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Old February 12th, 2016, 06:11 AM   #11301
SounderBruce
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Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
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.
I agree that we need 4 lanes in each direction, but they should be 3 GP and 1 HOV, maximum, with room to expand for a dedicated bus lane when BRT eventually arrives on the corridor (as terrible of an idea as it is, it's going to happen).
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Old February 12th, 2016, 07:15 AM   #11302
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I agree that we need 4 lanes in each direction, but they should be 3 GP and 1 HOV, maximum, with room to expand for a dedicated bus lane when BRT eventually arrives on the corridor (as terrible of an idea as it is, it's going to happen).
No we need a minimum of 4 GP lanes. Anywhere we have less the congestion is awful, even in the suburbs.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 07:37 AM   #11303
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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.
Good point. But if it allows transportation departments to a) keep federal funding, b) raise money through tolls, and c) reduce travel time for everyone, including those in the general purpose lanes, isn't it a good idea?

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Average travel times in the nonexpress lanes fell by 22 percent during the busiest time of the morning commute.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 07:45 AM   #11304
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No we need a minimum of 4 GP lanes. Anywhere we have less the congestion is awful, even in the suburbs.
Induced demand is a real thing and would immediately ruin any chance of congestion relief. The only solution is to build alternatives that are immune to the perils of traffic and can lure enough drivers away and even influence their lifestyle to the extent where commutes gradually get shorter distance-wise and time-wise.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 08:01 AM   #11305
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Originally Posted by SounderBruce View Post
I agree that we need 4 lanes in each direction, but they should be 3 GP and 1 HOV, maximum, with room to expand for a dedicated bus lane when BRT eventually arrives on the corridor (as terrible of an idea as it is, it's going to happen).
The least they could do is take one of those lightly used HOT lanes and turn it into GP until a reliable bus network exists. Intra-Eastside PT is pretty laughable outside peak hours, it's still faster to be stuck in traffic in your own car than on the bus.

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Originally Posted by jchernin View Post
Good point. But if it allows transportation departments to a) keep federal funding, b) raise money through tolls, and c) reduce travel time for everyone, including those in the general purpose lanes, isn't it a good idea?
Honestly, I think the job can be done more efficiently with a small hike in the gas tax (let's take advantage of the low prices right now) than a toll. All of these tolls are really creating a ridiculous standard here.

Not sure how the situation down in the Bay Area is but you have three choices as commuter who relies on I-405:
1. Waste lots of time in nonstop traffic all the time. 1 hour to drive 15 miles is not uncommon.
2. Spend a lot of money on tolls every day. $10 one way on the HOT lanes is also not uncommon.
3. Take the very unreliable bus network with sparse frequency that gets stuck on the same traffic as the cars.

The situation in Seattle proper might improve once they get the light rail extended but the Eastside seems doomed.

Last edited by Xusein; February 12th, 2016 at 08:07 AM.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 08:20 AM   #11306
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Honestly, I don't see why any GP highway lane is needed unless there is no other access option (like in the middle of the Kansas prairie).

Speaking from experience, something like 1/3 of Philadelphia's highway network is entirely tolled (bridges; PA, NJ, DE turnpikes; Northeast Extension; DE 1; AC Expressway; Garden State Parkway if you're feeling generous). This system includes the NJ Tpk/I-295 kinda-sorta express-local setup as well as other major toll roads that don't have local distributors (i.e. all of the rest).

The Turnpike is also much less congested than the (free) Blue Route, even though the Turnpike forms the northern leg, and the Blue Route the western leg, of a bypass around the city.

Part of the reason why this system works ok is that if you want to avoid the toll there's generally a decent alternative route available. And the way our highways are laid out, there are also key roads -- US 30 (the Lincoln Highway out to the Main Line), PA 3 (West Chester Pike), PA 611 (Easton Road) -- that were never turned into freeways at all!
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Old February 12th, 2016, 08:42 AM   #11307
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SounderBruce View Post
Induced demand is a real thing and would immediately ruin any chance of congestion relief. The only solution is to build alternatives that are immune to the perils of traffic and can lure enough drivers away and even influence their lifestyle to the extent where commutes gradually get shorter distance-wise and time-wise.
I agree we need to build alternatives. However we are at least 10 years if not longer from having a decent light rail network. Adding a lane on a highway could happen much faster. Not to mention all the improvements with ramps and HOV lanes that need to/can happen. Alternative routes would solve car congestion but we have very little of that in Seattle. You need a balance, transit won't fix all the congestion neither will roads.


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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Honestly, I don't see why any GP highway lane is needed unless there is no other access option (like in the middle of the Kansas prairie).

Speaking from experience, something like 1/3 of Philadelphia's highway network is entirely tolled (bridges; PA, NJ, DE turnpikes; Northeast Extension; DE 1; AC Expressway; Garden State Parkway if you're feeling generous). This system includes the NJ Tpk/I-295 kinda-sorta express-local setup as well as other major toll roads that don't have local distributors (i.e. all of the rest).

The Turnpike is also much less congested than the (free) Blue Route, even though the Turnpike forms the northern leg, and the Blue Route the western leg, of a bypass around the city.

