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Author Topic: Interstate 35 border connections  (Read 5300 times)

cbeach40

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Re: Interstate 35 border connections
« Reply #50 on: October 22, 2021, 02:44:44 AM »

Would you also consider I-35 as having a border connection?  Because its south end is even closer.  Sure, it's not a freeway connection, but there are forum users (mostly from Ontario) who would vehemently argue that toll barriers and customs plazas automatically disqualify a road from being considered a freeway.

Cross traffic, pedestrian crossings, parking, driveways, fronting retail, speed bumps, barrier arms, undivided cross sections, narrow lanes, stop control, design speeds in the sub 30 mph range... when the facility has more in common with a parking lot than an interstate highway, it's by definition not a freeway through there.

What's next, you're going to argue that I-70 at Breezewood is a continuous freeway? Because that's just as accurate.


Like, a continuous free-flow facility right up to the border infrastructure has its advantages - it separates border traffic from local traffic and decreases delay on that approach. But the border infrastructure itself is deliberately designed to stop traffic, provide retail and administrative facilities, and to allow for non-through traffic to move within the facility. That's most completely antithetical design possible to what a freeway is.


So, I did some more digging, because the Pembina numbers seemed awfully low. Of course, it's because we're looking at total traffic, which naturally favors border cities.

Turns out the US DOT has a site which, among other things, returns total truck traffic by year. So I figured it was worth pulling some numbers for 2019.

...

The crossing at Pembina, ND sees, on average, 603 trucks per day. Not Detroit level (4,200 trucks per day) or Port Huron level (2,200 trucks per day), but quite a bit for a border.

Maybe stating the obvious, but as far as traffic goes, that's just inbound to the USA. The bi-directional traffic is double that of course. (Saw the Port Huron numbers and thought it was a little low, checked the Highway 402 truck volumes and they were of course almost exactly double).
« Last Edit: October 22, 2021, 02:58:51 AM by cbeach40 »
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vdeane

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Re: Interstate 35 border connections
« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2021, 01:05:08 PM »

Would you also consider I-35 as having a border connection?  Because its south end is even closer.  Sure, it's not a freeway connection, but there are forum users (mostly from Ontario) who would vehemently argue that toll barriers and customs plazas automatically disqualify a road from being considered a freeway.

Cross traffic, pedestrian crossings, parking, driveways, fronting retail, speed bumps, barrier arms, undivided cross sections, narrow lanes, stop control, design speeds in the sub 30 mph range... when the facility has more in common with a parking lot than an interstate highway, it's by definition not a freeway through there.

What's next, you're going to argue that I-70 at Breezewood is a continuous freeway? Because that's just as accurate.


Like, a continuous free-flow facility right up to the border infrastructure has its advantages - it separates border traffic from local traffic and decreases delay on that approach. But the border infrastructure itself is deliberately designed to stop traffic, provide retail and administrative facilities, and to allow for non-through traffic to move within the facility. That's most completely antithetical design possible to what a freeway is.
How much of that "non-through" traffic is really non-thru and not just part of the administration of the facility?  I would call that a dividing line.  Stuff like Breezewood has at-grades between different roads and driveways from private businesses.  I'd consider the Duty Free shops (which are just as often off the last exit as on the road, at least in NY) to be like service areas (not great ones, but we have stuff like that in NYC).  Many of the other features are just like the old toll barriers that used to be all over the Thruway and around bridges/tunnels in NYC (aside from speed bumps - are those really being used now?  I know Mexico had them but I don't recall US/Canadian customs plazas using them).

I wouldn't be surprised if the reason why this debate seems to flare up with forum members from Ontario and nowhere else is because the US grandfathered so much stuff into the interstate system, whereas Ontario had the luxury of being pedantic about standards because the network was built from the ground up and serves Ontario's interests and nobody else's.  Plus you guys didn't have much in the way of toll facilities before the electronic tolling era (border bridges and formerly the QEW bridge in Hamilton is all I can think of off the top of my head), so that precedent isn't there either.

Given how many interstates and freeways have maintenance facilities right on the road, getting that pedantic about what is and isn't a freeway would cause issues over here.  Heck, if we really wanted to get down into the weeds, we could count this.  Sure, it's authorized vehicles only, but that's pretty much how a parking lot attached to a customs building is.  You're only using it if you work there or got sent there for additional questioning or to pay duties.  It's not like a home or business.  Lots of toll roads in the US used to put tandem lots at the plazas.  That has certainly required people to get creative in the AET era.

I don't know how much of your post was about my comment regarding I-35 rather than the reference to the argument in the Detroit Bridge Wars thread (I'll admit, I should have said "interstate/freeway quality" rather than "interstate standards" in that one, which gets the point across without getting bogged down in the minutiae), but if it was, I was just trying to point out that one can't say "it gets within 2/3 of a mile, it's close enough to count as an interstate to the border" because I-35 gets even closer but very obviously doesn't go to the border since the freeway ends and there are a bunch of traffic lights.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2021, 01:13:13 PM by vdeane »
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