 11th, 2016, 08:08 AM   #11297
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^ Great examples. The devil is in the details!
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Old February 11th, 2016, 05:01 PM   #11298
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Pennsylvania Turnpike blizzard aftermath....:

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front...npike_jam.html
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Old February 11th, 2016, 06:46 PM   #11299
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Speaking of Express Lanes, in the Bay Area:

Quote:
New express lanes opening on I-580

By Gary Richards

[email protected]
Posted: 02/09/2016 03:30:01 PM PST


Traffic moves along one of the new Express Lanes on eastbound Interstate 580 in Livermore, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. When open, carpool lanes will double as toll lanes allowing solo drivers to use them for a price. The Express Lanes are through the Tri-Valley corridor and are toll-free for carpools, vanpools, motorcycles, buses and eligible clean-air vehicles with FasTrak. (Doug Duran/Bay Area News Group) (Doug Duran )



Bay Area drivers, the era of highway express lanes is dawning.

Starting this month, a 14-mile stretch of carpool lanes that will double as toll lanes -- allowing solo drivers to use them for a price -- will open on Interstate 580 from Dublin to Livermore.

It's only the beginning. In the next couple of years toll lanes will be added to Interstate 680 in Contra Costa County and I-880 in the East Bay and extended on Highway 237. Within another decade, about 300 miles worth of toll lanes will be rolled out in the region, including Highways 85 and 101 in the South Bay.

...

"Express lanes are not a magic bullet that will eliminate congestion," said John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, but they are "a proven and comparatively cost-effective tool to squeeze better performance from all the freeway lanes."

Ambitious project

The Bay Area is also headed in the direction of longer carpool hours and double express lanes. Restrictions on the new 580 lanes will be in effect from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, hours that will be typical on future express lanes. There will be two lanes eastbound from Hacienda Drive in Pleasanton to Greenville Road in Livermore, and one in the westbound direction a longer distance, 14 miles, to the San Ramon Road/Foothill overcrossing in Dublin. Motorists will need to put $25 down for a FasTrak Flex transponder to drive in them.

...

This is the most ambitious express lane project thus far in the Bay Area, but not the last. That will occur on Highway 101 in the South Bay, where double carpool/express lanes will someday run from Redwood City south to Morgan Hill. Otherwise, most highways are as wide as they are going to get, and funding is scarce for freeway improvements. Carpooling rates remain low, with only around 14 percent sharing a ride with another person.

With the region's population expected to grow by 2.1 million residents over the next two decades, desperate times call for drastic measures, transportation officials say.

"The problems out there are not acceptable," said John Ristow, deputy director of highway planning for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, calling express lanes "big projects that really change the whole nature of the freeway system. It is a change and sometimes tough to go through, but we've seen it in other parts of California, the country and Bay Area, and it works."

...

The best example locally is the 237-880 interchange, in Milpitas, which for three decades has been one of the nastiest commutes in the region.

Now, about 10,000 solo drivers use the 237-880 express lanes each week. The VTA says the lanes can shave up to 14 minutes off the morning commute and four minutes in the afternoon for lane users on average, and the tolls raise about $400,000 in net revenue. And about 3,000 new drivers are trying the toll lanes each month.

A change of rules

On 680 through Fremont, toll users average 16 mph faster than motorists in nonexpress lanes. But even those who don't carpool or pay a toll see benefits: Average travel times in the nonexpress lanes fell by 22 percent during the busiest time of the morning commute.

With the opening of the new 580 lanes comes a change in FasTrak rules -- a change that will one day extend to those hundreds of miles of express lanes being planned.

All motorists who want to drive in these lanes will need to purchase a new FasTrak Flex transponder. It will allow drivers to indicate how many people are inside their vehicle so carpoolers get a free ride -- which the older transponders can't do. You can get one in person for a $25 deposit at dozens of Walgreens, Safeway and Costco stores in the Bay Area, or order online at BayAreaFasTrak.org.

Drivers with one or more passengers won't be charged; neither will those with green or white carpool stickers. Solo drivers will find overhead signs alerting them to the price they will pay depending on the distance they travel and how heavy traffic is. The more traffic, the higher the toll. The cost could be as much as $13 for the Dublin to Livermore trek, or as low as 30 cents.

And to the relief of many drivers, they'll be able to enter and exit cash-paying lanes at almost any point on 580.

That's unlike existing toll lanes where double-white lines limit access points on 237 in Milpitas and 680 down the Sunol Grade, frustrating motorists unable to reach their preferred exits and leading to numerous illegal lane changes and angry blasts of horns.

"That was the biggest complaint," said David Seriani, who recently retired from Caltrans, where he oversaw toll lane programs. "Eligible carpoolers and even some solo drivers willing to pay could not use the expressway lanes because they could not get to their destination."

Driver reaction? Whew!

"That was my biggest fear. Would I be able to get off 580 where I want?" said David Pena, of Livermore. "Paying a toll won't work if I have to miss my exit."

Jammed lanes?

Giving commuters only three entry and exit points from Pleasanton to Milpitas on 680 has likely reduced the number of solo drivers willing to try the 680 express lane. Caltrans says it may remove the double-white markings in a few years when a northbound express lane is built....

Follow Gary Richards at Twitter.com/mrroadshow, look for him at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, or contact him at [email protected].
http://www.contracostatimes.com/brea...-opening-i-580
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Old February 12th, 2016, 06:10 AM   #11300
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"Express lanes are not a magic bullet that will eliminate congestion," said John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, but they are "a proven and comparatively cost-effective tool to squeeze better performance from all the freeway lanes."
LOL...they're a tool to keep federal funding. If the average speed on the HOV/HOT lanes of a highway goes below 45mph, funding is lost. It's the reason why the trend started up here and that's likely the reason why it was done in California as well.
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