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Author Topic: How would you rate your local road network?  (Read 963 times)

CapeCodder

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How would you rate your local road network?
« on: May 13, 2018, 08:54:02 PM »

I sort of came up with a ranking system for road networks for any populated area. The guidelines I used are thus:

Connectivity- Does the road-net connect ALL areas of a town/city? i.e. can you "get there from here?"

Shape- Is your local network a grid, spiderweb, or latticed?

Density- How dense is the network? In a city, one would expect it to be closely packed together loosening up the further from the city you go.

I'll use my adopted hometown, Saint Louis as an example:

C- St. Louis is well connected if one is to travel by main thorofare. The side streets however are a different story. Many neighborhoods are blocked off by concrete planters and/or gates. In my grandmother's neighborhood alone, you are simply bombarded by signs that state STREET NOT THRU.

S- St. Louis is mostly grid, however the local topography dictates where most streets can go. Many of the main roads "bow" outward, then curve back to the river (Kingshighway, Union, Goodfellow, Grand, and Vandeventer all come to mind.) There are many gaps in the grid, brought about by the railroads.

D- When I traced the STL region's main roads, the closer I got in towards the city, the tighter it got. To the west it is noticeable, but not to the south (south St. Louis County {South County} and Jefferson County) Topography dictates the road direction in Jefferson Co, but not that much in South County. South County is bordered by the Mississippi and Meramec Rivers.

Maybe I'm just passionate about studying infrastructure, namely roads.
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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2018, 09:00:35 PM »

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CapeCodder

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2018, 09:05:30 PM »

S

That's not a grade.

It's for Shape.

St. Louis, in my opinion rates pretty high I was only using it as an example.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 08:55:10 AM »

For New Jersey:

C - Very good, due to numerous local county roads.  You can get from one town to the next to the next to the next using these county roads, rather than going out to a highway then coming back in.

S - Haphazard. Many of the roads were formed centuries ago as walking paths and horse and buggy, where going straight down even small hills towards water sources would cause people to slip and fall.  So they slowly weaved their way down these hills to the water sources.  As barns, houses and stores were built, they were kinda all over the place, and the eventual paths between these places tended to have curves to effectively reach one another.  Today, New Jersey has a very curvy local road system for how seemingly flat it is in many areas, because of how people lived and travelled in the 1600's.  Of course, there are some straight roads for some long distances.  But overall they're the exception, not the rule.

D - Extremely dense.  While the areas near NYC and Philly are excepted to be dense in the manner the OP referred to, a heavy increase in suburb to suburb commuting has created congested areas in patterns unlike a traditional hub and spoke, city to suburb region.
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webny99

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 09:39:21 AM »

This is basically a compilation of three of my threads (and, don't get me wrong, that's a good thing):
https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=22051.0
https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=21429.0
https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=20250.0

As such, since I'm very interested in this type of thread, I'll follow up with my thoughts on Rochester in a separate post.

For New Jersey:
You can get from one town to the next to the next to the next using these county roads, rather than going out to a highway then coming back in.

You can do that in most areas. But the key is whether it's faster.

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 09:51:56 AM »

For New Jersey:
You can get from one town to the next to the next to the next using these county roads, rather than going out to a highway then coming back in.

You can do that in most areas. But the key is whether it's faster.

Given that New Jersey has relatively few state routes, 500-series county roads act as some of the more minor state routes would in other states.

In Massachusetts, the main way between adjacent towns is usually a state route. Going several towns away, it's usually faster to take a freeway if there is one nearby (New Jersey has Jersey freeways, and in general, more interchanges than Massachusetts does between surface roads). Still no grid; routes often connect town centers wherever they are, although this isn't always the case.
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Traveled, plus:
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NH 27,111A
NY 366
GA 42,140
FL A1A
CT 32

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Rothman

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2018, 09:59:22 AM »

I am thinking the rule of thumb you provide mostly breaks down in western MA.  I am thinking of places like Leverett and Shutesbury and Wendell, where the centers are not connected by state routes, for example.  Probaby true as well for the hilltowns west of Northampton.
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webny99

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2018, 08:44:40 AM »

As promised, my thoughts on Rochester, NY:

Connectivity
We're not exactly lacking freeways, but simultaneously, freeways never seem to be positioned near your origin and your destination. That is to say, the freeway network isn't usually convenient for shorter trips; traveling from suburb to suburb, especially on the east side, can be a royal pain. There can also be "all or nothing" type scenarios, like Victor to Webster. You either choose the highway, or surface streets. And, as you can see, there's no changing your mind halfway, because the highway route deviates significantly.

