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Old April 14th, 2009, 10:17 PM   #321
mhays
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I'm a huge fan of the deep-bore tunnel. Here's my blog entry in the Daily Journal of Commerce: http://www.djc.com/blogs/SeattleScape/index.php

The case for the deep bore tunnel
April 3rd, 2009 by Matt Hays

Right now, a drill rig is outside on First Avenue, testing soil conditions for the deep bore tunnel. The plan is far from certain obviously, but progress of any kind is exciting! Meanwhile it’s working its way through the legislature. This is a good time to hit some key points and dispel some misconceptions.

The tunnel would have more capacity than the current tunnel, not less. The same two lanes each way, plus breakdown lanes that avoid backups. The missing third lane is replaced by people exiting before Downtown rather than in Downtown.

It might save money vs. the alternatives despite costing more. What’s the price of several years of massive disruption with the aerial or shallow-cut alternatives? How many stores would fail, offices would move away, residents wouldn’t move in, and tourists wouldn’t come? (not to mention the effect of being next to another eyesore for another lifetime)

It’s realistic about traffic. The surface-option supporters have great motives. But they’re mistaken. Better transit would reduce trips somewhat, and many drivers might simply move. But tens of thousands of cars per day would be added to surface streets. Political concessions to the driving public would turn Downtown streets into highways focused on throughput rather than those who work, live, or shop here. For example, the PI instantly suggested fewer pedestrian crossings when the original surface option was shortlisted.

A tunnel helps Downtown function. Downtown Seattle is the dominant economic engine of our region, and plays an important role for most locals, whether working here, attending events, or just getting through. It’s tough to concentrate so much activity in a narrow area, but we do pretty well because of tunnels, including the BN tunnel, the transit tunnel, the existing 99 tunnel, and even the covered part of I-5. Downtown is growing. Putting 99 underground gets the through traffic through (without encouraging more driving) while allowing Downtown to be what it can be.

It avoids another 50-year mistake. Cities that succeed in the coming decades will have quality of life (as well as functionality; see above). The central waterfront and our surface streets are essential parts of that.

I think it’ll pass. The plan mixes best-case attributes and lacks strong anti constituencies. The ”view while driving” crowd seems numerous but they ought to watch the road and will look foolish if the initiative goes anywhere. Through-drivers get their freeway (without more lanes to encourage more driving), Interbay gets a wider Alaskan Way and non-jammed streets, transit users end up with more transit (even if indirectly), Downtown people get our great waterfront and hold on to our walkability, and locals shoulder the difference in cost, which is a manageable figure.

PS, did everyone notice that Sound Transit just bid two two tunnel sections for massively less than projected? They came in 23 percent and 34 percent under Sound Transit’s estimates, at a combined $329 million rather than $425 million. This is encouraging for the deep bore 99!
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Old April 14th, 2009, 11:44 PM   #322
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Hey, Seattle! How's THIS for your " Big Dig " slogan?

" Let's do it right or We're the sequel to, Sylvester Stallone's, ' DAYLIGHT' " !....





(image from www.vfxhq.com)



(image from latimesblogs.latimes.com)




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(image from www.image-load.eu)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOak2NLGXvQ
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Old April 15th, 2009, 12:36 AM   #323
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Hey guys, I have a question for anyone that might be familiar with state routes in VA/WV.

A couple of friends and I are planning a cross country road trip from Boston to the West Coast. We're planning to go in the summer of 2010 to celebrate graduation from high school. Since a couple of us are transport freaks and all of us love the mountains, we came up with a kinda weird detour through the mid-Appalachians. From Boston, we'll take I-84 into Scranton, PA, then I-81 towards Harrisburg, then I-76 to Breezewood to see the product of human insanity. From there, we'll take I-70 into Maryland, and then continue on US-522 to Winchester. From Winchester's vicinity, we'll experience Skyline Drive down to the I-64 junction. From there, we'll head west and continue into the mountains on US-250. Then, we'll turn south on VA-629, then have some out-of-the-ordinary driving on VA/WV 39. From there, we plan to see the New River Gorge Bridge on US-19, then rejoin I-64 to continue on our cross country journey.

