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Author Topic: Traffic Report Geography  (Read 3093 times)

jon daly

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Traffic Report Geography
« on: August 13, 2018, 07:47:03 PM »

I'm mentioning a couple of places you won't find on a map, but you will hear mentioned on traffic reports.

1. Sunset Ridge - This is a subdivision in East Hartford, Conn. which is next to a stretch of I-84. If you happen to be heading west on I-84 at the right time, you can see the sun setting over Hartford.

2. The Canyons - These are cuts in Cranston RI where I-295 goes between some rock formations.  I don't think that they're particularly canyonesque, but they have that nickname.

The former is a natural feature. The latter is semi-man-made, but I still think of it as more of a geographic feature than, say, the Mixmaster in Waterbury, Conn. which is totally artificial.

Does anyone have any other examples they'd like to add? The only other city whose traffic reports I'm familiar with is NYC (I can still pull in WCBS 880,) but I haven't listened to them much recently.
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abefroman329

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 07:56:31 PM »

I think they still give travel times to/from “the Post Office” even though USPS hasn’t occupied the building the Eisenhower runs through for decades.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 09:10:26 PM »

Twin Cities terms

"Fish Lake" - the northwest I-94/494/694 junction in Maple Grove
"The River" - used to refer to either the Minnesota or Mississippi, depends on the context of the report being given; reports generally just say things like "X minutes from route X to the river" expecting commuters to know which one is being referred to based on the route given
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SectorZ

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 09:18:33 PM »

Fox25 in Boston still uses "The Weston Tolls", which were removed over a year ago. Also weird that they use it for I-95/MA 128, when using 90 or the Mass Pike would make more sense since 95/128 don't go thru the tolls.
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1995hoo

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2018, 09:38:40 PM »

If a traffic reporter in the DC area refers to "the Freeway," it always means the Southwest–Southeast Freeway in the District (partially I-395 and partially I-695). There are other roads that have the word "Freeway" as part of their names, probably most notably the Whitehurst Freeway, but the word "Freeway" is never used by itself except to refer to the Southwest–Southeast Freeway (so the Whitehurst, for example, is either "the Whitehurst Freeway" or simply "the Whitehurst").

WTOP's Bob Marbourg likes to refer to "the Big Curve" on the Beltway in Maryland. I've never been completely sure which curve he means, but I think he means where the Outer Loop meets the I-270 Spur. He also refers to the Wilson Bridge and the American Legion Bridge as "the big bridges"; I don't know of anyone else who uses that expression for them.
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2018, 09:40:29 PM »

The “Grapevine” largely is referring to Grapevine Canyon on I-5 south of Bakersfield.  Really it has more or less evolved to assume the entire geographic once inhabited by the Ridge Route.  Usually the uphill grades are problematic enough that they are frequent traffic report metion.

skluth

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2018, 10:52:14 PM »

Every place I've lived has had its weird local place names which may not be found on a map. Some examples:

Green Bay, WI (where I was raised)
Three Corners - intersection of Main, Cedar, and Baird and once a much busier intersection
The Ledge - the local name for the section of the Niagara Escarpment that runs east of the city and up the Door Peninsula

St Louis, MO (where I lived most of the last 30 years)
The Grove - the business strip on Manchester Av between Kingshighway and Vandeventor
Dogtown - the neighborhood south of Forest Park and west of Hampton Av
Antique Row - Cherokee St, especially east of Jefferson
The Triangle - the area within Loughborough, Hampton, and Gravois

Sometimes, these names fall out of common use (not too many but old locals know the Triangle). Other times the names are new in an attempt to rebrand an area (The Grove). Sometimes, the city will actually adopt a long-used neighborhood reference (Shaw, Central West End) and make it the official neighborhood name. (St Louis has something like 40+ official neighborhoods.)

I'm not sure how many are in traffic reports. But the Grove and Dogtown are frequently mentioned in St Louis news reports as both are popular entertainment districts. Antique Row is also regularly mentioned, though usually reporters make sure to say it's on Cherokee.

I don't think Green Bay is big enough to have traffic reports outside of Packers game days. If they have them, they really don't need them.
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Bruce

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2018, 12:16:38 AM »

The Seattle Times compiled a list of traffic terms for the area in 2002, and it still holds true today, for the most part, despite massive reconstruction of I-5 and I-405.

