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Zero One
Dec 30, 2004

Z is the new C

Light rail in the Motor City has hit another roadblock.

quote:

A crucial dispute about the very nature of the proposed Woodward Avenue light-rail line in Detroit threatens to further delay or even block the project.

Should it be a speedy transit service to hurry people quickly to and from downtown? Or should it operate as a slower, perhaps friendlier, trolley-type line with frequent stops to aid business and tourism?

Mayor Dave Bing speaks confidently of the project, saying construction will begin next year.

But it is clear that unresolved differences about the design, route and funding of the project have slowed its progress. A line that backers once predicted would be up and running by now, at least in its downtown section, won't come on line now before 2016.

Matt Cullen, the chief executive of the M-1 group of private investors helping to bankroll the project, said Wednesday that more meetings must be held to iron out differences and resolve the remaining design and funding issues.

"A lot of work needs to be done, and I remain hopeful that when it is all done we are all on the train together," he said.

Norm White, director of the Detroit Department of Transportation and Bing's point man for the rail project, declined requests for an interview.

Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United, a nonprofit group that advocates for public transit, predicted that the disputes will be worked out and the project built. But she adds, "Until we're riding, it's never a 100% guarantee."

Light-rail project has many outstanding issues

Fundamental issues dividing city officials from business leaders and others staking millions of private dollars in building new light rail in Detroit must be ironed out soon if work is to begin next year, as Mayor Dave Bing hopes.

Among the questions:

Whether the rail line will run down the middle of Woodward -- a design transit advocates say would be safer, faster, cheaper and more efficient -- or be built on the avenue's curb lanes, as the private backers of the proposed M-1 rail first envisioned to boost tourism and redevelopment.

What route the line would travel through downtown. Private backers initially envisioned a line running straight up and down Woodward from Jefferson. But the Detroit Department of Transportation, which will operate the line, prefers a route that bypasses lower Woodward in favor of a loop around lower downtown to connect with the Rosa Parks Transit Center west of Woodward.

How to pay for the long-term operation of the project. Ultimately, supporters say, a region-wide rail system, for which the Woodward line is seen as a first step, will require a regional tax.

Operating the line, as is the case with virtually all such lines elsewhere, would require a public subsidy.

And getting a state subsidy for the Detroit light-rail line would, in all likelihood, require putting control of the system into a regional transportation authority. That could spark resistance in Detroit to giving up control of a key piece of city infrastructure. At the same time, suburban voters may balk at approving a tax seen as largely benefiting the city.

Personally, knowing this city, I'd have to say that this project will never be built. At one point they proposed the light rail, and then the city/state didn't want to pay for it, so they suggested bus lanes. Then some of the rich business leaders did a cool thing and donated millions of dollars just for a private light rail system. Except you can't just build light rail down Woodward without getting the government involved again. And here we are...

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Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


Zero One posted:

Light rail in the Motor City has hit another roadblock.


Personally, knowing this city, I'd have to say that this project will never be built. At one point they proposed the light rail, and then the city/state didn't want to pay for it, so they suggested bus lanes. Then some of the rich business leaders did a cool thing and donated millions of dollars just for a private light rail system. Except you can't just build light rail down Woodward without getting the government involved again. And here we are...

I've seen this situation plenty of times before. The only group who ends up winning are the consultants who get paid over and over again to re-design the facility. It happened here with Route 6, it's happening now with the Busway. It's so important to get these conflicts out of the way early on, in the scoping process. Once design gets far enough along, the project is essentially dumped into Purgatory.

porkfriedrice
May 23, 2010


Maybe you can satisfy another curiosity of that I've had about highways here in Connecticut. There are two signs, one each on the north and southbound sides of I395, that have blank spaces on them that look like had something on them at one time. They are for exit 85, the CT 138&164 exit. I don't expect some big mystery, just what was so important to warrant them being on these signs that isn't there/important now. I tried to get images from the CDOT photolog, but the version with 395 hasn't been working. The google street view images are pretty bad.

