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Old July 2nd, 2010, 03:57 PM   #881
brewerfan386
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
I know very well that Hastings Way was a hopeless traffic zoo before that bypass freeway was built, BUT, that freeway should have taken a significant amount of that traffic off of it, leaving it with more locally-based traffic levels (probably a bit more like Northland Ave and how it relates to US 41 here in the Appleton area) such that it should be downgradable a bit.
The bypass has been very successful and is always busy. Eau Claire is currently going through the design stage of turning Hastings Way into a more "human scale" road. The interchange at Birch St. was replaced with traffic lights last year and the northern portion was redone as well. However the city still has one major traffic nightmare with no practical fixes, US 12 (Clairemont Ave.). Despite a complete face lift in 2008, it did little to add capacity or mitigate rush hour snarls. Also quite a bit of that traffic ends up on the bypass via the SPUI headed north or the old diamond on Hastings Way going south toward the Interstate or highway 93 (and the opposite in the morning).

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Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
As for WI 93 - EVENTUALLY, I see WisDOT developing a much better connection in the La Crosse-Eau Claire corridor. In fact, I'm very, very surprised that they have not yet done so. The best option that I can envision would be to connect such a new corridor to I-94 with a new interchange in the Osseo area, running it southward generally along US 53 through those valleys to feed into the US 53 freeway just south of WI 54. The I-94/US 53 interchange in SE Eau Claire (the 'Oakwood interchange'?) should be re-engineered into a directional 'T' with full-speed free-flow ramps with present-day US 53 from I-94 to US 10 being downgraded to a county highway and being rerouted to feed into the US 53 frontage roads north of I-94. This would all lower the through traffic pressure on existing WI 93 in the south Eau Claire area.
Osseo would be to far out of the way. I think they should just continue to gradually keep making WIS 93 four lane, as they have been doing for the last several years. However, you are very right the DOT does need to be ALOT more proactive about the issue. As it will not go away and keep getting worse.
As far as the US 53/I-94 interchange, the "T" idea wouldn't work because there has been some recent commercial development immediately south hugging the two roads. Any redevelopment of the intersection would have to be four way. IMHO
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 06:09 PM   #882
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewerfan386 View Post
The bypass has been very successful and is always busy. Eau Claire is currently going through the design stage of turning Hastings Way into a more "human scale" road. The interchange at Birch St. was replaced with traffic lights last year and the northern portion was redone as well. However the city still has one major traffic nightmare with no practical fixes, US 12 (Clairemont Ave.). Despite a complete face lift in 2008, it did little to add capacity or mitigate rush hour snarls. Also quite a bit of that traffic ends up on the bypass via the SPUI headed north or the old diamond on Hastings Way going south toward the Interstate or highway 93 (and the opposite in the morning).
Clairemont is, as I said upthread, a case of having no other practical through routes in the metro due to the area's topography - the highly-irregular Chippewa River Valley. The best thing that can be done with it is to just make little upgrades here and there.

OTOH, as the City of Eau Claire continues to grow towards the south and southwest, I can also see I-94 fast growing in importance to local traffic in that direction, perhaps to the point of needing upgrading to six lanes (if it doesn't need it already).

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Originally Posted by brewerfan386 View Post
Osseo would be to far out of the way. I think they should just continue to gradually keep making WIS 93 four lane, as they have been doing for the last several years. However, you are very right the DOT does need to be ALOT more proactive about the issue. As it will not go away and keep getting worse.
As far as the US 53/I-94 interchange, the "T" idea wouldn't work because there has been some recent commercial development immediately south hugging the two roads. Any redevelopment of the intersection would have to be four way. IMHO
The reason why 'Osseo' is that it would be less total linear distance of new concrete that would be needed - the US 53 freeway at Holmen (and the City of La Crosse that it feeds into) is nearly directly south of Osseo and I-94 would be a convenient 'corner cut' on that routing.

An analogy for that is the routing of the new US 10 freeway westward from the Appleton area - it is significantly south of the 'old' road, now WI 96, which still carries its weight in local and suburban commuter traffic. In fact, WisDOT just got done extending four-lanes on it westward to the area of the Outagamie County Airport ('ATW'), this several years after the US 10 freeway opened. It would be a similar relationship between WI 93 and US 53 should a majorly upgraded US 53 be built between I-94 at Osseo and the freeway at Holmen. The 'old' US 10 came directly into Appleton's near north side from the west, the new freeway comes in between Appleton and Neenah.