Brandon

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2018, 12:40:26 AM »

I think they still give travel times to/from “the Post Office” even though USPS hasn’t occupied the building the Eisenhower runs through for decades.

Usually, it's "the Old Post Office".  Then we have...

The Junction (Edens/Kennedy)
The Merge/Split (Ryan/Ford/I-57)
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Flint1979

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2018, 01:10:18 AM »

Chicago has some and I love listening to a Chicago traffic report.

Basically this is Chicago traffic lingo:

Outbound: Leaving downtown

Inbound: Heading downtown

The Kennedy: I-90 and I-94 together north of the Loop. I-90 continues to be the Kennedy after the Split until O'Hare.

The Split: When I-90 and I-94 break off from each other north of the Loop. I-90 heads to O'Hare and I-94 heads northeast.

Edens Expressway: I-94 north of the Split to Lake Cook Road.

Lake Cook Road: East-west street that marks the borders of Lake and Cook Counties on the north side.

Jane Addams Tollway: I-90 north of O'Hare to Wisconsin

Dan Ryan Expressway: I-90 and I-94 together south of the Loop

Skyway: Connects Dan Ryan to Indiana Toll Road. I-90 from 66th Street to the Indiana State Line.

95th Street: Southern end of Dan Ryan Expressway, marks beginning of Bishop Ford Freeway.

Bishop Ford Freeway: I-94 from 95th (Dan Ryan) to I-80.

Eisenhower/The Ike: I-290, which extends from downtown to the western suburbs

Veterans Memorial Highway: I-355 from Itasca to I-55

Stevenson Expressway: I-55 from Lake Shore Drive to the Tri-State

Tri-State Tollway: I-294 connects with I-94 on the north and the south end of the city, forming a semi-circle and connecting with every major interstate

Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway: I-88 west from Tri-State

The Loop: Area in the heart of downtown that's encircled by the "L" tracks. Lake St. on the North, Wabash on the East, Van Buren on the South and Wells St on the West.

Old Post Office: Sometimes used instead of The Loop. Now vacant building that spans the Eisenhower as it turns into Congress Parkway.

The Circle: Where the Dan Ryan, the Kennedy and the Eisenhower meet

Hillside Strangler: Named after a nearby suburb. Where the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway, the Tri-State and the Eisenhower meet

Mannheim: Just east of the Hillside Strangler and near the western end of the Eisenhower.

And it might sound something like this.
Dan Ryan 20 minutes outbound, 30 minutes inbound.
The Ike 20 minutes outbound, 35 minutes inbound from Hillside Strangler to the Post Office.
Stevenson 25 minutes outbound, 30 minutes inbound.

Again outbound means going away from downtown and inbound means going towards downtown. Everyone in Chicago will know where the Post Office is at so using that as a landmark instead of the Loop makes it sound kind of cool and the expressway goes right through the building as it changes from the Eisenhower to Congress Parkway.
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Flint1979

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2018, 01:12:43 AM »

I think they still give travel times to/from “the Post Office” even though USPS hasn’t occupied the building the Eisenhower runs through for decades.

Usually, it's "the Old Post Office".  Then we have...

The Junction (Edens/Kennedy)
The Merge/Split (Ryan/Ford/I-57)
I guess we just have a different opinion on names because I always called the Edens/Kennedy interchange The Split. But I do call the Ryan, Ford and I-57 interchange The Merge. One of my most hated interchanges because I-94 traffic has to go down to two lanes.
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Flint1979

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2018, 01:18:16 AM »

For Detroit,
Most people call the freeways by their names rather than by their numbers so you'd hear The Ford instead of I-94 or The Ruether instead of I-696 or The Lodge instead of M-10 and so on. The Lodge will almost always be called that over M-10 same with The Southfield instead of M-39. Detroit doesn't do inbound and outbound or use minutes in their traffic reports like Chicago does.

WWJ 950AM does the best with traffic reports in Metro Detroit. WJR called their traffic reports The Big 7 because of the 7 major freeways, the Chrysler, Fisher, Lodge, Southfield, Ruether, Ford and Jeffries. For some reason I thought I-275 was included but I don't think it was.
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txstateends

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2018, 03:44:41 AM »

If you are in north TX and you hear traffic reports on the radio with...