Northbound:



Southbound:

Orange Devil
Sep 30, 2010

Waar is da feestje?

HIER IS DA FEESTJE!



This just came up in the Let's Play SimCity4 thread which has informed me that apparently there are left turning roundabouts in places where people drive on the right side of the road. This confuses me and I'd like to know why the hell such a thing would exist as it appears to defeat all the advantages of a roundabout.

Grand Fromage
Jan 30, 2006

You wildly underestimated my liver's ability to metabolize toxins.

Orange Devil posted:

This just came up in the Let's Play SimCity4 thread which has informed me that apparently there are left turning roundabouts in places where people drive on the right side of the road. This confuses me and I'd like to know why the hell such a thing would exist as it appears to defeat all the advantages of a roundabout.

It actually turns out I'm an idiot. I don't drive here (there's zero reason to own a car in Korea, which is awesome) and thought it was going the other direction, but it's a right turner.

And I was coming to post a question about said roundabout, because it has multiple traffic lights in it. I thought the point was not to have signals and keep traffic flowing constantly? What's the purpose of building this if it has signals?

Orange Devil
Sep 30, 2010

Waar is da feestje?

HIER IS DA FEESTJE!



Grand Fromage posted:

It actually turns out I'm an idiot. I don't drive here (there's zero reason to own a car in Korea, which is awesome) and thought it was going the other direction, but it's a right turner.

And I was coming to post a question about said roundabout, because it has multiple traffic lights in it. I thought the point was not to have signals and keep traffic flowing constantly? What's the purpose of building this if it has signals?

We've got some roundabouts with traffic lights here in Frankfurt too. I think it's just because of the size of the things. The one you linked has 4 lanes, which is just too much to safely navigate without traffic lights, I think.

Millstone
Dec 20, 2007

iPaaaaaahd

Orange Devil posted:

This just came up in the Let's Play SimCity4 thread which has informed me that apparently there are left turning roundabouts in places where people drive on the right side of the road. This confuses me and I'd like to know why the hell such a thing would exist as it appears to defeat all the advantages of a roundabout.
Why does it confuse you? It works just as well.

Socket Ryanist
Aug 30, 2004



It certainly wouldn't make sense on an intersection between a major street and a minor street, because through traffic on the major street would conflict with through traffic going the opposite direction.

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


porkfriedrice posted:

Maybe you can satisfy another curiosity of that I've had about highways here in Connecticut. There are two signs, one each on the north and southbound sides of I395, that have blank spaces on them that look like had something on them at one time. They are for exit 85, the CT 138&164 exit. I don't expect some big mystery, just what was so important to warrant them being on these signs that isn't there/important now. I tried to get images from the CDOT photolog, but the version with 395 hasn't been working. The google street view images are pretty bad.

Northbound:



Southbound:



I'll check it out on our (more complete) version of Photolog today. I use that exit to go to Rhode Island.

Grand Fromage posted:

What's the purpose of building this if it has signals?

It makes yielding behavior much more predictable that way. Instead of having to look across up to three other lanes of traffic for a gap, you just wait for the green. There are traffic circles with more lanes than that, but generally they have circulating traffic yield to entering traffic to avoid this problem. The capacity probably isn't as high as a large signalized intersection, but the safety benefits of roundabouts are quite enormous in comparison.

Millstone posted:

Why does it confuse you? It works just as well.

He said that it's for places where people drive on the right, which would be rather silly indeed, if only for the additional right-of-way required to line up the approaches properly.

excitebike1
Apr 18, 2011


Hi Cichlidae!
Do you know any details about this new intersection configuration in Meriden?
While separating turning traffic in this way might help the throughput of the intersection, it also is quite unnerving to drivers unfamiliar with the area. It also doesn't help that the signage is so sloppy... they used a symbolic "keep right" sign and a text "keep left" sign for Colony Street. The lefthand side has a Do Not Enter sign and the righthand side (the side that's a lot more likely to have wrong way drivers!) has a solitary "wrong way" sign and it's set back quite a ways from the intersection as well. East Main Street, a three lane road, gets just one "wrong way" sign. Not a single "one way" sign to be found anywhere.

