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Author Topic: Best Freeway System  (Read 15414 times)

V'Ger

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Best Freeway System
« on: January 29, 2009, 10:26:38 PM »

We have a thread for cities with the worst freeway systems, so which ones have the best freeway systems?

I think that the best is probably San Diego.
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rawr apples

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2009, 11:58:55 PM »

Seattle is plagued with traffic. the tunnels along some freeways are nice though, beautiful scenery.
if you take the traffic out of it, I'd probably agree with you
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Revive 755

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 12:53:00 AM »

From just looking at a map, I'm going to say either Little Rock, Arkansas, or Wichita, Kansas; it doesn't look like there are any missing links, or there seem to be plans to fix them.

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Chris

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 02:35:50 AM »

I think some midwest cities like Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Wichita, Omaha, Des Moines, Little Rock, Cincinnati, Columbus, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Louisville etc.

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 03:38:48 AM »

Columbia, South Carolina seems decent enough. I've never commuted there, but everytime I've driven through its been decent. They have a beltway in there three interstates and two spurs, not to shabby for a medium sized city.

Scott5114

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 04:36:08 AM »

Oklahoma City looks nice on the map but has several deficiencies on the ground. The I-235/I-44 and I-35/I-240 interchanges are both still cloverleafs. Northbound I-35 and eastbound I-44 exit from their respective mainlines on one-lane ramps. The section of I-35 between I-40 and I-44 only has two lanes in each direction. Fortunately though Oklahoma City is still a small enough (but growing) city that apart from construction projects there aren't really any major traffic snarls at any time. At rush hour things slow down a bit but the traffic always keeps moving.
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Revive 755

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 03:19:52 PM »

I think some midwest cities like Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Wichita, Omaha, Des Moines, Little Rock, Cincinnati, Columbus, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Louisville etc.

Kansas City would be great if US 71 between I-70 and I-435 had been built as a full freeway.  In addition, a few of the interchanges are underpowered such as I-70 and I-470 and I-70 and I-435 (Missouri side).  It could also benefit from a direct connection of the Broadway Bride to I-35.

Omaha is definitely not the best.  I-80 bottlenecks down to two lanes twice, first at I-680, and then again at I-480.  I-80 runs worse during rush hour than some routes around St. Louis.  Then there's the cancellation of the West Dodge freeway, which contributes to the heavy traffic on I-80, in addition to a heavily traveled US 6 with a reversible lane.  Omaha also lacks good access to the airport, and could use a better bypass.

Des Moines could benefit from either a better bypass or an extra lane on the joint section of I-35 and I-80.  It just seems like the system for Des Moines was poorly laid out, and there should be a north-south route somewhere between I-235 and IA 5.
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corco

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 09:50:24 PM »

Seattle has a horrible, horrible freeway system due to its geography. It could be at least partially relieved by an I-605 that covers the full SR 18 corridor including Tiger Summit and then heads up towards US-2 in Monroe and then east to Everett. The South Sound is getting a nice boost though with the rebuilt SR 16 viaduct, the cross base SR 704, the upgraded-to-freeway SR 167 River Rd, and then the completion of the Des Moines part of the SR 509 freeway to I-5, but north of Seattle is pretty bad as is the downtown area. The new viaduct/tunnel whatever isn't going to help anything.

I was cruising around Denver a couple weeks ago and was fairly impressed by theirs. If they would expand C-470/NW Pkwy around the northwest quadrant all the way it would be even better, but that's OK.

My vote is for Phoenix though, especially once they complete Loop 202
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 09:53:37 PM by corco »
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haljackey

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 12:19:25 AM »

Barcelona FTW! 

Fantastic highway network!
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V'Ger

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2009, 03:26:17 PM »

See, I was going for the most efficient systems.

Has anyone mentioned Cleveland yet? I'd say the freeways there are in a very good pattern for low traffic counts.
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Chris

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2009, 03:36:14 PM »

Well, Cleveland's population has dropped from 915,000 in 1950 to 438,000 today, so most of the freeway network was probably build for a larger population.

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2009, 09:59:31 PM »

Fortunately though Oklahoma City is still a small enough (but growing) city that apart from construction projects there aren't really any major traffic snarls at any time.
I think you are forgetting about the crosstown, with the scheduled upgrade and the holes that develop in the middle of the roadway every two weeks.
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Darkchylde

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2009, 10:24:19 PM »

Best ones I've seen have been Denver, Shreveport and Topeka.

Yeah, I don't get out much. :P

Scott5114

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2009, 10:35:35 PM »

Fortunately though Oklahoma City is still a small enough (but growing) city that apart from construction projects there aren't really any major traffic snarls at any time.
I think you are forgetting about the crosstown, with the scheduled upgrade and the holes that develop in the middle of the roadway every two weeks.

Well, yes there is that...

