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Author Topic: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming  (Read 16578 times)

zachary_amaryllis

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #150 on: December 03, 2022, 08:30:04 PM »

Still think the cheapest option is to build a truck bypass of Laramie and then leave the road as-is for a closure alternate route.

I don't think it needs to be a full freeway, but four-laning US 30 from Walcott to Laramie would be good when the interstate does close due to weather.
Rock River to Bosler is actually already 4-lane divided (it's surreal to drive, an interstate-quality road with no traffic whatsoever if you hit it right).

Another issue with this plan that I just thought of is Telephone Canyon east of Laramie, which is an under-reported closure area. In my experience, if I-80 west from Laramie was closed, usually I-80 east was as well. Upgrading US 30 so that the Snow Chi Minh Trail can be avoided only means the trucks get stuck in Laramie instead of Rawlins.

Just curious. When all that happens, does US 287 between Laramie and Fort Collins also typically close. I'm guessing it does, but if it's open it does give long distance traffic an alternative as drivers can then head east on I-70 instead of I-80.

Many times they will both close, but not always. Only I-80 will close many times and I will have to take the long way around to get from Cheyenne to Laramie via Owl Canyon near Ft. Collins

Seems like CO and WY don't always communcate about this. There have been times when 287 is closed in colorado (I live west on 14, and make my turn right at the closure point in CO), but open in WY, and vice versa.
When I was in Laramie, they seemed like they were lined up pretty well. I would go to church in Fort Collins, so I'm familiar with the fun times of 287. I ran the inaugural Narrowleaf Lake Run 4 Mile in Loveland, and a blizzard forced me to go back to Laramie via Ault, Cheyenne, and Wheatland (that was an adventure!)
I made a semi-frenetic video of myself driving there. Sped up the video (if my math is right, scale speed is 160 or so mph), and set it to a face-melting soundtrack. If you're feeling adventurous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHMmNCXlsHk

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.
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davewiecking

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #151 on: December 03, 2022, 09:49:03 PM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
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zachary_amaryllis

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #152 on: December 04, 2022, 06:30:13 AM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
A lot of people have been. As far as I can tell (because I wondered about that when I drove that day), that's a legit legal move, at least in Colorado. My understanding is that it varies state-to-state whether you can pass in the face of oncoming liike that. Colorado does that 3-lane thing a lot, and that's legit here. It can be a little un-nerving if you're not expecting it, but that's a textbook case of "KREPT, and this is why".
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #153 on: December 04, 2022, 09:36:55 AM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
A lot of people have been. As far as I can tell (because I wondered about that when I drove that day), that's a legit legal move, at least in Colorado. My understanding is that it varies state-to-state whether you can pass in the face of oncoming liike that. Colorado does that 3-lane thing a lot, and that's legit here. It can be a little un-nerving if you're not expecting it, but that's a textbook case of "KREPT, and this is why".

I wasn’t aware this was legal anywhere. It definitely isn’t in Utah, which is full of signs proclaiming “no passing when oncoming traffic is in either lane” and I’ve seen other variants of the sign in other places as well. Could swear I’ve seen something to that effect in Colorado, but maybe not…

zachary_amaryllis

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #154 on: December 04, 2022, 10:29:49 AM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
A lot of people have been. As far as I can tell (because I wondered about that when I drove that day), that's a legit legal move, at least in Colorado. My understanding is that it varies state-to-state whether you can pass in the face of oncoming liike that. Colorado does that 3-lane thing a lot, and that's legit here. It can be a little un-nerving if you're not expecting it, but that's a textbook case of "KREPT, and this is why".

