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Old May 21st, 2005, 08:08 AM   #1
gronier
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Why European Highways are much better than American ones??

It is true that my country has the widest and longest highway system in the whole world. But to tell you the truth, the overall quality of the highway system is really bad, the pavement in in bad condition, and an urgent renovation is needed right now!!!!
Here in Skyscrapercity I have seen many pictures of European highways and they look much better than American Highways, because they are well maintained and it should be a pleasure to drive in highways like those, and not in the old American interstate System, because their glory days I think are over while other countries like the European ones are rebuilding their highways and making a country much richer look like underdeveloped.
The thing is that I love asphalt highways and here in the US it's not very used in the Highways unfortunately.

I really hope the Congress passes the Highway Bill that would rebuild all the Highway System and give this great nation the highways that it deserves!!.

Last edited by gronier; May 21st, 2005 at 08:20 AM.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 08:14 AM   #2
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Well, the thing is all about design and policy. I, for one, know that the German Autobahn is twice as thick as the average American freeway.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 08:42 AM   #3
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I would love to have highways like this ones in the Midwest (jut look at the quality of the pavement!!):

I just simply love the Autostrada!!

[IMG]http://************/1e719y[/IMG]



Spain:



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Old May 21st, 2005, 04:39 PM   #4
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Not all european highways look like that. But I think the new ones are builded on a very high quality level.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 04:51 PM   #5
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Well, Americans don't pay as much tax as us, so I guess the things that are paid for out of tax money are sometimes going to have to make do with second best.

I found that some of the US highways were in quite bad condition when I visited, especially in the south. In terms of infrastructure generally, Americans seem to want something that works ok at minimum cost even if it's not perfect and may look a bit scruffy while many European countries seem happy to pay the extra money for a premium product.

The US is also much less densely populated so they probably have more 'road miles per taxpayer' so this must stretch funding too.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 05:27 PM   #6
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Im with Jonesy....makes sense




US Unpaved Highways 2,213,550 km
UK Unpaved Highways 0 km
GER Unpaved Highways 0km

Dont have time to check the rest of Europe...

I got those numbers off here http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/
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Old May 21st, 2005, 05:31 PM   #7
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Another thing that makes many European highways look good, is the fact that many places here the new roads are very well intergrated in the landscape. Atleast here in Denmark, they would never make an "elevated highway" on some pillars, but instead move tons of sand to make it look "good". I know this ain't the case for ALL highways in Europe, but in general I agree that many looks better than their American counterparts.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 05:52 PM   #8
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Money isn't the problem at all. The US spends huge amounts on infrastructure each year, and just got through passing a $300 billion transportation bill to revamp some of the old highways built in the 1950's, like the ones Jonesy mentioned "in the South," although I though I-10 was in excellent condition, except near New Orleans!
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Old May 21st, 2005, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
Money isn't the problem at all. The US spends huge amounts on infrastructure each year, and just got through passing a $300 billion transportation bill to revamp some of the old highways built in the 1950's, like the ones Jonesy mentioned "in the South," although I though I-10 was in excellent condition, except near New Orleans!
Apart from roads in the middle of nowhere a hundred miles from the nearest town which I can understand not being maintained very well, the worst one I remember was the interstate going right across tennessee from knoxville through to nashville then memphis. It wasn't full of potholes or anything but it was made of loads of concrete slabs lying next to each other so when you drive on it you get a 'bump.. bump.. bump.. bump' every twenty metres or so when you drive over the join, very annoying.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 06:07 PM   #10
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i think europes highways are better due to there youth

Athens:





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Old May 21st, 2005, 06:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giorgos69
i think europes highways are better due to there youth

Athens:





That last one looks like the highway ramp from simcity 4
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Old May 21st, 2005, 06:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
That last one looks like the highway ramp from simcity 4
lol. very funny.....your too true...too bad sim city 4 is broken
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Old May 21st, 2005, 07:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55
It wasn't full of potholes or anything but it was made of loads of concrete slabs lying next to each other so when you drive on it you get a 'bump.. bump.. bump.. bump' every twenty metres or so when you drive over the join, very annoying.
Wait, was the whole thing made of concrete or just some parts? If it's only a few parts then that's most likely a rumble strip which is meant to alert sleepy drivers of things like toll booths and merging lanes.

