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Old November 25th, 2011, 05:15 AM   #1641
devo
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I agree. Ideally they’d look at the entire E 39 stretch as one big important KVU. They do Kristiansand-Stavanger (Søgne-Ålgård) as a separate KVU, but Bergen-Trondheim should be one KVU, not five, seven, or whatever.

Some thoughts:
We have some charming environmentalists here in Kristiansand who believes that E 39 from central Kristiansand to Søgne (about 14 km) should be just like it is. Today, mostly a two-lane road with at-grade intersections, a traffic light (!) and some roundabouts, all this taking the load from some 20.000 vehicles a day. However, they do have a solution: Making people use a bicycle, or take the bus. Which will be in the same cue because everyone can’t use the bus unless you have like 400 of them. Also, boldly, they claim that the cue will not be solved by a four-lane motorway. It will only add more cars, and cues, on a better road, they claim. Less fuel consumption because of better alignment and flow by the 20% of traffic which are lorries? No. Safety on a new road with central divider? Oh no problem, just take the bus because that will be safe enough...

Somehow they magically seem to forget that east of Kristiansand there is free flowing traffic, on four-lane roads, in higher volumes than on E 39, and guess what? No cues.
(Specific: There are some cues but they are not caused by the four lane road, but a narrowing from two to one lane at the end of it. This new road that they oppose will theoretically solve this problem)

Obviously, the road authorities have better plans, they’ll go for full motorway standard. E 39 from Stavanger might be motorway, so it would be pathetic if it stopped 14 km from Kristiansand. But honestly, some of these people who are suggesting status quo on E 39 are politicians, and that just shows why roads are what roads are in Norway.

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Old November 30th, 2011, 01:10 PM   #1642
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impressions about Norwegian roads

Been in Norway now since July. Here are some impressions and thoughts.

I. First, the worst quality roads I've seen in a developed country. I'm sorry to say that. Infrastructure in general is very mediocre, but on this post I will stick to roads.

II. Have driven on some terrible roads just before reaching a toll plaza!

III. The light in the middle of this roundabout(see google street view image) has never worked since I've been here. Perhaps the people in the houses on the hill complained enough that they decided to shut it off. Regardless, it is dark and dangerous at night, so where is all this road tax money going?




IV. Roundabout sizes for two lanes entering it are too small. In the UK, they would have larger roundabouts for more than one lane entering it.

V. Norwegians seem to lose all traffic sense when using a roundabout. Most fail to signal right when leaving a roundabout. Until recently, no one was taught to signal left when going left at a roundabout, but new drivers are being taught to signal left now thankfully.

VI. E-39 between Bergen and Volda violates(other E-roads in Norway as well) violates convention on European numbered roads. Plenty of areas have no centre lines and the curvature is too sharp and some sections are so narrow, that vehicles have to crawl past each other to avoid a collision. There is a bridge on the E6 that is so narrow, that it is in essence a one lane road. In the summertime, this is an exercise in frustration, especially with all the Dutch and German rv's.

Why hasn't Norway been taken to task by the UNECE or anybody else, for failing to live up to the proper European road standards?

http://www.unece.org/leginstr/trans.html

VII. Norwegians are excellent at linking communities within a kommune or an nearby kommune. For example, millions of krone will be spent building a bridge to an island of just a few thousand people(if that), or to build a tunnel linking two small towns a few kms apart(instead of widening the existing narrow road), but linking major cities within the country or even the same county is seen as outrageous or over the top. For example, there are no plans to build a 4 lane highway between Bergen and Voss, two cities within the same county even thought traffic can get quite busy, especially in the spring and summer.

VIII. I know this has been talked about on this thread, bu the fact that there is no 4 lane highway between Oslo and Trondheim is just ridiculous. Building this road would be quite simple due to the flat topography(at least compared to other Norwegian areas).

The main reason I hear to not build it is that north of Lillehammer, the AADT falls to about 3000. But are they taking into account that if that road is built, the traffic from the rv3, will most likely divert itself to the 4 lane E6? Perhaps convert the rv3 to the 4 lane freeway and resign it as the E6. Also, air travel traffic will go down between Trondheim and Oslo which would certainly increase the AADT to a decent level.

IX. There are some attempts at a national strategy. For example, there is on the Norwegians Roads Ministry website a plan to make the entire E39 in Western Norway ferry free. However, at the glacial pace this is taking place, I might be senior citizen by then. It seems that farmers in this country have an over proportional amount of veto power when it comes to road building. Some roads end up being much more expensive with more tunnels, than sometimes necessary because of the demands of famers.