* "Decatur Cutoff", refers to US 287 (the US 81 part is rarely if ever mentioned) in north Fort Worth NW of its split from I-35W.  AFAIK, that part of US 287 has never had a local name, and I never saw anything that looked like a named street blade sign the few times I've been out that way.  So, I'm not sure where the "Decatur Cutoff" name comes from, but traffic reports are the only source you'll hear it from.

* "Fair Park Curve", is a long S-curve along I-30 east of downtown Dallas in the vicinity of Fair Park.  There is no street or freeway naming as such (the freeway is East R.L. Thornton Freeway, for a late Dallas businessman/banker/ex-mayor), so as with the "Decatur Cutoff", the only time you'll hear "Fair Park Curve" is on traffic reports.

* "Ferguson Curve", as with the "Fair Park Curve", another S-curve on I-30 east of downtown, but shorter, and in the vicinity of the Ferguson Road exit.  Also not an official name, only heard on traffic reports.

I really don't know where the traffic reporters came up with the names, other than maybe somebody decided years ago that the above terms would be good descriptive labeling conventions when referring to those spots on the radio.

Most all the other naming used when TV/radio traffic reports are on is a combo of actual numbered routes and/or freeway/tollroad/street names.  Occasionally you'll hear TxDOT terms or construction project monikers like "DFW Connector" for the TX 114-TX 121 overlap between Grapevine and DFW Airport, or "the TEXpress lanes" for the tolled express lanes that are on I-635, I-35E north of I-635, I-35W between downtown Fort Worth and I-820, and I-820 on the north side east of I-35W.
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ET21

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2018, 08:41:00 AM »

Chicago traffic reports also already combine IL-53 and I-355 into one long stretch from Lake Cook Road to I-80. The I-290 report usually ends with the time to and from IL-390, formally Thorndale Ave
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Eth

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2018, 08:59:20 AM »

The most notable one in Atlanta is probably the "Grady Curve", referring to that portion of the otherwise north-south I-75/85 that bulges out to the east near downtown in the vicinity of Grady hospital. I've also occasionally heard I-20 near its crossing of the Chattahoochee on the west side referred to as "Six Flags Hill", as it includes a noticeable incline passing by the theme park.
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jon daly

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2018, 10:10:08 AM »

Good stuff, but how many of them are natural geographic features?

I did think of another man-made one, but I don't think it shows up in traffic reports, because Nrthampton, Mass. doesn't usually have enough traffic to warrant one.

I give you the Truck Eating Bridge:


https://blogs.gonomad.com/blog/2012/12/welcome-to-northampton-home-of-the-famous-truck-eating-bridge-the-town-where-size-matters.html

[I'm sure there are other truck eating bridges, but I've heard that one referred to as such when Northampton used to have a cool Adult Alternative radio station (WRNX) that I would listen to.]
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skluth

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2018, 11:31:30 AM »

Every place I've lived has had its weird local place names which may not be found on a map. Some examples:

Green Bay, WI (where I was raised)
Three Corners - intersection of Main, Cedar, and Baird and once a much busier intersection
The Ledge - the local name for the section of the Niagara Escarpment that runs east of the city and up the Door Peninsula

St Louis, MO (where I lived most of the last 30 years)
The Grove - the business strip on Manchester Av between Kingshighway and Vandeventor
Dogtown - the neighborhood south of Forest Park and west of Hampton Av
Antique Row - Cherokee St, especially east of Jefferson
The Triangle - the area within Loughborough, Hampton, and Gravois

Sometimes, these names fall out of common use (not too many but old locals know the Triangle). Other times the names are new in an attempt to rebrand an area (The Grove). Sometimes, the city will actually adopt a long-used neighborhood reference (Shaw, Central West End) and make it the official neighborhood name. (St Louis has something like 40+ official neighborhoods.)

I'm not sure how many are in traffic reports. But the Grove and Dogtown are frequently mentioned in St Louis news reports as both are popular entertainment districts. Antique Row is also regularly mentioned, though usually reporters make sure to say it's on Cherokee.