Back to Eau Claire, I don't know the topography of the I-94/US 53 interchange area as well as I should (yes, it is very hilly), but there should be a way to 'piggyback' a conventional diamond interchange on I-94 for the a city surface street connecting existing US 53 to the south with the US 53 freeway frontage roads to the north on top of (or under) free-flowing ramps for the freeway-freeway connection there. Something like that has been done in MANY other places with no problems with access or traffic flow. That existing cloverleaf was engineered back in the late 1950s - when the City of Eau Claire was barely touching the Clairemont/Hastings interchange area - and it was already hopelessly obsolete back in the 1980s.

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Old July 6th, 2010, 10:41 AM   #883
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Wisconsin Highway 29
heading westbound in the Eau Claire- Chippewa Falls metro

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(all pics above are courtesy of "ssoworld")
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Last edited by brewerfan386; July 7th, 2010 at 12:54 AM.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 09:58 PM   #884
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(That's westbound WI 29)



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Old July 7th, 2010, 12:55 AM   #885
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Fixed it
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Old July 7th, 2010, 08:11 AM   #886
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The City of Eau Claire is currently going through the design stage of completely redoing the southern half of former USH 53/ Hastings Way. Here is one proposal recently published in an area newspaper.

Current



Future


I personally don't like the idea of having a pathway in the median of a (still) major arterial, what do you all think?
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Old July 7th, 2010, 08:23 AM   #887
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Some new non freeway vids from FreewayJim





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Old July 7th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #888
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewerfan386 View Post
The City of Eau Claire is currently going through the design stage of completely redoing the southern half of former USH 53/ Hastings Way. Here is one proposal recently published in an area newspaper.

Current



Future


I personally don't like the idea of having a pathway in the median of a (still) major arterial, what do you all think?
I like it , alot towns and cities are doing it. Makes your town look nicer and if you can't afford a Light Rail or Streetcar system it attracts developers to a certain extent. DC has taken the Bull by the horns and is doing it on most Major Streets along with building a streetcar network.

PA Avenue's new Bike lanes , i think there interesting.

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Old July 7th, 2010, 10:57 AM   #889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewerfan386 View Post
I personally don't like the idea of having a pathway in the median of a (still) major arterial, what do you all think?
I don't like it either. It looks good on renders, but this is a major commercial / industrial zone, nobody would use pathways there. Besides that, with the number of intersections US 53 has, six lanes is needed to buffer traffic. (capacity-wise, six lanes is not really needed). US 53 is most likely the busiest off-ramp in the Eau Claire area.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 08:23 PM   #890
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I don't like it either. It looks good on renders, but this is a major commercial / industrial zone, nobody would use pathways there. Besides that, with the number of intersections US 53 has, six lanes is needed to buffer traffic. (capacity-wise, six lanes is not really needed). US 53 is most likely the busiest off-ramp in the Eau Claire area.
Traffic on that street has declined substantially since the bypass freeway was opened and US 53 relocated off of it a few years ago and is a perfect candidate for downgrading to match its new traffic load. Four lanes is quite adequate for it now and this is a great opportunity to make it an asset to the city.

I, too, am skeptical of putting those pedestrian/bicycle facilities in the median, but a landscaped median would still work wonders for that area.

Before that bypass freeway opened, those six lanes were badly needed and it was a total traffic zoo with few redeeming qualities and a very haphazard pattern of commercial development. Think of the street in that top image being traffic clogged 24/7.



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Old July 8th, 2010, 04:01 AM   #891
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How can Penn Ave have white lines in the center? (I personally like the look, especially with the black lights.)
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Old July 8th, 2010, 01:41 PM   #892
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It's cuz of those God damn hipsters that have moved into Washington.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 03:32 PM   #893
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Did they eliminate all left turns on PA Ave?

I guess they couldn't fit them in anywhere else without reducing the number of through lanes, but I still don't like bike lanes in the median.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #894
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How can Penn Ave have white lines in the center? (I personally like the look, especially with the black lights.)
Those black-painted signals are S.O.P. throughout the USA. The latest MUTCD also allows for a retro-reflective yellow outline around the background of the signals (like the white outline around European signals) and I wish that various agencies here would start using it.

The black provides a contrasting background for the lights. (I wish that Canada, especially Ontario, would dump their yellow backgrounds for black, too.)

