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Old October 22nd, 2017, 02:12 PM   #7681
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In the 1980s, a compromise was met by upgrading existing roads into first-generation autovías like A-7 in Costa del Sol. The then-MOPU (now called Fomento) was of course aware that it would not take long before this substandard roads needed upgrading, but a dual-carriageway, partially grade-separated road was better than nothing and Spain experienced a heavy reduction on traffic fatalities during the 1990s.
Aha, so that's why the A-4 (old N-IV) had such a dangerous route through the mountains north of Cordoba until recently? It makes much more sense now - it was a matter of getting the roads built, rather than worrying about the design standards.

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Fuengirola-Benalmádena has still old autovía signage (light blue on white background) in some points so it was likely an autovía from the beginning.
Yes, it's strange, because there's a roundabout in Fuengirola here that has the blue on white signage too. There's an even stranger sign here that makes it look like an autovia and not a city street.

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The first-generation toll motorways (AP-7, AP-6, AP-1) flopped and they didn't become profitable until the 1990s.
Is that why the AP-1 for many years only had the short section from Burgos to Armiñón? I always wondered why there was such a large toll-free section between Madrid and Burgos, while the AP-1 seemed to just sit there in the middle of nowhere between two good quality autovias.

Thank you very much for your insight, it's appreciated
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Old October 22nd, 2017, 02:43 PM   #7682
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Aha, so that's why the A-4 (old N-IV) had such a dangerous route through the mountains north of Cordoba until recently? It makes much more sense now - it was a matter of getting the roads built, rather than worrying about the design standards.



Yes, it's strange, because there's a roundabout in Fuengirola here that has the blue on white signage too. There's an even stranger sign here that makes it look like an autovia and not a city street.



Is that why the AP-1 for many years only had the short section from Burgos to Armiñón? I always wondered why there was such a large toll-free section between Madrid and Burgos, while the AP-1 seemed to just sit there in the middle of nowhere between two good quality autovias.

Thank you very much for your insight, it's appreciated
Yes, the A-4 (then N-IV) was one of the routes to be widened in the first nation-wide autovía plan (Plan Felipe). N-I, N-II, and N-IV were the roads most impacted by that plan. In many stretches the existing carriageway (built to 1960s REDIA standards, which meant two wide lanes and shoulders) was re-used and a new one was built alongside it. Many right-in, right-out junctions were kept, on- and off-ramps were substandard and the alignment was that of the 1960s road, so even the newer carriageway was substandard. N-IV in Despeñaperros was upgraded in the 1980s by adding a second carriageway on a completely different alignment, but the original pass, built in the 1930s, remained in use as the northbound lanes.

And yes the AP-1 was meant to connect Madrid and Burgos -in fact there was a very ambitious plan for all routes become toll motorways in the 1970s. But demand on AP-1, AP-2 and AP-68 didn't match the expectations (after all, Spain is very empty and even with current car ownership rates these motorways often carry less than 10k vehicles per day) and banks pulled back their interest. That's why Spain chose to build these routes as autovías in the 1980s and 90s, with the first "experiment" being N-620 (now A-62).

As for signage on "lost" autovías there are countless examples across Spain -former N-I in San Sebastián de los Reyes is another case.
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Old October 22nd, 2017, 03:36 PM   #7683
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Sorry for OT but go for Scotland. It has way more interesting drives.

And Tenerife is fun to drive. Has anything, from busy motorways to some crazy narrow mountain roads, like TF-436, road to Masca.

There are plenty of flight there and car rental is cheap and easy to arrange.
Is it cheap to get ferries between different islands with a car in tow? Or it best to fly and rent cars on each island?
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Old October 22nd, 2017, 07:24 PM   #7684
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Is it cheap to get ferries between different islands with a car in tow? Or it best to fly and rent cars on each island?


Both and depends on a lot of things.

For instance... renting a car has the same price for residents and non-residents (a Spaniard who doesn't live there is non-resident), but ferries, planes and so on have half price for them

Prices can change too much depending of season... even if having double (or more) cost. That can change your decission



And... you can find residents who takes a flight and rent a car or who takes a ferry.... but renting cars is so usual that makes barely public transport. People arrive to an island and looks for a renting car instead of a bus schedule.
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Old October 22nd, 2017, 08:04 PM   #7685
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Sorry for OT but go for Scotland. It has way more interesting drives.
I'm not sure that's true. While Scotland does have more in number of interesting drives and more mileage of interesting drives due to being bigger, and possibly some drives that are more interesting, I don't think it has 'way more'.

