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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #1021
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Originally Posted by State of the Union View Post
LOL @ Europeans and their "I'm always better than anyone else" attitude.

So far, the only argument you Europeans have said is that it looks nicer.

All you Europeans agree that the interstate highway system is the most impressive highway system in the world....I think you are pretty much saying the US interstates win. You guys are saying the Interstate system is more impressive than your sorry ass motorways. We win.
Well, if someone here has an attitude is must be you. I am not implying that European roads are better than American, or vicaversa. I have seen some excellent roads here, but also some very worse ones.

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Originally Posted by State of the Union View Post
1) Don't talk $hit about our system until you Europeans have to worry about covering an area twice the size Europe is now, and as one unified country.
Not the area of the country is important, but the total lenght of the roadsystem.

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Originally Posted by State of the Union View Post
2) Because of vastness of the US, especially the west, unlike say Germany we can't babysit every single stretch of highway in whole country.
You can, but most of the Americans aren't willing to pax for it. Vastness shouldn't be the biggest issue here, many parts of France, Spain, Sweden or Finland are also quite sparsely populated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by State of the Union View Post
3) Money plays a factor in the conditions of the roads, but not entirely. We are a car oriented country.
I wouldn't deny that, but more countries are car oriented (with alternatives!) like Germany. The best example of that is the lack of speedlimits on the Autobahn.

But speaking of money, it it well known that many people aren't willing to pay money for sustaining the infrastructure, which has been proven by the tragic Minneapolis Bridge Collapse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by State of the Union View Post
I would love to see if Europeans could build a 14 lane freeway, complete with HOV access ramps, and interchanges as big the Texas high five, and still keep it looking European-motorway asphalt-good. Also maintaining freeways like that ALL OVER an area the size of the United states in EVERY major city. Can Europeans do it? I think not.
Europeans can do it, but mostly we prefer efficiency instead of being effective. For example, the Frankfurter Kreuz, an Autobahn interchange where the autobahns A3 and A5 meet and approximately 320,000 cars daily can handle traffic without the massiveness of the 26 traffic lanes wide El Toro Y in Los Angeles. Is bigger better? No, it isn't.

But i am not an expert, it would be interesting to hear the opinion from someone like ChrisZwolle.
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Last edited by 909; July 13th, 2010 at 10:40 PM.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:47 PM   #1022
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So far no one could explain why having units that are multiples of ten would be more convenient for drivers. I'm really curious.

You compare the numbers on speed limit signs to your speedometer readings and adjust your speed accordingly- no division, no multiplication, certainly no conversion between yards and miles. Same thing with distances. It makes absolutely no difference whether the signs are in miles or kilometers. Just because you're used to one system and the other looks exotic to you isn't a good enough reason.

I'm sure there are many fields where the metric system does have real advantages and in many (if not most) it is already the international standard.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:49 PM   #1023
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Originally Posted by 909 View Post
Well, if someone here has an attitude is must be you. I am not implying that European roads are better than American, or vicaversa. I have seen some excellent roads here, but also some very worse ones.


Not the area of the country is important, but the total lenght of the roadsystem.


You can, but most of the Americans aren't willing to pax for it. Vastness shouldn't be the biggest issue here, many parts of France, Spain, Sweden or Finland are also quite sparsely populated.


I wouldn't deny that, but more countries are car oriented (with alternatives!) like Germany. The best example of that is the lack of speedlimits on the Autobahn.

But speaking of money, it it well known that many people aren't willing to pay money for sustaining the infrastructure, which has been proven by the tragic Minneapolis Bridge Collapse.


Europeans can do it, but mostly we prefer efficiency instead of being effective. For example, the Frankfurter Kreuz, an Autobahn interchange where the autobahns A3 and A5 meet and approximately 320,000 cars daily can handle traffic without the massiveness of the 26 traffic lanes wide El Toro Y in Los Angeles. Is bigger better? No, it isn't.

But i am not an expert, it would be interesting to hear the opinion from someone like ChrisZwolle.
I am totally not taking sides in your exchange with "State of the Union" except on one point: "sparsely populated" by European standards is nothing like "sparsely populated" in the U.S. The state of Montana has the land area (roughly) of Germany and a population of maybe 700,000 or 800,000. There are sparsely populated pockets of France or Spain, but not on that scale.
[Bows out]
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #1024
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Originally Posted by snowman159 View Post
So far no one could explain why having units that are multiples of ten would be more convenient for drivers. I'm really curious.