Has anyone driven VA/WV 39 before, and if so, was it as fun as it looks on satellite maps?

We are very loose about where we go and totally open to new ideas. If anyone knows some scenic road gems in the forests of Appalachia, preferably in VA, WV, MD, and PA, we'd love to hear about them.
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Old April 15th, 2009, 01:42 AM   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majestic View Post
1-level cloverleaf intersection? Why not

(Cedar Grove, NJ)

This requires a lot of discipline from drivers frequently entering the intersection. For sure if there weren't a lot of opposing traffic (esp. during off peak hours), many of us would be oh so tempted to turn left from the innermost lane...

The problem is that you would have to anticipate if this is possible, for if it isn't, you'd have to very quickly regroup from lane 3 to lane 1 in order to access the 270 degrees right ramp, or you'd be in trouble.

All in all, this doesn't generate a very good impression.

Edit: what's up with that eastbound lane taking over the median on the right side of the intersection??
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Old April 15th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #325
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Looks like a movie dude. I don't understand why cities want to build underground, maybe it's because above ground transportation is considered unattractive? I think it can be attractive, and could even be designed to work with skyscrapers.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 05:10 PM   #326
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It makes a lot of sense if you think about it. Those types of intersections are very efficient in cutting down wait times to turn in the middle of the intersection, and control the traffic flow better.
Actually there was a study a few years back that stated that all "clover leaf" exits slow down the traffic and don't work in today's heavy traffic conditions as they were designed to do in 1930s. so the new way of doing the exits from highways where it can be build is Stacked Interchanges.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #327
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Where do they get these names? I can't even pronounce them.
these names are American Indian usually . I love wine country north of SF. it is literally hundreds of miles of wine producing farms
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"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Thomas Jefferson
"We Shall Never Surrender." Winston Churchill
“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien
"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious." Oscar Wilde
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
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Old April 16th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Two weeks ago my wife and I made a trip to Seattle, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to take some pictures along the non-motorway stretch which consists of WA-195 (25 km) and the entire length of WA-26 (214 km). This is the fastest way to get to Seattle from Pullman, although more than half of the way consists of 2x1 highways. So, here we go
Alex - fantastic trip and pictures

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Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
You know, Chris, I also thought like that after coming to America from Ukraine. But you really have to live here for a while to make a conclusion whether you like it or not. My wife and I understood that we need civilisation


I like metric system because I was brought up with metric system. Also, I associate (not necessarily correctly) the US customary system with everything that is backward in America, so I paid little effort to learn it. Well, I am an engineer, so it would be weird if I became the Imperial system fan, right?

As for being proud of your country, I have my own ideas about that. I noticed that the less you can be proud of your own achievements, the more you want to be proud of your country. Plus, a big flag in the middle of nowhere? Come on, do you think someone will mistakenly think it's not America anymore?
You have to move to more busy places. I mean living in the country is great but sometimes it gets boring. once you will have children though i am sure you will change your opinion again about where it is better for them to raised up.
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"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Thomas Jefferson
"We Shall Never Surrender." Winston Churchill
“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien
"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious." Oscar Wilde
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
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Old April 16th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFlint1985 View Post
Alex - fantastic trip and pictures
Thanks

Quote:
You have to move to more busy places. I mean living in the country is great but sometimes it gets boring. once you will have children though i am sure you will change your opinion again about where it is better for them to raised up.
I am not really against living in a suburb as long as it is near the big city. The problem with Pullman is that it is a small city and it is 500 km away from the nearest civilisation centre (Seattle). Sometimes, it just gets scary when you realise how isolated you are.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 09:24 PM   #330
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Thanks


I am not really against living in a suburb as long as it is near the big city. The problem with Pullman is that it is a small city and it is 500 km away from the nearest civilisation centre (Seattle). Sometimes, it just gets scary when you realise how isolated you are.
I hear you. But you can switch to a bigger place or lets say closer to a bigger place. just look for a job closer to one of them and you will be set. It is hard to live that far away from big centers especially if you are not used to that. That rural life is not for everyone.
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"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Thomas Jefferson
"We Shall Never Surrender." Winston Churchill
“Not all those who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien
"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious." Oscar Wilde
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
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Old April 17th, 2009, 07:24 PM   #331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Thanks