I can't think of another place in Connecticut where this design is used, although I wish it were used more often for one-way service roads paralleling a highway, like in Stamford. Rather than making two left turns at traffic lights, you could instead have just one stop sign.

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


porkfriedrice posted:

Maybe you can satisfy another curiosity of that I've had about highways here in Connecticut. There are two signs, one each on the north and southbound sides of I395, that have blank spaces on them that look like had something on them at one time. They are for exit 85, the CT 138&164 exit. I don't expect some big mystery, just what was so important to warrant them being on these signs that isn't there/important now. I tried to get images from the CDOT photolog, but the version with 395 hasn't been working. The google street view images are pretty bad.

Northbound:



Southbound:



Ok, the long-awaited answer! Here we go. The sign used to say:

Alt. Route to
RI Beaches

And it was removed sometime between the 1992 and 1993 photologs. I also learned that that exit used to be signed for Route 12 instead of Route 164. Very interesting; Kurumi doesn't have anything about that.

I asked why it was removed. It was because that "alternate" is extremely long, and Rhode Island doesn't sign it past the border. It's pretty much useless to sign.

excitebike1 posted:

Hi Cichlidae!
Do you know any details about this new intersection configuration in Meriden?
While separating turning traffic in this way might help the throughput of the intersection, it also is quite unnerving to drivers unfamiliar with the area. It also doesn't help that the signage is so sloppy... they used a symbolic "keep right" sign and a text "keep left" sign for Colony Street. The lefthand side has a Do Not Enter sign and the righthand side (the side that's a lot more likely to have wrong way drivers!) has a solitary "wrong way" sign and it's set back quite a ways from the intersection as well. East Main Street, a three lane road, gets just one "wrong way" sign. Not a single "one way" sign to be found anywhere.

I can't think of another place in Connecticut where this design is used, although I wish it were used more often for one-way service roads paralleling a highway, like in Stamford. Rather than making two left turns at traffic lights, you could instead have just one stop sign.

I'm very familiar with this intersection, in fact. I like to call it the three-way road, and it certainly freaked out my boss when I showed him what it looked like. That's actually a town-maintained section of a state route, Route 71, and the geometry's mostly imposed by the fact that the two East-West main roads (formerly Route 66, before that 6A) are one-way. It's comparable to a separate lane for U-turns at an intersection; if you think about it that way, it's really not so bad, though it's still bizarre to drive through.

porkfriedrice
May 23, 2010


Cichlidae posted:

Ok, the long-awaited answer! Here we go. The sign used to say:

Alt. Route to
RI Beaches

And it was removed sometime between the 1992 and 1993 photologs. I also learned that that exit used to be signed for Route 12 instead of Route 164. Very interesting; Kurumi doesn't have anything about that.

I asked why it was removed. It was because that "alternate" is extremely long, and Rhode Island doesn't sign it past the border. It's pretty much useless to sign.


Interesting. Any idea why it was signed for Route 12? Especially since the next exit to the south (exit 84) is signed for Route 12.

Here's another one. Do you know why the partial interchange for Route 169 on I 395 is numbered 83A? How is it related to the regular exit 83? I think that the nycroads.com site had something about this, but the links to all the exit list details are broken.

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


porkfriedrice posted:

Interesting. Any idea why it was signed for Route 12? Especially since the next exit to the south (exit 84) is signed for Route 12.

Here's another one. Do you know why the partial interchange for Route 169 on I 395 is numbered 83A? How is it related to the regular exit 83? I think that the nycroads.com site had something about this, but the links to all the exit list details are broken.