I don't think Green Bay is big enough to have traffic reports outside of Packers game days. If they have them, they really don't need them.

I hate to quote myself, but I can't believe I forgot these when discussing St Louis

Poplar Street Bridge or PSB - Formerly the Dickman Bridge, now the Clay Bridge taking I-55/64 across the Mississippi
The Depressed Lanes - the section of interstate between downtown and the Arch
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PHLBOS

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2018, 11:36:05 AM »

For the Greater Philadelphia area, the term Saint Gabriel’s Curve or St. Gabe's Curve refers to this stretch of US 422 in Audubon, PA
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Flint1979

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2018, 01:30:59 PM »

Detroit also has names for curves on a couple freeways. Like on the Lodge you have the Wyoming Curve and the Linwood Curve they are two curves within about a mile of each other between Davison and McNichols (Six Mile Road). I-75 has the Rochester Curve in Troy which is the curve where Rochester Road crosses over I-75 which is why it's called the Rochester Curve.
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1995hoo

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2018, 04:15:33 PM »

One I forgot yesterday: In Maryland there is a weird spot on the Clara Barton Parkway that the traffic reporters call the “Glen Echo Turnaround.”

http://goo.gl/maps/DNSVg5rinFA2
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Big John

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2018, 04:52:08 PM »

Speaking of curves, there is a Plainfield Curve on I-43/94 in Milwaukee just north of the Mitchell Interchange
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Roadwarriors79

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2018, 06:00:37 PM »

In the Phoenix area:

-- Broadway Curve (where I-10/US 60 runs from N-S to E-W in Tempe)

-- Durango Curve (I-17 runs from E-W Maricopa Freeway to N-S Black Canyon Freeway)

Other terms used by traffic reporters:

-- The Stack (I-10/I-17 interchange west of downtown Phoenix)

-- The Split (I-10/I-17/US 60 interchange near Sky Harbor Airport, south end of I-17)

-- The Mini Stack (I-10/SR 51/Loop 202 interchange, also called the Short Stack)

-- Inner Loop (I-10 between the I-17 interchanges)

-- Dreamy Draw (SR 51 between Northern Ave and Shea Blvd)

-- North Stack (I-17/Loop 101 interchange)

-- Pecos Stack (I-10/Loop 202 interchange in Chandler and Ahwatukee area, Ahwatukee section goes to current Pecos Rd, which will be part of the future Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway)

-- SuperRedTan Interchange (US 60/Loop 202 interchange in Mesa, takes it name from Superstition Freeway, Red Mountain Freeway, and Santan Freeway)

-- Outer Loop (Loop 101 Agua Fria Freeway, the Outer Loop was the previous name for this section of Loop 101. Today it's only referred to distinguish the N-S portion of Loop 101 in the West Valley from the N-S section of the Pima Freeway in the East Valley)
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US 89

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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2018, 06:28:03 PM »

Salt Lake City/Wasatch Front terms:

-Point of the Mountain: the hill on I-15 between 14600 South and the Timpanogos Highway that separates Salt Lake County from Utah County. The actual "point" itself has largely been quarried away, but the name is still in common use.

-Lake Point: the I-80/SR-201 junction west of Salt Lake. The term can be extended to include the SR-36/I-80 junction as well.

-Spaghetti Bowl: the I-15/I-80/SR-201 interchange.

-Parleys Interchange: the I-80/I-215/Foothill interchange. Named for nearby Parleys Canyon.

-South Interchange: the south I-15/215 interchange.

-North Interchange: the north I-15/215 interchange.

-East Belt: the I-215 segment between I-80 and 6200 South.

-West Belt: the segment of I-215 between the north I-15 interchange and the south Redwood Road interchange.

-South Belt: 215 between Redwood Rd and 6200 South.

-Farmington split: the I-15/US 89/Legacy Parkway interchange. This was officially named the Wasatch Weave when it was first constructed, but that hasn't really caught on.
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Re: Traffic Report Geography
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2018, 08:53:39 AM »



Stevenson Expressway: I-55 from Lake Shore Drive to the Tri-State


I've heard traffic reports refer to The Stevenson all the way down to Joliet.
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