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Old June 8th, 2005, 03:23 PM   #141
Justme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Ward
Also maybe someone here can help I have heard that in america there are roads where the direction of traffic lanes can be changed i.e say there was a six lane highway in the morning it could be 4 lanes heading into the city and two out then in the afternoon four lanes heading out and two in - does anyone have any idea what I am talking about. (Someone told me they have lanes that can change direction but Ive not been able to read anything about it)
Where I come from, these are called zipper barriers, and they can be changed with the use of a machine. They are found in many parts of the world.

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Old June 8th, 2005, 08:55 PM   #142
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^ That looks VERY costly. Every day you have to move the barrier twice and it looks like 3 people are necessary to use the machine.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 09:16 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txRNGr
what facts do you have to back such a statement. do you just conclude that because someone is born and raised in Europe that they are a better driver. furthermore, Americans drive much more than Europeans which would lead someone to conclude that Americans are the more expirenced driver. this argument seems to be just another attempt to distract the thread from the original purpose which is to debate whether European or American Highways are better. again, dispite the ability of the average American driver, the United States(and Canada for that matter) has more innovative Freeways. No one can seem to attack this postition head on so they dance around it with claims such as "Americans don't know how to drive on freeways" which is arrogant and ignorant(two words that are overly-used on this forum).
Just because we drive more than Europeans, doesn't mean we are good drivers. There are millions of drivers who don't remember many of important rules, yet they been driving for decades. BTW, had you ever driven on Autobahn before?
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Old June 8th, 2005, 10:13 PM   #144
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LtBK: like i said before, this thread is a debate over European and American highways, not which land mass breeds better drivers...the ability of the drivers on the highways is irrelevent.

Justme: i will agree with you that Europe has some superior brigdes and tunnels(English Channel tunnel) and those pictures you posted are very impressive, the architecture looks delicate and strong at the same time, excellent. couldn't expect anything less from the continent that pioneered the first grand-scale bridges in the world. my argument is based around the functionality of thses freeways. thanks for posting those facts from the CIA website. they do prove that the European highway network must be, overall, more dense.

Ted Ward: in the United States we call it Intelligent Transporation Systems(ITS). although it doesnt sound like it might be as extensive as a nation-wide system like the UK, many US cities have or are putting these systems of dynamic message signs and closed circuit tv throughout their network where there can be a fast response time to taffic incidents and improve congestion. you can view live pics of the Dallas-Fort Worth system here http://dfwtraffic.dot.state.tx.us/ thanks for sharing that site with us Ted Ward, its very interesting to see the differences around the world. there is a site dedicated to Texas Freeways at http://www.texasfreeway.com/ it has historical and present maps and pics along with future plans for the freeways in Texas (just in case anyone gets bored). although i dont have any pictures of "double-deck" freeways, Austin, TX has a short span of a double deck on I-35. they found this type of freeway to be very unpleasant. they simply built 4 new lanes over 4 existing lanes. the old freeway is still in its original state with short on, off ramps and horrible geometrics. furthermore, its an eyesore for the surrounding community as well as being very confusing for those who are simply driving though. using this information, Texas decided to sink the US-75 freeway in dallas in a trench rather than just build on top. the result is a beautiful freeway with great capacity, good geometrics for all ramps and minimum impact on the surrounding community...we learned from our mistakes

Last edited by txRNGr; June 8th, 2005 at 10:19 PM.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #145
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a lot of american freeways are old and heavily used. combine the two and it can only mean deterioration.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 10:42 PM   #146
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the americans, despite being less that the europeans, have a bigger land with harder climatic conditions

so its good that they can have such highways
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Old June 9th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme

Looking at figures from the CIA world fact book:

United States:
Population = 295,734,134
Area: 9,161,923kmē
Total highways (paved): 4,180,053km
Total Expressways: 74,406km
So i looked a bit more into the figures.

Germany:
Population = 82,431,390 = 27,8%
Area: 349,223 sq km = 3,7%
Total highways (paved): 230,735km = 5,5%
Total Expressways: 11,515km = 15,5%

Netherlands:
Population = 16,407,491 = 5,54%
Area: 33,883 sq km = 0,36%
Total highways (paved): 104,850km = 2,48%
Total Expressways: 2,235km = 3%

Europe has a much denser network. But well thats simply logical as it has more population on less space.
Per inhabitant the USA has more km of expressway and roads all together.
I'd like to see some stats of densely populated US states. I think they have denser networks then any european country. Pretty sure even.