I asked around the office, and nobody seems to have a definite answer. Someone mentioned that it may have been put in as part of a major traffic generator in the area, which would explain why it's only a partial interchange, as it's only meant to handle traffic to and from the South. Then he told me to gently caress off and stop asking questions. The whole DOT is pretty tense these last couple weeks.

Chaos Motor
Aug 29, 2003

we got a frigate
full of robot space vajayjays here


Hell you're better off than we are, our DOT ran out of funding last month and is only acting in an "advisory capacity" to municipalities - no more direct work this year. GREAT! I'm SOOOOOO glad we spend trillions on blowing poo poo up in other nations when our loving roadways are falling apart and we lose 60% of the water we process to leaks.

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


Chaos Motor posted:

Hell you're better off than we are, our DOT ran out of funding last month and is only acting in an "advisory capacity" to municipalities - no more direct work this year. GREAT! I'm SOOOOOO glad we spend trillions on blowing poo poo up in other nations when our loving roadways are falling apart and we lose 60% of the water we process to leaks.

You can only put it off for so long... I need to grow a full beard and give a SimCity-style lesson to politicians around the country.

nm
Jan 28, 2008

"I saw Minos the Space Judge holding a golden sceptre and passing sentence upon the Martians. There he presided, and around him the noble Space Prosecutors sought the firm justice of space law."

Cichlidae posted:

You can only put it off for so long... I need to grow a full beard and give a SimCity-style lesson to politicians around the country.
So the first suggested search on "you can't" is "you can't cut back on funding".
Yay!

kefkafloyd
Jun 8, 2006

I call him that
because he waddles!

WADDLES!


Cichlidae posted:

You can only put it off for so long... I need to grow a full beard and give a SimCity-style lesson to politicians around the country.

Look, just hire Norm Abram to be your spokesperson. He doesn't live too far away. He's a dead ringer for the guy in SimCity 2000.

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


kefkafloyd posted:

Look, just hire Norm Abram to be your spokesperson. He doesn't live too far away. He's a dead ringer for the guy in SimCity 2000.

That would be perfect. I spent so much of my childhood watching The New Yankee Workshop, I'd do just about anything Norm says. I still wear safety glasses at just about any occasion.

Mandalay
Mar 16, 2007

WoW Forums Refugee

Why isn't this your avatar?

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


Mandalay posted:

Why isn't this your avatar?



Because ME LOVE MAKE RED LIGHT.

Tomorrow's a big day: We're going to be testing out our Smart Work Zone system for the Arrigoni Bridge. This is the first Smart Work Zone in the state, so there's a lot riding on it. We've got speed sensors, cameras, and electronic signs set up to calculate delay approaching the bridge in both directions. Excelsior!

madhatter160
Aug 6, 2004
Mad as a hatter

First off - thanks for this thread. I love urban planning and this thread is a great place to learn more about it!

I wanted to post some roundabout porn in my neck of the woods - mostly because I think they're kind of neat. And now, thanks to this thread I now know their taxonomy!

First up, this fine 1-Lane Roundabout. However, I think they may have turned it into a Turbo recently. I need to drive it again to make sure.


Next, on our local Big Ten university's campus we have two. This guy is a Turbo and is a vast improvement over the previous intersection we had when I was but an undergrad:


And on the other side of campus you can find this oldster. He was there before I was even a freshmen:


Now for my favorite. There is a rare specimen right down the road from my house! Here we see the first Mini-Roundabout in the US!


And a street view because I think it is so cool. Notice the non-standard bollard on the western approach (the white blob next to red car below - stupid glare):


There is a case study of it here: PDF

For more roundabout porn: RoundaboutsUSA.com

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


madhatter160 posted:

Now for my favorite. There is a rare specimen right down the road from my house! Here we see the first Mini-Roundabout in the US!


