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Old October 7th, 2010, 11:40 AM   #1741
ChrisZwolle
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I am reasonably sure that in as little as 50 years from now, mass travel by car (or equivalent) within large cities will very much be a thing of the past.
I'm not so sure, these type of predictions have been made since the 1970's, and never turned out a reality. Personal transport will always be the most efficient form of transport, especially if your origin or destination is not in the central city.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #1742
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Sorry, Chris - I should have made my point a little clearer. I was referring only to journeys made within the limits of very large, built up areas where population density causes more of a conflict between road space and other land uses. Cross city journeys by car, I believe, are likely to become even less frequent by car than they are at present. But outside of these conurbations, I agree that personal transport will be more likely to remain prevalent.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #1743
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Is that Johannesburg?
Yep, You are right. It is the De Villiers Graf Motorway (M1) going north-south, just west of downtown Johannesburg towards Sandton
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Old October 7th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #1744
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry View Post
Sorry, Chris - I should have made my point a little clearer. I was referring only to journeys made within the limits of very large, built up areas where population density causes more of a conflict between road space and other land uses. Cross city journeys by car, I believe, are likely to become even less frequent by car than they are at present. But outside of these conurbations, I agree that personal transport will be more likely to remain prevalent.
So are you saying that Londoners don't need to travel to other cities? I never use my car for commuting within London but I still get up to an hour added to my journey time due to the lack of a ring road.

I also disagree with your previous post. The inner ring is not in the city centre and finishing it would not be as hard as people from the TfL say. It is also silly to claim that it would just clog up. No it wouldn't. Dual carriageway sections of the A406 are fine, extremely busy, but fine. A406 is only at standstill in places where it narrows down to 1+1 and has single level junctions. Elsewhere it is acceptable. There are no reasons to claim that it would just suddenly miraculously clog up if those dual carriageway sections were extended and especially if the motorways started at the circulars and not at the M25. To me it sounds like a dodgy excuse and nothing else.

The place where it was impossible to build a ring road was Prague. Their ring road has miles of massive bridges, miles of tunnels. On the inner ring road they are currently building a 5.5 km. tunnel. They will have two ring roads by 2017. That's a city with a metro population that is 6 times smaller. Beijing is a bit bigger than London and it has 5 ring roads. London is much richer than any of these cities but it's road infrastructure is the worst of any big city in the developed world. It is a real shame that such silly excuses are accepted as valid.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 08:22 PM   #1745
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London is much richer than any of these cities but it's road infrastructure is the worst of any big city in the developed world. It is a real shame that such silly excuses are accepted as valid.
The problem is how rich London is. It is full of very rich people who live in nice areas that they don't want to be torn up to build a road through. Beijing is expanding so fast that the land was probably farms when it was built so moving people around wasn't an issue (being a one party state where protesting won't get you anywhere might have helped a little). The issue is that you cannot just improve one bit of road, you just move the congestion further along and the population has lost it's appetite for enormous road projects.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #1746
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The problem is how rich London is. It is full of very rich people who live in nice areas that they don't want to be torn up to build a road through. Beijing is expanding so fast that the land was probably farms when it was built so moving people around wasn't an issue (being a one party state where protesting won't get you anywhere might have helped a little). The issue is that you cannot just improve one bit of road, you just move the congestion further along and the population has lost it's appetite for enormous road projects.
I don't think that is a good excuse: plenty of wealthy cities have relatively good infrastructure; Los Angeles is not known either for its poverty or lack of freeways.

Also, many of the places that would be impacted by road improvements in London are extremely banal, for example around the North and South circular roads. Many may even be improved (i'm thinking of the absurd situation where suburban houses seem to have their living rooms facing straight onto the North Circular Road where a semi-motorway has been crammed into the space originally intended for a suburban road).

The photos earlier were indeed Johannesburg, the De Villiers Graaff Motorway (part of the M1) in the section that cuts through near the city centre. They are an example of a scheme that must be roughly the same width as the 2x2 section of the M4.

I disagree that in large urban areas the motorcar will be largely abandoned within 50 years. The fundamentals of transport aren't going to change. Buses may run on electricity or hydrogen or some new fuel in 50 years but they will still have the essential characteristics of a bus (ie a vehicle that runs on a fixed route to a fixed timetable and carries many passengers). The car will still be a car and metro systems will still be metro systems despite any improvements in technology. Their relative benefits will remain unchanged.

