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Old September 13th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #681
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Well, firstly, the scale of the US highway system alone makes it difficult to maintain.

That being, said, the majority of poor highways in the US are in areas where there is a lot of ice and snow. Highways of the Southeast and Southwest no better or worse than anywhere else.
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Old September 13th, 2006, 05:17 PM   #682
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Originally Posted by greek_eagle
On the other hand, wars are often the reason infrastructure is improved..for example Germany's autobahn system was started during the world war.
Thats not correct. first parts of the Reichsautobahn or Avus was being constructed from 1913 onwards.
after the first world war construction was being taken up again and the first part was beieng opened to the public in 1921.

that was well in the times of the Weimar republic which we all know was rather short on money.

This is a list of construction projects during the Weimar republic:

Köln–Düsseldorf (1925)
Aachen–Köln (1925)
Mannheim–Heidelberg (1926)
München–Leipzig–Berlin (MüLeiBerl) (1927)
München–Starnberger See (1927)
Leipzig–Halle (LeHa) (1927)
Hansestädte–Frankfurt–Basel (HaFraBa) (1927)


Here are some Reichsautobahn pics which might be interesting:


the network in 1934:

and the network in 1936: (this one only shows the autobahn)


Brandenburger triangle shortly before being finished in 1936.
today its part of the Berlin ring highway:

An Autobahn bridge from 1936 which is still in use today.

Another typical Reichsautobahn bridge:

In Bavaria:

The first Highway petrol station opened in 1936:




a pic from today of a Reichsautoabhn which is still in use. (note the old bridge)
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Old September 13th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #683
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greek_eagle
Now, because you happened to mention the Greek Highway System and added "of course" to emphasize your belief, let it be known, that the freeways where they are built are built in a similar and up to date fashion as the US system. There are multi level interchanges and stacks like back home, and I wouldn't say that there is any reason to think they are inferior. The only thing I'd like to see is the building of even more in metro Athens as the city is quite large both in size and population.
But you cant really compare the greek infrastructure with lets say the german,french or dutch infrastructure.
Greece is one of the poorest countries in the EU. It gets quite a lot of money from Germany,Britain, France and Italy from the EU funds in order to bring the domestic infrastructure up to date.
Im sure that the new Highways that are being built there are of good quality but in terms of density and size you cant compare them to central europe.
Therefore I said its better to compare the central european networks to the US.
Personally I tink the highways here are of better quality.
But thats just my opinion and I havent been in the US so I dont have first hand experience.
But the german Autobahn for example has a tarmac layer which is twice a thick as the tarmac thickness on US highways.
It costs much more but in the end it will be more durable.
The Autobahn highways here are also very modern, you have fleets of autobahn maintenance organizations which take care of everything.
If it snows heavily in the winter it doesnt matter.

Theres also the Maut system here which keeps the entire network under video surveillance.



And you can also travel as fast as you want to, which is a big bonus. theres no speed limit on many sections.
You might actually run danger of getting pulled over by the police if you drive slower than 90 mph or 130 km/h.
Still Germany ranks 4th when it comes to Highway safety (behind Denmark,Finland and France) the US with a speed limit of 120km/h ranks 14th.
And when it comes to car traffic on the highway you have the dutch in first position with 41 %, the swiss second with 33 % and Germany in third position with 31 %. The US has 24 %.

source

Last edited by GNU; September 13th, 2006 at 06:00 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #684
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Originally Posted by Checker
But you cant really compare the greek infrastructure with
And when it comes to car traffic on the highway you have the dutch in first position with 41 %, the swiss second with 33 % and Germany in third position with 31 %. The US has 24 %.
Finally the dutch are first with something. Not very positive though.

Here's what a regular thursday rush hour looks like

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Old September 23rd, 2006, 09:37 AM   #685
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lets all remember that different states pay for highway construction that is not part of the interstate system. States and the fedral government both pay for 3 digit interstates and only the fedral government pays for 1 and 2 digit interstates.