And a street view because I think it is so cool. Notice the non-standard bollard on the western approach (the white blob next to red car below - stupid glare):


There is a case study of it here: PDF

For more roundabout porn: RoundaboutsUSA.com

Illuminated bollards, no less. That's a great idea for places that get a lot of snow. And I'm amazed that the right-of-way for the mini-roundabout was donated! Is that a common occurrence? Over here, we pay $100,000+ for a single parking space. I don't know of any donations.

whitey delenda est
Sep 14, 2008

Oh pirates yes they rob I
Sold I to the merchant ships



Growing up there I didn't think about it, but now that I've been on and around many college campuses, MSU was really easy to get around.

madhatter160
Aug 6, 2004
Mad as a hatter

Cichlidae posted:

Illuminated bollards, no less. That's a great idea for places that get a lot of snow. And I'm amazed that the right-of-way for the mini-roundabout was donated! Is that a common occurrence? Over here, we pay $100,000+ for a single parking space. I don't know of any donations.

It is not common. I would chalk it up to "community pride." The village is tiny. Besides, what was the gas station going to do with that odd sized corner anyway? Plus less property taxes.

Holy lord - $100k for a parking space? You could buy a decent house here for around $100k. I guess over here we have a lot of land and not a lot of demand (no jobs), so land is relatively cheap.

GWBBQ
Jan 2, 2005



Is traffic light enough there that it's not a problem for someone's driveway to be in an intersection?

madhatter160 posted:

Holy lord - $100k for a parking space? You could buy a decent house here for around $100k. I guess over here we have a lot of land and not a lot of demand (no jobs), so land is relatively cheap.
I found something under 100k! Only $69,000 for this lovely 45x200 foot piece of vacant lot

Sometimes I hate living in Connecticut, there are houses that rent for $35k a month before taxes.

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


GWBBQ posted:

Is traffic light enough there that it's not a problem for someone's driveway to be in an intersection?

We try to discourage it, but so long as it gets its own phase, it's certainly safe. Just a matter of maintaining detection.

GWBBQ posted:

I found something under 100k! Only $69,000 for this lovely 45x200 foot piece of vacant lot

Sometimes I hate living in Connecticut, there are houses that rent for $35k a month before taxes.

Heck, I live in a tiny one bedroom apartment in a middle-class suburb, and I'm paying $1100/month.

FISHMANPET
Mar 3, 2007



GWBBQ posted:

Is traffic light enough there that it's not a problem for someone's driveway to be in an intersection?

I found something under 100k! Only $69,000 for this lovely 45x200 foot piece of vacant lot

Sometimes I hate living in Connecticut, there are houses that rent for $35k a month before taxes.

quote:

This is a vacant land home. It is located at 12 CHESTNUT ST FAIRFIELD , Connecticut. The nearest schools are PUBLIC RECORD, PUBLIC RECORD and PUBLIC RECORD.

How is that PUBLIC RECORD district?

porkfriedrice
May 23, 2010


http://www.norwichbulletin.com/caro...n#axzz1ND7nNE6p

Is this a sign that the completion of Route 11 may actually happen? Or is this just one of several announcements that have been made that the highway will be complete? The article states that they will be doing environmental impact studies. Wasn't this already done? I guess I will believe it when I see it.

edit: The New London Day has a slightly better article that I think answered my study question. http://theday.com/article/20110524/NWS12/305249917/1018

porkfriedrice fucked around with this message at May 24, 2011 around 08:46

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


porkfriedrice posted:

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/caro...n#axzz1ND7nNE6p

Is this a sign that the completion of Route 11 may actually happen? Or is this just one of several announcements that have been made that the highway will be complete? The article states that they will be doing environmental impact studies. Wasn't this already done? I guess I will believe it when I see it.

edit: The New London Day has a slightly better article that I think answered my study question. http://theday.com/article/20110524/NWS12/305249917/1018

The Route 11 extension is a good project. If we want to keep building up Route 85 in Waterford, it's essential, and the whole network of frontage roads along 95 will really come together if the interchange with 395/11 is completed.

