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Old July 27th, 2010, 12:18 PM   #581
kanterberg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metasmurf View Post
Sundsvall bypass is greatly needed. Last time I drove there, traffic was pretty bad. Just a normal 2-lane road with many traffic lights. Probably the slowest section of E4.
This section has 30 000 AADT so it is certainly justified to build a motorway bypass, especially for people living in central Sundsvall where traffic is expected to decrease by more than 10 000 AADT.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 05:03 PM   #582
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Does anyone have pics of e18 sagån-enköping and e45 göteborg-trollhättan?
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Old July 27th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #583
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Does anyone have pics of e18 sagån-enköping and e45 göteborg-trollhättan?
These photos are all from Trafikverket.

A map of the the motorway. It is expected to be open for traffic sometime in October of this year.





Cobblestones on the new rest area… fancy

Expected AADT figures for the new motorway and the old road.
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Old July 27th, 2010, 09:08 PM   #584
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Originally Posted by kanterberg View Post
These photos are all from Trafikverket.

A map of the the motorway. It is expected to be open for traffic sometime in October of this year.





Cobblestones on the new rest area… fancy

Expected AADT figures for the new motorway and the old road.
Enköping and Västerås really need this motorway. It should be built for 20 years ago. And at last Västerås are going to have a good road to Stockholm. But in Hummelsta they are not so happy about this. A good restaurant at the road in Hummelsta are maybe going to close. And the village Hummelsta are maybe going to die when they are losing the road.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #585
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Enköping and Västerås really need this motorway. It should be built for 20 years ago. And at last Västerås are going to have a good road to Stockholm. But in Hummelsta they are not so happy about this. A good restaurant at the road in Hummelsta are maybe going to close. And the village Hummelsta are maybe going to die when they are losing the road.
I agree, this motorway probabaly marks an unofficial record for the longest planning-period ever for a road project in this country. It is just a shame that the speed limit on the new section will be 110 and not 120...

As for the roadside restaurant in Hummelsta, they should consider the last 20 years as a bonus.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #586
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I always wonder why Sweden implemented different speed limits than was common in other countries of Europe. Although 110 - 120 is a small difference, it makes a huge difference when driving on an empty motorway through the woods. 120 feels much more reasonable than 110. Of course, people always argue for higher or no speed limits, but 120 - 130 is a much more common rural motorway speed in Europe than 110.

Swedish motorways are generally well-designed and capable of handling speeds of 120 km/h. Heck, until a few years, the 110 speed limit was widespread in rural central and northern Sweden on two-lane roads.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #587
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Heck, until a few years, the 110 speed limit was widespread in rural central and northern Sweden on two-lane roads.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #588
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I always wonder why Sweden implemented different speed limits than was common in other countries of Europe. Although 110 - 120 is a small difference, it makes a huge difference when driving on an empty motorway through the woods. 120 feels much more reasonable than 110. Of course, people always argue for higher or no speed limits, but 120 - 130 is a much more common rural motorway speed in Europe than 110.

Swedish motorways are generally well-designed and capable of handling speeds of 120 km/h. Heck, until a few years, the 110 speed limit was widespread in rural central and northern Sweden on two-lane roads.
Well, we're talking about a country obsessed with road safety, CO2-emissions and gender equality. Don't get me wrong, those things are all important but it gets silly when it comes to speed limits.*

Road safety and CO2-emissions speak for it self, they will always dig up some road engineer or environmentalist producing a study that clearly shows that a higher speed limit will theoretically create more accidents and higher emissions.

What's new is the gender aspect. The Traffic Authority publishes a report every year called "Speed limit opinions", or something like that. They ask questions like "Do you think speed limits should be higher?".

It turns out that men prefer higher speed limits than women. Men would prefer a 130-limit on motorways while women are fine with 110 or even less. Therefore, lowering speed limits - or at least not raising them - becomes an officiall way to promote gender equality in the transport sector. I kid you not!

