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Author Topic: Washington  (Read 16301 times)

sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #125 on: February 18, 2017, 03:16:49 PM »

Attn: Link Light Rail not likely to run along US-99 between Angle Lake and Federal Way (according to today's Tacoma News Tribune).

http://i.imgur.com/GuMrN16.jpg

Any way a link to the article itself could be supplied? -- would like to see the (supplied) reasoning behind the I-5 alignment choice.

Here you go:

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/traffic/article133022569.html

Interesting to see that they're combining this LR effort with the WA 509 freeway extension -- that particular freeway alignment most likely had a good deal of influence regarding the decision to deploy the LR line adjacent to I-5 rather than straight down WA 99 -- there was a "ready-made" location in which the shunt the line over to I-5 requiring little or no additional property acquisition.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #126 on: February 18, 2017, 06:33:30 PM »

This was decided way back in 2015, after requests from city leaders in the area to not disrupt business on Pacific Highway South. They may have shot themselves in the foot by not placing the stations on 99 proper to take advantage of development potential (which brings in tons of tax revenue), now that the stations placed mid-way between I-5 and SR 99 will have a lot of walkshed eaten up by ramps.

The new development (from the board meeting before last...quite old news, TNT?) is at the request of the Federal Way School District because they don't want a light rail trench near their school. It's a win-win, though, if the property swap can go through: Sound Transit can have a closer P&R and TOD parcel to their station and off-load what would become surplus land anyway once the Redondo P&R closes.

The SR 509 freeway alignment was not a huge consideration in the design process, given that it would only necessitate a long overhead span with a central column or some other sort of solution that ST has already done before.

jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #127 on: February 18, 2017, 10:34:17 PM »

Before this goes on further, I would like to point out that the article names Hwy 99 as "US 99". That's the only reason I posted the photo.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #128 on: February 18, 2017, 11:27:07 PM »

And speaking of Sound Transit, the City of Mercer Island is suing them and WSDOT over the loss of single-occupant access to the HOV lanes on I-90 after June, when the express lanes close for light rail construction. They allege that the 1976 memorandum that was signed to get I-90 built across the island has been broken by ST, but the FHWA ruled that this kind of access was illegal and could require them to cut federal funds.

If this actually goes to court and gets drawn out, light rail construction could be set back by years. And this is on top of what Mercer Island did to delay planning of the line in the first place.

sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #129 on: February 19, 2017, 12:30:43 AM »

The SR 509 freeway alignment was not a huge consideration in the design process, given that it would only necessitate a long overhead span with a central column or some other sort of solution that ST has already done before.

I wasn't thinking so much about the design process as with the aspect of acquiring the property/parcels necessary to shift the LR pathway from Pacific Highway/WA 99 to the I-5 easement.  Generally, it's much easier to "bundle" projects in an area such as the 509 extension with the LR extension -- acquire the necessary property for both projects in one fell swoop rather than expending the time & expense endemic to two separate albeit adjacent transportation endeavors, developed for different purposes -- the 509 freeway to provide enhanced automotive access to the airport as well as the Burien/White Center area, and the Link LR to potentially reduce commuter traffic.   
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Alps

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Re: Washington
« Reply #130 on: February 19, 2017, 12:23:13 PM »

Before this goes on further, I would like to point out that the article names Hwy 99 as "US 99". That's the only reason I posted the photo.
I caught that.
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #131 on: February 19, 2017, 12:27:26 PM »

The SR 509 freeway alignment was not a huge consideration in the design process, given that it would only necessitate a long overhead span with a central column or some other sort of solution that ST has already done before.

I wasn't thinking so much about the design process as with the aspect of acquiring the property/parcels necessary to shift the LR pathway from Pacific Highway/WA 99 to the I-5 easement.  Generally, it's much easier to "bundle" projects in an area such as the 509 extension with the LR extension -- acquire the necessary property for both projects in one fell swoop rather than expending the time & expense endemic to two separate albeit adjacent transportation endeavors, developed for different purposes -- the 509 freeway to provide enhanced automotive access to the airport as well as the Burien/White Center area, and the Link LR to potentially reduce commuter traffic.   


