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Old May 19th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #281
scotdaliney
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Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
True, but very often, these two are closely linked. That is not to say that doing 90-100 in an 80-zone in itself is reckless (I do it all the time), but - generally speaking - higher speeds equals more and more serious crashes, particularly on undivided highways.

In terms of accident statistics: It is worth noting that more people die on the road in the summer months than in the winter (even if one considers traffic volumes). Also, by far the most important safety feature was the introduction of seat belt laws, it cut road fatalities by 1/3 more or less over night. In the early 70s, we were hitting 600 dead annualy, now we're down to around 250. 2008, however, has started badly.
Personally, I find the drivers around me that stick exactly to the speed limit or below, often are terrible drivers. They don't follow any other rules, they never indicate, they do mind bogingly stupid things, they pull out in front of people, ect, ect. Often though, they feel they are good drivers simply because they don't speed. It's as if that's the only road rule, the be all and end all of safe driving. This attitide seems to be created by the governments myopic obsession with speeding.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #282
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Do those traffic fatalities include suicides? My understanding is that a large proportion of head-on collisions with trucks are suicides.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #283
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^ That can't be proven in most cases though.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #284
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Do those traffic fatalities include suicides? My understanding is that a large proportion of head-on collisions with trucks are suicides.
Why would someone with a suicidental tendency do that? The chance it 'fails' is much bigger than with trainjumping, overdoses etc.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #285
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It actually happens, my dad's colleague has experienced it once.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by scotdaliney View Post
Personally, I find the drivers around me that stick exactly to the speed limit or below, often are terrible drivers. They don't follow any other rules, they never indicate, they do mind bogingly stupid things, they pull out in front of people, ect, ect. Often though, they feel they are good drivers simply because they don't speed. It's as if that's the only road rule, the be all and end all of safe driving. This attitide seems to be created by the governments myopic obsession with speeding.
High speed is obviously not the only issue, but - in terms of serious injuries or fatalities - it is involved in some way or another. That's simple physics. In short: No matter how good a car is made, the human body cannot withstand the decelaration forces involved in a head-on collision at much more than 70 kph, a fact which in many ways suggest that undivided highways should never see a limit higher than 70.

However, that low an absolute limit is unacceptable even to safety-obsessed Norwegian road authorities. Instead, risk evaluation becomes the order of the day: Roads considered unsafe (usually 2-lane undivided roads with considerable traffic) get 70-zones. Other roads keep the normal 80 kph limit, and high-quality rural roads with low traffic maintain their 90 limits.

Such an approach is seen by many as an embrace of the fact that many roads aren't up to the job they're intended to do, and that the real answer isn't lower speed limits, speed cameras and a considerable police presence, but rather more and better roads built. This may well be the case, but reality still kicks in for me: These roads are all we have at the moment, and our only option is to regulate them as best we can. I truly believe (and any serious research will show you the truth in this) that fighting speeding - as well as drunk driving etc - reduces road fatalities and injuries: The simple fact is that Norway - even with poor roads, bad weather and an almost absurd lack of divided roads and motorways - has a safety record second to very few. To a large degree, this is because of strict legislation and enforcement.

Even though I find our motorway limits ridiculously low (such roads are a different kettle of fish altogether), there is no doubt that speeding kills on those as well. 120-130 kph is a reasonable and safe speed on modern motorways, 180-200 is not.