Still, things have gotten somewhat better in recent years. The 120-limit has so far been introduced on some 200 km of motorways and I expect there will be more to come.*

Last edited by kanterberg; July 28th, 2010 at 04:27 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old July 28th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #589
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Heck, until a few years, the 110 speed limit was widespread in rural central and northern Sweden on two-lane roads.
I might add that sometimes these roads weren't (and still are not) wider than 7 meters, like E45.
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Old July 28th, 2010, 04:54 PM   #590
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CO2-emissions are a non-argument. Of course, CO2 emissions will be slightly lower at 110 than 120, but it will also be lower at 100 than 110, or better yet, prohibit all motorized traffic all together..

CO2 emissions of traffic as a proportion of all domestic CO2 emissions are low, generally around 10 -15%. Another significant share of that is emitted by trucks, which are not affected by a speed limit increase. Then again, most situations where speed limits would be increased to 120 are in rural areas, with low traffic volumes. So about how much CO2 are we actually talking about?

Really, someone arguing 110 is better for CO2 emissions (or global warning for that matter) than 120 km/h should see a psychiatrist. Such people have become so obsessed with CO2 emissions they have lost all reality.

An increase of the speed limit from 110 to 120 on rural sections would create an increase of pollutants in the 0,01's of µg. Not to mention those areas are most likely to comply easily by European pm10 and NOx concentration norms anyway, even if the speed limits would be lifted altogether... What they're talking about is something in the order of "current concentrations are 15,1 µg, but would be 15,2 µg at 120 km/h". (the concentration limits are 40 µg and are generally only exceeded in densely populated areas like the Ruhr or Randstad).

Last edited by ChrisZwolle; July 29th, 2010 at 12:20 AM.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 12:16 AM   #591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
CO2-emissions are a non-argument. Of course, CO2 emissions will be slightly lower at 110 than 100, but it will also be lower at 100 than 110, or better yet, prohibit all motorized traffic all together..

CO2 emissions of traffic as a proportion of all domestic CO2 emissions are low, generally around 10 -15%. Another significant share of that is emitted by trucks, which are not affected by a speed limit increase. Then again, most situations where speed limits would be increased to 120 are in rural areas, with low traffic volumes. So about how much CO2 are we actually talking about?

Really, someone arguing 110 is better for CO2 emissions (or global warning for that matter) than 120 km/h should see a psychiatrist. Such people have become so obsessed with CO2 emissions they have lost all reality.

An increase of the speed limit from 110 to 120 on rural sections would create an increase of pollutants in the 0,01's of µg. Not to mention those areas are most likely to comply easily by European pm10 and NOx concentration norms anyway, even if the speed limits would be lifted altogether... What they're talking about is something in the order of "current concentrations are 15,1 µg, but would be 15,2 µg at 120 km/h". (the concentration limits are 40 µg and are generally only exceeded in densely populated areas like the Ruhr or Randstad).
Many people in Sweden are obsessed about the speed and think it's going to be a lot of accidents if the speed limit is higher. I think a lot of motorways in Sweden should have 130 km/h, sometimes even 140 km/h when we are talking about the motorways through the woods. But Swedish politicians never agree with that. They are too afraid of the people who are obsessed about speed limits and CO2-emissions. Some politicial groups even hate all of the motorways, even if we have lower speed limits on them. So 120 km/h is just like a compromise. The should change to 130 km/h but they compromise and only change to 120 km/h.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 05:36 PM   #592
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<warning: long and technical!>

I did a small test for the Netherlands, where there are currently discussions if lowering speed limits would make sense for noise and air quality.

Here's my input;

* 120,000 vehicles per day, 20% truck traffic, 2x3 lanes, few congestion
* two measuring points; 25 and 50 meters from the road center.

Output:


Jaargem. is the average concentration over the year.
Achtergr. is the background concentration (that is; without motorway influence)

You can forget the other columns.

What we can see is;

* that motorway traffic adds significantly to NOx concentrations, however, 25 meters more from the motorway reduces concentration already by 20%.
* motorway traffic barely adds to PM10 (particle matter) concentrations

All values, however, are generously below the European limit of 40 µg / m³.