With all that said, there are no areas that are particularly inaccessible; with one exception - the extremities of Irondequoit and Webster, especially in the summer when the Bay Outlet Bridge is closed (as it is now).

Shape
The network isn't really conceptually similar to any of the options in the OP. If you use your imagination, it's kind of like a hub-and-spoke, with (going clockwise) NY 104 to the northeast, NY 441 to the east, I-490 to the southeast, I-390 to the south, I-490 to the southwest, NY 531 to the west, and NY 104 to the northwest, all of which branch out from the "outer loop" to serve the suburbs.

Density
Fairly stereotypical in this regard, with density decreasing heading away from the city. The east side, including East Rochester and Fairport, is fairly dense (and obtuse to navigate, at times), where the west side, and especially the southwest side beyond the airport, turns rural in character very quickly and the road network is a bit more straightforward.

Takumi

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2018, 03:10:40 PM »

Linköping, Sweden

Connectivity
Overall the connectivity is good, though there are missing links in the road network. The most prominent example is Vallaleden, the missing part of our ringroad (see image below). It was planned to cut through a popular wood used for recreation and from the 1950s to the 1980s there were attempts to get approval and start construction, but in the end it was rejected in a municipal referendum in 1989. The wood was also made into a nature reserve. As a result the ringroad has to detour around the University instead.



Shape
The city center is close to a grid, but with many exceptions to certain roads. Further out it is more of a web with two ringroads, one "C-ring" around the city center and one "Yttre ring" (Outer ring) linking suburbs. There are also motorway connections at the western and eastern parts of the city, and the motorway itself passes to the north of the city just outside a major shopping district and industrial area. Compared to a typical American city the shape and network shape is very different.

Density
The density is as you would expect. Dense, but not very wide network downtown and less dense but much faster network linking suburbs and connecting to national roads.
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txstateends

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 04:49:19 AM »

Amarillo--
C: Mostly well-connected.  If you're on one side of town, getting across or around town isn't difficult, especially with 2 crossing freeways and a full loop.

S: Freeways and a couple of the side roads are hub-spoke, but the city streets are mainly a grid pattern.

D: The east, central, west, and SW parts are dense, the rest are more suburban to rural.

Dallas-Fort Worth--
C: Most spots around the metro area are fairly well-connected; it's rare that you can't get from A to B easily, maybe if it concerns 2 points where a lake is in between.  Some of the area lakes have a bridge across them, others you have to drive around them first.

S: Freeways/interstates are hub-spoke, while most city streets have a mainly gridded pattern.

D: The more centralized cities are fairly to consistently dense, with outer suburbs have a varying density, but for the most part the central/downtown areas in those cities are denser than the outer portions.

Now if the OP had included "quality" in the list, that would be a longer post.....  :popcorn: :cool: ;-)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2018, 05:00:52 AM by txstateends »
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fillup420

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2018, 10:34:40 AM »

Thread revival! Because i want to talk about how awful the road network around Charleston SC is.

Granted, geographic constraints make building roads here difficult to begin with, due to the 5 rivers that all converge around the city.

I-526 is the only way to get across the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando Rivers without going through the heart of downtown, so traffic is usually heavy. Rush hour is from about 7-10am and 3-6:30pm. its appalling.

The stoplights are very poorly timed, especially on roads like Ashley Phosphate and Dorchester. Turning left out of my work's warehouse can take up to 7 minutes just to get a green light (I have timed it).

Many left-heavy intersections lack a protected left turn cycle. To turn left into the industrial park I work in only gets FYA, no green is available. This is especially annoying for the many large trucks that have to make that turn.
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Revive 755

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2018, 10:41:19 AM »

St. Louis, in my opinion rates pretty high I was only using it as an example.

St. Louis City might rate well, but I'd give St. Louis County a D for all three categories, mainly due to the disconnects that make it more difficult than it should be to get to/from the southeastern portion of the county.

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skluth

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2018, 05:00:39 PM »

St. Louis, in my opinion rates pretty high I was only using it as an example.

St. Louis City might rate well, but I'd give St. Louis County a D for all three categories, mainly due to the disconnects that make it more difficult than it should be to get to/from the southeastern portion of the county.

I just moved from Oakville/ South STL County this summer. It's actually fairly direct to get anywhere from South County except to the core around Clayton/ Brentwood/ U City. This disconnect extends into the city's Central West End.  You can get to Webster via I-270/44. You can get to Maplewood via I-55/River Des Peres. The lack of connection between I-64/I-170 to I-44 is the main sticking point. Taking Hanley/Laclede Station is a royal pain. Brentwood Blvd/ Elm is even worse.