Part of the reason why this system works ok is that if you want to avoid the toll there's generally a decent alternative route available. And the way our highways are laid out, there are also key roads -- US 30 (the Lincoln Highway out to the Main Line), PA 3 (West Chester Pike), PA 611 (Easton Road) -- that were never turned into freeways at all!
Seattle is just the place where there few if any alternative options. We have a unique situation where the landscape as beautiful as it is limits our options. We have very steep grades, deep bodies of water, unstable ground, and so on. Seattle is also poorly planned in many areas, maybe because of growth opposition from years ago. For example my 17 mile commute I only have two continuous roads that go north-south. SR99 a 4 lane arterial road with bus lanes that has poorly timed lights and Interstate 5 which is useless during the week.

Even PA with their outdated highways with limited capacity are much better off than Seattle is with their highways. I only support toll roads if it is an alternate route that parallels the "free" ones.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 08:49 AM   #11308
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Washington Bridge and Harlem River Speedway, early 20th century



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washin...any_(0635).jpg

NYSDOT Region 11—Alexander Hamilton Bridge & Highbridge Reconstruction,
Manhattan & the Bronx, NY




http://www.mjnet.us/technology/index_files/Page632.htm

Harlem River Bridges Access Plan Workshop Round 1

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/download...workshop-1.pdf
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Old February 12th, 2016, 08:51 AM   #11309
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Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
I agree we need to build alternatives. However we are at least 10 years if not longer from having a decent light rail network. Adding a lane on a highway could happen much faster. Not to mention all the improvements with ramps and HOV lanes that need to/can happen. Alternative routes would solve car congestion but we have very little of that in Seattle. You need a balance, transit won't fix all the congestion neither will roads.
I'm sorry, but I'm laughing real hard here.

Adding a single lane to a freeway here would take over a decade of public hearings alone, just as all things do. The Seattle process is a very real phenomenon that does a lot of good (slaying awful freeways through thriving neighborhoods) and bad (delaying transit for 40 years). The I-405 ETL only slipped by because the new lanes were not general purpose, and even then took 10 years after approval/funding to be built.

Meanwhile, Link to Bellevue and Lynnwood will be open in only 7 years. And that's assuming Sound Transit doesn't open the lines early by using some unneeded float time.

And I do agree that transit isn't the single solution to our problems, but it's a lot more palatable to the modern Seattleite than more roads, and will have less of a negative reaction and impact in the near and long-term future.

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Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
Seattle is just the place where there few if any alternative options. We have a unique situation where the landscape as beautiful as it is limits our options. We have very steep grades, deep bodies of water, unstable ground, and so on. Seattle is also poorly planned in many areas, maybe because of growth opposition from years ago. For example my 17 mile commute I only have two continuous roads that go north-south. SR99 a 4 lane arterial road with bus lanes that has poorly timed lights and Interstate 5 which is useless during the week.

Even PA with their outdated highways with limited capacity are much better off than Seattle is with their highways. I only support toll roads if it is an alternate route that parallels the "free" ones.
The landscape makes transit a really good option here. Driving is slowed down by hills and crammed into limited space, which partially prevented a massive freeway network and sprawl to really set in. Tunneled light rail would be able to bypass these problems and be time-competitive with driving, as the University Link extension will show us in March.

Also, SR 99's lights have been deliberately timed for buses (Swift and RapidRide E, namely), which have transit signal priority equipment installed. Might want to keep pace with one if you want to hit a wave of greens.

Building parallel toll roads is just a huge waste of space and funds that will make quality-of-life for the region much worse. We do not want to be like other American cities, we strive to be more like Vancouver, which has a sensible transit network (despite recent failings of the administration, it still works) and elected to not build freeways and doesn't have massive traffic jams in the way that we do.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 08:55 AM   #11310
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Quote:
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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
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=266014
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Old February 12th, 2016, 08:57 AM   #11311
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To be fair, even on the PT front, Seattle is behind several other American cities, talk less about Vancouver.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 09:04 AM   #11312
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Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
Speaking from experience, something like 1/3 of Philadelphia's highway network is entirely tolled (bridges; PA, NJ, DE turnpikes; Northeast Extension; DE 1; AC Expressway; Garden State Parkway if you're feeling generous). This system includes the NJ Tpk/I-295 kinda-sorta express-local setup as well as other major toll roads that don't have local distributors (i.e. all of the rest).!
Slightly off-topic but I never understood how that setup came about. I assume one got built after the other. I-295 gets close enough to the NJ turnpike that it's basically a shunpiking route all the way from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to near Trenton, shaved a few dollars off my toll when driving from VA to CT when I still lived back east.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 09:13 AM   #11313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SounderBruce View Post
I'm sorry, but I'm laughing real hard here.

Adding a single lane to a freeway here would take over a decade of public hearings alone, just as all things do. The Seattle process is a very real phenomenon that does a lot of good (slaying awful freeways through thriving neighborhoods) and bad (delaying transit for 40 years). The I-405 ETL only slipped by because the new lanes were not general purpose, and even then took 10 years after approval/funding to be built.

