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Author Topic: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood  (Read 4527 times)

brad2971

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When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« on: February 06, 2023, 09:04:54 PM »

https://ricochet.com/1382893/how-breezewood-got-that-way/

Found this at a conservative website. Yeah, it may sound like a bunch of oldsters reminiscing about the time they stopped in the town, but the original poster there kind-of sort-of got the gist of why Breezewood ended up the way it did. YMMV of course.

Interestingly, none of the commenters, so far, has mentioned that the PA Turnpike gave its patrons a crash-course in All-Electronic Tolling.
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Ellie

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2023, 09:48:32 PM »

The most disagreeable part of that page to me is (emphasis mine)

Quote
It has become a meme, particularly among Internet critics of capitalism: a half mile of commercial excess in the mountains of Pennsylvania, far from any population centers or tourist attractions.


The criticism is more that it's rather poor urban planning and that many places in the USA look somewhat like this. Breezewood has a reason to, being entirely car-oriented, but almost every US city has no inherent need to have a place like this.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2023, 08:33:17 AM »

Found this at a conservative website.

Aaaaand I lost all interest in reading it.

Not missing much, Adam did a way better article anyways:

https://www.gribblenation.org/2018/02/will-we-ever-see-breezewood-bypass.html?m=1
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hbelkins

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2023, 12:42:11 PM »

As for Breezewood itself, the best argument its existence makes is for not allowing different agencies or entities to control major transportation systems, or in the alternative, for the superior state governing authority (the legislature or the governor) to make them play nice with each other. Look at Kansas. There's no issue with I-70 traffic needing to use a busy surface road to stay on the route where I-70 diverges from the Kansas Turnpike. KTA and the Kansas DOT obviously don't have the same issues that PTC and PennDOT do.

[Removed response to removed post. -S.]
« Last Edit: February 08, 2023, 08:58:35 PM by Scott5114 »
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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2023, 12:50:20 PM »

The most disagreeable part of that page to me is (emphasis mine)

Quote
It has become a meme, particularly among Internet critics of capitalism: a half mile of commercial excess in the mountains of Pennsylvania, far from any population centers or tourist attractions.


The criticism is more that it's rather poor urban planning and that many places in the USA look somewhat like this. Breezewood has a reason to, being entirely car-oriented, but almost every US city has no inherent need to have a place like this.

If you ignore the Breezewood part of the article, many highway exits outside of urban and suburban areas are like this: Lots of places to eat, get gas and spend the night, but otherwise there's little other commerce and no one really lives nearby.  In some cases, the area has grown to be a thriving population center *because* the exit was first just a few restaurants and motels.
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abefroman329

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2023, 01:55:52 PM »

If you ignore the Breezewood part of the article, many highway exits outside of urban and suburban areas are like this: Lots of places to eat, get gas and spend the night, but otherwise there's little other commerce and no one really lives nearby.  In some cases, the area has grown to be a thriving population center *because* the exit was first just a few restaurants and motels.
But the difference is that Breezewood has an essentially captive audience that's all but forced to traverse past its truck stops and gas stations and restaurants (I don't really consider, say, taking US-220 to I-68 to get to Baltimore, DC, and points south to be a reasonable alternative when the travel times are much longer).

I don't really understand why it's so hated, by the left or the right.  The reason you don't see something like it in other countries is the fact that the cross-country road trip and its popularity is almost uniquely American.
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Duke87

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2023, 02:17:36 PM »

As for Breezewood itself, the best argument its existence makes is for not allowing different agencies or entities to control major transportation systems, or in the alternative, for the superior state governing authority (the legislature or the governor) to make them play nice with each other.

Above all that it's an argument against planning systems that give local interests precedence over state and national interests. It has nothing to do with PennDOT and PTC not playing nice at this point and everything to do with PennDOT never builds anything unless the county they're building it in wants it. Bedford County doesn't want a direct connection and the state is not willing to force one upon them.
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zzcarp

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2023, 02:28:37 PM »

If you ignore the Breezewood part of the article, many highway exits outside of urban and suburban areas are like this: Lots of places to eat, get gas and spend the night, but otherwise there's little other commerce and no one really lives nearby.  In some cases, the area has grown to be a thriving population center *because* the exit was first just a few restaurants and motels.
But the difference is that Breezewood has an essentially captive audience that's all but forced to traverse past its truck stops and gas stations and restaurants (I don't really consider, say, taking US-220 to I-68 to get to Baltimore, DC, and points south to be a reasonable alternative when the travel times are much longer).

