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Old March 14th, 2008, 03:36 AM   #1901
Tom 958
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Thanks for the kudos, everyone-- I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've certainly enjoyed the cool things so many others have posted.

I just got home from work-- left at 7:15pm and traffic was still kentucky fried on 285. I took twenty miles of backroads to avoid the Interstates. Only took about 45 minutes, though-- one cycle of the first Clash album.

Now I have a difficult choice to make: reply to Chriszwolle and Rail Claimore's comments, or forge ahead with part two?
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Old March 14th, 2008, 07:59 AM   #1902
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Can you explain that? Sounds interesting.
I think that it relates to the SEVERE amount of local government balkanization in that metro area - the actual City of Atlanta is remarkably small (pop - 423K - 2000 USCensus) while the metro area (+/- 3M population) covers oodles of counties and incorporated cities going out at least an hour's drive time in all directions - many of which are in heavy competition against each other for development with a heavy mix of city-suburb animosity mixed in for good measure.

I can only wonder what that area would be like if things were more unified.



Mike
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Old March 14th, 2008, 11:14 AM   #1903
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You mean the individual counties are more interested in the house taxes than a proper functioning city?
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Old March 14th, 2008, 01:36 PM   #1904
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
You mean the individual counties are more interested in the house taxes than a proper functioning city?
Yes, that's part of it. Another aspect is that sometime around (I think) 1960 Georgia law was changed to allow counties to provide the full range of municipal services. that means that any type of development can happen anywhere.

The way things usually go is that single-family residential development occurs first, and it doesn't bring in enough in taxes to pay the bills, so the affected jurisdictions either have to raise taxes on everyone-- long term residents and newcomers alike-- or attract commercial and industrial development to pay the bills. Or both. Georgia counties are numerous and small and their borders never change, so what happens is that each of them is faced with the task of developing a balanced tax base on a completely arbitrary chunk of land.

One way out would be the imposition of impact fees, by which new development is required to pay a large proportion of the cost of new infrastructure, leaving general revenues free to pay mostly for operations. But that rarely happens because...

The fundamental problems is that land speculators and developers make their money from changes in land use, the more numerous and radical, the better. Local government can be very useful in promoting such changes, so investing a small proportion of their profits in campaign contributions to effect control of local governments is very lucrative. The foxes pay a small tithe in exchange for the power to manage the henhouses.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 01:52 PM   #1905
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
I think that it relates to the SEVERE amount of local government balkanization in that metro area - the actual City of Atlanta is remarkably small (pop - 423K - 2000 USCensus) while the metro area (+/- 3M population) covers oodles of counties and incorporated cities going out at least an hour's drive time in all directions - many of which are in heavy competition against each other for development with a heavy mix of city-suburb animosity mixed in for good measure.

I can only wonder what that area would be like if things were more unified.



Mike
It's more complicated and less divisive than that. Georgia gives every county in the state home rule powers, and cities have additional powers as well. But the Atlanta metro area doesn't have many incorporated areas for a metro its size, so with the exception of the city of Atlanta, the vast majority of decisions are made at the county level. In other words, you're dealing with about 20 main units of government, all of which have a lot of power.

It's not advantageous or disadvantageous in comparison with a metro like Houston or Chicago. It's just different.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 11:19 PM   #1906
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Garden State Parkway & US 9 near Perth Amboy, New Jersey: 26 lanes across including an unused section of 6 lanes

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Old March 14th, 2008, 11:28 PM   #1907
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It's just massive
[IMG]http://i32.************/2qmj0k1.jpg[/IMG]
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Old March 15th, 2008, 02:33 AM   #1908
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And still congested
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Old March 15th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #1909
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MateoW View Post
And still congested
I don't know, the Garden State Pkwy has an AADT of 240.000 there. 20 lanes can accomodate up to 500.000 vehicles a day. Technically it shouldn't be a problem, but it depends on the situation downstream. If the traffic flow disrupts like 2 miles north or south, it can easily jam the bridge, no matter how many lanes you have.

You have to remember, the Garden State Parkway is the only free-flow road south of Perth Amboy, where over one and a half million people live. Almost the entire New Jersey coastline is more or less urbanized.

Monmouth County has 635,000 inhabitants, and the southern adjacent Ocean County has 553,000 inhabitants. Further South, there is Atlantic County with Atlantic City which has 253,000 inhabitants. All these counties are connected with this single Parkway.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #1910
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This is madness! Do they ever even think about the environment? I mean this is incredible air, noise and visual pollution.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #1911
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Americans don't really care about these problems.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 01:30 PM   #1912
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Such a large freeflowing bridge is better for reducing air pollution, than having a jammed one. Like i said, this is the only way out for 1.5 million people towards New York. To be frank, i'm surprised the AADT isn't higher here. (Combined with US 9 about 331,000 vehicles a day).
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Old March 15th, 2008, 03:20 PM   #1913
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Tom, any fresh (tornado) pics from Atlanta?
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Old March 15th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #1914
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Here are some Garden State Parkway scenes Just south of that bridge set up...
There's a toll booth shortly after the bridge, in fact, you can see the EZ Pass Only lane markings on one of those pictures Chris posted....Then there's a service area followed by an express/local lane seperation.

image hosted on flickr


A bit farther down there's an outdoor amphitheatre where there are several shows during the warmer months...

image hosted on flickr


There's also New Jersey's Vietnam Memorial, which is quite moving. In the museum there are letters from soldiers to their loved ones written before they were killed...It's sad because in some cases they were written just days before they died. There's a round wall with 366 panels for each day of the year- the names of soldiers who died are on the panels based on the date they were killed. There's a tree in the center of that wall.

image hosted on flickr


Signage for the toll booth.

image hosted on flickr
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Old March 15th, 2008, 06:05 PM   #1915
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NJ is like the Houston of the Northeast.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #1916
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Yeah New Jersey is quite a contrast to New York, while they're both part of the same agglomeration.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 07:37 PM   #1917
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I gotta say tho that with 26 lanes, why dont they remove 2 of them and chuck a high speed rail or a maglev down the middle of it?

Give people a reasonable alternative to it if its just really a commuter highway.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 08:40 PM   #1918
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Nah, i think the urban area south of New York is too large and not dense enough to serve efficiently with a maglev.

A common problem with public transportation in these kind of area's is that they are too centered along a few lines, making them not a very good alternative. This one massive bridge doesn't say all that traffic goes the same direction after the bridge. Possibly, it spreads out over various roads, like the 95, 287 and 440, and the GS Pkwy itself.

Quote:
Problems can often occur at residential densities between about two and five. (Floor area ratio) These densities can cause traffic jams for automobiles, yet are too low to be commercially served by trains or light rail systems.
This quote is a common problem in most midsize cities, even in Europe. If you want to serve such a city with extensive rail anyway, it will cost you tremendous amounts of money. This might not be a problem within the New York City proper, but the urban area is so immense, you can't imagine.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 01:52 AM   #1919
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Let's give credit where credit is due- New Jersey Transit's North Jersey Coast Line commuter rail runs over another bridge just to the east of the one we've been discussing...Some of you seem to be assuming there's no alternative to what's been shown for local commuters.

image hosted on flickr
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Old March 17th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #1920
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Seattle Transportation Projects

Would anyone like to share information on the conditions of the roads in Washington State? I know I-90 has a very nice stretch of road in central Washington all the way to Spokane. But I-5 through Seattle is just a horror.
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