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Author Topic: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?  (Read 8698 times)

Transportfan

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Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« on: November 09, 2015, 09:38:14 PM »

Does anyone else think this makes for a dull drive on a freeway?

https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.9099409,-65.1964937,3a,75y,36.31h,85.99t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1srQhSFZe1XDQbPkA0_xP0Hw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DrQhSFZe1XDQbPkA0_xP0Hw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D136.14745%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656


I prefer them to be open; it's less boring as you get more of a view, and as a roadgeek, I think seeing the opposite carriageway looks more interesting. Unfortunately (to me, anyways), letting the median grow wild seems to be the wave of the future, as this section of ON-400, which was constructed with an open median a decade ago is being left to naturalize:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.1198581,-79.7898645,3a,75y,159.71h,85.8t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sgMYKEwwWQuBIE9eRrW1IEA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

There are exceptions of course...

https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.8835617,-79.7504614,3a,75y,121.79h,90.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqc8nrjoYE-eCOnTjGm9I2A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Pete from Boston

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2015, 10:00:57 PM »

Treed.  I think living in urban areas makes driving through trees on both sides a nice break.  The Palisades Parkway and Connecticut's I-395 are both nice this way.  I preferred US 3 in Mass. when it was treed.
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SignGeek101

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2015, 10:05:27 PM »

I'd go with treed as well. Mostly because of oncoming lights coming at you at night.

haljackey

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2015, 10:41:55 PM »

Treed, but with a guardrail or concrete median. If cars/trucks hit a tree it can be very deadly.

Maybe bushes would be a good compromise without a barrier.
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US 41

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2015, 10:49:30 PM »

I like treed medians, but sometimes they can turn into deer hangout areas in the evening and at night.
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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2015, 12:18:37 AM »

This strikes me as a General thread and not Canada-specific.
CT 15 (Merritt/Wilbur Cross Pkwy.) is much nicer with trees than without.
The only times I favor an untreed median: when there's button copy I need to photograph on the other side, or when I'm driving a tight, old urban freeway and I want to take in the full flavor. Wide expanses of grass are awful (Autoroute 50 near Mirabel, for example).

cbeach40

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2015, 08:32:29 AM »

Treed - more visually interesting, breaks up opposing headlights, protects better from blowing/drifting snow, better environmentally
Open - less chance of striking an object in a run off road collision, more open to see animals crossing, easier to see police in the median


Addition:

Basically, I think intermittent treed/grassed medians are my personal preference. Not when each set of lanes is completely isolated from the other, but not a big wide open expanse either.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2015, 09:52:47 AM by cbeach40 »
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2015, 08:51:53 AM »

I prefer grassed medians. I prefer when there are other things to look at.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2015, 10:57:34 AM »


CT 15 (Merritt/Wilbur Cross Pkwy.) is much nicer with trees than without.

I agree.  Moreover, on the "trees are dangerous obstacles" front, I once saw a van literally wrapped around one of the Merritt median trees, and it occurred to me that without that tree, that van would have kept flipping right on into oncoming traffic. 
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Transportfan

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2015, 06:59:35 PM »

I prefer grassed medians. I prefer when there are other things to look at.

Somebody agrees with me. I'm very surprised nobody else does, considering that from what I've read, most people find freeways such as the TCH in NB between Fredericton and Moncton very boring as there's nothing to see but trees .

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2015, 07:10:47 PM »

I guess it's dependent on where you are for me. If it's trees in an suburban or urban area, it would be bothersome. If it's in the middle of nowhere, I think it's great scenery.

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2015, 07:19:08 PM »

In rural areas, thick tree coverage. It prevents distractions to the driver from the opposite carriageway. It also protects from small (or large) wayward items from flying across.
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jakeroot

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2015, 09:54:47 PM »

I don't prefer either. I'll take no median any day. I've always held the (rather arrogant) belief that a good median is strong enough to stop most vehicles from passing into oncoming traffic. I also don't support wide inner shoulders for that matter. The distance between the two inner lanes should be at most 16 feet wide (6 foot shoulders + four foot-wide median), plus stopping on the inside shoulder is dangerous. Wide medians seem to support stopping/pulling off in between carriageways.
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Chris

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2015, 04:01:22 AM »

Somebody agrees with me. I'm very surprised nobody else does, considering that from what I've read, most people find freeways such as the TCH in NB between Fredericton and Moncton very boring as there's nothing to see but trees .

Driving is like that on much of the German Autobahn. They've planted a lot of trees alongside the Autobahn when they were built, so nowadays the only sight from the road is an endless row of trees, whether you drive through an urban area, forested area or open terrain. It's quite boring, especially in flat areas. And they're not landscaped either, but poorly maintained. Bushes merge with trees, resulting in endless jungle. Though medians in Europe are rarely wide enough to be treed.


A565-23 by European Roads, on Flickr

1995hoo

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2015, 07:35:44 AM »

I'd go with treed as well. Mostly because of oncoming lights coming at you at night.

