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Author Topic: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things  (Read 6126 times)

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There's some that nearly everyone has heard at one point or another, especially ones that make literally no sense when you think about it for three and a half femtoseconds, such as "one out of five miles of the Interstate system have to be straight for planes to land", or that "it can be seen clearly from space because it's so large".


Have you heard any particularly outlandish (or not that outlandish) (and possibly uncommon) myths/misconceptions/untrue facts? Or possibly just wildly untrue things you've heard from other people, that aren't necessarily widely spread myths.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 03:08:55 PM by index »
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North Carolinian born in Fairfax County, VA. Advocate for slapping an interstate shield over every single freeway and U.S. route corridor in NC.

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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2018, 02:55:08 PM »

A commonly held - but untrue - belief about the Interstate system is that Eisenhower got the idea for it when riding the German Autobahns in the waning days of World War II.

In fact, Eisenhower's vision for the Interstate system originated well before the end of World War II, when in 1919 he was second-in-command of a regiment that completed a cross-country convoy from Washington DC to San Francisco - the journey is chronicled in the book American Road.  His vision was bolstered and honed with completion of early controlled-access roads like the Merritt Parkway and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Although recognizing the military benefits of the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (the official title for the Interstate system), Eisenhower was always careful to emphasize the benefit of the system to civilian travel and economic growth.
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2018, 04:03:34 PM »

Interstates have to cross state lines - ie not be intra-state.
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Mergingtraffic

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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2018, 04:20:46 PM »

1) A woman I knew thought I-495's in all states were the same road although she wasn't sure how they were connected.  I-495 goes from MA to NYC to DC.  That's a crazy ass road she said. Eye roll.


2) building a new expressway/freeway will result in the same damage that happened when they were built in the 1950s.

3) Tearing up a current freeway will result in a throwback to a magical time to when there was less traffic just like it was back in the day.  Then I tell them the horrors of US-1 before I-95 was built to say it wasn't magical and traffic was worse.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 04:24:14 PM by Mergingtraffic »
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Beltway

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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2018, 05:21:56 PM »

The Washington comPost article around 2000 about the D.C. freeway system, claimed that if completed according to 1970s plans that it would have consumed 100 square miles of parkland and required moving over 200,000 residents.
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2018, 05:33:50 PM »

Let's get one thing straight: you can land aircraft on an interstate, but there's a high probability that the airplane can't be used again, and a 100% percent chance of traffic disruption.

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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2018, 05:38:04 PM »

(1) "States have to get federal approval to change speed limits." (I still occasionally see articles claiming this when a state plans to raise the speed limit above 55 on a given stretch of road.)

(2) An awful lot of people have the incorrect belief that the entire New Jersey Turnpike is part of I-95.
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2018, 05:47:46 PM »

1) A woman I knew thought I-495's in all states were the same road although she wasn't sure how they were connected.  I-495 goes from MA to NYC to DC.  That's a crazy ass road she said. Eye roll.


2) building a new expressway/freeway will result in the same damage that happened when they were built in the 1950s.

3) Tearing up a current freeway will result in a throwback to a magical time to when there was less traffic just like it was back in the day.  Then I tell them the horrors of US-1 before I-95 was built to say it wasn't magical and traffic was worse.

Number 3 in your statement is true especially in San Francisco. There's been talks that if freeways are torn off especially the Old CA-480 then more Bay Area residents will get off their cars for Public transportation. However there's been more traffic in the Bay Area in the three decades after Loma Prieta took place. Also that argument did not anticipate that Old China Basin now known as AT&T Park and Mission Bay has been gentrified in the past two decades.
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2018, 05:51:46 PM »

i-238 was going to connect to I-380 in South San Francisco/San Bruno Area note that was on the Southern Crossing. Note that statement has been listed as uncertain for decades due to another talk over another Southern Crossing from Candlestick park to Alameda Island.

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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2018, 06:11:26 PM »

A lot of people assume that the route that has the greatest percentage of freeway is automatically the fastest.

jon daly

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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2018, 08:59:27 PM »

2) building a new expressway/freeway will result in the same damage that happened when they were built in the 1950s.


