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Old August 17th, 2005, 12:59 AM   #301
sbarn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OettingerCroat
just FYI for those who have never driven around the bay, IM SERIOUS, about 50 meters beyond the cars in this photograph, about right where the overpass is, the road goes back to concrete
You're right!! Look at the "treacherous" concrete... lets take them on a tour of 680, shall we??

Asphalt:




Still asphalt...

Recognize this photo?

The tour continues...




...and back to asphalt...


Note on the left... they're rebuilding the freeway:

The Carquinez bridge (as most bridges in the U.S., its concrete):

...and back to asphalt...


Sorry about the deluge of photos... I felt my point was best proven by photographs...
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Old August 17th, 2005, 01:13 AM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyView
Hey Oettinger, what's your point ?
You ever been driving on Belgian highways. Compared to most of them, these Cali ones look like a pool table.
And even when Dutch and German highways are better than Belgian, they too have numerous, with tar filled cracks.
This discussion make NO sense.
I totally agree.
The worst motorways I have ever driven on were in Belgium. Although the motorway surfaces have improved in the last years I have never come across such jaw breaking holes anywhere as I have in Belgium.

For every flaw found in US highways the same can be found again in Europe.

German Autobahns arent that great.I dont know what all the fuss is about. They have sharp bend on-ramps that mean traffic entering the autobahn is offen moving very slowly. There are very few high speed on and off ramps on the german autobahn system. Considering that there is no speed limit on the autobahn the stopping shoulders are too skinny and there is little margin for driver error built into the layout. In hilly areas its a mess. Cars going 150-200 kph and trucks doing 40-50 kph. Heavy breaking and hard exceleration are the trade marks of driving on the autobahn.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 01:35 AM   #303
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Also weather plays a big role in concrete/asphalt roads, temperature varies way more across america.

a good explaination I found on another board.

Quote:
Asphalt vs. Concrete is like Analog vs. Digital.

Asphalt is a mixture of tar and rocks. When heated, it softens, and under load, it flows. The results are ruts in the road, which you can clearly see if you drive down any Farm-To-Market road after a light rain. When the ruts get deep enough, the water they hold can become a hazard to traffic. Also, if there's a weak spot under the asphalt, it will sink in and break up, sometimes rapidly turning into a tire-jarring pothole. But when properly applied, this decay is a slow process. The occasional pothole can be filled with more asphalt to get you through until the next repaving. And repaving involves simply scraping off the top and pouring more asphalt on top.

Concrete, on the other hand, is a mixture of rock and binding agents that dries hard and stays that way. It does not melt under load. However, if the ground underneath the concrete slabs develops a weak spot, the whole slab can tip, and eventually the slab breaks up into jagged-edged blocks. Concrete also expands in the heat. Since it can't squish together like asphalt, slabs that expand into each other will crack, leading to water intrusion into the roadbase, and a weak spot as above. Repairing holes in concrete isn't easy. You have to either cut out a big area and repour the concrete, or fill the hole with... asphalt. Eventually, a concrete road with severe problems may be repaved with a layer of asphalt.

Asphalt is analog. It will develop faults over time, but it's a gradual process. Concrete is digital. It's a highly superior surface with no degradation until its failure point, at which point it must be repaired immediately. Which surface you use would depend on factors like traffic load, type of vehicle expected, and construction and repair budget.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 01:47 AM   #304
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IMO, i'm more concerned about quality of drivers on the highways than highway pavement. Many Americans just don't know how to drive on our freeways.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 01:53 AM   #305
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk
IMO, i'm more concerned about quality of drivers on the highways than highway pavement. Many Americans just don't know how to drive on our freeways.
Agreed. My #1 pet peeve... when people drive slow in the left (fast) lane.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 01:58 AM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBk
IMO, i'm more concerned about quality of drivers on the highways than highway pavement. Many Americans just don't know how to drive on our freeways.

Another blanket statement about an issue in which none of us have the authority to judge.


But nontheless, I don't have a problem with drivers on highways in rural areas (many people don't block the left lane), it's mainly driving in the city that's a pain.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 02:22 AM   #307
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listen, i wasn't trying to troll the thread, and apparently i was, so i'm sorry. i was just trying to prove a couple points. i really am sorry.

i still say that US highways, ON THE WHOLE, are worse than European ones. that's just my opinion, and this is a thread to state your opinions, eh?

and whats wrong with saying "a road is a turd?" it's proper grammar. also just fyi, i know this country very well, i mean, when you live here, it's hard not to.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 02:46 AM   #308
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarn
You're right!! Look at the "treacherous" concrete... lets take them on a tour of 680, shall we??
That road couldn't legally be classed as a motorway (our freeways) in the UK. In fact it wouldn't pass any UK safety tests. You don't have proper lane markings, you don't have the multi-coloured "cats eyes" to distinguish the different lanes at night, you don't have proper carriageway rumble strips, you don't have safe crash barriers (concrete ones are illegal here as they were proven to be dangerous), you don't have sufficient slip road merge zones and your road signs don't have enough detail (legally here they have to provide junction details, run-off signs and much more).
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Old August 17th, 2005, 03:04 AM   #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird
That road couldn't legally be classed as a motorway (our freeways) in the UK. In fact it wouldn't pass any UK safety tests. You don't have proper lane markings, you don't have the multi-coloured "cats eyes" to distinguish the different lanes at night, you don't have proper carriageway rumble strips, you don't have safe crash barriers (concrete ones are illegal here as they were proven to be dangerous), you don't have sufficient slip road merge zones and your road signs don't have enough detail (legally here they have to provide junction details, run-off signs and much more).
Yawn. Why do must some Brits always be so arrogant. Just because our Freeways don't LOOK like yours, doesn't mean they aren't unsafe. Why don't you get out of your bubble. Let me guess... they also don't meet your safety standards because we drive on the RIGHTHAND side of the road. BTW, there notice the reflectors between the lanes?? ... roads in CA are some of the safest in the US.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 03:17 AM   #310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarn
Yawn. Why do must some Brits always so arrogant. Just because our Freeways don't LOOK like yours, doesn't mean they aren't unsafe. Why don't you get out of your bubble. Let me guess... they also don't meet your safety standards because we drive on the RIGHTHAND side of the road. BTW, there notice the reflectors between the lanes?? ... roads in CA are some of the safest in the US.
Safety tests were done in the UK. The system we have scored highest.

