Highways

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cycocelica, May 30, 2006.

  1. cycocelica macrumors 68000

    cycocelica

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    #1
    So over Memorial Day weekend I went to Disneyland. I live up in Redmond, WA (yes home of Microsoft). I used to live in San Diego and visit some part of California every year. Anyways, it is just amazing at how well California can build highways. I mean, 6-8 lanes across is a miracle. The Diamond lane (carpool, HOV, etc.) on the left side instead of the right where everyone exits. Highways up here in the greater Seattle area are probably some of the worse I have ever seen (and I have seen plenty of highways). Our highways are at the most 4 lanes across, usually 3 (2 regular, one HOV) and the diamond (carpool, HOV, etc.) lane is in the right lane where everyone merges and exits. Yes I know we up here don't have the worst traffic although we are up there. I know even with 8 lanes in L.A. there is still terrible traffic but at least you have the right idea. We up here love our green plants and trees and would never want to cut them down to help expand our tiny highways. All my mom and I talked about was how big they were and how smart the DOT in California is. Seattle really needs to talk classes from them. Just a little story.

    CN: Los Angeles highways are huge and Seattles are tiny and suck, and Seattle builders need to take lessons from L.A.
     
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #2
    It doesn't really matter...they aren't big enough to handle the traffic loads in either place.
     
  3. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #3
    I grew up in Boston, school in upstate NY, summers in MI. Now I live in Seattle, and I've driven cross country 3 times now. If you think highways up here in the NW are bad, go to Boston. The roads here are straight, the lanes are wide, there are useable HOV lanes, I could go on forever. I love the physical structures. Heck, the traffic is, IMO, great! (sure it stops alot, but it's no Boston/NYC).

    What sucks up here are the drivers. They dart in and out of lanes, feel like the far left lane is the slow lane and refuse to drive on the right. The cops are a bastard as well, they don't understand the pyramid of driving violations and feel that speeding is the crime of the devil.

    Change the drivers up here and traffic will go down. I think every other morning there's a multi car pile up, then another one in the afternoon.

    We use 4 lane highways in Boston with big S curves all over the place and have maybe 4x the cars on the road at any given time. Wider roads are not necessarly the answer to bad traffic.

    Ben
     
  4. cycocelica thread starter macrumors 68000

    cycocelica

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    #4
    Oh I know how it is on the East Coast. It can be really bad over there. But we have room to expand some of our most congested parts of the highways but we wont because people will lose a couple of trees.

    I wouldn't go as far as saying our HOV lane is usuable. The point of a HOV lane is so that people who have multiple people in the car can avoid traffic. With the HOV lane on the right side where everyone exists and merges, it slows it down almost as bad as the traffic.

    The physical structures are alright. I will agree with on the police. They just love to nab people for speeding. In L.A. we were going 85 and cops were passing. People in California know how to drive. Seattle drives are terrible. We only win in the rain.
     
  5. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #5
    IMO, they need to stop focusing on bigger highways and start developing better forms of public transportation such as commutter rail, so people wont have to take cars everywhere.
     
  6. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #6
    We don't even have HOV lanes in St. Louis, but then again, I never see enough cars with more than 1 person in them to actually make a difference.
     
  7. Leraste macrumors regular

    Leraste

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    How was your trip to Disneyland?? I'm going tomorrow for breakfast! :D
     
  8. SharksFan22 macrumors regular

    SharksFan22

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #8
    Agreed. But, do you know that here in California, owners of certain hybrid vehicles (specifically ones rated at more than 45mpg) can apply for bumper-mounted stickers permitting them to use the carpool/HOV lanes? Social engineering at it's finest.
     
  9. cycocelica thread starter macrumors 68000

    cycocelica

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    #9
    This is actually ideal. The bus system here is pretty popular but not to the point where it effects anything. You have to drive to actually catch the bus in the city I live in (97% of people do). We tried a monorail type thing in Seattle but that failed miserably. They actually are building one from our airport to some city but that wont be done till 2009. And it is only one city and does not take care of some of the busiest parts of our highway. Its a start I guess.
     
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #10
    I've been in the L.A. area twice and as recently as last Wednesday and was quite pleased at how easy it was to get around Orange County. The Hollywood Freeway (101) was really bad, though, being one of the earliest and very much original work.

    Houston is a good example of expressway money gone bad. They have more lanes than probably any other city of the size and yet, they have more difficult transitions than I've seen anywhere else in the country. It's as if they hired a design firm and didn't tell the designers that the roads were supposed to work with each other.

    If a city could benefit from mass transit, Houston could.
     
  11. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    #11
    Yeah, Seattle needs to....hear this...take a lesson from Tacoma. Tacoma (I'm sorry, I lied, I my residence is in T town currently.., close enough) is actually building a very nice, respectable light rail system. Sure, it's small, but it's brand new. If they continue to expand it like they say they are going to, it's going to be great. Especially for such a small city.

