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Old December 4th, 2009, 08:16 PM   #981
DrX
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Chris, it's true it takes time. However, it's been 20 years since the wall came down. And continuous Slovak highways are still only in the west (BA to Nitra - R1 and to Povazska Bystrica - D1) which, I hope you understand, is a pretty ridiculous situation.

Moreover, the governmental prioritization of the Bratislava-Zilina region has been criticized by the World Bank, the EU, as well as prospective investors (many of which turned away because of it). One of this policy's consequences is that Slovakia has the largest within-country regional differences in GDP among among all of the EU countries - a gap that the Slovak government has been in effect expanding by trying to direct all the EU cohesion-fund money to the infrastructure in the BA-ZA region (i.e., doing the exact opposite of what this fund is supposed to be for - and it had to be stopped by the EU).

(I'm not sure about your background and how much you know about the internal affairs of Slovakia. But I'm sure you can guess where in Slovakia Qwert is from; or, rather, where he is NOT from).
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Old December 4th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #982
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I don't understand. Which motorway(s) do you want to see built? The D1 is under construction, isn't it? I think it's better first to finish the D1 and only then the more direct expressway between Košice and Bratislava (R2, R1). But it's true that there are currently very few motorways in eastern Slovakia.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 11:39 PM   #983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Slovakia will get two east-west connections anyway. It just takes time. I can understand they prioritize the D1 corridor, that's where the largest cities outside Bratislava and Kosice/Poprad are, plus most touristic potential is also located along that corridor (low and high Tatra).
This is what I tell him all the time, but he simply doesn't listen.

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Originally Posted by DrX View Post
Chris, it's true it takes time. However, it's been 20 years since the wall came down. And continuous Slovak highways are still only in the west (BA to Nitra - R1 and to Povazska Bystrica - D1) which, I hope you understand, is a pretty ridiculous situation.

Moreover, the governmental prioritization of the Bratislava-Zilina region has been criticized by the World Bank, the EU, as well as prospective investors (many of which turned away because of it). One of this policy's consequences is that Slovakia has the largest within-country regional differences in GDP among among all of the EU countries - a gap that the Slovak government has been in effect expanding by trying to direct all the EU cohesion-fund money to the infrastructure in the BA-ZA region (i.e., doing the exact opposite of what this fund is supposed to be for - and it had to be stopped by the EU).

(I'm not sure about your background and how much you know about the internal affairs of Slovakia. But I'm sure you can guess where in Slovakia Qwert is from; or, rather, where he is NOT from).
Chris is secret D1 lobby agent as well as me. But, you are right, I definitelly don't not live anywhere between Zvolen and Košice, what a shame.

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Originally Posted by Verso View Post
I don't understand. Which motorway(s) do you want to see built? The D1 is under construction, isn't it? I think it's better first to finish the D1 and only then the more direct expressway between Košice and Bratislava (R2, R1). But it's true that there are currently very few motorways in eastern Slovakia.
He wants to stop the construction of D1 immediately and move all the funds to R2 (all missing sections of R1 except sci-fi Banská Bystrica - Ružomberok are already U/C). It's of course nonsense, everybody sees why D1 has priority over R2, but it's difficult to convince him.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 11:46 PM   #984
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He's probably right about the Bratislava vs rural income. I know some Hungamerican and he went to southern Slovakia from Budapest. He said it looked very poor compared to what you would expect from the Slovak economy. Countryside may need some more investment, though this is generally a problem throughout the newer EU countries. The rural vs urban income gap is also quite large in Romania and Poland.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:01 AM   #985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
He's probably right about the Bratislava vs rural income. I know some Hungamerican and he went to southern Slovakia from Budapest. He said it looked very poor compared to what you would expect from the Slovak economy. Countryside may need some more investment, though this is generally a problem throughout the newer EU countries. The rural vs urban income gap is also quite large in Romania and Poland.
Well, if you are somewhere in Budapest or north-west Hungary which is the richest region of that country and then you visit southern Slovakia which is average or below the average when it comes to economic level then you must see some difference, but from my own experience I can say it's not that big. You must compare comparable - e.g. Bratislava to Budapest, not Budapest to Rimavská Sobota.

There will be still huge gap between Bratislava and the rest of the country. There are also big gaps between big cities and rural remote areas. It's natural I would say.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #986
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The Slovenian countryside is probably richer than Maribor.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #987
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D1 Sverepec - Vrtižer

Let's rather enjoy photos of D1 in Považská Bystrica:











Source: www.dialnice.info
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Old December 5th, 2009, 02:05 AM   #988
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its gonna be quite a scene
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Old December 5th, 2009, 02:27 AM   #989
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Slovaks are crazy
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Old December 5th, 2009, 02:33 AM   #990
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What a fun activity for a Friday evening. Well, I'm glad you guys are interested. I'll try to summarize what I think is wrong with the current strategy of highway (and railway) infrastructure in Slovakia (so that nobody has to say what I think/want). Then I'll try to answer your questions.

So, my summary:
It is clear that Slovakia will get the two east-west connections. However, nobody knows when. And that's sickening, because everybody knows that if the focus was balanced between the north and south over the last 20 years, the R1+R2 connection would have been done by now.