I wasn’t aware this was legal anywhere. It definitely isn’t in Utah, which is full of signs proclaiming “no passing when oncoming traffic is in either lane” and I’ve seen other variants of the sign in other places as well. Could swear I’ve seen something to that effect in Colorado, but maybe not…

This is a little intriguing. The Colo driver's manual makes no reference to that situation, other than 'if the dotted line is on your side, you can pass if safe to do so". Signage in those areas really just says 'KREPT' on the uphill (two lane) side, and nothing other than the dotted line on the downhill side. My read is that it's legit, unless unsafe to do so. I've personally done it a million times, and works well given the huge visibility in these areas.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #155 on: December 04, 2022, 10:45:38 AM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
A lot of people have been. As far as I can tell (because I wondered about that when I drove that day), that's a legit legal move, at least in Colorado. My understanding is that it varies state-to-state whether you can pass in the face of oncoming liike that. Colorado does that 3-lane thing a lot, and that's legit here. It can be a little un-nerving if you're not expecting it, but that's a textbook case of "KREPT, and this is why".

I wasn’t aware this was legal anywhere. It definitely isn’t in Utah, which is full of signs proclaiming “no passing when oncoming traffic is in either lane” and I’ve seen other variants of the sign in other places as well. Could swear I’ve seen something to that effect in Colorado, but maybe not…

Michigan has similar signs, but I think they may be disappearing as sign replacements are done (M-115 specifically comes to mind) so I wonder if the law has changed here.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #156 on: December 04, 2022, 10:53:52 AM »

The reason I think it's really dangerous to allow such a maneuver is that if I'm driving in the right lane on the 2-lane half and I'm behind a slow car, if I have a dashed white line on my left, I should not have to look for conflicting oncoming traffic ahead of me. I would think people who might want to cross a dotted white line should have priority over people who might want to cross a dotted yellow, especially because the passing lanes are often coordinated with terrain where there's more likely to be slower traffic.

If you allow that, you might as well stripe it as a true suicide passing lane where neither direction has the right of way, which I can't imagine is allowed in the US anymore...

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #157 on: December 04, 2022, 11:01:43 AM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
A lot of people have been. As far as I can tell (because I wondered about that when I drove that day), that's a legit legal move, at least in Colorado. My understanding is that it varies state-to-state whether you can pass in the face of oncoming liike that. Colorado does that 3-lane thing a lot, and that's legit here. It can be a little un-nerving if you're not expecting it, but that's a textbook case of "KREPT, and this is why".

I wasn’t aware this was legal anywhere. It definitely isn’t in Utah, which is full of signs proclaiming “no passing when oncoming traffic is in either lane” and I’ve seen other variants of the sign in other places as well. Could swear I’ve seen something to that effect in Colorado, but maybe not…

This is a little intriguing. The Colo driver's manual makes no reference to that situation, other than 'if the dotted line is on your side, you can pass if safe to do so". Signage in those areas really just says 'KREPT' on the uphill (two lane) side, and nothing other than the dotted line on the downhill side. My read is that it's legit, unless unsafe to do so. I've personally done it a million times, and works well given the huge visibility in these areas.

Was it a dashed line for the other side? I thought it was a double yellow, but looking at it closely, I suppose it could be either.
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zachary_amaryllis

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #158 on: December 04, 2022, 11:35:51 AM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
A lot of people have been. As far as I can tell (because I wondered about that when I drove that day), that's a legit legal move, at least in Colorado. My understanding is that it varies state-to-state whether you can pass in the face of oncoming liike that. Colorado does that 3-lane thing a lot, and that's legit here. It can be a little un-nerving if you're not expecting it, but that's a textbook case of "KREPT, and this is why".

I wasn’t aware this was legal anywhere. It definitely isn’t in Utah, which is full of signs proclaiming “no passing when oncoming traffic is in either lane” and I’ve seen other variants of the sign in other places as well. Could swear I’ve seen something to that effect in Colorado, but maybe not…

This is a little intriguing. The Colo driver's manual makes no reference to that situation, other than 'if the dotted line is on your side, you can pass if safe to do so". Signage in those areas really just says 'KREPT' on the uphill (two lane) side, and nothing other than the dotted line on the downhill side. My read is that it's legit, unless unsafe to do so. I've personally done it a million times, and works well given the huge visibility in these areas.

Was it a dashed line for the other side? I thought it was a double yellow, but looking at it closely, I suppose it could be either.
It was. Usually in the 3-lane sections, unless there's a good reason for there NOT to allow a pass, it's dashed. This was nearing the top of a long grade.