The 509 project is more about linking the Port of Seattle to the south, mainly the Port of Tacoma (both are merged under the Northwest Seaport Alliance for cargo operations). The Port of Seattle would still need to build a new southern approach freeway from 509 in order to make it useful to the airport, otherwise truckers will still use the old S 188th exit.

As for property acquisition, it's actually easier to do so separately, given that Sound Transit would have to sign yet another agreement with WSDOT for the land swap and then engineer around whatever they do to SR 509.

sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #132 on: February 19, 2017, 08:58:32 PM »

The 509 project is more about linking the Port of Seattle to the south, mainly the Port of Tacoma (both are merged under the Northwest Seaport Alliance for cargo operations). The Port of Seattle would still need to build a new southern approach freeway from 509 in order to make it useful to the airport, otherwise truckers will still use the old S 188th exit.

Pardon me if I'm mistaken, but IIRC the plans I've seen show some sort of connection (possibly not a spur freeway facility but at least some type of direct roadway) from the 509 extension to the south side of the airport, putting airport access into the mix.  If this exists, it ostensibly is to divert traffic coming from the south from using existing surface streets such as 188th -- or even the "long way around" via WA 518 -- to gain access to Seatac. 
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Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #133 on: February 19, 2017, 09:27:55 PM »

The 509 project is more about linking the Port of Seattle to the south, mainly the Port of Tacoma (both are merged under the Northwest Seaport Alliance for cargo operations). The Port of Seattle would still need to build a new southern approach freeway from 509 in order to make it useful to the airport, otherwise truckers will still use the old S 188th exit.

Pardon me if I'm mistaken, but IIRC the plans I've seen show some sort of connection (possibly not a spur freeway facility but at least some type of direct roadway) from the 509 extension to the south side of the airport, putting airport access into the mix.  If this exists, it ostensibly is to divert traffic coming from the south from using existing surface streets such as 188th -- or even the "long way around" via WA 518 -- to gain access to Seatac. 

Yes, the Port of Seattle has plans for that in their Airport Master Plan (being updated right now), but there's no funding for it as of right now. They have to get the ball rolling now if they want to open it by 2030.

sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #134 on: February 19, 2017, 09:49:48 PM »

Yes, the Port of Seattle has plans for that in their Airport Master Plan (being updated right now), but there's no funding for it as of right now. They have to get the ball rolling now if they want to open it by 2030.

Thanks for the update re the airport/port plans.  Real-time info is always appreciated!
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compdude787

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Re: Washington
« Reply #135 on: April 03, 2017, 11:05:18 PM »

So, I saw an article in the Everett Herald today that WSDOT is beginning to study how to improve the congested interchange between US 2, WA 204 and 20th Street SE on the east end of the US 2 trestle.

I'll offer my two cents: At the very minimum, there needs to be some safety improvements where the ramps from WB 204 and 20th Street SE meet. There is virtually no space to merge, even though the WB trestle was built in the late-60s, so you'd expect it to be designed better than that. Every time I come that way, I pretty much turn my head to the left and look at the onramp from 20th Street to be absolutely sure that there is no one coming down the hill really fast, lest I have to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting them. So at minimum, there needs to be a longer merge lane there, and they need to completely repave the WB trestle. It's in bad shape!

Ideally, the trestle needs to be widened to three lanes in each direction. But that's gonna cost a lot more money, but it might be worth it to accommodate expected population growth in the area.

jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #136 on: April 19, 2017, 05:59:30 PM »

Went to the Open House for the Puget Sound Gateway Program in Fife last night. This one focused more on 167 (I missed last week's 509 open house in Seatac). The visualizations will be online within the next two weeks, but there are a few things that I saw that have changed from the previous phase one design:

- Ramps to and from the west at Meridian (where 167 currently ends) have been shelved. There's a $15mil budget gap
- The phase one interchange where the 5/167/509-Spur meet will be a partial diverging diamond instead of half diamond. It's hard to explain the design -- the visualizations make better sense.
- The entire route will be four lanes. WSDOT's Craig Stone said that "lanes are cheap, interchanges are not". I guess they found the money to have four lanes, but couldn't afford fancy interchanges.
- North Levee EB will turn into a on-ramp towards 167 NB (as it does now), but will instead utilise the old on-ramp that was never torn up.
- The oddly-shaped on-ramp from Meridian (the current one) was built in that manner due to a historic tree. One of the interns suggested that I cut it down for them.