It's very much a can't lose situation - either is good. And I think Suburbanist will like the South Wales Valleys' post-industrial landscape and scenery more than the wild and remote coastline of Sutherland.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 07:39 PM   #7686
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Wow, there are serious plans to expand 87 kilometers of A-3 to six lanes between Tarancón and Atalaya del Cañavate. This would cost € 230 million (€ 2.6 million per kilometer).

http://fomento.gob.es/MFOMBPrensa/No...6-7615cbb9482d

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Old October 23rd, 2017, 08:52 PM   #7687
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Traffic figures on A-3 do not show the real burden of this road which is seasonal traffic. Intermittent traffic jams all the way between Madrid and Valencia are not uncommon in summer.
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:13 PM   #7688
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Wow, there are serious plans to expand 87 kilometers of A-3 to six lanes between Tarancón and Atalaya del Cañavate. This would cost € 230 million (€ 2.6 million per kilometer).

http://fomento.gob.es/MFOMBPrensa/No...6-7615cbb9482d

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Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:14 PM   #7689
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It can be a bubble for R-4 btw....
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Old October 23rd, 2017, 11:35 PM   #7690
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What about widening A-3 to 2x3 between M-50 and Tarancón? It could become a bottleneck if they only widen it between Tarancón and Atalaya del Cañavate,
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Old October 24th, 2017, 12:45 AM   #7691
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That section is still pending reconstruction (if ever it's done). Tarancon to Atalaya was already rebuilt a few years ago as part of the first generation autovía refurbishment program that also saw the reconstruction of parts of A-1, A-2, A-4 and A-31 (A-2 got lucky and was rebuilt all the way!) and I don't know what happened with it. The sections that didn't get contracted at first were to be rebuilt at a later date, and then A-5, A-6 between Adanero and Benavente, A-62 between Burgos and Tordesillas and A-2 between Igualada and Martorell were to be reconstructed in a second phase. At least they are going to do the delayed section of A-1 between San Sebastian de los Reyes and El Molar.

Also, they should adjust kmposts as soon as possible. I measured A-2 between kmposts 193 (Ariza) and 312 (Z-40 interchange) a while ago and got 113.2 km (5.8 km are "missing"), including a section between exits 244 (NE of Calatayud) and 255 (El Frasno) which is only 7.2 km long.
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Old October 24th, 2017, 03:13 AM   #7692
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Traffic figures on A-3 do not show the real burden of this road which is seasonal traffic. Intermittent traffic jams all the way between Madrid and Valencia are not uncommon in summer.
To be absolutely honest I don't think that countries should upgrade specific roads because of summer traffic...even if summer lasts longer in Spain than most countries I can think of.

People who 'need' to get to the coast always have the option of travelling at night unless it is a single day trip...no matter where you are in Europe.
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Old October 24th, 2017, 10:25 AM   #7693
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I am on the early stages of planning a trip July next year. Options are the hinterland of Portugal, Galicia and Andalucia, or Madeira, one of the Canary Islands and Wales or Scotland.
I wouldn't recommend you visiting inland Galicia, inland Portugal or inland Andalusia in July, unless you enjoy hot weather (>35 °C at midday) and addapt to the local way of living (mornings and evenings/nights available, afternoons staying at home). If your stay is along the coastline or you travel in early July, it can be fine anyway.

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N-IV in Despeñaperros was upgraded in the 1980s by adding a second carriageway on a completely different alignment, but the original pass, built in the 1930s, remained in use as the northbound lanes.
This is not completely accurate. When the new alignment was built, it was decided to split it in two halves as such: northbound was first old alignment and the new one, southbound was first the old one, then the new alignment. The point where one changed alignment was at the exit of Aldeaquemada, laying more or less at the middle of the strecht.
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Old October 24th, 2017, 01:48 PM   #7694
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To be absolutely honest I don't think that countries should upgrade specific roads because of summer traffic...even if summer lasts longer in Spain than most countries I can think of.

People who 'need' to get to the coast always have the option of travelling at night unless it is a single day trip...no matter where you are in Europe.
To be absolutely honest I don't think that spending the summers in the crowded beaches of Valencia and Alicante along with the rest of Madrid is a good idea. But most people don't agree with me, nor with you.
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Old October 24th, 2017, 03:39 PM   #7695
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Average volumes on A-3 are quite low though, 22000 - 25000 vehicles per day. Those summer peaks must be real outliers. Even in France they typically do not widen a motorway for summer peaks until the average AADT is around 40000.

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Old October 24th, 2017, 04:38 PM   #7696
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Average volumes on A-3 are quite low though, 22000 - 25000 vehicles per day. Those summer peaks must be real outliers. Even in France they typically do not widen a motorway for summer peaks until the average AADT is around 40000.
A 2 lane motorway can handle around 60000 AADT before it chokes up...if that is year round.

Summer peaks (ASDT) only last 2 months in France and Croatia...but probably longer in Spain.

Relatively few countries break out ASDT data on its own but to justify widening the A3 it would want to be a long peak where the ASDT is well over 50000 for 3 months at least.
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Old October 24th, 2017, 05:40 PM   #7697
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I wouldn't count on a very high 3 month average on A-3. Unlike say A7-A9 in France, it doesn't carry a continuous flow of holiday traffic throughout the summer. Peak traffic on A-3 will be much shorter, around weekends and start of vacation, as Madrid leaves to the coast.

AP-36 was designed to handle those peak traffic flows but few people want to pay the toll. The AADT figures above shows that it carries only 2,800 - 3,100 vehicles per day for the most part.
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Old October 24th, 2017, 06:05 PM   #7698
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Pure madness widening a road just for 10 weeks annually of friday and sunday peaks
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Old October 25th, 2017, 11:42 AM   #7699
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I was not aware of the fact that AP-7 has open road tolling at the toll plaza near Granollers. It has been in operation since 27 March 2017.



http://www.abc.es/economia/abci-prim...9_noticia.html
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Old October 25th, 2017, 12:19 PM   #7700
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It is more similar to Telepass than to real free flow systems like the one implemented on Italian A36.
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