Money is the problem, though, as it has been since 1972. We're looking at about a billion dollars to build the thing. Sadly, given the state of our road network, $1B seems like small change these days. We'll need at least $2B to fix I-84/Route 8 in Waterbury, another couple for the Aetna Viaduct in Hartford, a billion for the Busway, a billion for high-speed rail... if we don't find somewhere to get all this cash, then Route 11 will have to take a backseat to more pressing projects.

But hey, our unions are offering $21B in state employee concessions over the next 20 years. That'll cover a lot of roads... if there's anyone left to build them. (I'm already looking for a new job)

IOwnCalculus
Apr 2, 2003


Come to Arizona, our schools are underfunded but our roads aren't!

porkfriedrice
May 23, 2010


Cichlidae posted:


But hey, our unions are offering $21B in state employee concessions over the next 20 years. That'll cover a lot of roads... if there's anyone left to build them. (I'm already looking for a new job)

Is there a significant threat to your job with all the budget talks going on? You probably can't comment, so best of luck to you. Maybe they could cut a few parking spaces from the busway and save your job?

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


porkfriedrice posted:

Is there a significant threat to your job with all the budget talks going on? You probably can't comment, so best of luck to you. Maybe they could cut a few parking spaces from the busway and save your job?

We had a plan that would've spared the entire Aetna parking lot and saved that $5+ million, as well as resulted in a better intersection alignment. CRCOG, the regional planning group, went with Aetna's proposal instead. Guess whose pocket they're in?

I don't think there's a real threat to my job, personally, because I'm critical for several major projects. All the same, I have no leverage to keep my benefits intact. I'm bound to the same contract as everyone else.

Neutrino
Mar 8, 2006



Heh, our union had to take a 0% wage increase and other concessions two years ago to avoid layoffs. Now our newly elected governor is hellbent on abolishing all public sector unions except for police, of course. Not to mention he is trying to enact every bill he can to destroy our city by cutting funding and making other rules that force us into obedience.

Zarakiteque
Mar 27, 2010


I'm looking for some US policy/standard/certificate of whatever a highway guardrail has to be like to be approved for usage on US interstate highways.

I don't think I specifically need anything about how high a guardrail has to be installed etc. etc., but more on the material that it's made of. As in, approval for the product to even be installed (passing crash test or whatever is my guess)

Unless I am mistaken here (which I might be, since I just got into this the other day), I'm looking for the US equivalent of the EN 1317-2 that is in Europe.

The background is pretty much some company trying to get a composite guardrail (they only use steel here thesedays) made in the US, approved in my country by comparing the EN 1317-2 to the respective US policy and fixing the differences in one way or another.

What I understood from some quick reading is that NCHRP Report 350 < MASH < AASHTO Roadside design guide document, but generally NCHRP 350 and MASH handle the required crash tests, which it has to pass. Further to that, if a guardrail has passed according to NCHRP 350, it doesn't need to be tested against MASH again (since MASH is an update that comes from the NCHRP 350), but NEW guardrails do need to be tested.

Also this theoretically http://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/manuals/pddm/
Chapter 8 pretty much has some guidelines.


Since the one guardrail the company here is looking at is NCHRP 350 "approved" it should be fine to compare that to the EN 1317-2.

That's more or less my very quick summary. How high, what poles etc., is probably handled by the local highway authority in my country anyway.

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


Zarakiteque posted:

I'm looking for some US policy/standard/certificate of whatever a highway guardrail has to be like to be approved for usage on US interstate highways.

I don't think I specifically need anything about how high a guardrail has to be installed etc. etc., but more on the material that it's made of. As in, approval for the product to even be installed (passing crash test or whatever is my guess)

Unless I am mistaken here (which I might be, since I just got into this the other day), I'm looking for the US equivalent of the EN 1317-2 that is in Europe.

The background is pretty much some company trying to get a composite guardrail (they only use steel here thesedays) made in the US, approved in my country by comparing the EN 1317-2 to the respective US policy and fixing the differences in one way or another.