I also learned that the stub-ramp at the end of the departures deck at Seatac was built for a south access road. According to Craig Stone, the 509's phase one design will include provisions for a future south access road. The South Access Road has been planned for some time, but always shelved due to funding and lack of a proper place to dump all the traffic. The southern extension of the 509 will finally provide a good place for the end of the access road.

This is the stub ramp in question:

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compdude787

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Re: Washington
« Reply #137 on: April 22, 2017, 01:03:11 AM »

That's cool! I'm glad you got the chance to go to it. Hopefully they have updated design drawings on their website.

In other news, today was probably the last day that the I-90 express lanes were open, because this weekend, WSDOT is planning on restriping I-90 to include an HOV lane the whole length of the main lines so that the express lanes can be converted to the light rail line. But considering that it's going to be raining all weekend, that might not actually happen.

Either way, I just went down there earlier today and filmed I-90 in both directions.  I Was planning to drive in the express lanes, but they were clearly marked for HOVs only, so unfortunately, I had to stay out of them. :( Why is it that I-90's express lanes are HOV only, but I-5's are not? I wasn't aware of this and was pretty disappointed that I couldn't get to drive in them one last time. :(

Bruce

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Re: Washington
« Reply #138 on: April 22, 2017, 11:15:55 PM »

That's cool! I'm glad you got the chance to go to it. Hopefully they have updated design drawings on their website.

In other news, today was probably the last day that the I-90 express lanes were open, because this weekend, WSDOT is planning on restriping I-90 to include an HOV lane the whole length of the main lines so that the express lanes can be converted to the light rail line. But considering that it's going to be raining all weekend, that might not actually happen.

Either way, I just went down there earlier today and filmed I-90 in both directions.  I Was planning to drive in the express lanes, but they were clearly marked for HOVs only, so unfortunately, I had to stay out of them. :( Why is it that I-90's express lanes are HOV only, but I-5's are not? I wasn't aware of this and was pretty disappointed that I couldn't get to drive in them one last time. :(

During a full shutdown of either direction of I-90, the lanes are usually open to all traffic (HOV or not).

You can always take the 550 bus during rush hour and experience the lanes that way.

jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #139 on: April 26, 2017, 07:22:54 PM »

Here's some updated visuals of the 167 and 509 extensions.

First, Fife is planning new interchanges for the Port of Tacoma and 54 Ave interchanges. Split diamond and a very California-esque Parclo setup, respectively. Don't expect any permissive left turns in any of these setups. I talked to Fife's chief engineer. He doesn't believe in FYA's across more than one lane. I tried to tell him that was why traffic blows in Fife despite not being a big city. He said safety first. Last I checked, protected left turns don't automatically improve safety. They often increase driver frustration and impatience, resulting in more red light running.





Second, some visualisations of the current 167 plans:







Last, some 509 visualisations:



« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 12:06:12 AM by jakeroot »
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sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #140 on: April 27, 2017, 12:22:00 AM »

From the looks of it, the new 5/167 interchange could be upgraded to a directional freeway-to-freeway facility by the addition (obviously well down the line considering their budgetary woes) of a flyover from WB 167 to SB 5, diverging prior to the DDI lane crossover.  I guess the interchange selection was indeed a compromise; otherwise a surface-road type facility wouldn't be considered appropriate for the end of a lengthy limited-access route such as 167.  I hope WashDOT knows what they're getting into; I can see rush-hour backups occurring regularly in both directions on 167/ Spur 509.  Hopefully those needing to access Lakewood or points south of there along I-5 will have the good sense to continue using 512 to avoid this potential chokepoint.     
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #141 on: April 27, 2017, 03:30:43 AM »

From the looks of it, the new 5/167 interchange could be upgraded to a directional freeway-to-freeway facility by the addition (obviously well down the line considering their budgetary woes) of a flyover from WB 167 to SB 5, diverging prior to the DDI lane crossover.  I guess the interchange selection was indeed a compromise; otherwise a surface-road type facility wouldn't be considered appropriate for the end of a lengthy limited-access route such as 167.  I hope WashDOT knows what they're getting into; I can see rush-hour backups occurring regularly in both directions on 167/ Spur 509.  Hopefully those needing to access Lakewood or points south of there along I-5 will have the good sense to continue using 512 to avoid this potential chokepoint.     