So you can see;

NOx
120 km/h; 28.37 µg/m³
100 km/h; 27.84 µg/m³
80 km/h; 27.61 µg/m³

PM10
120 km/h; 25.46 µg/m³
100 km/h; 25.28 µg/m³
80 km/h; 25.18 µg/m³

NOTE: You cannot compare these values to Sweden. But what you can compare is the difference between speed limits.

As you can see, lowering the speed limit even to 80 km/h has virtually no influence on concentrations.

-----

As for noise, I also did a little test

Input: motorway 2x3 100.000 AADT
point calculated at 50 m from motorway, at 7.5 meters high

120 km/h; 66.5 dB
100 km/h; 66.1 dB
80 km/h; 65.7 dB

Conclusion; lowering speed limits is not a solution to prevent noise.

Well, I'm sure y'all ask now "how is this possible? All we hear all day is that lowering speed limits is good for air quality and noise!".

Well, here's the answer; truck traffic is leading in noise and pollutant emissions. Lowering speed limits won't affect this, as trucks are already limited at 80 km/h.

Something to think about.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #593
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Quote:
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<warning: long and technical!>

Conclusion; lowering speed limits is not a solution to prevent noise.

Well, I'm sure y'all ask now "how is this possible? All we hear all day is that lowering speed limits is good for air quality and noise!".

Well, here's the answer; truck traffic is leading in noise and pollutant emissions. Lowering speed limits won't affect this, as trucks are already limited at 80 km/h.

Something to think about.
Those are really interesting results! As you point out, it goes against everything we’re being told to believe.

So far, noise reduction is rarely given as a reason for lowering speed limits here. However, outside of Jönköping on the E4 there is a stretch where the speed limit has been brought down to 90 (from 110) with big “noise reduction” signs underneath the speed limit signs. It a 2x2 section, 40 000 vehicles per day and 20 % truck traffic, hardly ever congested. I doubt if noise has been reduced at all here given what you said about truck traffic…

Pollution, and especially PM10 and the problem of wintertime road dust, is becoming a big issue here in the larger cities. This prompted the city Stockholm to ban studded tires on Hornsgatan in Stockholm from January 1st of this year. Did it work? Well, it really depends on whom you ask. The scientists don’t seem to agree, some of them argue that road pavement and road sweeping is a much more effective solution.

If you ask me I suspect studded tires will be banned in more and more places. Effective or not it’s an easy way for politicians to show action. They’ve introduced a new sign already:


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Old July 30th, 2010, 07:32 PM   #594
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Sweden has a policy to not allow the CO2 release to increase due to speed limit changes. Thus, when the speed limits were changed, it would have been unacceptable if the average speed in the country increased. What we saw is that a lot of roads saw a decrease in speed (mostly in the north), meaning that the average speed actually dropped in the country as a whole despite the new higher speed limit for some motorways.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 08:10 PM   #595
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Sweden has a policy to not allow the CO2 release to increase due to speed limit changes. Thus, when the speed limits were changed, it would have been unacceptable if the average speed in the country increased. What we saw is that a lot of roads saw a decrease in speed (mostly in the north), meaning that the average speed actually dropped in the country as a whole despite the new higher speed limit for some motorways.
Right, but the problem is that they don’t even follow their own guidelines when it comes to the 120 km/h limit. According to Vägverkets (now Trafikverkets) guidelines, the 120 km/h limit would be introduced on motorways that:
1) Met with the highest safety standards
2) Had low traffic volumes (less than 30 000 AADT)

Let’s say we agree with these prerequisites. The AADT figures are hardly a problem, there are virtually no rural motorways with AADT figures over 30 000. The “highest safety standard” was never defined, but it’s hard to argue that roads with five stars in the Euro-RAP are not of “the highest safety standard”.

What remains is the overall goal of not increasing CO2-emissions due to changed speed limits. Considering how many thousands of kilometers where the speed limit has been lowered this is not really an issue.

And don’t even get me started on the overall goal of a “self explanatory speed limit system”; you have to be a traffic engineer on drugs to think the current speed limits in Sweden are self-explanatory.