Quick edit: Colorado driver's manual https://drive.google.com/file/d/1r9ZJQ8QWzRFe1gvdfA9fGNrssAO-sCmb/view
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zachary_amaryllis

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #159 on: December 04, 2022, 11:50:06 AM »

The reason I think it's really dangerous to allow such a maneuver is that if I'm driving in the right lane on the 2-lane half and I'm behind a slow car, if I have a dashed white line on my left, I should not have to look for conflicting oncoming traffic ahead of me. I would think people who might want to cross a dotted white line should have priority over people who might want to cross a dotted yellow, especially because the passing lanes are often coordinated with terrain where there's more likely to be slower traffic.

If you allow that, you might as well stripe it as a true suicide passing lane where neither direction has the right of way, which I can't imagine is allowed in the US anymore...

And I can see this being why it's not universally allowed. On roads like this, at least out here, they're wide open, even going down the mountain passes, you have great sight distance, and not huge amounts of oncoming traffic. We all saw each other, and it was a non-event. I can see this being very different, say out east, or in more populated areas. People who have ridden with me, who aren't from around here have looked at me oddly when I've made this sort of pass.

One thing that almost seems undefined, is which side has priority? My read, is the uphill side (who has a white-dashed line) has priority, meaning it's incumbent on the downhill side to yield.

On the mountain passes, sometimes one gets behind a truck who in many cases has different speed constraints than I do. This specific area isn't the case, but Wolf Creek has a different speed limit for cars and trucks. I have a little more maneuverability etc. in a smaller car, so I can zip around him when safe to do so, and happens all the time without incident. The car coming uphill sees this, is hopefully KREPT-ing (and on the passes, pretty much everyone does), and it's really a non-event. If I look down, and see a pass taking place on the uphill side, then I just wait.

unrelated, but sort of related: To the truck drivers who manage to keep their s--t together on these passes, the utmost in respect.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #160 on: December 04, 2022, 02:34:28 PM »


I made a semi-frenetic video of myself driving there. Sped up the video (if my math is right, scale speed is 160 or so mph), and set it to a face-melting soundtrack. If you're feeling adventurous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHMmNCXlsHk

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.
Thanks for sharing this. I rather enjoyed it, and I'm not one who is a fan of the sped up and played in conjunction with music type of road videos that are rather prolific on YouTube. There was a few songs that I hadn't heard in a long time, including Ministry "Just One Fix" I had completely forgotten about that song, but was quickly reminded as it began. The scenery was enjoyable as well.  :nod:

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #161 on: December 04, 2022, 04:01:33 PM »

Michigan has similar signs, but I think they may be disappearing as sign replacements are done (M-115 specifically comes to mind) so I wonder if the law has changed here.

No. Basically, nothing has changed. Doesn't matter which lane opposing traffic is in - it's still opposing traffic.

257.638 Overtaking and passing on left of another vehicle; violation as civil infraction.

Sec. 638.
  (1) A vehicle shall not be driven to the left side of the center of a 2-lane highway or in the center lane of a 3-lane highway in overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless the left side or center lane is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit the overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the safe operation of a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction or the vehicle overtaken.
  (2) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.


https://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(yk33jqbo4cxxzw0pidzsubag))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-257-638
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #162 on: December 04, 2022, 04:21:36 PM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
A lot of people have been. As far as I can tell (because I wondered about that when I drove that day), that's a legit legal move, at least in Colorado. My understanding is that it varies state-to-state whether you can pass in the face of oncoming liike that. Colorado does that 3-lane thing a lot, and that's legit here. It can be a little un-nerving if you're not expecting it, but that's a textbook case of "KREPT, and this is why".

Relevant section from that Colorado driver handbook:

Do not pass:
- If you cannot safely return to the right-hand side
before coming within 200 feet of an oncoming vehicle,
including a bicyclist in the oncoming lane or shoulder.