I don't really understand why it's so hated, by the left or the right.  The reason you don't see something like it in other countries is the fact that the cross-country road trip and its popularity is almost uniquely American.

I suggest it's "hated" because it's an oddity in the system as an unplanned result of former federal policies. Ceteris paribus, to remain on an interstate highway, one should not have to drive through a congested commercial district with traffic lights. It's not a left-or-right issue there. I have seen memes that allegedly complained that this is ugly, but I don't share that opinion.
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brad2971

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2023, 10:27:42 PM »

Thanks everyone for all of your comments! The point I was trying to make is that sometimes certain things thought to be exclusive to "roadgeeks" are noticed in parts of the internet that one wouldn't think would delve into the subject. BTW, the last commenter on that Ricochet post did link to GribbleNation's Breezewood post, so there may even be some traffic clicks as a result.
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Ellie

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2023, 10:53:07 PM »

If you ignore the Breezewood part of the article, many highway exits outside of urban and suburban areas are like this: Lots of places to eat, get gas and spend the night, but otherwise there's little other commerce and no one really lives nearby.  In some cases, the area has grown to be a thriving population center *because* the exit was first just a few restaurants and motels.

Those areas don't really need to exist as such in major cities, though. They do because of policy choices we have made (such as to prioritize cars over trains as our form of intermediate distance travel). Additionally, many (likely most) of those areas mostly service locals, not simply people traveling through. Those environments tend to be rather unpleasant, sprawly, and generally not ideal, yet they exist almost everywhere. There are better options.
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roadman65

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2023, 11:48:39 PM »

If you ignore the Breezewood part of the article, many highway exits outside of urban and suburban areas are like this: Lots of places to eat, get gas and spend the night, but otherwise there's little other commerce and no one really lives nearby.  In some cases, the area has grown to be a thriving population center *because* the exit was first just a few restaurants and motels.

Those areas don't really need to exist as such in major cities, though. They do because of policy choices we have made (such as to prioritize cars over trains as our form of intermediate distance travel). Additionally, many (likely most) of those areas mostly service locals, not simply people traveling through. Those environments tend to be rather unpleasant, sprawly, and generally not ideal, yet they exist almost everywhere. There are better options.

One thing I must say, in some areas of this country they are bringing back rail service slowly. The Lackawanna Cut Off in NJ is being partially rebuilt for use and Amtrak may look into starting a NYC to Scranton train thus reopening the complete Cut Off.

Florida is currently to build regional rail connecting Miami with Orlando. Look along SR 528 east of Orlando to see. 

We need rail service back and metro area light rails are needed pronto. We need to get off using our cars except for vacations where we want to travel and see the US.
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roadman65

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2023, 12:10:34 AM »

First of all the article just explains why Pennsylvania chose not to do a direct connection to the Turnpike.  It states it doubled I-70 on the toll road to help bridge the Appalachian Mountains and it mentions how the feds didn’t want interstates ending at toll roads to sucker people into using their tolled facilities. PennDOT chose this what became a local town cashing in on traveling motorists to let people choose between free Lincoln Highway or tolled Pennsylvania Turnpike, or so they use this rationale anyway.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2023, 12:15:36 AM by roadman65 »
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Scott5114

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2023, 07:03:03 AM »

Off-topic posts removed and thread reopened. Let's keep it limited to Breezewood now, shall we?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2023, 08:57:37 PM by Scott5114 »
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LilianaUwU

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2023, 02:54:02 AM »

Anyways... as much as we hate Breezewood for being a violation of the Interstate standards... is it really THAT bad? It's a glorified rest area, basically.
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Terry Shea

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2023, 04:35:27 AM »

Anyways... as much as we hate Breezewood for being a violation of the Interstate standards... is it really THAT bad? It's a glorified rest area, basically.
I don't know of any rest areas that force you to drive through them, other than possibly for an emergency on the adjacent roadway.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2023, 10:50:01 AM »

How bad does the traffic congestion get at Breezwood? I'm guesing that I-68 helped with congestion.
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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2023, 10:53:24 AM »

I've seen it pretty backed up over the years and then "free flowing" during other times.