X. I've seen so many roads that are narrow with trucks inching along. Where I am now, there is the E16 linking road, the 580 (green box with dashed white lines on it saying E16) that goes up from Nesttun to Indre Arna. Companies in this area send trucks up that road, but in two places the road suddenly narrows and the centre yellow lines disappear. Suddenly everything slows down and the trucks and everyone else barely move along not mention the added danger. The failure to understand that by building a comprehensive road network, you attract businesses, make it easier for existing business is beyond me. You don't need oil to build a rich country. Just ask Switzerland and Japan for example.



XI. The main three reasons I hear excusing Norwegian roads; is that Norwegian topography is tough and the number of workers needed to build what is needed is too small and that Norwegians don't want to destroy their country by building freeways with too many cars polluting the atmosphere.

I agree with all of those... but... the technology to overcome the topography is there, I see it already being accomplished across Norway. Second, all you need to finish off a good road network in the next 10-20 years, is get about 10,00 Polish workers to come over, pay them a nice Norwegian salary and bam, work shortage solved. Finally, as cars become cleaner the environmental argument gets weaker.

XII. Finally, I know that they are taking about expanding Oslo airport. Norway has one of the largest markets for domestic air travel. Do the experts understand that if you had decent roads connecting all the major urban areas of Norway, air travel would go down and therefore pollution, since driving produces less pollution than air travel? I never hear anybody talk about this. Authorities seem so eager to expand airport but not roads. I find this strange.

http://environment.about.com/od/gree...y_vs_drive.htm

I haven't even touched on the speed limits, road safety, tolls and driver training. :-)

Last edited by JeremyCastle; November 30th, 2011 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Mistake clean-up
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Old November 30th, 2011, 07:26 PM   #1643
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Probably about 5 millions Norwegians agree with you (except the above-mentioned islanders ) You should mail your thoughts to the gouvernment...
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Old November 30th, 2011, 08:25 PM   #1644
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Think about the fact that Norway is a huge country with very few people... taxes could not be enough to build large projects.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #1645
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lol Norway has hundreds of billions stocked away. Money really is not an issue in Norway. Investing it is, though.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 10:49 PM   #1646
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyCastle View Post
Been in Norway now since July. Here are some impressions and thoughts.

I. First, the worst quality roads I've seen in a developed country. I'm sorry to say that.

IV. Roundabout sizes for two lanes entering it are too small. In the UK, they would have larger roundabouts for more than one lane entering it.

V. Norwegians seem to lose all traffic sense when using a roundabout. Most fail to signal right when leaving a roundabout. Until recently, no one was taught to signal left when going left at a roundabout, but new drivers are being taught to signal left now thankfully.

Why hasn't Norway been taken to task by the UNECE or anybody else, for failing to live up to the proper European road standards?

http://www.unece.org/leginstr/trans.html

I haven't even touched on the speed limits, road safety, tolls and driver training. :-)
A few comments this evening... First of all, I agree with quite a bit of what you say, and there are many unresolved issues that must be dealt with. Our roads are generally not good enough, but there are reasons that has very little to do with the current political situation, but I won't comment on these here, rather focus on some of your points:

IV: I totally agree. We build roundabouts everywhere, and often they're a sensible solution. But they're way too small, and that goes for those that don't link multi-lane roads as well.

V: I've never seen the point of indicating left when going left if your lane discipline is as it should be. That is a massive problem, though, Norwegians aren't particularly good at this, and don't get me started on the lack of right-indicating when cars leave the roundabout...

The E road convention doesn't require roads to be of a certain quality, many E roads also outside Norway aren't up to recommended standards. I would, however, like to see such requirements, that might just kickstart some construction. We're fond of those green road numbers...

When it comes to driver training, it's actually very good and one of the reasons why our roads are among the safest in the world - in spite of mediocre roads. We're also pretty good when it comes to handling varying road quality and conditions, and we're not excessive speeders, tailgaters or drunk drivers. There is, of course, still room for improvement. Toll roads are an important issue, and I seriously object to tolls introduced ahead of completion of road projects. Speed limits are generally sensible, one shouldn't post ridiculously high limits on bad roads... Divided highways and motorways are a different story, though, but I truly believe that 110, possibly 120, limits will be introduced on motorways in a few years.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 11:41 PM   #1647
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Quote:
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lol Norway has hundreds of billions stocked away. Money really is not an issue in Norway. Investing it is, though.
Not sure if I understood what you ment, but one of Norways problems when it comes to roads is that the economy has been running full speed for quite a few years now. Meaning that the unemployment rate is low and a massive spending on infrastructure will be sure to have a rather bad effect on inflation (and private companies would suffer). Ironically it would be easier to spend money on roads with a slightly worse economic situation (higher unemployment rate) since that type of public spending would be a good way to stimulate the economy. But in Norways case it's difficult to spend a lot on infrastructure without cutting somewhere else the way things are now. Personally I think more should be spent, but that means though cuts in some other budget.