If they would just stick to their own guidelines speed limits should be raised on basically every single kilometer of rural motorway!
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Old July 30th, 2010, 08:33 PM   #596
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You know what the problem is these days? People only think in terms of "speed limits" when it comes to traffic safety.
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Old August 1st, 2010, 09:49 PM   #597
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Just coming back from Sweden...

Man, its hard to stay awake with low speeds.... It should be forbidden by law!
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Old August 1st, 2010, 09:50 PM   #598
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Last edited by kosimodo; August 5th, 2010 at 10:44 AM. Reason: doublepost
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 08:29 PM   #599
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Widening of the E4 south of Stockholm

Someone mentioned the widening project on the E4 south of Stockholm, let’s take a closer look at what’s happening.

The E4 is currently 2x3 or 2x4 from Trafikplats Hallunda (146) 20 km south of Stockholm all the way up to Trafikplats Glädjen (176), 28 km north of Stockholm.

The stretch being upgraded now is 11 km long from Trafikplats Moraberg (144) to Trafikplats Hallunda (146). The AADT is 70 000 vehicles per day and the stretch is notorious for traffic jams during rush hours and at weekends. The speed limit is 100 km/h.




Discussions about widening this stretch have been going on for years. In the end, the Traffic Administration opted to do a semi-widening using the existing road corridor. They will simply replace the median strip/central reservation with a concrete barrier and use about half of the shoulder. At the same time, a queue-warning system will be installed.


Today and tomorrow... (photo: Trafikverket)

Once this project is finished, the longest 2x3 section in the Swedish motorway system will be almost 70 km, all of it featuring the incident detection and dynamic speed limit system.

What it looks like during the construction phase:


(1). "We are buildning more lanes and a queue-warning system. Finished 2012"


(2). Distances are huge in Sweden by European standards... but at least it is motorway all the way down to Helsingborg.


(3). Good thing the median strip was wide enough...


(4). I read somewhere that Salem is the most commonly used place name in the world. I don't know if it's true but there's one in Sweden too
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Old August 4th, 2010, 04:23 PM   #600
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Originally Posted by kanterberg View Post
Those are really interesting results! As you point out, it goes against everything we’re being told to believe.

So far, noise reduction is rarely given as a reason for lowering speed limits here. However, outside of Jönköping on the E4 there is a stretch where the speed limit has been brought down to 90 (from 110) with big “noise reduction” signs underneath the speed limit signs. It a 2x2 section, 40 000 vehicles per day and 20 % truck traffic, hardly ever congested. I doubt if noise has been reduced at all here given what you said about truck traffic…

Pollution, and especially PM10 and the problem of wintertime road dust, is becoming a big issue here in the larger cities. This prompted the city Stockholm to ban studded tires on Hornsgatan in Stockholm from January 1st of this year. Did it work? Well, it really depends on whom you ask. The scientists don’t seem to agree, some of them argue that road pavement and road sweeping is a much more effective solution.

If you ask me I suspect studded tires will be banned in more and more places. Effective or not it’s an easy way for politicians to show action. They’ve introduced a new sign already:


Virginia is by no means very snowy. We got (relatively) an assload of snow last winter, but that was an anomaly - through most of the '00s snow was scarce. The law says on this subject:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Code of Virginia
§ 46.2-1044.

Cleats, etc., on tires; chains; tires with studs.

No tire on a vehicle moved on a highway shall have on its periphery any block, stud, flange, cleat, spike, or any other protuberance of any material other than rubber which projects beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire. It shall be permissible, however, to use on the highways farm machinery having protuberances which will not injure the highway and to use tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to slide or skid. It shall also be permissible to use on any vehicle whose gross weight does not exceed 10,000 pounds tires with studs which project no more than one-sixteenth of an inch beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire when compressed if the studs cover no more than three percent of the traction surface of the tire.

The use of studded tires shall be permissible only from October 15 to April 15.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to any (i) law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer; (ii) vehicle used to fight fire, including publicly owned state forest warden vehicles; (iii) ambulance, rescue, or life-saving vehicle; or (iv) vehicle owned or operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation or its contractors in maintenance and emergency response operations.
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