Not sure if it follows any pattern, especially as the strip has diminished in recent decades.
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abefroman329

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2023, 10:54:29 AM »

How bad does the traffic congestion get at Breezwood? I'm guesing that I-68 helped with congestion.
From what I understand, it's pretty bad during peak travel dates (the Sunday after Thanksgiving, for example), but I have no memory of sitting in a traffic jam.
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hbelkins

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2023, 11:08:52 AM »

Glad to see this thread reopened, because I was going to post a new thread based on a thought this thread inspired.

Why is New Stanton not like Breezewood? Why is there a direct connection between free I-70 and toll I-76 on the western end of the concurrency, if there's not one on the eastern end?
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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2023, 11:15:17 AM »

As for Breezewood itself, the best argument its existence makes is for not allowing different agencies or entities to control major transportation systems, or in the alternative, for the superior state governing authority (the legislature or the governor) to make them play nice with each other.

Above all that it's an argument against planning systems that give local interests precedence over state and national interests. It has nothing to do with PennDOT and PTC not playing nice at this point and everything to do with PennDOT never builds anything unless the county they're building it in wants it. Bedford County doesn't want a direct connection and the state is not willing to force one upon them.

I'm not sure I agree with that though. Planning shouldn't be national, local interests should be prioritized over national interests.
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abefroman329

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2023, 11:27:17 AM »

Glad to see this thread reopened, because I was going to post a new thread based on a thought this thread inspired.

Why is New Stanton not like Breezewood? Why is there a direct connection between free I-70 and toll I-76 on the western end of the concurrency, if there's not one on the eastern end?
Was that section of I-70 a toll road at one point?
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kalvado

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2023, 11:42:11 AM »

As for Breezewood itself, the best argument its existence makes is for not allowing different agencies or entities to control major transportation systems, or in the alternative, for the superior state governing authority (the legislature or the governor) to make them play nice with each other.

Above all that it's an argument against planning systems that give local interests precedence over state and national interests. It has nothing to do with PennDOT and PTC not playing nice at this point and everything to do with PennDOT never builds anything unless the county they're building it in wants it. Bedford County doesn't want a direct connection and the state is not willing to force one upon them.

I'm not sure I agree with that though. Planning shouldn't be national, local interests should be prioritized over national interests.
Probably balanced, and - sorry for using a dirty word - compromise should be searched for.  After all, it used to be "United we stand"...
With that, I have very little sympathy to "local interests" of Breezewood. That is the situation that shouldn't exist to begin with, and those interests are parasitism on other's issues.
On the same page, I have no sympathy to those who heavily borrowed against the value of NYC taxi medallions, for example. That was a gamble in a Ponzi scheme, and sorry you got in too late.
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algorerhythms

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2023, 11:56:18 AM »

Glad to see this thread reopened, because I was going to post a new thread based on a thought this thread inspired.

Why is New Stanton not like Breezewood? Why is there a direct connection between free I-70 and toll I-76 on the western end of the concurrency, if there's not one on the eastern end?
Was that section of I-70 a toll road at one point?
As I understand it, it is because the direct path for traffic coming from I-70 is a free route (US-119). In the case of Breezewood, the way this would be done would be to have a ramp off of I-70 to the turnpike, then the mainline would go to US-30, but for some reason that ramp was never built.
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abefroman329

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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2023, 11:58:50 AM »

After all, it used to be "United we stand"...
You should really look to learn about American history from places other than bumper stickers.  The Founding Fathers also had a lot to say about tyranny of the majority, majority rule and minority voice, etc.
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Re: When the Rest of the World Talks About Breezewood
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2023, 12:04:46 PM »

After all, it used to be "United we stand"...
You should really look to learn about American history from places other than bumper stickers.  The Founding Fathers also had a lot to say about tyranny of the majority, majority rule and minority voice, etc.
That's exactly why I used that C-word
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