But maybe this was what you ment to say.

If the european financial situation gets worse I'm pretty sure the spending on infrastructure would increase (which was what happened with the financial crisis in 2009, although at a small scale).
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Old December 1st, 2011, 01:06 AM   #1648
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JeremyCastle, you could cut off my left leg with an umbrella, yet I’d still agree with your points in that list. They are spot on. See my rant somewhere above for some details.

Norwegian politicians have been completely clueless about infrastructure since they abandoned the large-scale road plans in the 70s. We also have a system where infrastructure is considered a one-time expense, like buying ice cream. Never did they think that better infrastructure will make the economy grow? Like the insane idea about infrastructure beeing, well I don’t know, an investment in our economy, that will pay off some day?

Well.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 10:10 AM   #1649
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Quote:
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We also have a system where infrastructure is considered a one-time expense, like buying ice cream. Never did they think that better infrastructure will make the economy grow? Like the insane idea about infrastructure beeing, well I don’t know, an investment in our economy, that will pay off some day?
Road projects are subject to a cost/benifit analysis, meaning that the future economical benifit is considered. But the model has been criticized by some claiming it is underestimating the benifit.
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Old December 1st, 2011, 09:52 PM   #1650
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Quote:
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And still through the center of the city with at-grade junctions? Will not surprise me...

Also, not at all surprised that the traffic calculations were wrong. They seems to underestimate almost any new road. But its not always the road authorities fault.

Sometimes this happens: Norwegian road Authority: There will be a 3% rise. We need a motorway. Ministry of Finance: No you are stupid, we know that there will be a 1% rise
so shut up and build the two lane road.

Norwegian roadbuilding: Going reverse into a short-sighted future, one not binding road plan at a time. Politicians: I thought everyone used bicycles or the bus. At least that what they do here in Oslo. What? Are there roads and people somewhere else?
Strong central management I tell you.

Sorry I will be finished with my rant now, but you’ll have to excuse me, cause this situation we have here in Norway is so silly that it almost can compete with the thorium nuclear reactor situation. Almost. Because those things could have saved the world for real and Three Mile Island, Tsjernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi wouldn’t have happened.

Your comments are extremely funny and extremely sad simultaneously! One could make a fine mocumentary style sitcom. A farce indeed! :-) :-(
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 12:10 PM   #1651
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Just to further illustrate Jeremys excellent points, here is E6 Nes bridge in Nord-Trøndelag - aadt 2200 - 25% trucks:


http://www.vareveger.no/article294717.ece

This bridge will be replaced by a modern one now in a larger road project where E6 will be rerouted withinn Harran village and designed as a street with 40 and 50 km/h over more than one kilometer.

In this case Grong municipality has chosen to keep E6 trough the village since it brings business to the gas-station, restaurant and grocery store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElviS77 View Post
V: I've never seen the point of indicating left when going left if your lane discipline is as it should be.
Common courtesy - someone will always cut the round-about when going straight and with only one exit lane you can't take a chance on a cars intention to turn left unless driver indicates.
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Last edited by Ingenioren; December 2nd, 2011 at 12:25 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 04:42 PM   #1652
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingenioren View Post
Just to further illustrate Jeremys excellent points, here is E6 Nes bridge in Nord-Trøndelag - aadt 2200 - 25% trucks:


http://www.vareveger.no/article294717.ece

This bridge will be replaced by a modern one now in a larger road project where E6 will be rerouted withinn Harran village and designed as a street with 40 and 50 km/h over more than one kilometer.

In this case Grong municipality has chosen to keep E6 trough the village since it brings business to the gas-station, restaurant and grocery store.


Common courtesy - someone will always cut the round-about when going straight and with only one exit lane you can't take a chance on a cars intention to turn left unless driver indicates.
For your first point: That's truly annoying, and when they eventually decide to reroute the E6 around Harran (in, say, 25 years time), it will be at least as expensive as the original project. Completely useless idea.