That and this entire thread is just a 'look how much better europe is than the U.S.'

Im gettin tired of threads like this
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 06:54 PM   #686
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I didn't read all 20 pages of this thread, because SSC is way too slow to do that.

But i found some interesting points:

Taxes: European taxes are extremely high, fuel is about 3 to 4 times more expensive than in the US.

In NL (Netherlands), the drivers annualy pay for over 20 billion euro's to the state in form of taxes, VAT, Roadtaxes, and huge taxes if you buy a car. But the ministry of traffic has only a budget of about 8,7 billion euro's each year.
Public transportation takes about 5 billion off that budget, so there's ONLY 3,7 billion left for roads, and the waterways (NL has to maintain thousands of km's of dikes).

So you can say; drivers pay a lot, but doesn't get much back from the government.
NL is one of the most congested countries in Europe. Rush hour starts from 6am till 10am, and continues from 3pm to 8pm. Most of those motorways are only 2 or sometimes 3 or more lanes wide. So think of the congestion, when a US road takes 26 lanes to take 350.000 cars/day, when here, a 7lane motorway takes 200.000 cars/day.

Also, road building costs are almost astronomious high. Over 40 years, they want to build a 7km (4,5mile) motorway from The Hague to Rotterdam. That stretch of road of 7km costs between 500 and 700 MILLION Euro's. Meantime, that road still hasn't build, and the only other motorway between those cities, is a 24/7 parking lot.

But NL roads are very sophisticated:

Detections in the road surface, at least one between every exit, but most of the roads have one every 500 meters. So you can have realtime trafficjam information, and if someone has a breakdown, and is unable to reach the shoulder, a signallingsign over the road, crosses that lane red, so traffic is pushed away from that breakdown automatically.

VMS: Variable Message Signs, shows the time take to travel to a certain focal point on a motorway, for example:

A28 Utrecht 25 minutes
A1 A27 Utrecht 30 minutes

so you can pick another motorway to reach Utrecht, if there is a jam on the A28.

And Dutch roads are maintained very well, with no concrete roads, all asphalt, and even ZOAB, that means water on the road won't splash up, so you have very clear visibility on the road. ZOAB has another welcome thing: It is noise-reducing, concrete isn't. That's quite important in a heavily dense lived country as NL.

Another difference in US/EU motorways is that most rural Motorways in Europe are also heavily travelled, in the US, outside the agglomerations, traffic is quite low. Here, a road is called a less travelled road, when AADT falls under 80.000/day.

Also, en Europe, most people work in another agglomeration than in their own city. So commutingtraffic is extremely much, and there is 24/7 a lot of traffic between large cities.

There is another annoying thing in Europe: BANANA's. They even want that a motorway should be built in a tunnel under ordinary grasslands.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 06:38 PM   #687
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1491 View Post
Also, road building costs are almost astronomious high. Over 40 years, they want to build a 7km (4,5mile) motorway from The Hague to Rotterdam. That stretch of road of 7km costs between 500 and 700 MILLION Euro's. Meantime, that road still hasn't build, and the only other motorway between those cities, is a 24/7 parking lot.
O_O How come can a 7KM highway cost 700€M!!? That's 100€M per Kilometer!

I've never been to America, though in my opinion a European model based on alternatives to highways is quite effective. As car traffic is lower, so are the networks kilometers per capita and the manteinance costs.

In this picture taken at a Barcelona Metropolitan Area corridor, by Sanlucar-Playa and hosted here we have not only the E90 highway, but also the C4 commuter rail line. A bit further, one of the bridges will be used by a fast goods line and the other one by an impressive 350Km/h passengers line. At the other side of the river there's another highway, A2, and another commuter line. This is much common in the rest of Europe and offers a wide arrange of possibilities, hence reducing traffic congestion.


