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Old July 16th, 2010, 05:49 PM   #201
nerdly_dood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolo View Post
Actually under the Highway Traffic Act, that technically is a Highway. All roads are considered Highways.
So pretty much, if cars drive there and it's not a parking lot or a driveway, it's a highway?

How deviant...
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Old July 16th, 2010, 05:58 PM   #202
Bartolo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdly_dood View Post
So pretty much, if cars drive there and it's not a parking lot or a driveway, it's a highway?

How deviant...
Pretty much. This is from 1. (1)

“highway” includes a common and public highway, street, avenue, parkway, driveway, square, place, bridge, viaduct or trestle, any part of which is intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles and includes the area between the lateral property lines thereof; (“voie publique”)

Basically they are saying is if you drive on it, and it is within the public domain, it is a highway.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 12:21 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by Paddington View Post
"Freeway" is such a stupid term. What's it free of? Tolls? Nope. Traffic? Hardly.
It's free of obstructions like random driveways, at-grade intersections, stop signs, traffic lights, etc.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 01:23 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
When non-native speakers of English (or for that matter English speakers from outside North America) ask "what expressway means" or "what freeway means," at least some of them are presumably interested in the way the words are actually used by the population, not just by the MUTCD and specialists. My remarks about northeastern usage are relevant information to them. If only because regional variation is part of the answer. Just like I keep asking on the British thread - no one's answered yet - whether the general public would call a road with a number like "A1(M)" a motorway, and whether roadgeeks would.
You're absolutely right, linguistic-wise. The general public tend to use language the way they're used to, no matter whether it corresponds to theoretically designed expressions or not. Up here in Norway, it's quite common to hear people call 2-lane undivided expressways "motorways". Why? For years we called proper dual carriageway motorways "Motorvei klasse A" (hopefully pretty self-explanatory...) and single carriageway ones "Motorvei klasse B". The fact that the former now simply are known as "Motorvei" and the latter as "Motortrafikkvei" (road reserved for motor traffic), hasn't changed the language. At least not yet.

Still, it's somewhat puzzling for Europeans talking to Americans about this, since you lot - as you say - tend to phrase things differently depending on where in the US you come from... BTW, the A1 (M) is a motorway, also in the general public's mind. It's simply a part of the non-motorway A1 that has been upgraded to motorway standard. And yes, for (some of) us non-British Europeans, this is rather silly...
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Old July 17th, 2010, 02:41 AM   #205
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My point is that language doesn't work that way! If the entire population of a substantial part of the country uses "expressway" to mean limited-access road, that's what it means within that (sizable) speech community. "Correct," to me when I'm learning or using a foreign language [hint] means the way the native-speaking population (or at least adults with a certain level of education) communicate, and has nothing to do with abstract definitions in some obscure legal document - which really only apply among specialists when they're communicating with each other.
We here in the South have a lot of colloquialisms used in informal, everybody speech. That doesn't make it proper English, however. We have standardizations for a reason. It's to create a point of reference that is automatically understood by everybody.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 03:45 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by ttownfeen View Post
We here in the South have a lot of colloquialisms used in informal, everybody speech. That doesn't make it proper English, however. We have standardizations for a reason. It's to create a point of reference that is automatically understood by everybody.
Is it understood by everybody ("automatically" or not)? I'm a 46-year-old, educated (if I may be permitted to say so), native of the U.S., interested in language and often asked at work to review others' writing, and I didn't know until I read this thread that "expressway" and "freeway" weren't synonymous. If the MUTCD - which I haven't looked at in years and most people have never heard of - declared 60 years ago (did I see 1949 upthread?) that they mean something different, and hardly anyone from New England to Chicago noticed, that means it didn't take in that part of the country. It's like the tree that falls in a forest where there's no one in earshot of the crash. The MUTCD gets to decide technical usage in contexts like soliciting bids for construction jobs or applying to the feds for funding for a new project. But not to decide the usage of the general public, if only because the general public isn't paying attention. (And not to go too much into linguistics, but there's nothing "improper" about colloquialisms used in informal, everyday speech. In fact, "colloquial" just means "informal, everyday." Example: if I were a foreigner learning English, I'd not only want to learn the traditional rules for distinguishing "who" and "whom," I'd also want to know that in informal, everyday conversation, "whom" is rarely used. Otherwise I'd end up sounding artificial. So there's no intrinsic "correctness" - if there were, everyone in the world would speak the same language and it would never change - but different levels of usage in different situations. The way language is taught in this country, we end up with annoying third-graders like I was who go home and "correct" our educated, intelligent parents' speech, then over the years start speaking like them without even noticing it. [Steps off soap box])
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Old July 19th, 2010, 04:32 AM   #207
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I could of phrased myself better. A point of reference is by definition is something that can be referred to by everybody, so if you don't automatically know, you know how you get to know.

--

I think there is a difference between providing additional information (which is always appreciated) and providing incorrect information (not saying it was you or anybody in specific, but just in general).

Additional information would be saying that the term "expressway" is used more frequently in the North in lieu of "freeway" because of the prevalence of tolled freeways and the fact that the "free" in "freeway" can be confusing to some.

Incorrect information would be saying the tolled freeways aren't freeways because you've always thought the "free" in "freeway" means "toll-free."

Last edited by ttownfeen; July 19th, 2010 at 04:44 AM.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #208
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Right.