That Prius clearly is breaking the law here. You're the oncoming vehicle. Said Prius driver is blatantly within that 200 foot limit.

The explanation in the driver handbook is not clear that it applies to both oncoming lanes, but it doesn't clearly exclude it either.
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zachary_amaryllis

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #163 on: December 04, 2022, 08:49:28 PM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
A lot of people have been. As far as I can tell (because I wondered about that when I drove that day), that's a legit legal move, at least in Colorado. My understanding is that it varies state-to-state whether you can pass in the face of oncoming liike that. Colorado does that 3-lane thing a lot, and that's legit here. It can be a little un-nerving if you're not expecting it, but that's a textbook case of "KREPT, and this is why".

Relevant section from that Colorado driver handbook:

Do not pass:
- If you cannot safely return to the right-hand side
before coming within 200 feet of an oncoming vehicle,
including a bicyclist in the oncoming lane or shoulder.


That Prius clearly is breaking the law here. You're the oncoming vehicle. Said Prius driver is blatantly within that 200 foot limit.

The explanation in the driver handbook is not clear that it applies to both oncoming lanes, but it doesn't clearly exclude it either.
I read that part too, and it seemed vague. Oh well. It occurs to me that I encounter a state trooper all the time at Teds when I get coffee -- next time I see him I'll ask where he's at. It's actually an interesting question because if you're right, I've been a bad man.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #164 on: December 04, 2022, 09:04:12 PM »

It's a fun ride, tho the Camry is not the fastest thing on the hills. I think the weather on the Laramie side of the hill can be vastly different than the weather on my side of the hill, too.

Mildly amused by the white minivan on your side of the double yellow at about 3:10…
A lot of people have been. As far as I can tell (because I wondered about that when I drove that day), that's a legit legal move, at least in Colorado. My understanding is that it varies state-to-state whether you can pass in the face of oncoming liike that. Colorado does that 3-lane thing a lot, and that's legit here. It can be a little un-nerving if you're not expecting it, but that's a textbook case of "KREPT, and this is why".

Relevant section from that Colorado driver handbook:

Do not pass:
- If you cannot safely return to the right-hand side
before coming within 200 feet of an oncoming vehicle,
including a bicyclist in the oncoming lane or shoulder.


That Prius clearly is breaking the law here. You're the oncoming vehicle. Said Prius driver is blatantly within that 200 foot limit.

The explanation in the driver handbook is not clear that it applies to both oncoming lanes, but it doesn't clearly exclude it either.
I read that part too, and it seemed vague. Oh well. It occurs to me that I encounter a state trooper all the time at Teds when I get coffee -- next time I see him I'll ask where he's at. It's actually an interesting question because if you're right, I've been a bad man.
Nearly everyone who's lived in that area has been bad then (including me once or twice).
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #165 on: December 05, 2022, 10:19:47 PM »

Well, the simple solution would be simply to stripe the lane double yellow solid, indicating no passing from either direction. But they don't. So it seems to me that they're allowing passing into the faux chicken lane in that instance.

"Within 200 feet of an oncoming vehicle" seems quite vague. An oncoming vehicle in the adjacent lane? In any lane? I don't think troopers would ever ticket for it, and if they did, it'd be an interesting court session.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #166 on: December 06, 2022, 02:47:02 AM »

Well, the simple solution would be simply to stripe the lane double yellow solid, indicating no passing from either direction. But they don't. So it seems to me that they're allowing passing into the faux chicken lane in that instance.
The problem with that, and I’ve encountered this a lot in Texas particularly, is that when you stripe it double solid when there’s two lanes in the other direction, you could be on the single lane side, on a straightaway for miles, no cars in the other directions, but not allowed to pass. Sometimes for 2-4 mile at a time, or it doesn’t ever give your side a passing lane.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #167 on: December 11, 2022, 09:59:44 AM »