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Old July 8th, 2010, 08:12 PM   #895
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Every Virginia traffic light that has a wide backing has a black one. The lights themselves are mostly yellow, but black ones are also common.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #896
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
Those black-painted signals are S.O.P. throughout the USA. The latest MUTCD also allows for a retro-reflective yellow outline around the background of the signals (like the white outline around European signals) and I wish that various agencies here would start using it.

The black provides a contrasting background for the lights. (I wish that Canada, especially Ontario, would dump their yellow backgrounds for black, too.)

Mike
That would explain why many eastern states that traditionally use yellow casings on signals (such as mine), are now using black signals on all new or rebuilt installations. I still haven't see the flashing yellow-arrow left-turn yield here though. We're still installing the traditional left-turn yield on green-circle doghouse signals. Also, did the MUTCD address anything on signal mounting? I've noticed that most new installations here are on mast arms instead of span-wire, which is popular in eastern states.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 08:02 AM   #897
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That would explain why many eastern states that traditionally use yellow casings on signals (such as mine), are now using black signals on all new or rebuilt installations. I still haven't see the flashing yellow-arrow left-turn yield here though. We're still installing the traditional left-turn yield on green-circle doghouse signals. Also, did the MUTCD address anything on signal mounting? I've noticed that most new installations here are on mast arms instead of span-wire, which is popular in eastern states.
Style of mounting is up to the individual states. Most of the states that see hurricanes on a regular basis tend to use spanwires, for example (less chance of serious damage) while others tend to favor mast-arms. Even then, there is a lot of variance between states. For example, SOP for overhead signals in Illinois is a mast arm with a vertical signal head over each lane, while the usual Wisconsin installation is a single horizontally mounted head over each side of the street. Those two above images from Eau Claire, WI show typical Wisconsin installations. A notable exception to that rule in Wisconsin is the City of Green Bay - there it is normal to see two or even more horizontal signal heads on each mast arm.

As for span wires outside of the eastern and southern coastal areas, two notable states are Indiana and Michigan - each with their own unique styles.

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Old July 9th, 2010, 05:14 PM   #898
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Style of mounting is up to the individual states. Most of the states that see hurricanes on a regular basis tend to use spanwires, for example (less chance of serious damage) while others tend to favor mast-arms. Even then, there is a lot of variance between states. For example, SOP for overhead signals in Illinois is a mast arm with a vertical signal head over each lane, while the usual Wisconsin installation is a single horizontally mounted head over each side of the street. Those two above images from Eau Claire, WI show typical Wisconsin installations. A notable exception to that rule in Wisconsin is the City of Green Bay - there it is normal to see two or even more horizontal signal heads on each mast arm.

As for span wires outside of the eastern and southern coastal areas, two notable states are Indiana and Michigan - each with their own unique styles.

Mike
I like Illinois' standard assembly best, due to its use of signals at the katty corners of each intersection. But even this is starting to go away. Illinois traditionally mounted no more than 3 signals on each mast arm, but I've seen several new installations in the exurbs of Chicago that are more common in other states, with 5 signals on one arm (2 left turn signals and 3 thru signals) and no signals at katy corners. This is probably in compliance with the 2009 MUTCD which requires that left turn signals be directly over the left turn lane and that surface roads with 45mph+ speed limits have a signal over each lane. Wisconsin will have to change its standard set-up for new installations once the MUTCD deadline is reached next year.

I'm not sure if span-wire assemblies have to do with hurricanes. Texas and Florida use mostly mast-arm assemblies. They also tend to use horizontal mounting of their signals as well, which is common in hurricane-prone areas of all states. It's just puzzling that just about every state west of the Mississippi River along with Illinois and Wisconsin use mostly mast-arms, but most states east of it use span-wire.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 04:10 AM   #899
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My state only uses span wires along the beach towns and at temporary intersections. We use Horizontal lights in Urban areas mostly in Essex , Union , Atlantic , and parts of Morris Counties. Our Lights are painted differently the pole is black and the light is yellow , green , black , or blue.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 04:48 AM   #900
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Southfield Freeway

I finally tried my hand at some highway shots

These are some pics of the freeway portions of M-39, less a mile from Detroit Southfield Rd turns into freeway going through Detroit's west side into Dearborn and ending at I-94 in Allen Park turning back into a regular street.


Along the southbound service drive just north of 7 Mile Rd
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Interchage with I-96

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