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Old September 25th, 2013, 10:36 PM   #2201
Penn's Woods
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On the Pennsylvania Turnpike, there are very frequent what-look-like-parking areas...with no-parking signs. Don't know what that's about, and I haven't seen that sort of thing on any other American highway: emergency parking I suppose. (I'm not just talking about the shoulder. They're a safe distance from the traffic lane, have trash cans, but no toilets or anything. For that you need a real service area.)
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Old September 25th, 2013, 10:37 PM   #2202
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In France they usually have a parking area with toilets and sometimes even a workout course...
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Old September 25th, 2013, 10:47 PM   #2203
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Vive la France.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 11:31 PM   #2204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penn's Woods View Post
On the Pennsylvania Turnpike, there are very frequent what-look-like-parking areas...with no-parking signs. Don't know what that's about, and I haven't seen that sort of thing on any other American highway: emergency parking I suppose. (I'm not just talking about the shoulder. They're a safe distance from the traffic lane, have trash cans, but no toilets or anything. For that you need a real service area.)
Yeah, we noticed them a few weeks back on a quick jaunt from Downingtown to H'burg East. They look like they're designed either for truck breakdown spots, snoozy drivers of any stripe, or places to park the road grading equipment. On a lot of the Turnpike, there's not a lot of shoulder to pull over on when your car goes achy-breaky, so these spots every couple of miles could be handy, I suppose. Though I wouldn't want to drive 4 miles on a flat tire just to get to one.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 04:56 AM   #2205
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Okay, here's the deal with those texting zones, at least the ones on I-87 from 287 to the Canadian border:

1) On the Thruway between Kingston and Saugerties, there's one sign announcing a "text zone and truck inspection station" a few miles in advance. I imagine they just added parking spaces for cars to the existing truck inspection station.

2) Other Thruway service areas have little blue "text zone" signs added to the existing blue sign assemblies at their entrances.

3) If memory serves, eight hours later, I saw a grand total of one sign on the toll-free section north of Albany promoting an upcoming rest area as a texting zone. (Worded along the lines of "it can wait - text stop X miles")

I also saw a sign somewhere up north - maybe when I got off for gas in Plattsburgh - announcing a two-texting-violations-lose-your-license policy.

4) And there are lots of VMSes all along the route reading something like "Don't text and drive - New law - $150 fine and five points." Obviously this is all an effort to get people to stop being stupid on the road. Or at least to stop this particular form of stupidity. As opposed to adding new infrastructure to facilitate texting addicts.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 10:46 AM   #2206
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A nice video time-lapse driving compilation of CA-1 between Monterrey and Cambria
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Old September 28th, 2013, 02:52 PM   #2207
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Illiana Expressway IL/IN

CMAP has published a report about the proposed Illiana Expressway, a toll road that would connect I-55 with I-57 and I-65, south of Chicago.

http://www.cmap.illinois.gov/documen...d-ce0c7ed6dd17

As could be expected, they are not positive about the plan.

Major issues;

* cost of construction will likely be higher than the estimate. They calculated the cost of construction based on the cost to construct US 67 and I-69, neither of which are comparable to the Illiana Expressway.

* it will likely fail to attract significant traffic volumes and will also not improve traffic flow on congested roads further north. A major point being the facility too far south of actual developments to be an alternative and non-existent congestion on existing local roads nearby. The facility will be located in Will County, which has seen very little southward growth over the last 20 years.

* incompatible growth projections compared to GO TO 2040 policy. This is imho less of an issue, it's not about what policymakers want, but what actually happens in reality. But it is unlikely that Will County will substantially urbanize further south in the near future. Nearly all growth has been north of Joliet, circa 20 miles away from the proposed Illiana Expressway. Additionally, growth in Will County seems to have slowed considerably since 2010.

Suburban developments are currently not farther south than 5 - 7 miles south of I-80, and that boundary has changed little since the early 1990s. In contrast, the suburbs west of Chicago are as much as 20 miles outside the nearest freeway. It appears to make more sense to improve north-south traffic west of Chicago than building a new toll road in a rural area that serves only a few small towns, hoping for massive developments which may or may not occur. This seems like a risky approach while Illinois' finances are already not sound.