Well, the simple solution would be simply to stripe the lane double yellow solid, indicating no passing from either direction. But they don't. So it seems to me that they're allowing passing into the faux chicken lane in that instance.
The problem with that, and I’ve encountered this a lot in Texas particularly, is that when you stripe it double solid when there’s two lanes in the other direction, you could be on the single lane side, on a straightaway for miles, no cars in the other directions, but not allowed to pass. Sometimes for 2-4 mile at a time, or it doesn’t ever give your side a passing lane.
For 287 in particular, this wouldn't be a problem; I don't think there was a time I took it and there wasn't consistent traffic going the other direction (not super heavy, but consistent).
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #168 on: December 11, 2022, 10:43:40 AM »

Well, the simple solution would be simply to stripe the lane double yellow solid, indicating no passing from either direction. But they don't. So it seems to me that they're allowing passing into the faux chicken lane in that instance.
The problem with that, and I’ve encountered this a lot in Texas particularly, is that when you stripe it double solid when there’s two lanes in the other direction, you could be on the single lane side, on a straightaway for miles, no cars in the other directions, but not allowed to pass. Sometimes for 2-4 mile at a time, or it doesn’t ever give your side a passing lane.
For 287 in particular, this wouldn't be a problem; I don't think there was a time I took it and there wasn't consistent traffic going the other direction (not super heavy, but consistent).

287 really should just be four lanes the whole way from Laramie to Fort Collins. Wyoming has made a decent start at that. Colorado has not.

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #169 on: December 11, 2022, 04:46:30 PM »

Well, the simple solution would be simply to stripe the lane double yellow solid, indicating no passing from either direction. But they don't. So it seems to me that they're allowing passing into the faux chicken lane in that instance.
The problem with that, and I’ve encountered this a lot in Texas particularly, is that when you stripe it double solid when there’s two lanes in the other direction, you could be on the single lane side, on a straightaway for miles, no cars in the other directions, but not allowed to pass. Sometimes for 2-4 mile at a time, or it doesn’t ever give your side a passing lane.
For 287 in particular, this wouldn't be a problem; I don't think there was a time I took it and there wasn't consistent traffic going the other direction (not super heavy, but consistent).

287 really should just be four lanes the whole way from Laramie to Fort Collins. Wyoming has made a decent start at that. Colorado has not.
I've never understood that, but am willing to defer to someone who knows more than I.

Like, was CO so strapped for cash at the time, that they could only afford to add passing lanes in some areas? That road all the way through, is this weird mishmosh of passing lanes, and 2-lanes. I agree with 89 - consistent, but not necessarily always thick. The day I took that drive was the day of the Border War, so southbound was a little thicker than usual.

And they really seem to get that people get aggressive through here. There's all kinds of 'passing lane x-miles' signs, at the end of the passing lanes. Almost like CDOT's going 'ok, you'll get 'im on the next one ... patience..'

But yeah. 4-lane it. And fix the weird undulations on the NB side just S of Teds.
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zzcarp

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #170 on: December 11, 2022, 04:59:51 PM »

Well, the simple solution would be simply to stripe the lane double yellow solid, indicating no passing from either direction. But they don't. So it seems to me that they're allowing passing into the faux chicken lane in that instance.
The problem with that, and I’ve encountered this a lot in Texas particularly, is that when you stripe it double solid when there’s two lanes in the other direction, you could be on the single lane side, on a straightaway for miles, no cars in the other directions, but not allowed to pass. Sometimes for 2-4 mile at a time, or it doesn’t ever give your side a passing lane.
For 287 in particular, this wouldn't be a problem; I don't think there was a time I took it and there wasn't consistent traffic going the other direction (not super heavy, but consistent).

287 really should just be four lanes the whole way from Laramie to Fort Collins. Wyoming has made a decent start at that. Colorado has not.
I've never understood that, but am willing to defer to someone who knows more than I.

Like, was CO so strapped for cash at the time, that they could only afford to add passing lanes in some areas? That road all the way through, is this weird mishmosh of passing lanes, and 2-lanes. I agree with 89 - consistent, but not necessarily always thick. The day I took that drive was the day of the Border War, so southbound was a little thicker than usual.