Well, I really did read somewhere - too long ago to remember where - that "freeway" meant toll-free expressway. To me, it was just how Westerners (especially in Los Angeles) said "expressway." (Of course, toll roads were unknown in the West then anyway.) But since the word "freeway" doesn't come naturally to me anyway, and I'm not in the mood to protest the expression "incorrect information," I'll leave it there.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 06:27 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Right.

Well, I really did read somewhere - too long ago to remember where - that "freeway" meant toll-free expressway. To me, it was just how Westerners (especially in Los Angeles) said "expressway." (Of course, toll roads were unknown in the West then anyway.) But since the word "freeway" doesn't come naturally to me anyway, and I'm not in the mood to protest the expression "incorrect information," I'll leave it there.
It really has to do with regional semantics. There are no hard-core definitions here. An Expressway in the east could be the same as a freeway in the west. An Expressway can be tolled, but so can a freeway. It really has a lot do to with what locals have gotten used to. In L.A., almost every divided highway with limited access is known as a freeway, even if tolled. In Chicago, "expressway" is used almost exclusively, despite a toll or not. Why not let these regional terms exist as they are...it adds to the variety and regional differences we have in the U.S., which I truely believe is a good thing. Our differences keep the country interesting!
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Old July 21st, 2010, 07:48 AM   #210
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Let's cut the hyperbole. Nobody's trying to make it illegal to call a freeway an expressway or a tollway a freeway.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 08:39 AM   #211
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To me...
Highway = major link road
Expressway = road with limited property access
Freeway = road with limited property access and grade separation
Tollway = Tolled road
Turnpike = Toll freeway
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Old July 21st, 2010, 09:25 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by pwalker View Post
It really has to do with regional semantics. There are no hard-core definitions here. An Expressway in the east could be the same as a freeway in the west. An Expressway can be tolled, but so can a freeway. It really has a lot do to with what locals have gotten used to. In L.A., almost every divided highway with limited access is known as a freeway, even if tolled. In Chicago, "expressway" is used almost exclusively, despite a toll or not. Why not let these regional terms exist as they are...it adds to the variety and regional differences we have in the U.S., which I truely believe is a good thing. Our differences keep the country interesting!
That's what I'm trying to say!
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Old September 12th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #213
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Originally Posted by nerdly_dood View Post


Why do you think they call them "freeways" in the US? Because they're free! You don't have to pay to drive on them. Tollways are the same way - you have to pay a toll to get on your way. Other kinds of roads are more regional - there are numerous "turnpikes" in Virginia but there are no tolls on them, but in New Jersey a "turnpike" always has tolls (I think)
Freeways are tolled but the traffic can flow freely. Expressways are free but the usually don't have hard shoulder, they may not follow the standards for slope and turning radius, they have U-turns, they have less speed limit,
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Old September 12th, 2011, 06:05 PM   #214
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Originally Posted by Handsome View Post
what are their differences.
Highway: strictly any public road for vehicular traffic. Commonly used mainly for main roads, especially longer distance ones.

Freeway: a road where traffic travelling in opposite directions is separated by a barrier or other median/central reservation, with full grade separation and a relatively high standard of curves and gradients. Usually has a hard shoulder, especially in rural areas (sometimes sacrificed for an extra lane in urban areas). Many countries apply special legal restrictions, prohibiting pedestrians, animal-powered vehicles etc. Known as a motorway in some countries.

Expressway: in some countries a road built to a lesser standard than a freeway (sometimes without full grade separation, shoulders etc), in others another term for a freeway.
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Old September 12th, 2011, 10:08 PM   #215
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In Canada, a highway is a major inter-regional/provincial route. It is two or more lanes, with a speed limit ranging from 80-110 km/h and is broken down into the categories below:

Freeway (Motorway to those of you en Europe): Any divided highway* that is limited access and has no at grade intersections. The speed limit is generally 100 to 110 Km/h outside built up areas and lower limits as required in urban areas. There is generally a minimum speed limit of 60 km/h and it may, or may not have a toll. Depending on location, cyclists may be permitted to ride on the hard shoulder.

Divided highway: Similar in characteristics to the freeway, except that there are at grade intersections, railway crossings at grade (Especially in Alberta) and sometimes even access to businesses and private residences. Posted limits are generally 100-110 km/h outside of built up areas, with lower limits in urban areas.

Major Highway: Any highway that is two or more lanes, is generally undivided, has at grade intersections for the most part, a speed limit of 80-100 km/h and connects major centers. There is access to both businesses and private residences. In remote areas, the highway may be gravel.

Secondary Highway: These are Provincial/Territorial routes. They are generally two lanes, though they may increase to four lanes near urban centers. The speed limit is generally 80-90 km/h and connects smaller communities with to a major highway and provides a regional transportation route. There is access to business and residential areas, no grade separated intersections and grades here are generally steeper than those on major highways. In some areas, the road may not be paved.

Local road: This is your typical "country road". It's two lanes and provides access to a regional area, generally connecting a rural area to an urban area. The speed limit is generally 80 km/h and the road may, or may not be paved. Some roads have commercial vehicle restrictions placed on them, though this is generally seasonal.

* In eastern Canada, there is a sub category of freeway: Two Lane Highway with Freeway Characteristics: This is a two lane highway with passing lanes at intervals, that is limited access, divided, has no at grade intersections, may be a toll route. Speed limits are generally 90-110 km/h.
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