Phase 2 of the interchange does call for a much more complete setup. No design has been finalized, and I don't expect a final design to show up for several years. But there are a couple variations that have been posted online in the past, that may or may not indicate some final configuration. Note the top two are the same design. The bottom one is different.



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compdude787

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Re: Washington
« Reply #142 on: April 27, 2017, 09:02:55 PM »

Good! I'm glad to see that the I-5/ 167 interchange has access from SB 167 to SB I-5. That was something that  was sadly absent from the original half diamond interchange configuration, so I'm glad that changing the design to a DDI allowed for those missing movements to be added.

sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #143 on: April 28, 2017, 04:53:20 AM »

The addition of HOV (HOT?) lanes on the long-range plans for both 5 and 167 make the eventual expanded interchange look at initial viewing more complicated than it really is (except for that last version, which does look a bit complex if not convoluted!).  Glad to see that the DDI isn't the last word regarding this junction -- just an interim plan (which, given ongoing financial issues, may end up being at least semi-permanent).   
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Kacie Jane

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Re: Washington
« Reply #144 on: May 03, 2017, 02:56:44 AM »

I'm really curious about the numbering.  I think the segment between current SR 509 and I-5 is supposed to be SR 509 Spur, which IMHO is absurd.  But in Jake's past two posts, I see it labeled SR 509 Spur once, SR 167 twice, and SR 509 (no banner) once, though the last one is probably an error.

---------

On an unrelated topic, I'd been meaning to post this for a while but kept forgetting... the button copy sign on I-5 NB for the SR 167 exit has bitten the dust.  I noticed it gone on March 27, I believe; Jake may be able to pinpoint if it was earlier than that.  (I didn't see anything posted about it here though.)

----

Further unrelated, there is an upside down traffic signal sign on the SR 167 NB ramp to 15th St SW in Auburn.  I feel like I've noticed another one recently as well (similarly in a construction zone), but I can't remember its location.
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #145 on: May 03, 2017, 04:00:06 AM »

On an unrelated topic, I'd been meaning to post this for a while but kept forgetting... the button copy sign on I-5 NB for the SR 167 exit has bitten the dust.  I noticed it gone on March 27, I believe; Jake may be able to pinpoint if it was earlier than that.  (I didn't see anything posted about it here though.)

Yeah, I also meant to post about it, but I too kept forgetting (by the way, welcome back). FWIW, the button copy sign was for Portland Ave. But the 167 sign was still pretty cool, because of the greened-out 410 shield. The 167 sign lasted quite a bit longer. It was only removed when the new 167 NB ramp opened (because the new exit was much sooner than the older sign indicated).

The Portland Ave sign came down quite a while before the new ramp opened. The new retroreflective sign was installed some time in January. Here's a screenshot of my dashcam from the 6th of February (during that snowstorm). You can see the new sign (much narrower than the old sign) posted in the opposite direction:




I'm really curious about the numbering.  I think the segment between current SR 509 and I-5 is supposed to be SR 509 Spur, which IMHO is absurd.  But in Jake's past two posts, I see it labeled SR 509 Spur once, SR 167 twice, and SR 509 (no banner) once, though the last one is probably an error.

The former post has much newer renderings. The other renderings (the latter post) were much, much earlier and not much detail was being paid to the numbering when they rendered it (evidently). WSDOT has been pretty clear in their recent open houses that the extension between the 509 and 5 will be labelled "509 Spur" (though I too dislike this choice).
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 04:04:49 AM by jakeroot »
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Kacie Jane

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Re: Washington
« Reply #146 on: May 04, 2017, 01:23:29 AM »

Yeah, I also meant to post about it, but I too kept forgetting (by the way, welcome back). FWIW, the button copy sign was for Portland Ave.