Could you expand on this one? From a macro view you could argue that the interstate system and other limited-access highways caused a bunch of different problems from pollution, homogenization of the US, urban decay and sprawl, a decline in importance for rail, et cetera. I've seen such arguments from paleoconservatives as well as some folks on the left. But I get the felling that's not the type of damage you are referring to.
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2018, 01:54:45 AM »

Designating a route/corridor as a future Interstate automatically results in a significant funding stream for that purpose.

Not since '73 for construction (save the Howard-Kramer-related projects or funding transfers from deleted corridors), and not for several years even for maintenance purposes.  All it does is draw attention to the corridor; whether that translates into $$ depends upon the whims of any number of parties, from Congress down to local MPO's and private interest groups.  In strapped states, the prospects are doubtful at best. 

 
 
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2018, 02:02:36 AM »

Lowering the speed limit (as a whole*) raises safety.

*It's true in specific situations.
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2018, 03:06:51 AM »

That U.S. routes (or Interstates) are federal highways.
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Beltway

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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2018, 09:39:54 AM »

That urban Interstate highways were not part of the original plan.  They were slipped in at the last minute.
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2018, 03:50:38 PM »

That freeways are free as in no cost to the user.
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2018, 03:55:42 PM »

US-66 West end was supposed to be near the CA-1 @ I-10 interchange in Santa Monica.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_66_in_California

Here is one article that showed that Santa Monica blvd was the location of the west end of US-66.

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« Last Edit: July 21, 2018, 08:25:21 AM by SSOWorld »
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2018, 04:55:19 PM »

Let's get one thing straight: you can land aircraft on an interstate, but there's a high probability that the airplane can't be used again, and a 100% percent chance of traffic disruption.
I thought a plane landed on IL’s I-180 one time, and no one noticed...let alone traffic disruption!
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2018, 05:17:52 PM »

That freeways are free as in no cost to the user.

And that tollways are double taxation.
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2018, 05:28:47 PM »

That freeways and Interstates are safer than US or State routes. 

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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2018, 05:30:29 PM »

That freeways and Interstates are safer than US or State routes.

Are you sure that's not true?
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2018, 05:39:21 PM »

That freeways and Interstates are safer than US or State routes. 

Um, freeways are statistically safer than 2 or 4-lane undivided roads. Most crashes happen at intersections. The myth is that "freeways are more dangerous due to the speeds involved".
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2018, 06:45:37 PM »

That freeways and Interstates are safer than US or State routes. 

Um, freeways are statistically safer than 2 or 4-lane undivided roads. Most crashes happen at intersections. The myth is that "freeways are more dangerous due to the speeds involved".
Had to pull up the data for a friend, cause he claimed Interstates were more unsafe than rural 2 lane roads, due to the higher speeds. The data is clear that Interstates/Freeways are the safest form of auto roadways to travel
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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2018, 06:51:44 PM »

That freeways and Interstates are safer than US or State routes. 

Um, freeways are statistically safer than 2 or 4-lane undivided roads. Most crashes happen at intersections. The myth is that "freeways are more dangerous due to the speeds involved".
Had to pull up the data for a friend, cause he claimed Interstates were more unsafe than rural 2 lane roads, due to the higher speeds. The data is clear that Interstates/Freeways are the safest form of auto roadways to travel

CA 99 near me has something like 60 plus fatalities a year per 100 miles which way higher than any surface route in the immediate area.  Granted the volume a freeway like CA 99 sees it isn’t any wonder that it would have more wrecks and fatalities with the sheer traffic count alone. .  With the volume a freeway sees compared to most surface equivalents odds are you’ll likely have more wrecks and fatalities.  I’m sure if you mathed fatalities per volume surface routes will edge wat higher than a freeway.  I’d venture a guess that per mileage freeways would almost always have more accidents and surface routes would take the edge on traffic volume. 

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Re: Myths/misconceptions/untrue things about road-related things
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2018, 07:35:46 PM »

That there's a science called viatology.  :ded: :pan:
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