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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:31 PM   #1701
TheCat
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Collector-express systems are superior to frontage roads, being both more efficient and aesthetically-pleasing, although not being exactly equivalent to frontage roads when it comes to function.

The main advantage to frontage roads is direct access to businesses, which are located along freeways that once were regular roads and were upgraded. However, while the posted picture is fascinating in its own right, it also looks quite ugly, and I'm not talking about the concrete (I have no problem with concrete freeways), but just the general cityscape. Such freeways with frontage roads definitely become very bulky and visible monster landmarks in a city, instead of blending in nicely.

Except for access to businesses, which can be done using ordinary streets, collector-express systems offer effective distribution of traffic on freeways when there are many exits in a densely populated urban area. They also come with the bonus of being freeway-standard themselves (i.e. high speed, with limited access).
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 02:13 PM   #1702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCat View Post
while the posted picture is fascinating in its own right, it also looks quite ugly, and I'm not talking about the concrete (I have no problem with concrete freeways), but just the general cityscape
I generally agree with this statement.
I can appreciate all those roads and exits and frontage roads and the businesses that go along with them on one level- but it leaves me wondering what the next step will be. What happens when even more traffic clogs that new setup- how much wider are they going to build that thing? How many more strip malls and TGI Fridays locations will be required by the masses?

I used to live near El Paso, which has its own frontage roads along I-10 (Gateway Blvd)- it did make it feel sort of convenient to get to the exact spot you were going to- but on the other hand, the many years I've lived in the northeast, I've never not been able to get somewhere- and NOT having frontage roads tends to make things look nicer- or at least varied and not the same for mile after mile.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 07:41 PM   #1703
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I believe that there is a basic tenet of law in Texas that says that ANY land owner has an inviolate right of direct access to ANY public right of way that his/her land fronts on. Those frontage/feeder roads were devised to make that legal tenet compatible with the design standards of the interstate highway system, as well as with other freeways in general.

One aspect of them that I do like (in fact, REALLY like) is that the state can quickly and cheaply establish new major road corridors in newly developing areas by building the frontage roads first, adding the freeway in the middle later on when traffic numbers call for it - completely taking the NIMBY factor out of the equation in the process.

There are a few other places in the USA where such direct-access frontage roads are common, metro Detroit, MI is the biggie. They are also seen to a lesser extent in many other places (ie, the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago).

As for the patterns and appearance of the development along those Texas freeways - THAT is 100% up to the local governments and their zoning gurus.

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Old February 25th, 2008, 03:56 AM   #1704
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Frontage roads may be ugly (subjective opinion), but they have more advantages than disadvantages when you take external factors into consideration: Someone mentioned that they pretty much quell NIMBYism, and that's true. Frontage roads preserve the accessibility of surface streets while at the same time providing the advantages of limited-access mobility. In fact, more states are adopting them, not necessarily for new freeways, but for upgrading existing arterials that handle way more traffic than they're capable of. Frontage roads provide a way to build a freeway without creating a new corridor. And frontage roads can look aesthetically pleasing with proper landscaping and engineering.

They also provide for better land-use patterns because commercial development in the area is naturally attracted to frontage roads rather than an abundance of surface streets, thus providing for less-congested (relatively) and commercially cluttered surface streets in primarily residential areas.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 07:28 AM   #1705
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Here's an example of a highway in Texas built to accomodate a future freeway, Texas 170 north of Dallas/Ft Worth area:


[IMG]http://i27.************/nfh9w4.png[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i25.************/2r5gf85.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i28.************/2q0odit.jpg[/IMG]
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Old February 25th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #1706
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Is that freeway going to be built, or was that set up that way in case they decided to build sometime down the line?
It must be the world's widest median at the moment!
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Old February 25th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #1707
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The I-8 east of San Diego has a median that is over 2 miles wide
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Old February 25th, 2008, 07:13 PM   #1708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billpa View Post

Is that freeway going to be built, or was that set up that way in case they decided to build sometime down the line?
It must be the world's widest median at the moment!
It looks like it but the way things are going in Texas every new planned "freeway" is going to be a tollway. Here is an excerpt I found doing a google search:

Quote:
SH 170
Frontage roads are in place between SH 114 and IH 35W. Extensive growth and development in
and around Alliance Texas has generated a need to provide the main lanes and to extend the
roadway westerly, initially to US 287 (14 miles) and ultimately to the new DFW Outer Loop. As
a result of recently enacted state legislation, the Texas Transportation Commission at its June 28,
2007 meeting instructed the Department to begin the SB 792 market evaluation process. NTTA
has engaged Carter Burgess to do an environmental assessment of the 170 project in order to get
environmental clearance.
source: http://www.trtcmobility.org/upload/P...s%20072707.pdf

if that doesn't work try: http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache...ient=firefox-a
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Old February 25th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #1709
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On a side note, I think the route signage being used on the new toll roads around Austin are among the best I've seen anywhere in the world.
The numbers are clear as is the fact it's a toll highway. And the flag at the bottom looks wonderful.

image hosted on flickr
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Old February 25th, 2008, 07:54 PM   #1710
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I like the "standard" signage but for some reason the signs on 130 are different from the ones on 45 which use the signs you posted. This what they really look like on 130:

[IMG]http://i31.************/nqe5g8.jpg[/IMG]

also some of the signs on 45 look like this below (without a blue background)

[IMG]http://i25.************/20krgqq.png[/IMG]

It seems like I'm hating on the tollway signage but all the text is in this new Clearview font which is pretty ******* ugly in my opinion. It kinda makes me cringe looking at it but I try to ignore it since most people don't care anyway.