You compare the numbers on speed limit signs to your speedometer readings and adjust your speed accordingly- no division, no multiplication, certainly no conversion between yards and miles. Same thing with distances. It makes absolutely no difference whether the signs are in miles or kilometers. Just because you're used to one system and the other looks exotic to you isn't a good enough reason.

I'm sure there are many fields where the metric system does have real advantages and in many (if not most) it is already the international standard.
Right. I keep forgetting to ask when anyone'd need to know how many yards are in a mile (a point raised by MaxPower a couple of days ago). Distances of less than a mile are normally posted in fractions here.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:58 PM   #1025
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Originally Posted by Maxx☢Power View Post
Am I wrong in guessing this was posted from a college dorm room?
Am I wrong in guessing that infact you are the one posting from college dorm room and that you are trying to make your sorry ass feel better by saying someone else is?

No, I'm not posting college dorm room. I'm just an American posting his stance.

I'm just a long time lurker, never bothered really to post people on here because seem to act like babies sometimes.

EDIT: Thank you 909 for your respectful response to my post.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 10:58 PM   #1026
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Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
Right. I keep forgetting to ask when anyone'd need to know how many yards are in a mile (a point raised by MaxPower a couple of days ago). Distances of less than a mile are normally posted in fractions here.
And here. In fact , it's not uncommon to see signs showing a distance of 1/3 mile to the next exit. The fact that this distance equates to 586 yards 2 feet is not something that preoccupies too many drivers.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 11:01 PM   #1027
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Originally Posted by 909 View Post
Europeans can do it, but mostly we prefer efficiency instead of being effective. For example, the Frankfurter Kreuz, an Autobahn interchange where the autobahns A3 and A5 meet and approximately 320,000 cars daily can handle traffic without the massiveness of the 26 traffic lanes wide El Toro Y in Los Angeles. Is bigger better? No, it isn't.

But i am not an expert, it would be interesting to hear the opinion from someone like ChrisZwolle.
The El Toro Y is a different kind of interchange, with different traffic patterns. At first, it is much more busy, the Frankfurter Kreuz busiest Autobahn section is around 150,000 vehicles per day. At the El Toro Y it is 350,000 vehicles per day. Besides that, the El Toro Y also has several local exits within it, plus separate HOV facilities, which makes the interchange much larger. It is also the only through route in a subdivision of 3 million people. The Frankfurt area has much more alternate routes, while traffic in Greater Los Angeles are combined on a relatively limited amount of freeways, hence it's massiveness. Nonetheless, the Los Angeles freeway system is one of the least developed in the entire U.S. calculated to capacity and population, comparable to New York City.

However, the 26 traffic lanes also includes access roads. The I-5 has only 2x4 through lanes on that section, the rest are additional lanes to exits, access roads and HOV facilities. The most impressive section, in my opinion, is not the interchange itself, but the area where all those lane merge just to the south near Lake Forest Drive. There are as much as 20 lanes there, eventually merging into 14 through lanes.

It also has to be noted the immediate surroundings of the El Toro Y consist of one of the largest job centers outside downtown Los Angeles with tens of thousands of jobs. Apart from the Airport, there is no such thing around the Frankfurter Kreuz.

Lastly, the Frankfurt metropolitan area is chicken shit compared to the Los Angeles metropolitan Area. Orange County alone is already bigger than (sub)urban Frankfurt.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 11:03 PM   #1028
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You could replace yellow temporary markings with orange ones, wait a few years and then use yellow to indicate opposing traffic, or do as the US does and use temporary markings that are the same as normal ones, and use black to cover permanent markings that you don't want people to obey so people won't see white lines telling them two different things.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 11:06 PM   #1029
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowman159 View Post
I'm sure there are many fields where the metric system does have real advantages and in many (if not most) it is already the international standard.
In daily life (maintaining speed on roads, measuring the fuel at a petrol station, ...) two systems are equivalent.

In scientific works metric system is already spreading in the USA. But not everywhere...