And they really seem to get that people get aggressive through here. There's all kinds of 'passing lane x-miles' signs, at the end of the passing lanes. Almost like CDOT's going 'ok, you'll get 'im on the next one ... patience..'

But yeah. 4-lane it. And fix the weird undulations on the NB side just S of Teds.

CDOT leadership is anti-road and anti-highway. 287 will likely never be four-laned, but there will be another municipal bike path that CDOT funds instead.
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zachary_amaryllis

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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #171 on: December 15, 2022, 07:43:00 AM »

By way of an update: Talked to the state trooper I always see at Teds. He confirms, that the Prius in question was in fact, in violation (showed him the video), but unless such pass is being done in a blatantly unsafe way, he does not enforce it.

When I asked what 'blatantly unsafe' meant to him, he said that he would not have bothered the Prius, since no one had to dodge/brake/dive for the ditch/etc, and everyone was KREPT-ing. He also said, other troopers might see this differently.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #172 on: December 16, 2022, 04:10:03 AM »

By way of an update: Talked to the state trooper I always see at Teds. He confirms, that the Prius in question was in fact, in violation (showed him the video), but unless such pass is being done in a blatantly unsafe way, he does not enforce it.

When I asked what 'blatantly unsafe' meant to him, he said that he would not have bothered the Prius, since no one had to dodge/brake/dive for the ditch/etc, and everyone was KREPT-ing. He also said, other troopers might see this differently.

I'm going to hazard a guess that his counterparts in Michigan and Wisconsin would also "see this differently". But clearly it's enough of a convention that people in Colorado expect it and drive accordingly. Ditto for driving on the paved shoulder to allow slower traffic to pass - very common in Texas, but nonexistent in my neck of the woods.

And they really seem to get that people get aggressive through here. There's all kinds of 'passing lane x-miles' signs, at the end of the passing lanes. Almost like CDOT's going 'ok, you'll get 'im on the next one ... patience..'

MDOT (Michigan) is similarly aggressive with these signs and the frequency of passing lanes on US-2 between Escanaba and St. Ignace. I will say the aggressive 4-lane passing lane buildout has made this stretch far less road-rage inducing than it once was, and the reminder signs are helpful in planning your next passing attempt.

MDOT also at one point had to post signs reminding folks that US-2 is not a freeway. For most WBD US-2 travelers, US-2 is the first long stretch of non-Interstate highway they've driven in several hours. It's also wide (with fully paved shoulders) and fairly level, so drivers are prone to speed. At the time, it was posted for 55 (it's now 65), so driving at 70+mph there guaranteed you a speeding ticket from the State Police.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #173 on: December 16, 2022, 12:26:15 PM »

I'm going to hazard a guess that his counterparts in Michigan and Wisconsin would also "see this differently". But clearly it's enough of a convention that people in Colorado expect it and drive accordingly. Ditto for driving on the paved shoulder to allow slower traffic to pass - very common in Texas, but nonexistent in my neck of the woods.

When it comes to Wisconsin, they seem to encourage left lane camping and discourage anything associated with expedient driving. People up here literally get pissed off if passed in a passing zone, and you've politely signaled while doing it. The cops are no different. I once got pulled over on I-94 near Osseo for doing 77 in a 70! Talk about being a dick.  And the trooper's effeminate cheesehead accent didn't help matters as far as creating a positive impression either. So, I have no doubt that you speak the truth.  That said, Colorado drivers are also 10 times more skilled than Wisconsinites. And I've lived in both.
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Re: I-80 Reroute in Wyoming
« Reply #174 on: March 06, 2023, 12:18:42 AM »

A column by editor Bill Sniffin ran in the Cowboy State Daily about the controversial section of I-80 between Walcott Junction and Laramie including a brief history of its nickname as well as challenges with keeping it open during the winter: https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/12/08/bill-sniffin-worst-winter-road-in-america-who-named-our-snow-chi-minh-trail/

Here are some excerpts:

Quote
“Dear God, please help us get through this awful mess of a highway. If you get us through safely, so help me, we will never do anything bad again.”

