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Old September 5th, 2010, 01:00 PM   #361
albeva
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I think the reason is that the road is designated as E20...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_route_E20
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Old September 5th, 2010, 04:55 PM   #362
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Thanks for a great report!

I am very surprised at this "BALTI SPOON". First, it must be quite a recent addition; I don't remember seeing it in Kiiu this summer (my memory might not be so clear on that, though), much less on Tallinn-bound E20. Secondly, WTF?! I wonder who approved that mess? Commercial information should be blue-on-white.

Should check if these are all new signs or was the additional text pasted-on.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #363
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@maanus_j - Awesome update! Finally some photos of Maardu-Loo interchange construction.

This caught my eye:
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Originally Posted by maanus_j View Post
At the Pirita River again: cyclists and pedestrians will get their own bridge over the river, a reconstructed old railway bridge (at the back, behind the pipes).
If they are working near Pirita river bridge,then why the hell can't they relocate those heating pipes? (perhaps some additional structure attached to highway bridge or smth like that) maanus_j photo doesn't exactly show how ugly those pipes are (true eyesore,trust me)
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Old September 5th, 2010, 10:13 PM   #364
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Good progress and extensions, looks very impressive.
Btw, I just still don't understand why in Estonia almost everywhere they use SUCH high lampposts, it doesn't seem that that the roads are very wide so that bigger area would be covered..?
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Old September 6th, 2010, 12:08 AM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasper View Post
There are still some blank ones left. I remember seeing one in the port of Muuga a week ago. But I haven't paid attention, which road number it should have been.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.

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Originally Posted by Triceratops View Post
Good progress and extensions, looks very impressive.
Btw, I just still don't understand why in Estonia almost everywhere they use SUCH high lampposts, it doesn't seem that that the roads are very wide so that bigger area would be covered..?
Um... I never noticed being them exceptionally high. To me, they seem to be the usual ones I see in town every day. Or which picture specifically caught your eye?

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Originally Posted by Grisent View Post
I am very surprised at this "BALTI SPOON". First, it must be quite a recent addition; I don't remember seeing it in Kiiu this summer (my memory might not be so clear on that, though), much less on Tallinn-bound E20. Secondly, WTF?! I wonder who approved that mess? Commercial information should be blue-on-white.
And it should be on a totally separate sign, of course - forgot to add that. Something like on this picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ralf_herrmann/4887443095/ .

But some random sawmill, signposted like an actual settlement, complete with a road number - that's quite outrageous. Haven't seen anything like that before.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 12:59 AM   #366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grisent View Post
I am very surprised at this "BALTI SPOON". First, it must be quite a recent addition; I don't remember seeing it in Kiiu this summer (my memory might not be so clear on that, though), much less on Tallinn-bound E20. Secondly, WTF?! I wonder who approved that mess? Commercial information should be blue-on-white.

Should check if these are all new signs or was the additional text pasted-on.
Most of these Balti Spoon signs are indeed very new, installed during the last month. Earlier the factory was signposted much less prominently - the name of the factory was maybe displayed on some signs, but most signs used the name of the village (Kupu) together with the factory icon. Probably that wasn't enough (well, Kupu??? - the name of some tiny village isn't particularly helpful in locating the factory), so I guess they decided to make finding the factory easy for even the dumbest of drivers. But it's true that the new scheme gives an impression like it was some kind of settlement.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 02:04 AM   #367
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maanus_j View Post
Most of these Balti Spoon signs are indeed very new, installed during the last month. Earlier the factory was signposted much less prominently - the name of the factory was maybe displayed on some signs, but most signs used the name of the village (Kupu) together with the factory icon. Probably that wasn't enough (well, Kupu??? - the name of some tiny village isn't particularly helpful in locating the factory), so I guess they decided to make finding the factory easy for even the dumbest of drivers. But it's true that the new scheme gives an impression like it was some kind of settlement.
I actually know where the factory is (less than 100m from Tallinn-Narva highway,it's visible from highway) and although access is from small road running parallel with E20,any additional signs are useless - you simply can't miss it! So it's really weird that they marked factory on main direction signs Unless...Kupu village has been renamed Balti Spoon village!
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Old September 6th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #368
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I'll finish now the picture series of 2 / E263 Tallinn-Mäo journey.