1. Concrete barriers vs. steel barriers - Steel barriers, unlike concrete, give by up to 4 feet, meaning that crash victims don't immediately rebound into other lanes. The barrier absorbs a lot of the impact.

2. Cats eyes - In the UK, unlike the US, the Cats Eyes (or reflectors) are colour co-ordinated to determine which lane you are in at night and change in frequency as you are approaching junctions.

3. Lane markings - Unlike the freeway you posted, UK roads all have proper "painted" road markings as well as Cats Eyes. The reason for this is that glare from the sun can make it harder to see Cats Eyes. White lines on a black surface are easier to see than, in your example, a few white dots on a light grey surface.

4. Signage - After extensive tests they determined that:
a) Junction numbers should be on signs to aid navigation and reduce accidents
b) Junctions should be marked by numbered signs to indicate how many yards you are from the junction, again to reduce sudden lane changes and so accidents
Both these are missing from your freeway.

5. Carriageway rumble strips - These are present to alert drivers when their vehicle moves out of it's lane, which again reduces accidents. These are missing from most US freeways.

6. Breakdown lanes - These must be full width lanes with full length rumble strips for safety and emergency telephones at intervals. Again, this feature isn't as advanced on US freeways.

7. Slip roads - US on ramps aren't long enough compared to those in the UK, meaning heavier vehicles struggle to get up to speed or slow down.

8. Run-off zones - Our motorways need larger run-off zones at any junctions to ensure that if a driver is forced to change lanes in an emergency they have adequate space to do so.

These are some of the main reasons UK motorways are safer than US freeways and have less accidents.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 03:24 AM   #311
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Sbarn needs to post pictures of motorways in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia and Maryland instead of California. Many of them are absolutely abysmal (I-90 in New York and I-76 in Ohio notably) but this has a lot to do with the temperature extremes the region faces during the year.

That said, the US government derives comparatively little income from motorists unlike Western Europe, so road maintenance is often more sporadic. Once off the motorways, things in the US can get absolutely deplorable: the roads around Youngstown, Ohio, for example are literally the worst I have ever seen. Unlike many European countries, funding for US roads away from motorways is often sourced at regional or even local level, which often results in a vast array of surface qualities.

The other aspect of US interstates I don't like is the lack of road markings to signify slip roads and cats eyes. Likewise, many ordinary roads have no markings at intersections, instead simply relying on a stop sign. Again due to the weather, in north-eastern states they are reluctant to use cats eyes because they get torn up during winter snowploughing - and the region gets far more snow than the UK does, for example (in Cleveland we had 106 inches between December and March). When you get into Ontario, the motorway markings are as different again and you'd think you were driving on a Western European highway.

There are poor roads everywhere, but generally I have far more confidence doing high-speed work on a UK motorway or French autoroute than I do a US interstate simply because of the vastly superior quality of road maintenance.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 03:27 AM   #312
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Personally, I think this shows the difference in quality...

Manchester ring road:
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Old August 17th, 2005, 03:58 AM   #313
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Marquette Interchange in Milwaukee (now)


It's being completely reconstructed and modernized. It will be completed in 2008:
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Old August 17th, 2005, 04:00 AM   #314
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My God... that's city planning at it's very worst!
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Old August 17th, 2005, 04:24 AM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbarn
Roads in Colorado suck, IMO--you may be dissatisifed with the ones in the Bay Area, but I sure missed them when I lived in Denver.
Actually, the section of I-70 that goes through Glenwood Canyon is regarded as one of the most well-engineered highways in the country. It's also one of the most beautiful rides I've experienced anywhere.











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Old August 17th, 2005, 04:42 AM   #316
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Something tells me that Europe could do just fine with a mediocre road like this


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Old August 17th, 2005, 04:43 AM   #317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird
My God... that's city planning at it's very worst!

I agree partially, but it's sometimes necessary in suberban America, and it's it's more beautiful than most of what Europe has to offer in terms of highway civil engineering.

Last edited by streetscapeer; August 17th, 2005 at 04:52 AM.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 05:19 AM   #318
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^The interchange pictured above isn't located in a suburb of Milwaukee. It's in the city of Milwaukee, about 2 miles west of downtown.
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Old August 17th, 2005, 05:25 AM   #319
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird
My God... that's city planning at it's very worst!
hahaha you always crack me up

UK IS THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!!!
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Old August 17th, 2005, 05:37 AM   #320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyBird
Personally, I think this shows the difference in quality...

Manchester ring road:
Quality seems to be good, but the UK motorway system is pretty small compared with the US or Germany. There are alot of missing pieces. You drive and then the motorway changes into a normal road until it becomes a motorway again after some miles. Thats kind of annoying when you travelling.
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