Meanwhile, Link to Bellevue and Lynnwood will be open in only 7 years. And that's assuming Sound Transit doesn't open the lines early by using some unneeded float time.

And I do agree that transit isn't the single solution to our problems, but it's a lot more palatable to the modern Seattleite than more roads, and will have less of a negative reaction and impact in the near and long-term future.
Yeah progress in this city is way too slow, its pretty pathetic honestly. I'd say if you asked the average Seattleite they would agree to improving roads and highways. I hear about it almost daily actually. Again you need both.


Quote:
The landscape makes transit a really good option here. Driving is slowed down by hills and crammed into limited space, which partially prevented a massive freeway network and sprawl to really set in. Tunneled light rail would be able to bypass these problems and be time-competitive with driving, as the University Link extension will show us in March.

Also, SR 99's lights have been deliberately timed for buses (Swift and RapidRide E, namely), which have transit signal priority equipment installed. Might want to keep pace with one if you want to hit a wave of greens.

Building parallel toll roads is just a huge waste of space and funds that will make quality-of-life for the region much worse. We do not want to be like other American cities, we strive to be more like Vancouver, which has a sensible transit network (despite recent failings of the administration, it still works) and elected to not build freeways and doesn't have massive traffic jams in the way that we do.
The landscape makes any transportation option more difficult. But the density helps with transit for sure. I avoid SR99 as much as possible, for my current weekday commute I cut through neighborhoods faster than 99. Vancouver has some of the worst traffic in North America lol. But they do have much better transit than we do.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 09:23 AM   #11314
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Slightly off-topic but I never understood how that setup came about. I assume one got built after the other. I-295 gets close enough to the NJ turnpike that it's basically a shunpiking route all the way from the Delaware Memorial Bridge to near Trenton, shaved a few dollars off my toll when driving from VA to CT when I still lived back east.
The NJ Turnpike predates the Interstates.

So when the Interstate Highway Act was first signed NJ decided to get extra $$$ by running an Interstate parallel to their Turnpike. The plan was to have I-95 be a free road parallel to the Turnpike from New York to Trenton, and I-295 (whatever its original designation was) parallel it from Trenton down to the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

They got I-295 built, but the I-95 alignment was axed during the first wave of freeway revolts.

And that, by the way, is why there was, until quite recently, a gap in signposted I-95 between Trenton and New Brunswick. When the 95-276 interchange in PA is done, I-95 will have, for the first time, a signposted through-route between New York and Philadelphia.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 03:57 PM   #11315
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mrsmartman, I posted those photos in this thread already, they're on the previous page
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Old February 12th, 2016, 05:22 PM   #11316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammersklavier View Post
The NJ Turnpike predates the Interstates.

So when the Interstate Highway Act was first signed NJ decided to get extra $$$ by running an Interstate parallel to their Turnpike. The plan was to have I-95 be a free road parallel to the Turnpike from New York to Trenton, and I-295 (whatever its original designation was) parallel it from Trenton down to the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

They got I-295 built, but the I-95 alignment was axed during the first wave of freeway revolts.

And that, by the way, is why there was, until quite recently, a gap in signposted I-95 between Trenton and New Brunswick. When the 95-276 interchange in PA is done, I-95 will have, for the first time, a signposted through-route between New York and Philadelphia.
The Delaware Turnpike predates I-95 too. It was built from Newark to New Castle and was tolled not just at the Maryland border, but at some exits as well. You can still see how the interchanges are configured for tollbooths in some places. The interchange with DE 273 is the most notable one; it's two/three lanes for traffic heading to/coming from the east, so that people using part of the old turnpike would pay something.

The Delaware Turnpike was dedicated by John F. Kennedy 8 days before his assassination, which is why it's named after him.
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Old February 12th, 2016, 09:39 PM   #11317
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I-94, Milwaukee, WI

The Stadium Interchange in Milwaukee will be reconstructed as part of the I-94 modernisation and widening. I-94 will be widened to eight lanes. The State Route 341 / US 41 connection won't be free-flow anymore. The Stadium Freeway is only about 2.5 miles long. It is the oldest freeway in Milwaukee, the current interchange opened in 1962.

Current interchange:


Planned interchange:


It's a rather unusual interchange design. It's basically an exit with flyovers for the busiest links. It's probably one of the few instances of a freeway-to-freeway interchange being downgraded to a non-freeflow interchange.
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Old February 13th, 2016, 11:08 AM   #11318
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I-410 San Antonio, TX

A render of a massive new 5 level stack interchange that is planned at the I-10 / I-410 interchange in eastern San Antonio. It includes a long elevated ramp north of the interchange. They also seem to be widening the median of both I-10 and I-410.

It is presently just a cloverleaf with non-continuous frontage roads. San Antonio seems to be the cloverleaf capital of Texas, they have a number of partial or full cloverleafs at freeway-to-freeway interchanges.



Screenshot:
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Old February 13th, 2016, 06:17 PM   #11319
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Progress on Tappan Zee bridge construction, upstate NY:
More pics here:
http://www.newnybridge.com/photo/








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Old February 13th, 2016, 09:58 PM   #11320
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The I-95 / I-595 interchange in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Interchange by Francisco Anzola, on Flickr
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