I've always been reading, just haven't been my normal verbose self I suppose.  (I've been slightly more active at seattletransitblog.org, if you have any interest.)  And that is at least the third time on these boards I've called the button copy sign "the 167 sign" even though I know better.  At least I won't have to make that mistake anymore. :(

At the risk of taking this into Fictional territory, what would make the most sense to me is to extend 167 all the way to I-705 (along the new roadway and current 509 near the port), decommission or renumber the discontinuous surface street sections of 509 in Dash Point and Des Moines, and truncate 509 so it's just the freeway from its new junction with I-5 near KDM to its northern terminus.
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sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #147 on: May 04, 2017, 04:05:50 PM »

At the risk of taking this into Fictional territory, what would make the most sense to me is to extend 167 all the way to I-705 (along the new roadway and current 509 near the port), decommission or renumber the discontinuous surface street sections of 509 in Dash Point and Des Moines, and truncate 509 so it's just the freeway from its new junction with I-5 near KDM to its northern terminus.

In full agreement on this.  There's no need to have two discontinuous segments of 509 just to satisfy a legislative glitch or oversight.  As 167's ostensible purpose is to provide an alternative Seattle-Tacoma limited-access route, it may as well reach Tacoma under a single designation.
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jakeroot

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Re: Washington
« Reply #148 on: May 04, 2017, 05:15:54 PM »

At the risk of taking this into Fictional territory, what would make the most sense to me is to extend 167 all the way to I-705 (along the new roadway and current 509 near the port), decommission or renumber the discontinuous surface street sections of 509 in Dash Point and Des Moines, and truncate 509 so it's just the freeway from its new junction with I-5 near KDM to its northern terminus.

In full agreement on this.  There's no need to have two discontinuous segments of 509 just to satisfy a legislative glitch or oversight.  As 167's ostensible purpose is to provide an alternative Seattle-Tacoma limited-access route, it may as well reach Tacoma under a single designation.

I'd rather see a new number from I-705 to 512, picking up the 167 designation after that (it's basically north-south from that point to the 405). Perhaps resurrect the "514" designation?

Having 167 the entire route, you'd have a lot of misleading cardinal directions. Hwy 514 could run east-west, 167 north-south. It would make signage easier to understand, especially if you were entering the freeway anywhere west of 512. With 167, to go towards Tacoma, you'd need to take 167 South. To go to Puyallup, you'd need to take 167 North. With a Hwy 514 designation, you'd go west to Tacoma, or east to Puyallup (more or less the actual direction). You would lose that awesome 167/161 wrong-way concurrency, but I don't think that would harm anyone except us.
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sparker

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Re: Washington
« Reply #149 on: May 04, 2017, 06:06:43 PM »

At the risk of taking this into Fictional territory, what would make the most sense to me is to extend 167 all the way to I-705 (along the new roadway and current 509 near the port), decommission or renumber the discontinuous surface street sections of 509 in Dash Point and Des Moines, and truncate 509 so it's just the freeway from its new junction with I-5 near KDM to its northern terminus.

In full agreement on this.  There's no need to have two discontinuous segments of 509 just to satisfy a legislative glitch or oversight.  As 167's ostensible purpose is to provide an alternative Seattle-Tacoma limited-access route, it may as well reach Tacoma under a single designation.

I'd rather see a new number from I-705 to 512, picking up the 167 designation after that (it's basically north-south from that point to the 405). Perhaps resurrect the "514" designation?

Having 167 the entire route, you'd have a lot of misleading cardinal directions. Hwy 514 could run east-west, 167 north-south. It would make signage easier to understand, especially if you were entering the freeway anywhere west of 512. With 167, to go towards Tacoma, you'd need to take 167 South. To go to Puyallup, you'd need to take 167 North. With a Hwy 514 designation, you'd go west to Tacoma, or east to Puyallup (more or less the actual direction). You would lose that awesome 167/161 wrong-way concurrency, but I don't think that would harm anyone except us.

Actually, a reasonably good point.  Since 167 hasn't actually entered Seattle proper for many years (Tukwila says hello!), there's really no good reason to consider it a continuous Seattle-Tacoma facility; may as well have it disperse onto 512 and whatever the "south" end of 167 ends up being (your 514 idea is as good as any!).  I for one certainly have no affinity for J-shaped routes that turn northwest after proceeding south for most of their length -- unless some sort of continuity of purpose is involved -- but "suburb-to-exurb" doesn't really fit that particular bill!
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