    Ben
     
  12. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #12
    Yes, CA is the best at building highways. Why do you think traffic is so bad here? If we sucked at it, public transportation might have actually had a shot at succeeding, and real cities might have developed instead of the god-awful suburban sprawl which can take 5 hours to get from one side of LA to the other. B.T.W. the Seattle area's problem is that they have crappy highways and crappy public transportation.
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #13

    Same with St. Louis. Our Metro Link rail system stays within the city, and doesn't have that many stops. It doesn't go anywhere near the suburbs. The buses, will go out in the suburbs, but not near the residental part, only the commercial part of them, so you still have to drive to get to the bus stop, but there's nowhere to park. Our highways suck, and now, they want to completely close a 12 mile section of US40/I-64, the most used highway in STL that goes between downtown, where everyone works, and the suburbs, where everyone lives, for several years for construction. If this section does get closed, many people will have to use 2 other interstates (70 or 44) to get downtown, but those interstates are completely out of the way for many.

    But I'm a hypocrite. I just bitched about our lack of public transit, but if we had it, I wouldn't use it. I've used public transit on 2 recent vacations, NYC and DC. I didn't like it. I like having my own car. I can go to places on my own schedule and in comfort. I just have to walk to my garage, not several blocks to a subway station. I like that. If it's raining, I don't get wet. If it's hot out, I only have to be in the heat for a minute or 2 until the AC kicks in. If STL had an extensive public transit system, the only way I would ever use it is if gas prices got so high I couldn't afford them, or I lost my license. I'd even take the alternate routes during the construction I mentioned before I used public transportation. Perhaps people like me are the reason gas prices and pollution are at all time highs, but there's just something about about having my own car that I like.
     
  14. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #14
    Yeah, the problem is that you represent the majority of the US population. I'm fortunate that at least where I live there are great bike paths and I live close enough to ride my bike everywhere I want to go so I don't have to drive my car everywhere (plus it's good healthy exercise).
     
  15. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #15
    I think the problem is that public trans is too expensive for it to be an alternative for most. My sister just moved to DC for a summer internship, and is paying I think $30 a week for a Metro pass. For me, and probably a lot of people whose cars get a decent MPG, we spend less than $30 on gas each week, so we're better off driving. So gas prices either have to get even higher, or public trans prices have to drop a good amount before anything changes.


    Bikes and walking are a good alternative in some cities. But St. Louis isn't a good biking or walking city. If you live in the suburbs like most here, you're usually a good several miles from any sort of business.
     
  16. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #16
    $30 a week seems like too much. In most places I've been it's around $30 a month. Oh, and a tank of gas costs more than $30 here and most people fill up about once a week.
     
  17. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #17
    Even here in the Bay Area where we have pretty good public transit and I live close to it, it isn't really convenient. I have an eight-mile commute each way to work that takes me ten minutes (I can avoid rush hour with my flexible schedule). Even in my gas guzzling SUV at today's prices that's only $3 per day.

    Taking public transit would take me at least 35 minutes, but more often 45 minutes and would cost me over $4 per day. I'm all for public transit, but it needs to be a better deal for me to make the switch.
     
  18. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #18
    OK, so your gas costs $3 a day... how much is your insurance and registration per day? Unless you drive a really really old car, I'd wager that it's more than a dollar a day.
     
  19. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #19
    If you lived with public transportation every day, without a choice, you'd find it very capable, especially in the NYC or Philadelphia. I didn't have a car for one summer in Philly and it wasn't much more difficult on public transportation. The train station/bus stop was a 5 minute walk and getting into the centre of Philly was a 15 minute ride from there. You could go most anywhere with a little planning. From that station, you could go to Trenton, NJ and switch to NJ Transit and on to NYC. Mind you, it's not always as convenient, but just like picking a home close to work, you find a convenient public transportation link.

    The funny thing is that Philadelphia's system was considered terrible and compared to the Tokyo area, it is, but then, so is the system in Washington, D.C.
     
  20. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #20
    No, but I'd have my car anyway. I go lots of places that aren't accessible by public transit. Registration is a fixed cost, and I drive so little (under 6,000 miles a year) that I'm already in the lowest tier for my insurance...I can't get it any lower by reducing my driving.
     
  21. cycocelica thread starter macrumors 68000

    cycocelica

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    #21
    Living in NYC is different. Everything is within walking distance or the subway system gets your very close. A car in NYC could actually take longer to get somewhere, than using the public transportation. Plus a parking spot in NYC is outrageous. It depends on how deep in the city you live really.
     
  22. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a

    thewhitehart

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2005
    Location:
    The town without George Bailey
    #22
    Absolutely. L.A. would be a 'real city' without eight lane highways and better public transportation. The Cross Bronx during rush hour in July when your air conditioner is broken?. 'Nuff said. I'll take Metro North and the subway any day.
     
  23. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #23
    Cal Tran does an awesome job. Maryland SHA blows. Bad.
     
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #24
    That's a pretty ignorant view of DC. How much would she have to pay for parking? What would have been the increase in her insurance? What's the chance of her car getting ripped off or broken into. Most Americans take those things in stride but to assert that the only cost is filling the tank is very myopic.
     
  25. floriflee macrumors 68030

    floriflee

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    #25

    Even so, the gas argument isn't completely valid on it's own these days anyway. With the cost of gas these days around here it pretty much costs $30/week at least to fill up. When I was commuting to McLean everyday I easily filled up 2-3 a week. Depending on where his sister is going in D.C., it could also be a trek to get there from Dunn Loring (considering the amount of time she'll probably just be sitting in her car idling in traffic). I would have loved to be able to spend only $30/week for public transit and would've gladly used it were it easily accessible to and from where I was going.
     

Share This Page