The biggest lack of connectivity is in South St Louis city. While technically the streets are a grid (more a drunken grid based on French long lots built around the inside bend of the Mississippi), South STL is the land of four-way stops. This is especially true if you are trying to go E-W anywhere between I-44 and Loughborough. The worst is Arsenal. It should be the major thoroughfare (along with Chippewa) going E-W. However, starting at Oak Hill on the south side of Tower Grove Park is the following eastbound cross-street sequence:

Oak Hill - All way stop (3-way due to park)
Roger Place - All way stop (3-way due to park)
Gustine - All way stop (3-way due to park)
Spring - Stoplight
Grand - Stoplight
Arkansas - 4-way stop
Louisiana - 4-way stop
Compton - 4 way stop
Michigan - 4 way stop
Minnesota - 4 way stop
Gravois/ Pennsylvania - nightmare of a Stoplight with three streets crossing, none at right angles (This may have been redesigned when they rebuilt Gravois. I mostly avoided this area even when I lived in the city.)
Nebraska - 4 way stop
Oregon - 4 way stop
California - 4 way stop
Iowa - Finally, only Iowa, a minor sidestreet, has to stop

This is fourteen consecutive controlled cross-streets, only three of which are stoplights, on what should be the most important E-W arterial in that part of town. To be fair, there are two minor streets that only extend north of Arsenal. However, Virginia only extends four blocks north and St Elizabeth is all of a block long, and neither street constitutes a full long block typical of that part of the city. The point here is that even though the area is connected by definition, it's a very disconnected area because it's a ridiculous pain in the arse to get from Benton Park to Tower Grove South. Actually, getting around anywhere within the area bounded by Benton Park, Holly Hills, and the Hill inevitably leads to a minimum of one nightmare signaled intersection, a half-dozen four way stops, and a bored city police officer ready to ticket you if you dare not come to a complete stop at any of them. The only exceptions are Gravois and Kingshighway.
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mrcmc888

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2018, 05:30:32 PM »

Knoxville, TN:

Connectivity- fairly good with expressway connections north, east, and west of the city, a half loop, and large major arterials covering the rest.  There are some traffic problems on I-40 and Kingston Pike at the oldest parts of the roads, which usually end up being the highest density parts as well (I-40's west junction with I-640, the corridor on Kingston Pike between the Northshore Drive intersection and the Sutherland Avenue intersection just past Bearden Hill).  Other than that the roads are fairly easy to navigate.

Shape- Grid in downtown, more spaced out in the suburbs with some diagonal roads but the shape is generally a loose grid.

Density- High density in downtown and along Kingston Pike in the closer western suburbs (Sequoyah, Bearden, Cedar Bluff), which leads to backups.  Roads are dense and gridded in the suburbs immediately north and east of town, but are fairly unused there.  In the farther suburbs, very sparse, only major arterials with subdivision roads attached.
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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2018, 03:32:51 PM »

MSP:

C - very good dense freeway network, but under capacity in a number of spots particularly when travelling east-west across the metro. The Minneapolis lakes and the rivers serve as natural barriers often meaning you have to go over and around.

S - Minneapolis and its suburbs have good grids, in the inter suburbs often with alphabetically-themed streets. St. Paul’s downtown street grid is messed up by the river, leading Governor Ventura to make his infamous remark on late-night TV about his thoughts on them.

D - High densities moving between the two core cities results in a lot of headaches on 494/694 and MN 62.
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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2018, 04:59:20 PM »

Grand Rapids:

C - very good (has freeways going out in five directions and a bypass on the south end). The only major gripe is the lack of a north-south four lane arterial west of downtown (Wilson should be four lanes; it is a state highway after all)

S - Grid-like in the city and older suburbs down to the block level. Major roads run approximately every mile, even in the newer suburbs.

D - The freeways can get heavy, but aren't as bad as other Michigan cities (cough*Ann Arbor*cough)
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Super Mateo

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2018, 09:24:34 AM »

Chicagoland:

C:  Somewhat decent.  The layout is very good, but the roads are jammed.  There are plenty of freeways and arterials, but trying to get anywhere quickly on them is a pain, no matter where you go.

S:  Excellent.  A+.  The entire city is a grid, and my area in the suburbs is a continuation of it.  Addresses are easy to find, especially the south side and south suburbs, where east west streets are numbered.