Last edited by Booze; October 1st, 2006 at 06:55 PM.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 02:14 PM   #688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booze View Post
I've never been to America, though in my opinion a European model based on alternatives to highways is quite effective. As car traffic is lower, so are the networks kilometers per capita and the manteinance costs.

In this picture taken at a Barcelona Metropolitan Area corridor, by Sanlucar-Playa and hosted here we have not only the E90 highway, but also the C4 commuter rail line. A bit further, one of the bridges will be used by a fast goods line and the other one by an impressive 350Km/h passengers line. At the other side of the river there's another highway, A2, and another commuter line. This is much common in the rest of Europe and offers a wide arrange of possibilities, hence reducing traffic congestion.
But the traffic in Europe is higher according to Wiki:

car Traffic:

1. Netherlands 41%
2. Switzerland 33%
3. Germany 31%
US 24%
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 05:58 PM   #689
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where can i find such stats?
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 06:07 PM   #690
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To be fair, lets post the other countries data too. As you see, most of them have lower traffic than US.

Denmark 25%
Finland 10%
France 21%
Ireland 4%
Austria 23%
Slovakia 19%
Sweden 21%
Chez Republic 11%
UK 23%

Regarding Germany, it handles with heavy intraeuropean traffic, and many of their roads are freely used by lorries from other countries.

The Netherlands is one of the densest countries on earth, and, as posted above, the Ranstad functions as a unique city. Except for the Rhur area in Germany, this model doesn't apply to other parts of Europe, where metropolitan areas are much less policentric and more isolated.

Even so, Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands have some of the best rail networks of the world. Just imagine how the highways situation would be without so much public transport alternatives.

Had Europe adopted the US model, it would be normal to see 16 lanes highways in order to deal with such great mobility.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 06:09 PM   #691
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1491 View Post
where can i find such stats?
There you go:

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autobahn
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 06:19 PM   #692
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Even so, Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands have some of the best rail networks of the world. Just imagine how the highways situation would be without so much public transport alternatives.
The Netherlands is the most congested country in Europe i think. Rush hours here lasts about 8 hours a day, on a common day, there are over 50 traffic jams totaling 200 - 300kms of traffic-jam every morning and evening.

In Rush hour, a route from Haarlem to Utrecht (65km) takes about 2,5 hours on a motorway.

Things are different in NL from Germany. Many roads are only 2x2 lanes, but handles way over 100.000 vehicles/day. 2x3 and more lanes are sparse. In Germany, they decide to build longer strechtes of 2x3 lanes, in example the A2 and A9 motorway. In Germany, most traffic-jams occur inside metropolitan areas and large cities, but in The Netherlands, traffic-jams occur throughout the country, and around every city over 80.000 inhabitants. The longest traffic-jam we ever had was from Amsterdam to Eindhoven in heavy snow, over 90kms in length! That's about one third of our country's N-S length.

So in rush hours, 10 - 20% of the motorway network is completely jammed, and over 50% is extremely busy.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 07:01 PM   #693
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That's scaring!

If that happens everyday, why people still use the roads so much? I mean, I've been several times there and rail network is quite impressive. You even have trains all night long!
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 11:05 PM   #694
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There are only nighttrains in the Randstad region. The railnetwork is in fact even longer than the motorway-system. But in rushhours, the trains are overcrowded.

Another fact is that the government disencourage the use of the N-roads (National non-motorway roads), by putting down the maximumspeed to 60km/h, and besides that, almost every N-road goes through every town, so they are not quite a option.

The most important commuterstream is from Almere to Amsterdam and back. Those cities are about 15km/9 miles apart. Everyday, over 50.000 Almerian commuters head to the Amsterdam region, but there is only one road: The A1 motorway, which has 4 lanes in rushhour-direction, but handles 200.000 vehicles a day.

In rainy conditions, traffic jams are easily twice the normal length, and you know... it rains often here..