Quote:
The use of two different systems was the root cause in the loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter in 1998. NASA specified metric units in the contract. NASA and other organizations worked in metric units, but one subcontractor, Lockheed Martin, provided thruster performance data to the team in pound force seconds instead of newton seconds. The spacecraft was intended to orbit Mars at about 150 kilometers (93 mi) altitude, but the incorrect data meant that it probably descended instead to about 57 kilometers (35 mi), burning up in the Martian atmosphere.[12]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrica..._United_States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter
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Old July 13th, 2010, 11:20 PM   #1030
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Originally Posted by 909 View Post
Well, if someone here has an attitude is must be you. I am not implying that European roads are better than American, or vicaversa. I have seen some excellent roads here, but also some very worse ones.

Fair Enough.


Not the area of the country is important, but the total lenght of the roadsystem.

Well, Our area is twice as big as Europe, and Interstate Highway's length is huge. I think area and ratio to the length of road needed to cover a certain plays a factor.

You can, but most of the Americans aren't willing to pax for it. Vastness shouldn't be the biggest issue here, many parts of France, Spain, Sweden or Finland are also quite sparsely populated.

Nope. All those countries aren't nearly as sparsely populated as some of the most sparsely spots in the US. Look at No. and So. Dakota. They have like 1 interstate going through them and they are about the size of the average European country. Sorry, I'm not buying into this one.

I wouldn't deny that, but more countries are car oriented (with alternatives!) like Germany. The best example of that is the lack of speedlimits on the Autobahn.

Lack of speed limits would be impractical on your average US urban freeway.

But speaking of money, it it well known that many people aren't willing to pay money for sustaining the infrastructure, which has been proven by the tragic Minneapolis Bridge Collapse.

LOL. Again using one collaspe to degrade a whole system, like it doesn't happen happen any where else and that the European's system is so perfect accidents like that can't happen to them. That makes me lol.

Europeans can do it, but mostly we prefer efficiency instead of being effective. For example, the Frankfurter Kreuz, an Autobahn interchange where the autobahns A3 and A5 meet and approximately 320,000 cars daily can handle traffic without the massiveness of the 26 traffic lanes wide El Toro Y in Los Angeles. Is bigger better? No, it isn't.

Funny. Every picture of this interchange the highway looks as bad as any America highway. The asphalt doesn't look uniform, it has patches, the bridges are not the same as the rest of the highway and it doesn't look any of Europes best highways. The condition looks the same. I also don't see how this interchange is more effecient than any other interchange in the US. We have plenty of heavily used interchanges like that all over the US and the do fine. Not only that, you missed the point entirely anyway. I'm not saying bigger is better, I'm saying can Europe build a freeway that big and maintain it to your fancy standards. No they can't.

But i am not an expert, it would be interesting to hear the opinion from someone like ChrisZwolle.
All good though.

EDIT: Also, I would like to add, 320,000 vehicles a day on one interchange? Pshh. We have that many cars going down 1 freeway. Please.
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Old July 13th, 2010, 11:24 PM   #1031
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LOL. Again using one collaspe to degrade a whole system, like it doesn't happen happen any where else and that the European's system is so perfect accidents like that can't happen to them. That makes me lol.
Actually many reports have addressed the issue of structural and widespread bridge deficiency throughout the United States. Of course this is an issue in Europe as well, but certainly not on a large scale. Many 1950's bridges are structurally unsound because substandard steel was used during the Korean War. The main problem in the United States right now is that most of the 50's and 60's infrastructure is nearing the end of it's lifespan, and have to be replaced en-masse, but there are no sufficient funds for that. I'm talking gazillions of dollars to replace literally thousands major and minor bridges in every state.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:06 AM   #1032
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Right. I keep forgetting to ask when anyone'd need to know how many yards are in a mile (a point raised by MaxPower a couple of days ago).
I think you have me confused with someone else.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:07 AM   #1033
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I am totally not taking sides in your exchange with "State of the Union" except on one point: "sparsely populated" by European standards is nothing like "sparsely populated" in the U.S. The state of Montana has the land area (roughly) of Germany and a population of maybe 700,000 or 800,000. There are sparsely populated pockets of France or Spain, but not on that scale.
[Bows out]
True, but most highways are where most people are. California or the northeastern part of the US has more highways and motorways than Montana or Nebraska.