Here some statistics proving European roads are safer generally.



Quite strange if you ask me. American roads are much wider and speedlimits are higher in most european countries. Any comments on this ?
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Old June 9th, 2005, 02:22 AM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Ward
One of the things I like about the U.K network is the electronic signage that tells you things like journey times - upcoming obstructions etc etc. You can also go to sites such as NADICS.org.uk and see live webcam pics from motorways if you wish.

That also brings me on to my next point - the U.K motorway network is covered by an extensive c.c.t.v network - pull over on to the hard shoulder and there will likely be a police car pulling up behind you within five minutes.

Moving on - no one has posted pictures of those 'double decker' freeways that you get in america I dont know if they are unique to america but you dont see them in europe.

Also maybe someone here can help I have heard that in america there are roads where the direction of traffic lanes can be changed i.e say there was a six lane highway in the morning it could be 4 lanes heading into the city and two out then in the afternoon four lanes heading out and two in - does anyone have any idea what I am talking about. (Someone told me they have lanes that can change direction but Ive not been able to read anything about it)

Finally there is a surprising number of road enthusiast websites on the internet (I am surprised there is any) this site is good for pictures and links. http://www.cbrd.co.uk/links/
we have that here too, in southern california you could go to sigalert.com and it gives you a map with colored freeways that shows you how congested the freeways are at the moment, theres also cameras, average speeds and a list of current accidents...

http://www.sigalert.com
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Old June 9th, 2005, 03:02 AM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djm19
a lot of american freeways are old and heavily used. combine the two and it can only mean deterioration.
thats a strange comment...im failing to see your point. there is such a thing as maintenance and reconstruction. im sure even in europe these concepts are used no one can honestly think that the US builds roads and then leaves them to deteriorate. there are, of course, safety regulations to prevent this. anyways, i dont feel like challenging this argument anymore until it is clairified.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 03:08 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlaZ
So i looked a bit more into the figures.

Germany:
Population = 82,431,390 = 27,8%
Area: 349,223 sq km = 3,7%
Total highways (paved): 230,735km = 5,5%
Total Expressways: 11,515km = 15,5%

Netherlands:
Population = 16,407,491 = 5,54%
Area: 33,883 sq km = 0,36%
Total highways (paved): 104,850km = 2,48%
Total Expressways: 2,235km = 3%

Europe has a much denser network. But well thats simply logical as it has more population on less space.
Per inhabitant the USA has more km of expressway and roads all together.
I'd like to see some stats of densely populated US states. I think they have denser networks then any european country. Pretty sure even.


Here some statistics proving European roads are safer generally.



Quite strange if you ask me. American roads are much wider and speedlimits are higher in most european countries. Any comments on this ?
i like to think that Americans feel they are all NASCAR drivers and tend to have more fun in their cars...of course we arent all NASCAR drivers and tend to make some mistakes from time to time. based on these statistics, European roads are more dangerous than the United States. the US is fourth behind...can you guess it? yes! 3 European countries. your agrument has no standing.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 04:19 AM   #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txRNGr
i like to think that Americans feel they are all NASCAR drivers and tend to have more fun in their cars...of course we arent all NASCAR drivers and tend to make some mistakes from time to time. based on these statistics, European roads are more dangerous than the United States. the US is fourth behind...can you guess it? yes! 3 European countries. your agrument has no standing.
US roads are definitely safer than European ones. Also, while some US highways are in horrible condition, a lot of them are in great condition.

The fact the the US accident rates are so high is because US cars are lousy and Americans just simply dont know how to drive.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #152
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I've also heard it (the death rate) is high because alot of americans refuse to wear seatbelts.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 06:04 PM   #153
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Roads in the UK are safer than the US, but not as big, so are often congested. The quality of the roads however, is superb!

Some UK motorways:
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...07/motrway.jpg
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Old June 9th, 2005, 08:10 PM   #154
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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!

Lee, money is the problem. The trouble with the US is the way everything is funded in such piecemeal fashion; this includes roads too, which are either funded locally, or by the state, or at federal level. Ohio is typical of this - you can exit a reasonably-maintained stretch of interstate and immediately onto a road funded locally which is more akin to the surface of the moon.

In the UK, the reverse is true; county councils waste money on maintenance each spring simply to spend the money on order to get their alloted quota of cash from central goverhment for the following fiscal year. Consequently, it's often the case that perfectly good kerbstones are torn up and replaced just for the sake of it.