Prayers like this and many more variants emanate from folks in a long line of cars stranded in blizzards on a horrible stretch of winter highway dubbed the “Snow Chi Minh Trail” – aka Interstate 80.

Like so many Wyomingites, our family has been there so many times.

This area is commonly referred to in the last four decades as the “Snow Chi Minh Trail.” Where did that name come from? ...

John Waggener, an archivist and historian for the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming, is my go-to expert. He wrote the recent best-selling book “Snow Chi Minh Trail,” and he now has tracked down the origin of the name. ...

With his latest research, he now cites famed Denver Post columnist Red Fenwick with referring to the road as follows. Fenwick wrote it is a “White Elephant,” of course referring to the snow and to a road that Wyoming now had to deal with. He called it the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Then, pointing to the Vietnam reference, he said folks in the Laramie-Rawlins area “call it that not because it is so frequently bombed, but because southern Wyomingites are convinced that the engineers who designed it were bombed. ‘Bombed’ is a silly synonym for plastered, zonked, crocked.’”

Fenwick wrote this Feb. 21, 1971. ...

Wyoming people have complained for 51 years about the location of the road. Anybody with local knowledge knew that the current mountain route was a disaster, especially in the six months of winter. They all preferred the current route of U.S. Highway 30.     

Waggener has done more research than anyone on that road and he recently sent me a few more nuggets that he thought would be interesting to our readers.

For example, Waggener writes:

“I had heard stories about an earlier survey for a route that was even closer to the mountain! I did find a reference to this, so I did make note in my book but nothing more than that. However, since my book came out in the fall of 2020, I have now confirmed there was such a survey. I even was given the actual survey roll by one of the survey crew members. I have made a scan of a portion of it and it is published here.

“This survey shows the Feds actually had a proposal to locate the road south of the town of Elk Mountain. The road literally would have passed at the foot of Elk Mountain via Halleck Pass. The road would have been several miles closer to Elk Mountain where the snow and blowing snow impact would have been even greater.

“You will see on the late 1950s survey a red line, which is the route that eventually was selected and a proposed ‘blue line’ that passes south of the town of Elk Mountain.”

It is hard to imagine the level of stubbornness that would cause national officials to make these stupid decisions about the site of the roadway. We all have paid the price for this ever since.

This column points back to earlier statements Mr. Sniffin made about Interstate 80 in a November 2022 article also referenced here: https://cowboystatedaily.com/2022/11/29/bill-sniffin-terrifying-tales-of-treacherous-driving-on-interstate-80-in-the-winter-time/. He spoke with historian John Waggener to learn more about the route of I-80 through this area:

Quote
And then there is John Waggener’s great book about Interstate 80, which he calls the Snow Chi Minh Trail, explains why federal highway officials picked the mountainous site rather than the longer U.S. Highway 30 route.

He recalls there were some very stubborn federal officials, headed by a rockhead named Frank Turner, who were obsessed with the new road cutting off 19 “unnecessary miles,” compared to the route used by U. S. 30 through Rock River and Medicine Bow.

He writes that Wyoming people fought valiantly in the 1960s to keep the new road out of the mountains. The federal people would not listen to them and threatened to not build it, unless it could be built on their route through the mountains.

Waggener says there are other places in Wyoming along Interstate 80 that offer problems, such as the summit between Laramie and Cheyenne, but nothing compares to that daunting 77-mile trip from Laramie to Walcott Junction.

Old-timers recall a famous CBS TV newsman named Charles Kuralt, whose specialty was traveling the country and reporting on out-of-the-way places.

He famously declared that the stretch from Laramie-Walcott Junction was “the worst stretch of interstate highway in America.”

Waggener also discloses the Union Pacific Railroad chose not to build along this route because of the obvious wind and the snow issues. 

He reveals studies, which explained why there are such vicious winds near the Elk Mountain area. Due to the gap next to the mountain being the lowest elevation of the Rocky Mountains, wind blows at abnormally high velocities as the air rushes through there, causing havoc in the roads and stirring up the large amounts of snow that pile up.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2023, 12:39:18 AM by andy3175 »
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