Therefore barring things like drastic government restrictions on private transport or a catastrophic drop in living standards people will still want to drive.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 12:55 AM   #1747
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I don't think that is a good excuse: plenty of wealthy cities have relatively good infrastructure; Los Angeles is not known either for its poverty or lack of freeways.
Though of course, the Los Angeles basin wasn't that populated until the 50s and 60s and has several shortish gaps where the neighbourhood is old and stopped construction of the freeway through it. Plus LAs vast amount of freeway lane-miles are rather congested. South London is mostly 20s and 30s - before the motor car kicked off in a big way.

Oh, and wrt the North Circular, you have a better radial rail network, better radial roads - there isn't as much suppressed demand.

With South London you'd need to make sure the A2, A20, A23 and A3 corridors have bottlenecks removed, else the South Circular, plus probably something along the A21, A24 and A316 as well to make sure you don't have people overloading the good radials. You might then actually make journeys faster, rather than just move them onto a road that requires a load of demolition and costs a ton.

With the money though, I think some tube extensions through South London (Victoria, Bakerloo and Northern Charing X branch), some rail improvements - higher frequencies, rationalised services, tunnel under Croydon for Brighton and Gatwick fast trains, that kind of thing. Plus improve orbital links - Tramlink could do a lot here, and the DLR from Woolwich can go Eltham - Mottingham - Grove Park - Bromley, giving a decent SE London Orbital link (that hopefully wouldn't overload that branch). Heh, the road network would cost £10 billion or something to be of any use, so that's all sorts of fun for PT.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #1748
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Los Angeles is NOT a freeway heaven, it has one of the lowest amount of lane miles relative ton population in the United States.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #1749
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I disagree that in large urban areas the motorcar will be largely abandoned within 50 years. The fundamentals of transport aren't going to change.
One fundamental is inevitable to change, the price for energy. Cheap energy once made excessive road traffic possible. And so will the end of cheap oil restrict the use of private cars again. I wouldn't say that private cars will have been gone in 50 years altogether. But the cars as we know them today certainly will.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #1750
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One fundamental is inevitable to change, the price for energy. Cheap energy once made excessive road traffic possible. And so will the end of cheap oil restrict the use of private cars again. I wouldn't say that private cars will have been gone in 50 years altogether. But the cars as we know them today certainly will.
I would'nt be too sure about that. Yes oil prices will go up and there's likely to be a few painful spikes along the way, but all this will do is bring on alternative fuels and technologies quicker, as they will become more viable. Non-conventional oil is also very plentiful (about twice as much as conventional 'easy to get oil') and that too will become more viable. So in reality, yes oil will rise but it will level off as other sources for what I would term 'liquid fuels' begin to replace them over the next few decades.

The technology is there to capture CO2 but also to convert it into hydrocarbons. Plus hydrocarbons can also be produced from gas and coal (this has been happening in South Africa for years). Obviously produing hydrocarbons from CO2 would be the preferred route for obvious reasons.

There's also biofuels, which have been criticised for their environmental credentials, but only because much of it at the moment is coming from land crops, whereas in the future, its mainly likely to come from biomass residues and significantly algae.

In terms of vehicle technology, there is, of course hybrids and also the prospect of electric vehicles. Personally, I think there's a long way to go before they become anything near as attractive as petrol and diesel cars. Why? The biggest problem is range and the associated 'range anxiety' that will put people off, then there's cost. I'm also a bit wary of something that is silent and likely to hit pedestrians who don't bother to look properly before crossing the road.

From a societal perspective, there's a bit of a paradox with electric cars which makes them far from being a panacea for solving transport issues. Policy appears to be favouring an eventual large scale adoption of electric cars with subsidies for car production, puchases and charging infrastructure. However, if their range is limited, it is pretty obvious that they are going to be used for urban commuting - the sort of journeys that are clogging up London. Therefore I think a massive wave of electric vehicles is the last thing that any major city needs for solving congestion, when public transport can do a better job.

Last edited by sirfreelancealot; October 8th, 2010 at 04:36 PM.
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Old October 8th, 2010, 04:43 PM   #1751
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1. The current tragic situation with traffic in London is not the result of some well thought-out long-term strategy that was masterminded by the TfL. Such claims look hilarious. It is like Cambodia claiming that the only reason their infrastructure is so shit is because people will be teleporting themselves from place to place in the future anyway. What needs to be established before any plans are made is that this situation is a plane and simple ****-up by the TfL and people who were responsible for this should get sacked. Such "strategy" of ignoring the road network and spending everything on the inefficient, greedy rail people should not be continued.