I am not really against living in a suburb as long as it is near the big city. The problem with Pullman is that it is a small city and it is 500 km away from the nearest civilisation centre (Seattle). Sometimes, it just gets scary when you realise how isolated you are.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Von Königsberg View Post
Thanks


I am not really against living in a suburb as long as it is near the big city. The problem with Pullman is that it is a small city and it is 500 km away from the nearest civilisation centre (Seattle). Sometimes, it just gets scary when you realise how isolated you are.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 07:27 PM   #333
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Originally Posted by JohnFlint1985 View Post
Alex - fantastic trip and pictures



You have to move to more busy places. I mean living in the country is great but sometimes it gets boring. once you will have children though i am sure you will change your opinion again about where it is better for them to raised up.
Where are these pics? Would like to see 'em
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Old April 18th, 2009, 07:25 PM   #334
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Here you go:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=203
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Old April 20th, 2009, 11:02 PM   #335
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Thanks!

I attended Washington State University so those brought back some memories. And so true about the speed enforcement. It is strict all over Eastern Washington. I have been stopped for just 5 mph over.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 01:43 AM   #336
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If anyone knows some scenic road gems in the forests of Appalachia, preferably in VA, WV, MD, and PA, we'd love to hear about them.
You could continue on past I-64 on SKyline Drive - but from there south it's called the Blue Ridge Parkway. I don't know much of anything about Skyline Drive, but the Parkway tends to follow a long ridge that goes down all the way into North Carolina. Being on the top of a ridge for most of the length, it's got great views. It's technically a national park i think, so most of the policing there is done by the nat'l park rangers rather than state or local police. Alcohol is strictly forbidden and you'll get some major fines if you're caught with any.

Beware, though - it's a limited-access road, so you may have to drive farther than you'd like to get off the Parkway.

If you continue down the Parkway a few hundred miles, there will be a turn off near Roanoke Mountain - take this right turn and this is a spur that takes you to Mill Mountain and a great overlook over the city of Roanoke. (Along the spur there's an intersection where it's clear that one road goes UP the mountain to the overlook, and the other goes DOWN the mountain into the city itself)
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Old April 21st, 2009, 01:58 AM   #337
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Why is alcohol strictly forbidden there? Drinking a beer is a victimless "crime" and is no different to drinking a juice especially if person isn't driving.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 09:06 PM   #338
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US 75 near downtown Dallas.
[IMG]http://i44.************/2aeuj45.jpg[/IMG]
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Old April 21st, 2009, 10:07 PM   #339
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Why is alcohol strictly forbidden there? Drinking a beer is a victimless "crime" and is no different to drinking a juice especially if person isn't driving.
I don't really know. I guess they want to minimize the damage that drunk people will do when they play around throwing and breaking stuff but IDK.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 11:56 PM   #340
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You could continue on past I-64 on SKyline Drive - but from there south it's called the Blue Ridge Parkway. I don't know much of anything about Skyline Drive, but the Parkway tends to follow a long ridge that goes down all the way into North Carolina. Being on the top of a ridge for most of the length, it's got great views. It's technically a national park i think, so most of the policing there is done by the nat'l park rangers rather than state or local police. Alcohol is strictly forbidden and you'll get some major fines if you're caught with any.

Beware, though - it's a limited-access road, so you may have to drive farther than you'd like to get off the Parkway.

If you continue down the Parkway a few hundred miles, there will be a turn off near Roanoke Mountain - take this right turn and this is a spur that takes you to Mill Mountain and a great overlook over the city of Roanoke. (Along the spur there's an intersection where it's clear that one road goes UP the mountain to the overlook, and the other goes DOWN the mountain into the city itself)
Blue Ridge Parkway is fantastic to drive. I really, really recommend it to anyone looking for great scenic road. Especially outside summer when it can get a bit crowded.
Drove it last April and often had road just for myself.
But there is plenty of local roads which are amazing to drive. I don't remember numbers, I just had to take some short cuts between major interstates.
Just explore!
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