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National Boards => General Highway Talk => Topic started by: Michael on March 28, 2019, 09:38:52 PM

Title: Poor Road Design
Post by: Michael on March 28, 2019, 09:38:52 PM
I came across two situations while driving yesterday that prompted me to make this topic.  I didn't think they fit in any of the redesign threads, so I figured I'd make this topic.

The first thing is the angle of departure on this ramp (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0372547,-76.0566297,3a,44.8y,215.55h,89.61t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-HL8gkPWgkaYd7WpcxCAng!2e0!7i13312!8i6656).  Yesterday was the first time I drove it, and I can't recall ever being on it as a passenger.  As I approached the curve, I quickly realized that I wasn't slowing down enough by coasting, so I hit the brakes.  As I reached the striping at the gore, I thought there should be chevrons and an advisory speed sign like the ones at this interchange (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1121128,-76.2867138,3a,42.5y,293.19h,88.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbD2gHmHo4GeXvbNNGSSuxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656).  If you pan to the right in my first Street View link, there is an exit advisory speed sign, but that's it.  When I take the next ramp in the interchange, I normally don't have to hit the brakes until where the middle car is in this (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.032797,-76.0604666,3a,49.7y,221.1h,85.41t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqmlC1yGoFPrufloPshVgYA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656) Street View image.  It is weird though since after looking at both ramps in satellite view, they look like they have the same departure angle.  My guess as to why the first ramp is so tight is that the area around I-481 is classified as a wetland by the DEC.

After exiting I-481, I turned onto Erie Blvd.  After the right turn lane begins, there's a side street, but the lane continues to Erie Blvd.  It's obvious in the Street View image (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0342531,-76.0627505,3a,29.1y,290.68h,94.29t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6dyGJSC9zdiO668BGQZbIA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656), but between being lower than the Street View camera and looking toward the sun, it was hard to tell if my lane continued or not.  I could barely see the lane lines continue, but I figured it had to continue since the overhead sign said the lane was for Erie Blvd.
Title: Re: Poor Road Design
Post by: Rothman on March 28, 2019, 09:53:09 PM
Sounds more like driver error than bad design.
Title: Re: Poor Road Design
Post by: Max Rockatansky on March 28, 2019, 10:19:50 PM
Could be worse, we still have a bunch of classic right-on/right-off ramps on CA 99.  Granted when said ramps were built they certainly were not considered a poor design.  Really there isnít much objective criteria other than traffic accident statistics (personally I donít think lack of adherence to Interstate standards is by default a bad design) that would denote a truly poor design.  Subjectively I can think of a ton of examples too numerous to list. 
Title: Re: Poor Road Design
Post by: TheStranger on March 28, 2019, 10:32:10 PM
The infamous EDSA arterial belt route in Metro Manila is essentially a Santa Clara County-style expressway that did not have land access managed well over a 25-30 year period, turning what should have been a local bypass into a perpetually choked link to multiple major commercial districts (particularly the Ortigas/Megamall complex in Mandaluyong & Pasig and the North EDSA mall in Quezon City).  Bus terminals with at-grade access to the avenue and lots of dense business frontages with no parking setback have led to needing multiple rail transit and new-build freeway projects (Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, NLEX Harbor Link/NLEX-SLEX Connector) to try to alleviate the overstressed corridor.
Title: Re: Poor Road Design
Post by: Michael on March 29, 2019, 08:46:00 PM
Sounds more like driver error than bad design.

In my defense, I was able to apply the brakes normally since I quickly realized just coasting wasn't slowing me down fast enough. :)  Based on this (https://www.mapdevelopers.com/draw-circle-tool.php?circles=%5B%5B121.92%2C43.0377899%2C-76.0580106%2C%22%23AAAAAA%22%2C%22%23000000%22%2C0.4%5D%2C%5B121.92%2C43.0353549%2C-76.0586544%2C%22%23AAAAAA%22%2C%22%23000000%22%2C0.4%5D%5D), it looks like each curve has a 400 foot radius.  Most loop ramps I've seen have at least a 500 foot radius.  Also, there's a pretty short deceleration lane (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0374212,-76.0566032,172m/data=!3m1!1e3).  I'm surprised that at this interchange (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1412098,-76.1126427,685m/data=!3m1!1e3) if I start coasting on I-81 north a bit before the east to north loop comes in, I don't have to hit my brakes at all on the north to west loop.  By the time I get to where the loop tightens, I've slowed down to 25 MPH just by coasting.

Could be worse, we still have a bunch of classic right-on/right-off ramps on CA 99.  Granted when said ramps were built they certainly were not considered a poor design.  Really there isnít much objective criteria other than traffic accident statistics (personally I donít think lack of adherence to Interstate standards is by default a bad design) that would denote a truly poor design.  Subjectively I can think of a ton of examples too numerous to list. 

I've seen various tight RIROs in CA on Street View, and they look horrible.  On the way to a wedding last fall, I went by the (in?)famous Exit 111 RIRO (https://www.google.com/maps/@41.6067738,-74.5652077,3a,49.3y,147.57h,85.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sDyxAmLNMKkkCRv8_3FbO8g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656) on NY 17, and it looks much worse in person.  The ramps at Exit 122 are pretty bad too, and I posted about them in the NY 17/I-86 thread:

In early October of last year, I was on NY 17 eastbound from Binghamton until Exit 124 in Goshen on the way to a friend's wedding.  I was surprised at how suddenly the amount of traffic increased heading down the hill before Exit 120 in Middletown.  Traffic was a bit heavy at times, but kept moving.  We went between Exit 120 and Exit 122 a few times because the hotel we spent the night at was one of the ones at Exit 122.  The RIRO ramps at Exit 122 for NY 17 westbound were super tight, and I was surprised that they weren't changed from their original design since the interchange was redesigned in 2015 according to Historic Aerials.