As I've hit my 40s I've come to feel this way as well. While deer are always a concern, I've found that oncoming lights bother me more than they did ten years ago. Driving long distances at night used to appeal to me due to there being less traffic on the road, but now I try to avoid it. (Lights in the rearview bother me less due to an auto-dimming mirror.)
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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2015, 11:55:55 AM »

Treed.  I rather like the ones found in Michigan where the median is very wide with a natural area in the middle.

https://goo.gl/maps/jvBJkpWXPVF2
https://goo.gl/maps/hrkF9Fhiu4t
https://goo.gl/maps/NesW6ijyCYB2
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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2015, 05:48:18 PM »

I find treed medians to be EXTREMELY dull.  I don't understand the attraction.  It can be as if a person took one tree and photoshopped it the whole way down the road, which is the most BORING in the entire multiverse.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2015, 06:07:03 PM »


I find treed medians to be EXTREMELY dull.  I don't understand the attraction.  It can be as if a person took one tree and photoshopped it the whole way down the road, which is the most BORING in the entire multiverse.

Not much of a nature buff, I guess.

We are, in general, much better off with more trees than fewer.  Cutting down trees (or preventing their growth) solely for aesthetics is a soulless act.
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vdeane

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2015, 06:41:45 PM »

Appreciating the value of trees in nature and finding them to make for an interesting highway are two different things.  The first thing I think of when I think treed median is this, one of the most mind-numbingly dull highways I regularly have to deal with (also this, also very dull).  I see trees on my commute.  Most highways around here are at least tree-lined.  Good for nature... not so good for keeping me awake on the road.  I don't find pine trees to be as bad though.  They're cute and interesting, and usually grow in areas that have more interesting scenery too.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2015, 07:05:17 PM »

Appreciating the value of trees in nature and finding them to make for an interesting highway are two different things.  The first thing I think of when I think treed median is this, one of the most mind-numbingly dull highways I regularly have to deal with (also this, also very dull).  I see trees on my commute.  Most highways around here are at least tree-lined.  Good for nature... not so good for keeping me awake on the road.  I don't find pine trees to be as bad though.  They're cute and interesting, and usually grow in areas that have more interesting scenery too.

Those highways look beautiful.  Good for nature indeed—god knows we put enough obstacles in its way. 
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kkt

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2015, 08:09:22 PM »

Generally, trees.  If there's nice scenery it's good to leave it open though.  The trees are better if they're not uniform, same species planted at the same time.

Trees mean if the idiot in the oncoming lanes loses control of their vehicle, they hit a tree instead of hitting me.
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Pete from Boston

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2015, 09:28:53 PM »

Generally, trees.  If there's nice scenery it's good to leave it open though.  The trees are better if they're not uniform, same species planted at the same time.

Agreed.  Connecticut put some pine saplings in the median of 84 around Tolland when the upgrade work finished there in the 80s.  It was nice watching them grow taller over the years, until something hit some weakness of theirs a few years ago, and—bam, no more trees there.  Monoculture is unnatural and bad practice.
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Revive 755

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2015, 10:00:15 PM »

Depends on what else is nearby the freeway.  If the freeway is across an otherwise uninspiring section of country, I prefer a treed median.  For example, the treed sections of I-57 in Illinois (Streetview are much nicer than the open sections (Streetview).  Now if there is a mountain ridge or other scenic feature in the distance that the trees would hinder viewing of (WB I-76 east of Denver, parts of I-77 in Virginia, and parts of I-40 in Tennessee come to mind), I prefer an open median.
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vdeane

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Re: Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2015, 01:25:28 PM »

Appreciating the value of trees in nature and finding them to make for an interesting highway are two different things.  The first thing I think of when I think treed median is this, one of the most mind-numbingly dull highways I regularly have to deal with (also this, also very dull).  I see trees on my commute.  Most highways around here are at least tree-lined.  Good for nature... not so good for keeping me awake on the road.  I don't find pine trees to be as bad though.  They're cute and interesting, and usually grow in areas that have more interesting scenery too.

Those highways look beautiful.  Good for nature indeed—god knows we put enough obstacles in its way. 
They get boring quick (try going down the same stretch of road without variation 7-10 times per year (round trip) in four hour long blocks).  Pretty much anything flat drives me out of my mind.  I can't deal with looking at the exact same thing for miles on end (I get bored and impatient REALLY easily).  It's not so much the trees in the median, but more that it's like you took one tree and photoshopped it all the way down the road.

When I think "pretty road", I think more like this:


Rocks are awesome.  And hills.  And mountains.  And water. 
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Pete from Boston

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Open or treed median: Which do you prefer?
« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2015, 06:38:15 PM »

This is idiotic debate because it is all about tastes, but I have driven between New York and Boston hundreds of times.  For me, the leg between New York and Meriden, Connecticut, generally involves 95 or the Merritt Parkway.  I prefer the Merritt primarily because with trees "photoshopped all the way down the road" there's no visual marker of progress, and thus less stimulus for my mind to go to that awful "Damn, I'm only at Stamford," or "I expected I'd be in Bridgeport by now" place.  Particularly at night, my mind goes to other things—the radio, or simply driving—and the route with less to see goes by much faster. 

I do feel like life's too short to let the lack of a view get to me.  I've hiked many miles where the only "view" was a brief reward at the end, and they were mostly enjoyable and worth the investment of so-called monotony.  Not that I feel like trees are a lack of a view, but whatever.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 06:42:25 PM by Pete from Boston »
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