To be more specific, the current highway construction strategy is to exclusively prioritize and focus on D1 (BA-ZA-KE), to pay a tiny bit of attention to R1 (BA-ZV), and completely ignore R2 (ZV-KE). In my opinion, this strategy is unfair (to say the least) because:
1. D1 is orders of magnitude more expensive than R1+R2 would be because
- D1 goes through mountains (i.e., tunnels + bridges),
- D1 goes through areas where the narrow valleys between the mountains are crammed with small villages and towns (i.e., more bridges and tunnels)
- D1 goes through areas where climate is much worse (colder/snowy winters), resulting in more expensive and slower construction (and maintenance)
- D1 is longer (because Slovakia bends such that the southern border is shorter than the northern border), making the East-West connection unnecessarily more expensive because every driver has to drive longer!
- in addition, the D1 is defined as a highway (dialnica D - which requires higher standards in terms of the sharpness of the turns, ascents/descents etc) which makes it necessary to build still more bridges and tunnels to fulfill the norms (while in the flat south, where there would be plenty of space for anything, the plan is to build a cheap expressway - rychlostna cesta R)
2. D1 is considerably longer than R1+R2 (BA-ZA-KE is 460km while BA-ZV-KE is 400km), which, combined with the worse geography and climate, means that nobody ever uses or will use it for driving from Bratislava to Kosice. I.e., the official governmental priority: to connect BA and KE by 2010 is a pure hypocrisy to mask the fact that all they care about is to connect BA-ZA. In fact, the distance BA-KE is exactly the same via Zilina as it is via Budapest, so there never will be any reason to use D1 for its officially proclaimed purpose (because until the R1+R2 is finished D1 will be just a geographically worse but equally long alternative to a drive via Budapest, and afterwords R1+R2 will be obviously preferred)
3. because of scarcity of money and difference in costs, the goal of connecting east and west would have been accomplished by now if the money was distributed evenly between north and south (for the reasons summarized in point 1). Instead, we don't even have plans finalized for where to build parts of the R2 southern connection. And the D1 is so expensive that we don't know when we will be able to finish it. So, as a result, we have NO east-west connection whatsoever, which is particularly bad because for Eastern Slovakia it doesn't matter that much whether to go via Zilina or Zvolen. It just needs to be connected to Bratislava, and it is not. SO, IMPORTANTLY, I DON'T SAY THAT WE SHOULD STOP BUILDING IN THE NORTH. I'm saying that we should distribute the construction money evenly (or proportionally) so that south gets its fair share (in particular the EU money).
4. The most troubled regions of Slovakia are in southern central Slovakia (Rimavska Sobota, Velky Krits, Lucenec, Roznava; close to Budapest - as somebody pointed out). Eg, hese regions have unemployment of 30 to 35% and many other socio-economical problems. The reasons for this state are both historical (socialist planning determined that agriculture was preferred in the southern lowlands while industry was pushed to the mountains+BA+KE; after the system changed the agricultural areas had much harder time adapting) and political (I assume it's not a secret that the Hungarian minority is concentrated along the southern border, and Slovakia, with the Slovak national party in the government, is "not particularly keen" on supporting this minority). But, even if we ignored the historical+political reasons, every normal country should be interested in fixing the economic troubles. And, building the R1+R2 highway would be a great way to help solve this problem because, as it happens, all these troubled counties lie along the R2 expressway on the BA-KE connection . So, the construction R2 would be a great incentive to attract foreign investment into this troubled region.
5. If the east-west highway through the south was done, it could attract transit from Ukraine to the west (which now prefers the Hungarian highway).
Sadly, the transit will never use our D1, cause it's a long zig-zagy road through the mountains, which cannot compete with the Hungarian highway.

I hope that's enough. I know the arguments for preferring the north: slightly more population and industry, and the High Tatras. But, for the first two, in no way is it as disproportionally more as is the imbalance in the infrastructure investment distribution (note that not only the highways, but also all railway investment goes to the north). And, for the tourism, there is Low Tatra mountains which also has southern side (+Slovak Paradise and Slovak Carst), all of which would be much more convenient,e.g., for Budapest or Vienna tourists if it was accessible.

Now your comments:

ChrisZwolle: Slovakia will get two east-west connections anyway. It just takes time. I can understand they prioritize the D1 corridor, that's where the largest cities outside Bratislava and Kosice/Poprad are, plus most touristic potential is also located along that corridor (low and high Tatra).

Do you still think that these reasons are good enough to assign 90% of infrastructure investment to the north?

Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
He's probably right about the Bratislava vs rural income. I know some Hungamerican and he went to southern Slovakia from Budapest. He said it looked very poor compared to what you would expect from the Slovak economy. Countryside may need some more investment, though this is generally a problem throughout the newer EU countries. The rural vs urban income gap is also quite large in Romania and Poland.