But you have to remember, the US highway system dates back to Truman and started in the 1950s with Eisenhower and only "finished" in the 1990s. The problem is that you can't expect America to fix all the roadways at once, for obvious reasons like money and traffic problems. So once construction finishes on a highway, they move to the next few highways and by that time the first highway needs to be repaved or fixed. It's a constant battle, especially on high volume highways.

The main obstacle is money of course. Every state has its problems with paying for the highway system. Americans (generally) hate the word "tax" and so states have to think of creative ways to pay for highway projects.

So overall I think it's unrealistic to think that every highway could be in tip-top shape.
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Old May 21st, 2005, 07:40 PM   #14
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Highways can look messy IMO Freeways however cant...
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Old May 21st, 2005, 07:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy999
Wait, was the whole thing made of concrete or just some parts? If it's only a few parts then that's most likely a rumble strip which is meant to alert sleepy drivers of things like toll booths and merging lanes.
Over here these "rumble strips" are made using the same stuff used to paint the road lines. They're painted yellow and get closer as you get nearer to the junction. I too, though, have noticed the way many US highways are made using blocks of concrete that bump when you cross the join.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy999
But you have to remember, the US highway system dates back to Truman and started in the 1950s with Eisenhower and only "finished" in the 1990s. The problem is that you can't expect America to fix all the roadways at once, for obvious reasons like money and traffic problems. So once construction finishes on a highway, they move to the next few highways and by that time the first highway needs to be repaved or fixed. It's a constant battle, especially on high volume highways.
The UK motorway network was started in the 1950s too. New ones are built when the demand is there. I think our entire network is now paved with tarmac so you can't use the excuse of time and money. It's a constant battle to maintain them over here too, especially on London's ring road which is the busiest in the world.
 
Old May 21st, 2005, 09:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird
Over here these "rumble strips" are made using the same stuff used to paint the road lines. They're painted yellow and get closer as you get nearer to the junction. I too, though, have noticed the way many US highways are made using blocks of concrete that bump when you cross the join.

The UK motorway network was started in the 1950s too. New ones are built when the demand is there. I think our entire network is now paved with tarmac so you can't use the excuse of time and money. It's a constant battle to maintain them over here too, especially on London's ring road which is the busiest in the world.
We have motorways made of concrete in the UK too - I remember the M11 being a good example a few years ago of the bump... bump... bump... syndrome, though I think it's been resurfaced in the last five years as I drove down to Chelmsford on Boxing Day and don't remember it being concrete blocks...
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Old May 21st, 2005, 09:25 PM   #17
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I think it depends on the state. Like Texas probably has better freeways than most of Europe.

Look at this construction for instance, this alone probably blows Europe out of the water.






Styled pillars




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Old May 21st, 2005, 09:42 PM   #18
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The pillars are great....nothing else special though!
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Old May 21st, 2005, 09:51 PM   #19
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Nothing else special?? Show me a stack this big anywhere in Europe, this is just Texas too, doesnt even take into account the rest of the US.







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Old May 21st, 2005, 09:58 PM   #20
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Not it doesn't, junctions in europe are just simpler and better integrated in cities.

Even of those roads you posted, is noticable that road isn't "monolith". I mean you can see these line on road that has to do with conrete. Most highways in Europe are "monolith", (you ve feeling they were built simply with one movement, you cannt notice lanes that were added later)
Poland:



Greece:


And German





Indeed, a lot of them are new, but even old highways get renovated so they almost looks like new too
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