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Old April 14th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #2681
Slagathor
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You want the short answer or the long one?

The short answer is: Europe's largest sea port creates a lot of road traffic.

The longer answer has to do with early highway plans from the 1950s that never made it. I'll let Chris answer that one. Ask him about the A4, he'll probably foam at the mouth
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Old April 14th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #2682
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I think there isn't much difference between the 4 largest cities in terms of traffic jams. If we look at the TomTom traffic info on a regular rushhour, all four cities have approximatly 150 - 200 kilometers of traffic jam within a 20 km radius.

Eindhoven is also a huge gridlock from time to time, like this morning when an accident happened on the A67 motorway. It was jammed from halfway Venlo, from Tilburg and from the Belgian border, as well as the A2 motorway.

I was in a traffic jam as well this morning, the rushhour lasted very long, I got in a 15 km stop-and-go traffic on the A1 between Stroe and Hoevelaken around 11 am. Very irritating traffic: 120 - 0 - 80 - 0 - 80 - 0 - 80 - 0 - 80 etc.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #2683
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I encountered an amazing amount of Army columns today. At least 6 - 7 full size convoys, plus a lot of other military traffic.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:22 PM   #2684
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As far as I could see the new entrance lane from Vinkeveen (exit 4) onto the A2 towards Amsterdam has been constructed. Furthermore, the new part between Vinkeveen and Abcoude has been finished, so northbound traffic will probably drive there soon.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #2685
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A2 between Vinkeveen and Breukelen is currently closed due to an accident. There is a 10 km jam between interchange Holendrecht and Vinkeveen, but it's growing rapidly. Abcoude is currently gridlocked by stupid people that want to avoid the jam

Furthermore, a police investigation is going on on the A12 near Woerden. It has been closed for a few hours, but it just opened. Currently only the rightmost lane is closed, but there is still a 20 km jam.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #2686
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Yes, the A2 is currently still the detour route for the A12... so both routes are completely jammed. Especially now rushhour has begun again. Amsterdam is started to get gridlocked again.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #2687
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At the moment the easiest route to get from The Hague to Utrecht is: A12-A4-A10-A1-A27

Talking about a big detour.

There is also a rapidly growing jam between Breukelen and Vinkeveen (northbound), due to people that slow down to see the accident. It seems sth typically Dutch. Sometimes this jam is even longer than the jam behind the accident
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:51 PM   #2688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
There is also a rapidly growing jam between Breukelen and Vinkeveen (northbound), due to people that slow down to see the accident. It seems sth typically Dutch. Sometimes this jam is even longer than the jam behind the accident
Let's say it's typically Dutch that the freeways are loaded to capacity all day that something on the other carriageway is enough to create a traffic jam. I don't think it can be avoided.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #2689
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Travelers from The Hague or Amsterdam to Utrecht should at least calculate 1.5 hours extra driving time now.

Amsterdam is completely jammed, and the A12 jam has reached more than 23 kilometers at the moment. Long distance detour routes like the A1 and A15 begin to get congested too...
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:51 PM   #2690
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And the moral of the story is......catch the train to work maybe?

Too many car commuters
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Old April 14th, 2009, 05:59 PM   #2691
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Quote:
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And the moral of the story is......catch the train to work maybe?

Too many car commuters
Or a capacity for a population of 1970...
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Old April 14th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #2692
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The widening of routes such as the A2, rather than building alternate routes (often done/suggested in France) not far away seems a mistake
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Old April 14th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #2693
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The motorway network of the Netherlands is quite dense, the problem is most of them have only 4 or 6 lanes overall. It's not necessary to build many new motorways in NL, they should be widened in the first place.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 06:43 PM   #2694
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Welcome to Amsterdam!
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Old April 14th, 2009, 10:47 PM   #2695
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Luckily it's all gone now
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #2696
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The motorway network of the Netherlands is quite dense, the problem is most of them have only 4 or 6 lanes overall. It's not necessary to build many new motorways in NL, they should be widened in the first place.
And then what? With wider motorways, everybody gets to their city or town of destination faster. Then the exits clog. Result: traffic jams.

The solution is not that simple. It never is.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:09 AM   #2697
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I'd rather have a 2km traffic jam at the exit on a parallel lane, than 20 kilometers of jammed mainline traffic. I did not say all traffic jams will just disappear with a widening, but the current situation we have for over 20 years now is just absurd.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #2698
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Since the mid-1990's, the keyword in the Netherlands was "utilizing". No more widenings, but put shoulders into traffic use, and every last inch of capacity was taken. However, this has put the Dutch (Randstad+periphery) motorway network into a zero flexibility one. One accident near Utrecht, or on one of the intercity motorways can cause an endless gridlock. Every motorway operates at capacity, or exceeds that.