[IMG]http://i28.************/2dgp460.jpg[/IMG]
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Old February 25th, 2008, 08:43 PM   #1711
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
^ all the text is in this new Clearview font which is pretty ******* ugly in my opinion. It kinda makes me cringe looking at it but I try to ignore it since most people don't care anyway.
Texas seems to be moving to Clearview on all its highways, so I'd get used to it if I were you.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #1712
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I love new Clearview font! Looks very similar to the font used on German motorways signs.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:21 PM   #1713
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
[IMG]http://i28.************/2dgp460.jpg[/IMG]

It's interesting that the FM roads are written on a square or rectangle on the large green guide signs as opposed to the Texas map signage that's actually used on the Farm-to-Market roads themselves. I suppose it's done for clarity.
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Old February 25th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #1714
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billpa View Post
It's interesting that the FM roads are written on a square or rectangle on the large green guide signs as opposed to the Texas map signage that's actually used on the Farm-to-Market roads themselves. I suppose it's done for clarity.
Yeah I always found that interesting. The sheild on the big green sign is completely different from the shield you see on the pole.

[IMG]http://i31.************/5lvzte.jpg[/IMG]

Also for the state highway signs you'll see "Texas" on the top from the freeway, but once you get to the actually road sign they place "Texas" on the bottom.

Here's an example:
(This is Interstate 610 in Houston by the way)
[IMG]http://i32.************/2vt43tl.jpg[/IMG]

(Dallas)
[IMG]http://i27.************/6eqcro.jpg[/IMG]
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Old February 26th, 2008, 12:23 AM   #1715
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
Here's an example of a highway in Texas built to accomodate a future freeway, Texas 170 north of Dallas/Ft Worth area:


[IMG]http://i27.************/nfh9w4.png[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i25.************/2r5gf85.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i28.************/2q0odit.jpg[/IMG]
Wow
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Old February 26th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #1716
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are there any other states that use a different shield design on guide signage then on stand alone shields?
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Old February 26th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #1717
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
are there any other states that use a different shield design on guide signage then on stand alone shields?
New Mexico does...
It's standard route sign is the Zia symbol...

image hosted on flickr


But on guide signs it'll look more like this:

image hosted on flickr
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Old February 26th, 2008, 06:23 PM   #1718
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post

[IMG]http://i28.************/2dgp460.jpg[/IMG]
That sign cracks me up... it hasn't been US 75 through there since 1989 (replaced with SH 75), yet it has always been signed as such at that one spot alone. They just replaced this sign in the last six months, and sure enough, they didn't fix it.
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Old February 26th, 2008, 06:55 PM   #1719
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADCS View Post
That sign cracks me up... it hasn't been US 75 through there since 1989 (replaced with SH 75), yet it has always been signed as such at that one spot alone. They just replaced this sign in the last six months, and sure enough, they didn't fix it.
Sometimes it annoys me when they make mistakes like that.

Here in Austin one of the exit signs for Loop 360 says "Texas 360". Texas 360 is in the DFW area not Austin. Also on the way to San Antonio there's an exit for F.M. 306 and F.M. 483. Well the sign said F.M. 306 and Texas 483. It looks they got lazy after replacing the sign below.

[IMG]http://i30.************/5dv6vc.gif[/IMG]

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
are there any other states that use a different shield design on guide signage then on stand alone shields?


Louisiana state highway signs all seem to differ slightly. Some are closer to the actual shape of Louisiana while others are seemingly overly stylized verisions of Louisiana. Also they place the letters "LA" on the stand alone shield but not on the freeway:


[IMG]http://i30.************/2upv0gg.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i31.************/2qd5vsy.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i30.************/2q0t0kw.jpg[/IMG]

On the guide signs they also differ slightly as well. Some of them are with white backgrounds while others are outlines and the shapes differ slightly as well.

[IMG]http://i30.************/2hp4vhh.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i31.************/2pq5mx5.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i26.************/14972no.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i25.************/9u0w7o.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i29.************/9v9qub.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i28.************/x0s02h.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i29.************/2d1734n.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i25.************/nvbe3m.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i32.************/264jacp.jpg[/IMG]
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Old February 27th, 2008, 01:29 AM   #1720
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billpa View Post
Texas seems to be moving to Clearview on all its highways, so I'd get used to it if I were you.
Clearview has been selected as the new standard font for signage, thanks to its increased readability. It's caught on in several states, including Illinois and Michigan.

I believe Georgia uses a narrower version of Clearview that is unique among US states.
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