Distance confirmation immediately after Jüri junction.

Our place names are all so short, it's even a bit funny. No Garmisch-Partenkirchens or Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski's to make road signs more challenging to design



Even though with a speed limit of 110 km/h, the road has both unisolated bus stops and left turns for local traffic.

On the E20, when it was renovated in 2005, emergency lane was widened where necessary and bus stops moved a bit further, so there is an 1...2 metre buffer zone between first lane and the bus stop. Something similar should perhaps be done here as well. Or... actually I am not sure if these bus stops are used at all.

In May 2009, a strange incident happened on this stretch of road. A herd of cows got loose in the middle of night, wandering onto the carriageways and causing a series of collisions. 5 cows got killed, fortunately there were no human casualties.



Patika junction. I think it dates back to mid-90s.




A nice tree in the median.



Approaching the newest section between Vaida and Aruvalla, reconstructed in 2008. Vaida settlement has a population of about 1000, so it got a decent grade-separated junction. Previously, there was just a left turn.




Vaida pedestrian bridge. Vaida folks were frequently crossing the 2+2 road and at least one pedestrian got killed every year. New noise barrier and the bridge has hopefully improved safety here.



The last junction on 2+2 stretch. I don't know why this sign uses a smaller type than all others around.




And... 2+2 road ends here. For the merge, speed is limited to 70 km/h.



We get a distance confirmation immediately after the merge.



A few km ahead, there's a narrow bridge on river Pirita, speed is reduced to 70 km/h.




Intersections: Kose-Uuemõisa...



... and Kose-Risti (approx. 40th kilometer)




A dangerous curve.

The next 45 kilometers will be rather boring, without any important intersections. It is also the worst part of Tallinn-Tartu road - winding around a lot and with occasional very tight, substandard curves.

As far as I know, it got its current form somewhere around the 60s and Soviet engineers at that time didn't bother (or didn't have the funds) to straighten the route.

A 2+2 first class highway between Kose and Mäo, currently under planning, will avoid this corridor entirely and for motorists the 45-kilometre journey between Kose and Mäo would become 7 km (!) shorter.




Visibility conditions and overtaking opportunities are typically as you see in the picture below.



Ardu village and a 50 km/h speed limit. There's a school here, so it is probably necessary.



An electronic speed display, as a reminder for drivers. (I have not reached the 50 km/h sign yet, so no comments about speeding! )



That's about as hilly as North Estonian landscape gets.



A few counties (Järvamaa, Põlvamaa come to my mind) have erected custom-designed border signs, in stone and concrete. These make me feel a bit nostalgic.

As an aside note - for a sparsely-populated country like Estonia, a county border is a clear sign that you have officially reached the middle of nowhere.



A curious geographic feature -- a wide, continuous belt of swamps and forests -- runs diagonally through the country, starting at Kuusalu near the northern coast and ending north of Pärnu, on the southwestern coast. Named "Transitional Estonia" by geographers, it is rather thinly populated (only a few villages here and there) and separates Harju, Lääne and northern Rapla counties from the rest of mainland Estonia.

Motorists on their way from Tallinn to Tartu encounter these forests and bogs between Ardu (km 62) and Anna (km 78)




Speed cameras.



Road passes a churchyard in Anna.



And another speed camera.