CMAPs population forecasts on the other hand may be more wishful thinking than reality. They project that Cook County will add 1 million people over the next 25 years, while population has been on a fluctuating downward trend since the 1970s. Reversing that downward trend into consistent strong population growth appears to be an unlikely scenario.

Last edited by ChrisZwolle; September 28th, 2013 at 03:27 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2013, 03:26 PM   #2208
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Wow, I didn't knew the Illiana was going to be that long, giving it will connect I-55, I-57 and I-59, which is nowhere near Chicago... (I suppose you mean I-65)
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Old September 29th, 2013, 07:26 AM   #2209
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Pictures from August 2013, US 77 near Corpus Cristy, TX.

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US 77 Construction by el_dreamer_, on Flickr

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US 77 Construction by el_dreamer_, on Flickr

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US 77 Construction by el_dreamer_, on Flickr
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Old September 30th, 2013, 11:26 PM   #2210
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The Hardy Toll Road is finally being extended from I-610 to Downtown Houston. Right now crews are moving railroad tracks to make way for the proposed four-lane tollway, with construction of the elevated structure expected to start sometime in 2020.

Hardy Toll Road years away but already under construction
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Old October 12th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #2211
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Taking the FDR into town

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Untitled by onesevenone, on Flickr
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Old October 12th, 2013, 01:29 PM   #2212
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SH 130, Texas

SH 130 is now signed in San Antonio







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Old October 16th, 2013, 01:48 AM   #2213
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US Hwy 50 in Nevada, one of the best drives I have done in the US


















Some of the side roads:


I didn't dear to explore due to signs like this:
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Old October 16th, 2013, 01:53 AM   #2214
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Spectacular landscape






Here we decided to take detour




Despite signs like this...


...road was in good condition










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Old October 16th, 2013, 06:48 AM   #2215
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Such an iconic road
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Old October 16th, 2013, 07:27 AM   #2216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
US Hwy 50 in Nevada, one of the best drives I have done in the US
I know what you mean. I've driven those roads. Pretty amazing and mind numbing at the same time.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 11:10 AM   #2217
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It doesn't look like the "loneliest road in America". There's traffic visible on almost all photos.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 04:24 PM   #2218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
It doesn't look like the "loneliest road in America". There's traffic visible on almost all photos.
The phrase was coined by one of the travel journalists who complained about lack of services and attractions along the route. Then local tourist boards started using the same phrase to promote the road.
In fact I have driven quieter roads in the US but they were mostly state highways. Among the US highways this one was among the quietest (together with US Hwy 85 in Dakotas). However it is still a major artery, the only one really joining remote communities in the heart of Great Basin.

The Nevada Hwy 722 though was really quiet. It bypass Us Hwy 50 for about 65 miles and we met 3 maybe 4 cars along it in well over hour we have spend exploring it.
Other quiet rads I remember from my journeys were:
UT Hwy 21 from Nevada border to Beaver
CO Hwy 10 from La Junta to Walsenburg (drove there in 2011)
ND Hwy 200 from Missouri river westward (2010)
NE Hwy 2 from Alliance to Grand Islands (2010)
US Hwy 189 in Wyoming from I-80 towards Jackson (2009)
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Old October 16th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #2219
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Most of US 50 through central Nevada carries some 600 - 700 vehicles per day.

I've always been intrigued by low volume roads, perhaps because even the low-volume roads in the Netherlands are still with substantial traffic.

I-94 in Eastern Montana has hundreds of miles with less than 5,000 vehicles per day. Likewise, I-15 in Montana has very low volumes, most stretches outside Butte, Helena and Great Falls carry only 3,000 - 5,000 vehicles per day. Only some regional autovías in Spain have volumes that low in Europe.
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Old October 16th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #2220
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Top Gear did that stretch of 50. Although Jeremy called it an Interstate.
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