Luckily it's starting to change a bit, look at the major overhauling of the A2 artery for instance. I hope they do the same with motorways like the A1 (Amsterdam - Hengelo), A9 (Diemen - Alkmaar), A12 (The Hague - Arnhem) and A27 (Hilversum - Breda). It's gonna take a really long time, but we're atleast getting somewhere now.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 01:38 PM   #2699
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The motorway network of the Netherlands is quite dense, the problem is most of them have only 4 or 6 lanes overall. It's not necessary to build many new motorways in NL, they should be widened in the first place.
I don't like the way that you have to detour via Amsterdam to go between The Hague/Rotterdam and Utrech if the A12 is closed. This is the redundancy problem with alternate routes. It's more pronounced coming south of Amsterdam, where the A4 is the only route to Rotterdam and The Hague not going via Utrecht.

It's what I lament about the UK's motorway network. There was a bit of sense with the M40 extended to Birmingham, meaning that the M1 from the M6 southwards wasn't the only motorway route between London and Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield and Leeds (the first three were given an alternate route). The M6Toll route provides an alternate route for what possibly was the most strategic section of the motorway network - the M6 between the M5 and M54 (though it was designed like that because widening a 60s viaduct that's crumbling, through an urban area, would be very expensive).

If part of the 10/12-lane section of the M25 closes, there are no alternate motorway or even dual carriageway routes (other than the M25 the other way round). It doesn't matter how much capacity it has, it's how much there isn't without it. If the (busier, but only 8-lane) section of the M25 between the M40 and M4 was closed, there'd be the (not amazing, but still) options of the A312 and A404 dual carriageways. Yet there's no M31 to take traffic off the M25 between the A3 and M4. There's very little but a sprinkling of 90s dual carriageways that aren't really that useful.

Having sections of the motorway network that you are reliant on as there's no alternative isn't good. The biggest problem I can see in the Randstad is the lack of alternate routes to the A4, and the fact that Rotterdam and The Hague have one motorway to Amsterdam between them. Building a motorway to Rotterdam adds in that flexibility. I'd also, rather than giving it collector-distributor lanes (though they are more flexible than one wide carriageway), built another motorway to Utrecht, to allow the A1 to not be bombarded with traffic when the A2 closes. I am less sure now, than when I drew up my ideas yesterday, but I think it would be useful (not least for doubling the A9).
  • The A3 works as a bypass for The Hague and Rotterdam on the A3 (using an extended A29), plus provides a route to Rotterdam (use A15 or A20) and will eventually link to the A16 south of Dortrect, freeing up the A16 in that area.
  • The A5 (is this the most pathetic single digit motorway in Europe? I though the French A3 was a waste of that decent number, then I saw this!) is extended to Utrecht, relieving the A2 and A9, and providing alternate routes for them (using part of the A3 as well). This will, eventually, be extended as an Utrecht outer bypass.
  • The A4 between The Hague and Rotterdam ought to be finished, creating redundancy and relief for the A16. Eventually, it ought to be finished as originally planned.
  • Someday, the A44 is extended to the A3 to allow access from the A3 to The Hague and Leiden
  • Long-term A9 is extended to the A6/A1 junction, bypassing the A2-A1 stretch of the A9 (renumbered A3).
  • Eventually the A11 will be created, extending the current freeway to the A4, but to the north of the N11, allowing A4 traffic to bypass the Rotterdam-The Hague area.

Of course, some of this is excessive, however I'd really recommend at least the A3. Widening can still take place, but wouldn't have to be as extreme (then again, the cost of widening by one lane isn't much cheaper than widening by two). Things like c-d lanes are rather expensive, and you might as well just build another motorway. That it costs as much (in the UK, at least) to widen a mile of motorway, on the cheap - dropping hard shoulders through bridges and so on, as to build a mile of new 6-lane motorway shows that widening, while needed, shouldn't be the solution to everything.

It's worrying that the Netherlands is snarled up despite widespread hard-shoulder running and variable speed limits, as that is the plan for most of England's motorways (a few are being widened anyway, with the addition of VSL and shoulder-running), when they realised that it was so much cheaper than widening. Doing these capacity utilisation things are good, but given that many of these roads carry the traffic that pushes 8-lanes anyway, while still on 6, it's laughable. The lack of desire to build alternate routes is shocking - the French will happily come up with plans, even if they reject them in favour of widening, but in the UK there seems to be 3 options - do nothing, add 'ATM', widen (last resort). The UK's network is worse from a network view than NL's - it's far less dense and has less redundancy in the first place.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 01:51 PM   #2700
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I don't think we'll ever see an A3. It would cut through the so-called "Green Heart" which is considered of great value, although more and more of it is being sacrificed for new urban developments.

I should note that the A4 near Leiden has only 2x2 lanes too.
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