In addition: Currently, it is more or less "accepted" that road traffic takes 250 lives annually... in Norway alone. In any other form of transport, that would be completely uacceptable - planes would be grounded and trains stopped. Even a single "near-miss" incident may cause serious problems for the involved partys. Shouldn't every road traveller be as safety-minded and accept that the limit probably is there for a reason..?
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:32 PM   #287
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Does anyone know when the border crossing with Russia was opened? I know it wasn't yet E105 a few years ago, so I'm interested, if there was a border crossing prior to that at all.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:53 PM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
High speed is obviously not the only issue, but - in terms of serious injuries or fatalities - it is involved in some way or another. That's simple physics. In short: No matter how good a car is made, the human body cannot withstand the decelaration forces involved in a head-on collision at much more than 70 kph, a fact which in many ways suggest that undivided highways should never see a limit higher than 70.
This, of course, only applies to cars with air-bags (which almost all cars now have) and when seat belts are used. Also, I am not certain if you can survive if you crash head on in 70 km/h with a vehicle much heavier than your own (i.e. if you collide with a truck).
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
However, that low an absolute limit is unacceptable even to safety-obsessed Norwegian road authorities. Instead, risk evaluation becomes the order of the day: Roads considered unsafe (usually 2-lane undivided roads with considerable traffic) get 70-zones. Other roads keep the normal 80 kph limit, and high-quality rural roads with low traffic maintain their 90 limits.
The biggest problem with the many new 70-zones (and 80-zones), as I see it, is that people really don't understand them. In fact, a change of the speed limit from 80 to 70 usually leads to a decrease of the real speed of only a few km/h. Many more people has thus has lost respect of the speed limit system altogether, which I personally believe explains a lot of the speeding you see today.

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Does anyone know when the border crossing with Russia was opened? I know it wasn't yet E105 a few years ago, so I'm interested, if there was a border crossing prior to that at all.
From 1950 until 1991, I believe, any form of communication across the border, be it by car, foot, voice or any other kind of medium was forbidden by law both from the Soviet and Norwegian side of border. At times (for instance 1968), the tension could be quite high, as Norway and Turkey was the only NATO countries that had a border with the Soviet Union, and to make things worse, the Sovjet Union had their North fleet stationed right across the border. This, of course, was of great hindrance to the people up there who traditionally were not used to any border at all. In fact, at some point, the people of the northernmost province of Norway was taxed by three governments.....
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:56 PM   #289
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The reason why one would commit suicide in a head on collision is to give your family benefit of a life insurance, since it is that hard to prove ;P

The Storskog border crossing has been open for a while, first in 1911 a toll-station was opened in Kirkenes, there was only 1500 travellers in 1980 and since 1991 it has been permanently open and numbers where increased to 80 000 ;D It's still not an easy border to cross, visa from Oslo is needed for Norwegians...

http://www.statsbygg.no/prosjekter/p...historikk.html
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Old May 21st, 2008, 06:20 PM   #290
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Interesting article, it says the traffic (persons) was 131 000 in 1999 and 120 000 in 2001.

The regulations prior to 1991 I mentioned above was of course about unsactioned acitivity. Prior to 1991, the border station was normally not open, and you had to apply to both the Norwegian and Soviet authorities in advance, with the desired crossing time indicated. Allmost all crossings were official delegations or some kind of cultural exchange. Other than that, not even a wink or hand waving was allowed....

Recently, the Norwegian government has btw decided to make it significantly easier for Russians to work and migrate to (Northern) Norway, and Russians living close to the border will no longer need to apply for a visa for each trip, so probably the traffic across Storskog will increase in the years to come.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 09:06 PM   #291
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Thanks, very interesting! I'll post some in the border crossings thread.

Cyrillic in Norway.


http://www.barentsphoto.com/viewimag...er=14153&no=16
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Old May 21st, 2008, 09:34 PM   #292
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Interesting to see. Does anyone have more pics of this border crossing?
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Old May 21st, 2008, 09:46 PM   #293
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^ Go to the border-crossing thread.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 08:21 PM   #294
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This, of course, only applies to cars with air-bags (which almost all cars now have) and when seat belts are used. Also, I am not certain if you can survive if you crash head on in 70 km/h with a vehicle much heavier than your own (i.e. if you collide with a truck).

The biggest problem with the many new 70-zones (and 80-zones), as I see it, is that people really don't understand them. In fact, a change of the speed limit from 80 to 70 usually leads to a decrease of the real speed of only a few km/h. Many more people has thus has lost respect of the speed limit system altogether, which I personally believe explains a lot of the speeding you see today.
First, it's quite clear that every safety measure needs to be used to survive a 70 kph head-on crash, and equally clear that crashing with a lorry is a very different story. But my point was simply that even if you collide with a similarly-sized vehichle, 70 is max if you want to survive.