According to nationmaster, countries like Austria, Ireland, Lithuania, Sweden, Spain, Norway, France and Denmark are having more km paved highway per capita. Note: I have my doubts about these statistics and the term 'highway'. And we all know that statistics are like bikinis, what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.
On the other hand, according to Wikipedia the only European countries with a greater length of motorways per capita are Austria and Luxembourg. The only European countries with a lower density of motorway per square km are Iceland, Norway, Poland, Finland and Sweden. That is not a suprise, since those countries are sparsely populated.
In an other article Wikipedia claims that 'considering Austria's relatively low population density and its location in the centre of the continent, the motorway density per capita is the highest in Europe.' Let's not forget that Austria is a mountainous country.

I wouldn't draw any conclusions from all of this, except that a low population density doesn't explain much about the quality and condition of the roads.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:11 AM   #1034
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motorway densities are not really good indicators. For example, countries with a large geographical area with cities spread out quite far across the country, will have a higher amount of freeway mileage per capita, for example the United States, Spain and China. Countries where the population is mostly limited to a small area do not need as much long-distance freeways, significantyl reducing freeway mileage (for example: Canada, Sweden, Finland).

More interesting is the freeway lane mileage. The Texas Transport Institute once did some research on that, surprisingly perhaps to some, Los Angeles has one of the lowest lane miles per capita in all of the US, while it has the legacy of a freeway walhalla, but the opposite is rather true.

Many people consider Los Angeles and New York the opposite poles in freeways, while they are actually closest together of any major US metropolitan area in freeway lane mileage per capita.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:12 AM   #1035
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:12 AM   #1036
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The El Toro Y is a different kind of interchange, with different traffic patterns. (...)
Thanks for clearing that up. But perhaps it would be interesting in this discussion, why are many American intersections different than European ones? State of the Union used the High Five Interchange as an example, I used the El Toro Y and the Frankfurter Kreuz as an example. But how can we those compare?
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:22 AM   #1037
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Thanks for clearing that up. But perhaps it would be interesting in this discussion, why are many American intersections different than European ones? State of the Union used the High Five Interchange as an example, I used the El Toro Y and the Frankfurter Kreuz as an example. But how can we those compare?
I think a major difference is the vastness of American urban areas. For example, Dallas is a metropolitan area of 6.5 million inhabitants, only a few European metropolises can match that. Many freeways in the United States are inside the urban area, and not rarely immediately around the central business district, while such things are very rare in Europe, where motorways tend to run somewhat further outside the city, thus having lower traffic volumes.

Another difference in Europe, for example in Germany or France, is the amount of expressways and semi-expressways. If you compare, for example Frankfurt, with, say, Atlanta, you'll see Frankfurt has much more short freeways distributing traffic than Atlanta, where all traffic is combined on only a few major freeways, demanding much larger interchanges.

For example, the 4 east-west Autobahns of the Ruhr valley have a combined traffic volume of around 350,000 vehicles per day. In the US, that traffic would've been distributed over one or two freeways.

This design is also featured in New York City, where most expressways are six lanes. For example, the Long Island Expressways and parkways carry a combined traffic volume of around 350,000 vehicles per day, rather similar to the Interstate 10 in West Los Angeles. The have more or less the same function. Because these expressways in New York each have lower traffic volumes around 80,000 - 150,000 vpd, they require less massive interchanges than the Los Angeles freeways which have 250,000 - 300,000 each.

So to sum up
* urban vs non-urban freeways
* combined traffic or distributed traffic.

The effect of transit is there, but not as much as generally thought. I think it'll save you maybe 10% of the traffic, shaving off one lane or a HOV lane.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:28 AM   #1038
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The EU has far superior road quality for sure, hence my vote to them. However, I will give kudos to the U.S. for the amazing stacked interchanges.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:31 AM   #1039
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It is also interesting to note that job centers in the U.S. are quite different from Europe. Downtown jobs in Europe are usually not on a very large scale, apart from some cities. American cities do not have a historical center, but are the center of trade and commerce, creating much larger traffic flows towards the city centers than is common in Europe. Apart from offices, many downtown areas also have large industrial areas with light industries, warehouses, transportation etc, for example the area east of downtown Los Angeles or north of downtown Denver.

However, you can also see a trend in the U.S. where the downtown is losing out on jobs, or better, other locations are growing faster than the downtown area. A prime example is Atlanta, where many sub centers have sprung up, like Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Uptown, etc. This resulted in a significant traffic drop on I-75/I-85 (Downtown Connector) through downtown Atlanta in recent years (as much as 50,000 vpd less).
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Old July 14th, 2010, 12:32 AM   #1040
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I think you have me confused with someone else.
I did: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=990
Sorry!
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