The picture series ends here, since I already covered Mäo interchange in an earlier post.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 03:49 AM   #369
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Great report. Nice to see some ordinary roads in EE. Everything looks quite good.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #370
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I agree, road layout seems very modern. Signalization, markings and road furniture are good.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #371
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Local roads seem to be very good maintained in Estonia, is this with mainly all of them? Also, good to see constant speed cameras even in such places!
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Old September 7th, 2010, 04:18 PM   #372
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Estonia has the best roads and their maintance in the Baltics.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #373
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triceratops View Post
Local roads seem to be very good maintained in Estonia, is this with mainly all of them? Also, good to see constant speed cameras even in such places!
I have a friend who has ridden extensively by bike in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and he says that Estonia clearly has the best local roads among these countries. I admit, though, that local roads aren't as even as the main roads so the ride is sometimes quite bumpy and the road surface is also rough (and noisy). But potholes are rare and even most gravel roads are properly maintained.

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Estonia has the best roads and their maintance in the Baltics.
I still think that Lithuania comes first in the Baltics when it comes to the quality of main highways.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #374
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Lithuanian main roads (the A-system) have a very superior alignment. Straight, few intersections, even on non-motorways, few urban sections, so that it allows for quick and safe travel.

But I guess you guys are right about the overall system of Estonia. I mean, it's nice if 95% of the main roads are excellent, but if only 30% of the secondary routes are in good shape, it can mean overall only 40% of the roads are in decent condition, since the secondary road network is far larger than the main road network. For example, you don't want to hit unpaved roads every time you leave the main road.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #375
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I'll just remind that T2 is not exactly representative of an ordinary road. It is a trunk route, no less, and among the top 3 busiest ones. Furthermore, it was almost completely overhauled in 2000-2004.

But indeed -- many other national, non-trunk roads have been brought up to the same quality level.

Those which haven't, typically have a BST (chip seal) cover instead of asphalt, less markings and traffic control equipment, and may be slightly wavy -- but are nevertheless very drivable.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 07:58 AM   #376
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Judging just by these photos the surface of Estonian roads seems uneven in most places and the whole road network is somewhat chaotic.

It reminds me of some rural roads in Ireland.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 07:58 PM   #377
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trilesy View Post
Judging just by these photos the surface of Estonian roads seems uneven in most places and the whole road network is somewhat chaotic.

It reminds me of some rural roads in Ireland.
Considering the road network we had at the beginning of the 90s and the lack of finances, I think Estonia has done quite a good job. Of course, many mistakes have been made, one of them being the refusal to use World Bank loans to reconstruct T2/E263 from Tallinn to Mäo to an expressway. The intress rates would've cost us less than the 2-3 times bigger construction prices we have now.
Estonia is only now reaching the period when we have enough financial resources(from which a large part is EU help) to start transforming our road network while Western European countries have done this for decades. Estonia has the largest mileage of roads per capita in the EU so this definitely won't be a quick transformation.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #378
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Of course, many mistakes have been made, one of them being the refusal to use World Bank loans to reconstruct T2/E263 from Tallinn to Mäo to an expressway. The intress rates would've cost us less than the 2-3 times bigger construction prices we have now.
Try telling that to some people who want to construct hundreds of kilometers of half-profile motorways... In the end it will always be more expensive to do it in two phases than doing it good at once.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vatse View Post
Re-post from last November -

A map of 2+2 highways in Estonia.
Some of these routes would be built during next 5 or 6 years. Some of these like Tartu-Elva would be built may be even after 15 years.
There are also long term plans for 2+2 highways from (Tallinn) Ääsmäe-Pärnu and Jõhvi-Russian border but they haven't started planning of these routes yet.

image hosted on flickr


Currently they are building 3+3 highway between Tallinn and Maardu instead of current 2+2 highway. Otherwise I think that there are no more updates.
Rebuilding Tartu-Elva project is frozen for next 10-20 years.Consultant/expert company said that there not enough traffic....
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Old September 12th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #380
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There are also a few updates to be made. E67/T4 or Via Baltica, T2/E263 between Mäo and Tartu, E20/T1 between Jõhvi and Narva are all in the phase of route planning to possibly reconstruct them into 2x2 I class roads in the future.

Unfortunately, it has also been said that it might take 10-15 years to rebuild the whole Tallinn bypass into a 2x2 highway.
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