D:  Bad.  Anytime during rush hour on freeways or arterials, you'll be sitting in traffic.  Out here, that includes roads like I-94, I-57, I-294, I-80, IL-43/Harlem, IL-50/Cicero, US 45/LaGrange, etc.  Rush hour includes anything from sunrise to midnight.  Freeways are overloaded with traffic and arterials are overloaded with stoplights.
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DJ Particle

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2018, 05:14:50 AM »

MSP:
C - very good dense freeway network, but under capacity in a number of spots particularly when travelling east-west across the metro. The Minneapolis lakes and the rivers serve as natural barriers often meaning you have to go over and around.
Wasn't a lake partially filled in to accommodate I-35W in Richfield?

Quote
S - Minneapolis and its suburbs have good grids, in the inter suburbs often with alphabetically-themed streets. St. Paul’s downtown street grid is messed up by the river, leading Governor Ventura to make his infamous remark on late-night TV about his thoughts on them.
I seem to recall that Ventura's statement was sorta proven correct...that they actually WERE drinking at the planning meet.

Quote
D - High densities moving between the two core cities results in a lot of headaches on 494/694 and MN 62.
MN-62 could use (a) full conversion to freeway on the former MN-110 section, (b) a third lane in each direction between MN-5 and US-212, (c) flyover interchanges with MN-100 and western terminus w/I-494 (which would remove the last of the western at-grades...I see the flyover ramps meeting with existing freeway after the signals)

I-494 could use a continuous 4th lane in each direction between MN-5 and US-169...some sections have already done this.

I-694 should have NO sections that are only 2 lanes per direction.

MN-280 intersection w/Broadway needs an interchange.  The sound wall is already back far enough to accommodate it.  Make it like the MN-13/CSAH-101 interchange in Savage if you are crammed for space.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 01:14:17 AM by DJ Particle »
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CapeCodder

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Re: How would you rate your local road network?
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2018, 08:04:16 AM »

St. Louis, in my opinion rates pretty high I was only using it as an example.

St. Louis City might rate well, but I'd give St. Louis County a D for all three categories, mainly due to the disconnects that make it more difficult than it should be to get to/from the southeastern portion of the county.

I just moved from Oakville/ South STL County this summer. It's actually fairly direct to get anywhere from South County except to the core around Clayton/ Brentwood/ U City. This disconnect extends into the city's Central West End.  You can get to Webster via I-270/44. You can get to Maplewood via I-55/River Des Peres. The lack of connection between I-64/I-170 to I-44 is the main sticking point. Taking Hanley/Laclede Station is a royal pain. Brentwood Blvd/ Elm is even worse.

The biggest lack of connectivity is in South St Louis city. While technically the streets are a grid (more a drunken grid based on French long lots built around the inside bend of the Mississippi), South STL is the land of four-way stops. This is especially true if you are trying to go E-W anywhere between I-44 and Loughborough. The worst is Arsenal. It should be the major thoroughfare (along with Chippewa) going E-W. However, starting at Oak Hill on the south side of Tower Grove Park is the following eastbound cross-street sequence:

Oak Hill - All way stop (3-way due to park)
Roger Place - All way stop (3-way due to park)
Gustine - All way stop (3-way due to park)
Spring - Stoplight
Grand - Stoplight
Arkansas - 4-way stop
Louisiana - 4-way stop
Compton - 4 way stop
Michigan - 4 way stop
Minnesota - 4 way stop
Gravois/ Pennsylvania - nightmare of a Stoplight with three streets crossing, none at right angles (This may have been redesigned when they rebuilt Gravois. I mostly avoided this area even when I lived in the city.)
Nebraska - 4 way stop
Oregon - 4 way stop
California - 4 way stop
Iowa - Finally, only Iowa, a minor sidestreet, has to stop

This is fourteen consecutive controlled cross-streets, only three of which are stoplights, on what should be the most important E-W arterial in that part of town. To be fair, there are two minor streets that only extend north of Arsenal. However, Virginia only extends four blocks north and St Elizabeth is all of a block long, and neither street constitutes a full long block typical of that part of the city. The point here is that even though the area is connected by definition, it's a very disconnected area because it's a ridiculous pain in the arse to get from Benton Park to Tower Grove South. Actually, getting around anywhere within the area bounded by Benton Park, Holly Hills, and the Hill inevitably leads to a minimum of one nightmare signaled intersection, a half-dozen four way stops, and a bored city police officer ready to ticket you if you dare not come to a complete stop at any of them. The only exceptions are Gravois and Kingshighway.

What about Gravois @ Morganford? I seem to recall that it was a short green there at one time.
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