Oh, and my previous comment jinxed me. I ended up getting stuck in a traffic jam on I-35 today that lasted from just south of I-240 all the way to the I-40 junction. Someone crashed their trailer into an abutment. :-/
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rawr apples

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2009, 10:43:38 PM »

Detroit has a pretty efficient one in terms of getting you where you need to go. Quality of some of the roads isnt the best, but its getting better.
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mrivera1

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2009, 01:46:41 AM »

I have to agree with voyager on the best freeway system.  San Diego's is clear and concise.  If you want to go to the mountains and deserts or to the beach, you take I-8, if you want to go up to the Inland Empire or down to the naval base, take I-15/CA-15.  If you want to go up to OC or the LA area, or down to Mexico and downtown, take I-5.  Mid-city is reached via I-805.  La Jolla and Santee are reached via CA-52.  Northern SD is reached via CA-163 and it covers part of mid-city as well, and the southern suburbs are reached via the combo of CA-94, CA-125, and CA-54.  CA-78 has north county covered.  San Diego, even for tourists, is easy to navigate, as all the major freeways end at points of interest or well-known areas of town.  And they are signed well.  Although traffic can be an issue, new stuff like the I-15 Express lanes are being utilized more and more to relieve it.
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V'Ger

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2009, 03:13:36 AM »

Techically, San Diego has a perfect system. There are the same number of north/south routes as east/west and they are all spread evenly into a grid.
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DrZoidberg

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2009, 12:30:38 PM »

It's been a long time, and traffic is probably more a problem now, but Minneapolis/St. Paul looks great on paper, and the few times I've driven it, I had no problems.
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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2009, 10:47:27 PM »

Harrisburg, PA

US 11, US 15, I-81, I-83, and the PA Turnpike (I-76) each go out of Harrisburg as freeways. I-283 serves a decent bypass of downtown.
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Sykotyk

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2009, 03:28:29 PM »

I'll nix Harrisburg due to that odd moment where PA-283 'ends' at I-76, and you have to exit to stay north on I-283, or exit south to hit I-76. Otherwise, you wind up on a street.

For best design, practicality, etc, I'd have to say, honestly, Atlanta gets it. Problem is its undersized for the amount of traffic (especially the loop down by the airport).

Kansas City has the odd confluence of I-29, I-35, and I-70. I-70 makes the odd jump north (where I-470 goes straight through, although as one lane eastbound under the city).

Same reason I can't say Indianapolis or Columbus. Indy has the I-70/I-65 mess. Columbus has the one-lane I-70 eastbound stretch where 70, 71, 315, and US23 (I believe) all exit for each of the four available lanes. That ranks up there with I-279 north through the Fort Pitt Tunnel into Pittsburgh.

Sykotyk
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DrZoidberg

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2009, 10:49:42 PM »

Houston looks good on a map, and is a prime example of the hub and spoke system.  It'd be interesting to see what it looks like if the Grand Parkway ever gets built.
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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2009, 06:36:13 PM »

My favs:
Cincinnati (idk why no one's mentioned it)
Columbus, OH
Worcester
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Revive 755

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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2009, 10:42:40 PM »

For best design, practicality, etc, I'd have to say, honestly, Atlanta gets it. Problem is its undersized for the amount of traffic (especially the loop down by the airport).

Atlanta would be better if I-75 and I-85 stayed separate.  Its system would be much better if I-75 had been routed up the canceled section of I-675 north of I-285, and then swung around the north side of Piedmont part to the current northern I-75/I-85 split.  I-85 should have split from its current alignment near the airport, run along US 29 and then generally run along a few railroad corridors to the northern I-75/I-85 split.  Better to have a couple smaller routes than the gigantic multiplexed section.
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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2009, 04:52:49 AM »

"Omaha is definitely not the best.  I-80 bottlenecks down to two lanes twice, first at I-680, and then again at I-480.  I-80 runs worse during rush hour than some routes around St. Louis.  Then there's the cancellation of the West Dodge freeway, which contributes to the heavy traffic on I-80, in addition to a heavily traveled US 6 with a reversible lane."

Before that two lane "bottleneck" on WB 80 @680, there's an exit for a LONNNNG CD road that drops traffic off at the following streets: W. Center Rd, I St, L St (US275/N92), and Q St.  Those remaining two lanes (after the three that go to NB 680) are enough for traffic heading straight to Lincoln :biggrin:

To be fair, traffic on 80 between 480 and 42nd St. is up to 180kVPD, so that ramp from EB 80-NB 480 can be something of a pain in the rear. Outside that, 80 between 480 and 680 has as many as 10 lanes. More than adequate for handling WB traffic, and adequate enough to replace the idea of a Midtown freeway that had no real chance of getting built.
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Re: Best Freeway System
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2009, 08:44:55 AM »

I would say virtually all large US cities have a decent freeway network compared to over here in the UK. Someone has already mentioned Columbus, OH which when heading east-west on I-70 gives you three options, I-70, 270 or 670. I travel through Columbus once a year so depending on what time of day I happen to arrive I try out a diferent route. Unfortunately here in the UK we have such a skeleton freeway system that's it's not easy to do so if a section is blocked due to an accident there's usually hardly any decent alternatives other than to use smaller roads or take a long detour.
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