For the second: I agree, since lane discipline in roundabouts is as it is. That doesn't prevent me from believing that indicating left in a roundabout should be completely unnecessary.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 12:26 AM   #1653
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Road projects are subject to a cost/benifit analysis, meaning that the future economical benifit is considered. But the model has been criticized by some claiming it is underestimating the benifit.
You are right. Still, the whole aura around infrastricture in Norway is strange. Take this as an example: http://www.tu.no/bygg/article294346.ece

The Minestry of Finance could not answer directly on why roads in Norway has to be loan financed within the über-safe corner of interests, at 6,5%. While not technically a direct loan to finance roads, the Germans still get away with 1,8% interests on a loan from the same pension fund that could not be used to finance roads in Norway.

A question have to asked, are roads and infrastructure really the most unsafe investment we can make? With those interests it seems so. Even Greece will have their motorways at the end of the day. Meanwhile, take a walk down Regent Street, and look at some of the buildings where Norwegian oil money are stuffed away as property investment. Must be a 6,5% profit.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 01:51 PM   #1654
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The reason why signalling left is helpful is this: I'm at a roundabout, and I want to to go straight. I slow down, and I see a car coming from the other side, and they look as if they are going to proceed straight. So, I start to go. As I begin to go, the other car ends up turning left rather than straight, and so, I hit the brakes to avoid actually continuing into the roundabout.

Now, if they had signalled, I would know what they were going to do, and as a result, I never would have attempted to enter the roundabout. As a result, I wouldn't have had to hit the breaks, and the chain reaction of seven cars behind more all hitting their breaks as well would never had occurred. To put it another way, if everyone in Norway signalled left when they saw a car coming from the other side in a roundabout not signalling, they could proceed into the roundabout because they know the other car is going straight.

Because 90% of Norwegians, don't bother to signal left, plus with the roundabouts that are simply to small, you end up with a nation of "brake tappers". That is, everyone inching their way into a roundabout, because everyone is unsure what the cars coming from the other side are going to do. I think this might be a major reason why roundabout traffic in the UK is so much smoother, people actually signal left(at least they are supposed to).

Last edited by JeremyCastle; December 4th, 2011 at 01:53 PM. Reason: too many commas!
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Old December 4th, 2011, 01:55 PM   #1655
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Does anyone know if the Bergen toll gates can read car number plates at night? I ask because Speed Cameras flash when taking a picture. Since there are no flashes on the cameras on the Bergen city toll gates, and if a car doesn't have the electronic box on the windshield, how are the toll gates able to read the number plates then once the sun goes down?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #1656
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From my experience going through similar toll plaza's you'll get away without a charge.

What are your thoughts on giving way to cars on your right, I find in winter that this is just plain dumb and dangerous, I've seen numerous accidents because of it and many people getting stuck because they can't get going again if they are going uphill.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 04:15 PM   #1657
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Does anyone know if the Bergen toll gates can read car number plates at night? I ask because Speed Cameras flash when taking a picture. Since there are no flashes on the cameras on the Bergen city toll gates, and if a car doesn't have the electronic box on the windshield, how are the toll gates able to read the number plates then once the sun goes down?
They photograph both the front and backplates. By law, you should have lights on your backplate.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 10:02 PM   #1658
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They photograph both the front and backplates. By law, you should have lights on your backplate.
I think you might have misunderstood my question. Yes, I know it photographs the front and back number plates, and yes, I know you should have lights on the backplats(I do). Let me ask it a slightly different way then.

Since speed cameras flash in order to read the plates of the car, how is it that the Bergen toll cameras are able to read the plates without a flash?
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Old December 4th, 2011, 10:05 PM   #1659
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Quote:
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From my experience going through similar toll plaza's you'll get away without a charge.

What are your thoughts on giving way to cars on your right, I find in winter that this is just plain dumb and dangerous, I've seen numerous accidents because of it and many people getting stuck because they can't get going again if they are going uphill.
The yielding to the right law is terrible. There is s junction close to our place that has unnecessary traffic jams because of this law. If the law simply allowed cars going straight to simple go straight, much unnecessary braking and taking stupid chances would be eliminated, similar to my comment about not signalling left in a roundabout.

Last edited by JeremyCastle; December 5th, 2011 at 01:32 AM. Reason: changes to chances.
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Old December 4th, 2011, 11:13 PM   #1660
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Yippee finally someone agrees with me on this forum, I don't know a non-Norwegian in Norway who likes it either, but try telling a local it's the most daft and possibly dangerous road rule ever.
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