It may very well be that people do not understand the virtue of reduced speed limits. Nevertheless, the speed limit reduction from 80 to 70 on many Norwegian roads has reduced accident rates dramatically. Reduction from 90 to 80 has so far failed to have a similar impact, probably because the reason for such a reduction on our highest quality 2-lane roads is harder to see.

The reasons for modern-day speeding are many, but our current limits aren't particularly to blame. The system is actually developing towards something that takes road safety into account: the 80-anywhere-there-aren't-too-many-houses-in-the-vicinity-system we used to have was completely pointless. Today, those roads see anything from 70-100 (motorways may well see 110 in a few years).
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 08:22 PM   #295
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Sorry... double post.

Last edited by ElviS77; May 23rd, 2008 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Double post
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 09:30 PM   #296
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It looks a bit the same as in Belgium. Generally, there's a 90km/h limit on 2-lane highways, but more and more roads are getting downgraded there to 70km/h at places in small rural build-up areas.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #297
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Something I noticed on maps is that a lot of norwegian cities, even some small villages, have a very straight street pattern in city-centres. Is there a (historical) explanation for this?

E.g. Kristiansand:


Last edited by Jeroen669; May 24th, 2008 at 10:04 AM.
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Old May 24th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #298
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Something I noticed on maps is that a lot of norwegian cities, even some small villages, have a very straight street pattern in city-centres. Is there a (historical) explanation for this?

E.g. Kristiansand:

Generally, yes. In terms of Kristiansand, the Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV (after whom the city has its name) insisted that the city should have straight streets and square blocks. The same happened in Oslo (which was Christiania/Kristiania until 1924), but due to the rapid expansion of the city in the 19th century, it's better hidden, and also in Trondheim.

When it comes to smaller towns, their street systems are either based on old rural roads (like most Norwegian highways) or a result of more or less Modernist planning from the 20s and onwards. In the latter case, you'll obviously find a lot of straight streets with 90-degree intersections.
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Old July 20th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #299
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E16 - indecision highway...

Eventually, the road guide returns... The reason I call it "indesision highway" will hpoefully be clear in the next few paragraphs. The E16 is the E route linking Oslo and Bergen (even though it really starts/stops a few kms outside both cities).

Akershus:
The first 15+ kms from the junction with E18 runs through Akershus county. Not much to see, and the road isn't much either. A short 4-lane stretch aside, the remainder is partly Norway's busiest 2-laner (AADT 30,000+) and a narrow and partly steep and curvy 2-laner mainly through a town. Limit? 50-70. Luckily, this road will be replaced by Norway's most overdue motorway, parts open next year, the rest around 2012. That is, apart from the junction with the E18, since that road also will be rebuilt - but not until past 2015.

Buskerud:
Opens with 15 kms of 2-lane expressway, then 15 kms of normal 2-laner, then 15 of (unposted) expressway and eventually about 40 of normal 2-laner again, in places curvy, but not too bad. Not a super-touristy piece of highway here either, but some lakes, rivers and forest. Speed limit from 50 to 80 kph. Plans include motorway to Hønefoss (the first 25 kms), and general improvement (possibly expressway) of the rest. The first is beyond 2015, the second probably beyond 2020.

Oppland:
Starts with about 40 kms of normal highway, then 10 kms of narrow, steep and curvy road along a gorge, then about 20 kms of semi-rural ok 2-lane highway into and through Fagernes. The next few kms are hopeless, but the next 60 kms through Valdres are ok, stretches have been improved in the 90s and 00s. The 15 km climb up to the Filefjell plateau is steep, but being rebuilt, and the final few kms on the plateau to the county border are quite straight. Pleasant nature through the valley, and even though the Filefjell isn't the most spectacular of Norway's mountains, it's more than worthwhile. Plans? General improvement plus realignment around Fagernes and in the narrow gorge. Probably beyond 2015, though.