Last edited by aatbloke; June 10th, 2005 at 07:28 PM.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 08:16 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salvius
US browbeats Europe when it comes to highways. The surface quality is obviously worse -- considering the coverage, weather, the lane width, the number of lanes, etc. this is not a big surprise. On the other hand, the US highways have the clearest direction boards in the world, along with a well marked road, rain or shine. The lanes are luxiriously wide, the interchanges forgiving, and the traffic separation extremely generous. The emergency lanes are infinetely wider and more common -- a real factor in safety. The highway network, on top of all this, is humangous. In terms of connectivity, it is unparalleled.

Basically, it's not a competition.
You must be joking? US lane markings are appalling, and you only have to drive into Canada to see the difference. Even at urban intersections, more often than not you need to "see where the line is in your mind" as many locals say. Off the interstates, many US highways are also very poorly signposted...many servicemen I know who are based in the UK and Germany say the same thing when making comparisons.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 07:03 AM   #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txRNGr
Please, there are 16 4-level interchanges and 1 5-level interchange in the Dallas area alone(not including Fort Worth area to the west which makes up the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area). In fact, many of these 4-level interchanges are scheduled to be reconstructed into 5-level interchanges withing the next 10 years. These 17 large freeway interchanges do not include the countless other 2 and 3-level interchanges that are scattered throughout this area as well. The fact is that most of these interchanges were built in the 1970s or earlier. Grand freeways have been a part of an American's way of life for almost fourty years or longer. Europe's simple clover-leaf and 3 to 4-level interchanges are boring and have been seen time and time again. Texas has begun, on a state-wide scale, to even integrate patterns and symbols casted into the concrete along with a variety of paint schemes into these interchanges and freeways to better fit the surrounding environment and leave a less intrusive image. Like i said, Europe can have its low capacity clover-leaf and 4-6 lane freeways, Americans are years beyond you.
I agree, Texas has some of the best freeway interchanges in the world. On top of that Texas uses frontage roads extensively which makes the freeway double as an expressway and a local road. I can't wait to see the IH 635/US75, TX121/IH35E and the Bush/IH35E interchanges completed. Those are gonna look so ******* cool and they have frontage road connections too!!!

Also locally we have our TX45/IH 35, US183 and FM620-TX45 and the US290/TX71 and IH 35 interchanges to be completed in Austin.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 07:37 PM   #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txRNGr
what facts do you have to back such a statement. do you just conclude that because someone is born and raised in Europe that they are a better driver. furthermore, Americans drive much more than Europeans which would lead someone to conclude that Americans are the more expirenced driver. this argument seems to be just another attempt to distract the thread from the original purpose which is to debate whether European or American Highways are better. again, dispite the ability of the average American driver, the United States(and Canada for that matter) has more innovative Freeways. No one can seem to attack this postition head on so they dance around it with claims such as "Americans don't know how to drive on freeways" which is arrogant and ignorant(two words that are overly-used on this forum).
While many US freeways are wide, many are only two-lane roads in rural areas. In major conurbations they do become impressive. However, in my experience of driving in the States I see far less lane discipline than I do on European motorways.

Many Americans seem to think that because European countries are smaller, people in turn do less mileage. In the UK, the average mileage per annum (according to Inland Revenue guidelines) is considered to be 12-18,000 miles per annum. This is on a par with Ohio and Pennsylvania for many motorists. I myself commute similar distances to work in the US as I did in the UK. Where the US does differ is the amount of people who take long road trips for vacations. While many Europeans do this too between countries, they will usually fly because it is far cheaper to do so within Europe, and because of greater amounts of annual leave (typically 5-6 weeks per year) they'll often vacation far from home.

I personally think US driving standards are shocking, particularly in the southern states. Not that they're brilliant in Europe, but lack of lane discipline and courtesy to other motorists is more than evident.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 10:22 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aatbloke
I personally think US driving standards are shocking, particularly in the southern states. Not that they're brilliant in Europe, but lack of lane discipline and courtesy to other motorists is more than evident.
its called offensive driving...its fun, you should try it
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Old June 10th, 2005, 10:24 PM   #159
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^ the Italians are pretty good at it too
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Old June 10th, 2005, 10:32 PM   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txRNGr
based on these statistics, European roads are more dangerous than the United States. the US is fourth behind...can you guess it? yes! 3 European countries. your agrument has no standing.
Er, yes but there are another 16 European countries including all of the big ones which are safer than the US. If you took a European average death rate it would be much lower than the US.

Are American cars really that crap and unsafe? If they are why do people buy them?
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