2. There are literally hundreds of places were the roads can be improved in London, not just the "circulars". Saying that London roads can not be improved because it is too built up is extremely superficial and downright irresponsible, especially when you hear it from someone who works for the TfL. There are dozens of roads in London that are dying for more two level junctions and overpasses, a few of which would improve the situation significantly.

3. Private transport is not going anywhere. Yes, some fuels are getting more expensive, some are getting cheaper. There are lots of technologies (electric powered cars, hydrogen powered cars, even LPG, etc.) that are waiting for their turn. Once current fuel prices rise to a certain level, the infrastructure for the new fuels will be put in place and private transport will continue to dominate, no doubt about that.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #1752
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SE London's infrastructure has considerably lagged economic development. It is always more difficult to persuade people to accept big infrastructure projects in developed cities than developing ones. It's not Shanghai where people in old dilapilated housing are dying for the government to move them out into new housing districts - Londoners on the other hand are quite happy with their Victorian town houses and gardens.

Also British people are quite protective of their idea of small winding high streets, and they also want small roads that are part of the urban landscape rather than some concrete alien of a highway. I do agree that big highways do to some extent divide communities and the physical landscape - when you have to cross one of those on a footbridge or a tunnel you do feel you are in some sort of no man's land, and in a way London is quite fortunate not to have that i.e. everywhere is so permeable.

It's not just roads that are sub-par in Southeast London, the railways are too, which I think is part of the reason that the roads are particularly bad. There are plenty of lines but in the era of disorganised competition the infrastructure were not well designed - too many flat junctions, missing interchanges and mixed running between slow and fast trains. IMO upgrading the railways lines would be much more effective than trying to widen the trunk roads, since as soon as you modify the flat junctions you can achieve a much more user friendly timetable (simpler and more frequent routes), which will do a lot to get people out of their cars.
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Old October 9th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #1753
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Does someone have a link 'Roads for Prosperity' white paper ?
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Old October 9th, 2010, 06:33 PM   #1754
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University and big libraries are very likely to have a copy somewhere that you can peruse.

If you do enough searching around the net, you can pin together the maps.

I don't know of any internet copy and it's under Crown Copyright until the 2030s.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 01:45 AM   #1755
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I'm not so sure, these type of predictions have been made since the 1970's, and never turned out a reality. Personal transport will always be the most efficient form of transport, especially if your origin or destination is not in the central city.
Even now with crap London roads it took me less to drive from Wimbledon area to Acton than it would take on public transport.
It was Monday morning rush hour. Imagine any other time.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 04:59 PM   #1756
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Road infrastructure will always be a good investment, most people can't give up on cars and you can't make them use public transportation.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #1757
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I saw yet another metric sign today, this time it was a sign like this:



that said: Hump in 120m.

Last edited by DanielFigFoz; October 11th, 2010 at 07:40 PM.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 09:42 PM   #1758
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Video from today - 1820




and 9 days ago I sent some pictures but I don`t know if anybody have seen it - http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...postcount=1720


.
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Old October 16th, 2010, 02:17 AM   #1759
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Old October 16th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #1760
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M56 Bowdon View Bridge, Cheshire

From the Highways Agency:

The M56 Bowdon View Bridge is a two lane single direction bridge over the M56 Motorway. The bridge was constructed in 1971 and is owned by the Highways Agency.

Bowdon View Bridge carries westbound traffic from Manchester off the M56 at Junction 7 and over the M56 to Bowdon Roundabout, where it links to the A556.

In 2006 surveys conducted in preparation for a maintenance scheme to strengthen the bridge found defects on the bridge deck.

We made the decision to replace the deck of Bowdon View Bridge, as it would not be cost effective to repair the existing deck.

We will be using the existing abutments for the new deck and so the bridge will be in the same location.


From me: Pictures from demolition work today.







The new bridge awaits positioning next weekend in a field adjacent to the carriageway.
















The motorway is closed eastbound from junction 9 at Lymm to 7 at Bowdon, and westbound from junction 6 at Hale Barns to junction 8 on the A556 at Bowdon.




A deathly silent carriageway.
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