What I understood from some quick reading is that NCHRP Report 350 < MASH < AASHTO Roadside design guide document, but generally NCHRP 350 and MASH handle the required crash tests, which it has to pass. Further to that, if a guardrail has passed according to NCHRP 350, it doesn't need to be tested against MASH again (since MASH is an update that comes from the NCHRP 350), but NEW guardrails do need to be tested.

Also this theoretically http://flh.fhwa.dot.gov/resources/manuals/pddm/
Chapter 8 pretty much has some guidelines.


Since the one guardrail the company here is looking at is NCHRP 350 "approved" it should be fine to compare that to the EN 1317-2.

That's more or less my very quick summary. How high, what poles etc., is probably handled by the local highway authority in my country anyway.

You've pretty much got it. NCHRP 350 is what we go by, specifically its test levels. If you're looking for something that'll work on a freeway, you want it to be approved TL-3 crashworthy. Just saying it's NCHRP 350 approved isn't enough, since it could be approved for a lower test level (and therefore a lower speed). You may also want to check out AASHTO's Roadside Design Guide. Unfortunately, since it's AASHTO, you'll have to pay for it.

Neutrino
Mar 8, 2006



The NCHRP 350 uses a larger test vehicle than the European code so our guardrails will be more substantial than those required in Europe. The test vehicle in the US is a 3/4 ton pickup truck which is 2000kg whereas it looks like yours is 1500kg.

Drunk Tomato
Apr 23, 2010

If God wanted us sober,
He'd knock the glass over.

Awesome thread, Cichlidae. I've been reading from the beginning for the past few months now. I'm actually only about halfway through the whole thing. However, I had something to ask you so I'm skipping ahead momentarily.

I want to write a short letter to my city's public works department (which encompasses traffic and streets matters) regarding the signal length of a particular left-hand turn lane. This light is green for only enough time to allow 4-5 cars to pass, when in the morning there can be 3 or 4 times that amount waiting in the designated turning lane. This means that sometimes I wait 2 or 3 light cycles before I can turn. The designated turn lane is long enough to hold about 20 cars, so this means that the city has designed for lots of traffic. For some reason, though, they kept the light ridiculously short. This means a lot of cars end up running the red light here.

Anyway, I want to make the suggestion to increase the signal time just a few seconds in order for more cars to make the turn. Here's what I have so far. Is there anything more you think I should add to this?

My letter posted:

Good Morning,

I would like to propose a possible signal timing revision. The left-turn light traveling westbound along NE 124th Street and turning onto Slater Avenue NE is too short and creates potential problems. Often, this light is only long enough to allow four or five cars to safely turn; undoubtedly, one or two cars after the light turns will run the red light. In the morning, those turning left and not willing to run the red can be expected to wait through at least two complete intersection cycles.

I believe that increasing this signal length 5-10 seconds would make a great improvement for the intersection. This would allow several more cars to successfully make the left turn. It would also make the intersection safer, as fewer cars would be running the red light.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I await your response on this matter.


Oh, and here's the intersection in Google Maps to give you a good look.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...6,0.004597&z=18

Neutrino
Mar 8, 2006



Drunk Tomato posted:

I want to write a short letter to my city's public works department (which encompasses traffic and streets matters) regarding the signal length of a particular left-hand turn lane. This light is green for only enough time to allow 4-5 cars to pass, when in the morning there can be 3 or 4 times that amount waiting in the designated turning lane. This means that sometimes I wait 2 or 3 light cycles before I can turn. The designated turn lane is long enough to hold about 20 cars, so this means that the city has designed for lots of traffic. For some reason, though, they kept the light ridiculously short. This means a lot of cars end up running the red light here.

You are probably better off telling them that there is a problem rather than offering solutions. You should definitely let them know where you are coming from and mentioning the direction you and the other traffic is going. I assume the majority of traffic is coming from the new? apartment complex NE of Slater and 120th. It looks like Slater needs to be expanded from 2 to 4 lanes.