Sogn og Fjordane:
Narrow, curvy and steep 15 kms down from the mountain, the 30+ kms in the valley used to be horrible, but most parts are improved or being improved. Then, 24 kms through the Lærdal tunnel, 9 kms of proper 2-laner, then first 5, then 11.5 kms of tunnel. Final 10 kms a decent stretch of highway. Limit 50-80 kph. The area differs from quite beautiful to exceptional, narrow fjords and steep mountains, although you'll miss most of it inside the mountain. If you have the time, do the ferry Lærdal-Gudvangen or the mountain road over the Lærdal tunnel. Plans? To get it to decent 2-lane highway standard, and not all that much remains. The climb onto the plateau will be finished around 2013, I think.

Hordaland:
The remaining 130 kms is in Hordaland. The very first stretch is an 70s or 80s tunnel highway, then 30 kms of varying standard including villages and 1-lane stretches, but also ok 2-lane pieces. Then through the township of Voss, dumping it onto 40 kms of 80s highway followed by 30 kms of 70s highway, both with tons of tunnels. The next 10 kms is 2-lane expressway-ish, still through tunnels, and the final 15 km part onto the junction with E39 north of Bergen is reasonable 2-laner (into Bergen there is a motorway). Speed limit between 40 and 80. Beautiful scenery, particularly the first part. Mountains, fjords, valleys. Plans? The first part into Voss to be a 2+1 expressway in ten years or so, past Voss a 2-lane tunnel is completed 2012-15. The expressway stretch will be dualled into a proper motorway (2020-ish), and from Arna, an 8-km twin tube tunnel will dump the road in Bergen proper, shortening the stretch by 15-20 kms. Not before 2015, though.

Oh, almost forgot. "Indecision highway"...

First, the E16 isn't the only link between Oslo and Bergen, there are several. The rv 7+52 link is even a trunk road parallell to the E16, the rv 7 is the shortest (with a ferry for another five years, though), the E134+a few rvs pretty short and will be shorter with the construction of the Jondal tunnel (also including a ferry)... Instead of commiting themseves to one link, the politicians/bureaucrats have allowed themselves to be held hostage by local politicians, fearful of losing road construction funds. "What?!" you may understandably say, "The national road network isn't something local politicians can decide..." In Norway, it actually is. Partly because local democracy itself is rather strong, but mostly because the counties used to administrate national road fundings themselves. Noone have told them that this was supposed to change with the trunk road system...

Second, the Arna-Bergen bit has been changed from south to north(hopefully, we'll eventually see "straight through Ulriken"), Voss-Trengereid used to run along the Hardanger fjord... Then, there's the debate of which valley should get the main road (see above) and the newest issue - lenghtening the road into Sweden (Gävle). If so, should the Norwegian stretch run north of Oslo along the current rv 35 to Gardermoen airport - albeit with an arm down to Sandvika - or through Oslo, along E18, taking the 190 through the city and then along the E6..? They've just started debating, don't expect an answer soon...

In short, what has the road done to deserve this..?
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Old July 21st, 2008, 02:44 PM   #300
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I think most Norwegians agree that the current route of E16 is NOT the most natural choice between Oslo and Bergen. At the time when the current main road between Oslo and Bergen was selected, and the Lærdal tunnel was approved, the transport minister of Norway, Opseth, was from Sogn og Fjordande, and that says a little bit about how much local politics goes in Norway. In my opinion, the politicians should keep their hands off planning of the national trunk road network, and leave the decisions to the national road authorities like in most other countries.

In the future, I am convinced that the main road between Oslo and Bergen will follow a route similar to either present rv 7 (Hardangervidda) or E136 (Haukelifjell), the latter could be used for a combined route for both Stavanger and Bergen if the 25 km Boknafjord tunnels and a few other fjord crossing projects are developed.

There is BTW a similar situation between Oslo and Trondheim. The official main road is E6, but almost all truck traffic and Norwegian (i.e. non-tourist) through traffic uses rv 3 which is shorter and with easier terrain. Again, local politics is a major factor.
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