As I say above, it's not just about the income. But, here's the source I'm using when I claim Slovakia is the worst in Europe:look at Figures 1 and 2 on page 20 of www.repus.it/repus-docs/repus_finalreport.pdf to see what an outlier Slovakia is in Europe in terms of how unbalanced its distribution of GDP

Verso I don't understand. Which motorway(s) do you want to see built? The D1 is under construction, isn't it? I think it's better first to finish the D1 and only then the more direct expressway between Košice and Bratislava (R2, R1). But it's true that there are currently very few motorways in eastern Slovakia.

Sorry, I don't agree that we should first finish D1. Among other things, it's still missing two tunnels finished (Strecno and Presov) that will cost more than all the missing parts of R1+R2.

A historic note: In early '90s, the Slovak government (w/o the Slovak national party) determined that the distribution of highway investments will be 60% D1 BA-ZA-KE to 40% R1+R2 (25% R1 BA-ZV, 15% R2 ZV-KE). But then, Meciar+Slota came and stopped all the investment in the south (causing the enormous social troubles there)... And, the consequences are still here. All I am saying is that we should try to get back to some balanced model as soon as possible (in particular because we could use the EU money to support such an effort).
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Old December 5th, 2009, 03:51 AM   #991
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I think the best compromise for now would be to at least build some expressway from Košice to Miskolc.

And maybe if you could get Hungary to turn the M2 into 2x2 and extend it further north...
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Old December 5th, 2009, 11:23 AM   #992
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwert View Post

IMPOZANTE!

What have you done with your NIMBYs?
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Old December 5th, 2009, 11:51 AM   #993
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrX View Post
1. D1 is orders of magnitude more expensive than R1+R2 would be
its quite a strong exaggeration...


maybe you should understand:

a motorway is not only for the two towns at its endpoints, but for the towns along the route...

in other words: it has no sence to build a shorter and cheaper route if it avoids important towns and regions...


ps.: you can be our guests and you can use our M1-M0-M3 corridor...

Last edited by H123Laci; December 5th, 2009 at 12:01 PM.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #994
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H123Laci View Post
IMPOZANTE!

What have you done with your NIMBYs?
I was wondering about that as well. Such constructions are quite rare nowadays. Even the 60's didn't have much of them, a tall elevated motorway above a city. Of course, there were elevated motorways, but not like this.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #995
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Originally Posted by wyqtor View Post
And maybe if you could get Hungary to turn the M2 into 2x2 and extend it further north...

nope, we dont want to upgrade it to an international corridor...

instead of it we want to build a north-south corridor bypassing budapest on the west side and crossing the border at estergom/sturovo...
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #996
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H123Laci View Post
IMPOZANTE!

What have you done with your NIMBYs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I was wondering about that as well. Such constructions are quite rare nowadays. Even the 60's didn't have much of them, a tall elevated motorway above a city. Of course, there were elevated motorways, but not like this.

The national motorway company, figuratively, bribed them. The city demanded some new investments (roads, housing) as a compensation for that variant and they managed to get some, so they at least paritially and principally agreed with it. Other variants required both tunnels and longer route, that means they would be more expensive and take much longer time to construct. But the D1 in Povazska Bystrica problem is really complicated and as you can see it is still the last section to be opened between Bratislava and Zilina...
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Old December 5th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I was wondering about that as well. Such constructions are quite rare nowadays. Even the 60's didn't have much of them, a tall elevated motorway above a city. Of course, there were elevated motorways, but not like this.

I think nimbysm in slovakia isnt too strong...
They like to shortcut problems like Alexander the great...

heres a similar viaduct shortcut across village podturen:


http://www.podturen.sk/galeria/80-po...oroveho-rogala

Or look at bratislava: the two main motorway of the country goes straight thru the city, instead of bypassing it makig a very good artery for the city...
(ok, I know it is already overcrowded, so bypasses are necessary by now)



But hungary is the opposite: nimbysm is very strong here , so we are spending enormous money to bypass little villages...
e.g.: köröshegy:

Last edited by H123Laci; December 5th, 2009 at 04:50 PM.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 03:47 PM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H123Laci View Post
maybe you should understand:

a motorway is not only for the two towns at its endpoints, but for the towns along the route...

in other words: it has no sence to build a shorter and cheaper route if it avoids important towns and regions...
it's nice to see, that even foreginers understand that


Quote:
ps.: you can be our guests and you can use our M1-M0-M3 corridor...
Thank you. I like to drive in Hungary, roads are good and drivers behaviour is OK, compared to some reckless slovak drivers. But last year, I spend maybe 1 hour standing at jam at M0 bridge acros Danube. I think that this old part of M0 is the biggest problem now
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Old December 5th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H123Laci View Post
I think nimbysm in slovakia isnt to strong...
They like to shortcut problems like Alexander the great...

heres a similar viaduct shortcut across village podturen:
Now that I think of it, Italy also has some brutal urban expressway viaducts like in Napoli or Genova.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H123Laci View Post
nope, we dont want to upgrade it to an international corridor...

instead of it we want to build a north-south corridor bypassing budapest on the west side and crossing the border at estergom/sturovo...
to be fair, M2 and M100 are just as unlikely in the near future, like 0 % in the next 20 years
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