Cichlidae
Aug 12, 2005

ME LOVE
MAKE RED LIGHT


Drunk Tomato posted:

Awesome thread, Cichlidae. I've been reading from the beginning for the past few months now. I'm actually only about halfway through the whole thing. However, I had something to ask you so I'm skipping ahead momentarily.

I want to write a short letter to my city's public works department (which encompasses traffic and streets matters) regarding the signal length of a particular left-hand turn lane. This light is green for only enough time to allow 4-5 cars to pass, when in the morning there can be 3 or 4 times that amount waiting in the designated turning lane. This means that sometimes I wait 2 or 3 light cycles before I can turn. The designated turn lane is long enough to hold about 20 cars, so this means that the city has designed for lots of traffic. For some reason, though, they kept the light ridiculously short. This means a lot of cars end up running the red light here.

Anyway, I want to make the suggestion to increase the signal time just a few seconds in order for more cars to make the turn. Here's what I have so far. Is there anything more you think I should add to this?


Oh, and here's the intersection in Google Maps to give you a good look.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...6,0.004597&z=18

That looks good to me. The problem might not be the timing, but a broken loop or insufficient vehicle extension. Either way, your writing in should spur them to go take a look, even if it's just to say "we can't afford to take 5-10 seconds from the other phases." For Neutrino, it doesn't hurt to suggest, and often the engineers that answer the letters/emails aren't very familiar with the area to begin with. They'll just ignore the suggestion if they don't want to do it. It won't make them any less likely to respond.

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Besesoth
Feb 6, 2011

I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night

madhatter160 posted:

Now for my favorite. There is a rare specimen right down the road from my house! Here we see the first Mini-Roundabout in the US!


Is this still in East Lansing? I'd like to try to find it the next time I'm up that way.

Speaking of MSU, generally, the campus is a delight to navigate. However, there's one ridiculousness intersection that I end up using every time I have to drive across town:



The blue arrow is how Wilson Rd. actually proceeds (ignore Google Maps's insistence that there are two Wilsons in that bend; the rightmost one is actually still Fee Rd).

The red arrow is what you have to do to get from northbound Fee to westbound Wilson.

The green arrow is what you have to do AFTER you get from northbound Fee to westbound Wilson if what you really want to do is make a U-turn on Fee.

My kingdom for a roundabout...

Also! A quick road-markings question!

A major road (US 27, running north-south) near my house has recently been repaved, along with a small stretch of a cross road (Waterfall Rd, running east-west; to the east of 27 is a parking lot). Naturally, they've also been repainted.

The intersection is controlled by a standard traffic light. Each direction has two instruments controlling it. (That is, there are two instruments facing east, two instruments facing north, two facing south, and two facing west.) This may be important.

The intersection is currently painted like this (I don't have a photograph, and Google Maps isn't up-to-date enough to have captured this):



(There are stop bars that I forgot to render on US 27, and in the parking lot, which was not repaved/repainted, but NOT on Waterfall Rd.)

The issue is with Waterfall Rd., on the west (left). From north to south, about 1/3 of the way across is a dashed white line, uneven and obviously made by hand with a spray can as a preliminary mark. 2/3 of the way across is a solid white line, made by one of the large-scale sprayers and obviously an official mark. Between them, the lines divide Waterfall Rd. into three even (and regulation-width) lanes.

Here's the question that's caused several near-accidents since the roads were repaved:

On the west side of US 27, which direction on Waterfall Rd. has two lanes?

e: Since I posted this, they've painted lines on Waterfall. They were painting the stop bars when I got to the intersection! (Also, there's a new double-yellow down the length of Waterfall, where it was unlined before.) The eastbound direction, emptying onto US 27, has two lanes, one left-only and one straight-and-right. The westbound direction, where 27 traffic enters Waterfall Rd., has one lane. This narrows to one lane in both directions about 100 yards beyond the intersection.

Besesoth fucked around with this message at Jun 1, 2011 around 21:44

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