Today it rained. A friend of my has to drive back from work, and it takes him 1,5 hours to just drive 7km/4miles on the A27 motorway near Utrecht, the road was completely jammed.

Maybe it looks like NL has a extensive motorway system, in fact it does, but it is used heavily by local and regional traffic. And those motorways are just not wide enough.

As an example: the A1 between Apeldoorn and Hengelo, in the eastern province of Overijssel, the right lane is one long train of trucks. That train starts around 5am and lasts to 11pm.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 11:29 PM   #695
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1491 View Post
The Netherlands is the most congested country in Europe i think. Rush hours here lasts about 8 hours a day, on a common day, there are over 50 traffic jams totaling 200 - 300kms of traffic-jam every morning and evening.

The same in Paris metropolitain area all day in rush hours more 300 Km of traffic jam.
But Paris and the rest of the France are really different
In the rest of France the traffic are not heavy except in big metropolitan area like Lyon Bordeaux Marseilles etc )
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 06:39 AM   #696
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Is the Dutch government upgrading all the roads 2x2 motorways in NL?
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:30 PM   #697
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Is the Dutch government upgrading all the roads 2x2 motorways in NL?
I would wish...

Some of the most important motorways are still only 2x2 lanes, the amount of traffic there requires at least 2x4 lanes.

But a lot of "Green" parties and foundations oppose it. They make it looks like most people don't like roadwidening, but instead, it's only a marginal part of the population who is opposed road widening.

Think how polluting traffic-jams are! That is really much more than construct just 3 of 6 meters of asphalt along those heavily travelled roads. They calculated, driving in a traffic jam at 30 - 50km/h, you use the same amount of fuel driving 170km/h!

But there are some road widening projects, but here, it takes 5 - 50 years to wide a road! Some road and widening project dates back to the fifties and sixties, but are still not widened.

It's really a shame, that a country of such prospherity, still has a road network date from the seventies.

For example, many roads now in the Randstad metropolian region, are as wide as in 1970, but the amount of traffic has exploded in the last 20 years.

So, in conclusion; the network is okay, but those roads are just too small. There are only a few "missing links" in the motorway-network.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:04 PM   #698
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You spent too much time here

But seriously, some major arteries could use some extra lanes. Most notoriously: the A1 between Amsterdam and Amersfoort, the A2 between Amsterdam and Utrecht (which is now in the process of being widened to 2x5 (!)), the A2 between Utrecht and Eindhoven (mainly 2x2, better were 2x3), the A4 between Amsterdam and Rotterdam (including completing the road between Delft and Rotterdam), the A7 between Purmerend and Zaandam, the A10 (ring road Amsterdam) Coen tunnel, the A9...and those are just the roads around Amsterdam that I use on a frequent basis...

Then again, why even bother? A time will come all cars are electrically powered, intelligent guidance systems will allow cars to travel in close distance and at high speeds (greatly augmenting capacity on existing roads), and oil prizes will rise to such astronomical levels that - if the prospect of the hydro-fueled car were not to be realized - people will abandon their cars altogether...
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:29 PM   #699
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and oil prizes will rise to such astronomical levels that - if the prospect of the hydro-fueled car were not to be realized - people will abandon their cars altogether...
Well, in the relation US-EU what this topic is about, fuel prices in Europe are about 2 to 3 times higher than in the US, but the traffic Jams are no less then in the US. In fact, in the time fuel prices rose about 200% (2 times), from 1,70 guilders (0,77 euro's) to 1,50 euro's per LITRE, the amount and length of traffic jams rose 5 - 10% each year in that time. So even when the prices are exploding, traffic jams are still continue to grow.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:47 PM   #700
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That's not a limitless equation, though. Don't forget that not only the oil prices, but ALL prices have risen considerably over the last few years, making people less feel the pain of a price increase. As soon as a car gets too expensive to drive around, people are bound to leave it for what it is. Again, it's just a 'what if' scenario...but you never know. We'll run out of oil someday.
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