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Author Topic: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates  (Read 3936 times)

bzakharin

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Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« on: October 14, 2018, 05:13:21 PM »

I've been browsing GSV for I-95 and it seems that Maine has a disproportionate number of control cities on it within the state. Sure, it's a big state, but there are few major populated centers. Yet, the following control cities appear on entrances to I-95 in Maine: Portland, Augusta, Kittery (Southbound only), Saco (Northbound only), Biddeford (Northbound only), Wells (Southbound only), Auburn, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach (Southbound only), Waterville, Bangor, Newport, Pittsfield (Southbound only), Orono (Northbound only), Houlton (Northbound only), Howland (Northbound only), Medway, Island Falls (Northbound only). That's 18 total, 14 Northbound, and 12 Southbound.

Compare with Florida, with bigger highway length and much bigger population where the following control cities appear on entrances to I-95: Miami (and parts thereof), Ft. Lauderdale (Northbound only), W Palm Beach (Northbound only), Daytona Beach, Titusville (Northbound only), Cocoa (Southbound only), Jacksonville (and parts thereof), St Augustine (Southbound only). That's only 8 total, 6 Northbound and 5 Southbound.

And then there is New Jersey, where I-95 Northbound does not get a single in-state destination, having New York and/or George Washington Bridge as the only controls through the state (the one possible exception is the Newark Airport exit signage where I-95 is signed as "New York, Newark, Elizabeth" if Newark is meant to be Northbound). Southbound you do get a bit more, Fort Lee, Paterson, Newark, The Ridgefields, Trenton, (maybe Elizabeth, see above), Camden. If you were to sign population centers of the size Maine signs, you'd have at least Burlington, New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and Elizabeth serving as control cities, and probably just about anywhere there is an exit.

So is there a reason for this or is it just that different states differ with things like this?
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 01:11:26 PM »

CT is pretty simplified, with the exception of I-395, which has New Haven, Norwich, Plainfield, Danielson, and Putnam (should just be Norwich and New Haven, with Worcester)  I-84 has Danbury, Waterbury, and Hartford.  I-91 and CT 15 have New Haven and Hartford.  I-95 has Bridgeport (in a few places such as on SR 796), New Haven, and New London.  CT 8 has Bridgeport, Waterbury, Torrington, and Winsted.  CT 9 has Old Saybrook, Middletown, New Britain, and Newington/West Hartford. The rest (I-291, I-691, CT 2, CT 25, CT 40, CT 72) have either the two endpoints or a destination city it heads toward, with the exception of I-384, which only has Hartford WB and the out of state Providence EB. 

RI is even more simplified.  I-95 and I-195 have Providence, I-295 has Warwick and Woonsocket (but Johnston is used on RI 37 signage).  State routes usually have the endpoint or a destination town (ie Newport on RI 24). 
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 01:15:45 PM »

West Virginia uses smaller in-state cities on every just about every interstate.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 02:15:07 PM »

I've been browsing GSV for I-95 and it seems that Maine has a disproportionate number of control cities on it within the state. Sure, it's a big state, but there are few major populated centers. Yet, the following control cities appear on entrances to I-95 in Maine: Portland, Augusta, Kittery (Southbound only), Saco (Northbound only), Biddeford (Northbound only), Wells (Southbound only), Auburn, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach (Southbound only), Waterville, Bangor, Newport, Pittsfield (Southbound only), Orono (Northbound only), Houlton (Northbound only), Howland (Northbound only), Medway, Island Falls (Northbound only). That's 18 total, 14 Northbound, and 12 Southbound.

Compare with Florida, with bigger highway length and much bigger population where the following control cities appear on entrances to I-95: Miami (and parts thereof), Ft. Lauderdale (Northbound only), W Palm Beach (Northbound only), Daytona Beach, Titusville (Northbound only), Cocoa (Southbound only), Jacksonville (and parts thereof), St Augustine (Southbound only). That's only 8 total, 6 Northbound and 5 Southbound.

And then there is New Jersey, where I-95 Northbound does not get a single in-state destination, having New York and/or George Washington Bridge as the only controls through the state (the one possible exception is the Newark Airport exit signage where I-95 is signed as "New York, Newark, Elizabeth" if Newark is meant to be Northbound). Southbound you do get a bit more, Fort Lee, Paterson, Newark, The Ridgefields, Trenton, (maybe Elizabeth, see above), Camden. If you were to sign population centers of the size Maine signs, you'd have at least Burlington, New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and Elizabeth serving as control cities, and probably just about anywhere there is an exit.

So is there a reason for this or is it just that different states differ with things like this?

California has over 100 cities with over 50K population. Almost all of them are on a road. I am pretty sure that each of them is used as a control point somewhere. In fact, it would be surprising, and worthy of another thread if they are not.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 02:25:57 PM »

California has over 100 cities with over 50K population. Almost all of them are on a road.

[citation needed]

:bigass:
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 02:26:15 PM »

MN is weird in places, especially along I-90 west of Albert Lea. While the bottom line is always Sioux Falls or Albert Lea, interchange signage will use Worthington, Jackson, and Luverne.

I-94 will use Alexandria and Fergus Falls at interchanges west of St. Cloud, though again Fargo/Moorhead alternates on the bottom line on the freeway.

There’s also Forest Lake used on interchange signs at I-35E between I-694 and I-35W.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 02:36:55 PM »

California has over 100 cities with over 50K population. Almost all of them are on a road.

[citation needed]

:bigass:

Question: does "on a road" entail just pull-through or freeway-to-freeway exit references, or cities cited on off-ramps to surface streets as well?  If the latter, most CA towns of any appreciable size close to a freeway would find their way to BGS's!  However, there are a number of CA cities exceeding 100K population that aren't actual freeway control cities; I can think of a few offhand:  Santa Clara, Fontana, and Huntington Beach are examples.  All do show up on BGS exit signs, however.   
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bzakharin

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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 02:45:57 PM »

California has over 100 cities with over 50K population. Almost all of them are on a road.

[citation needed]

:bigass:

Question: does "on a road" entail just pull-through or freeway-to-freeway exit references, or cities cited on off-ramps to surface streets as well?  If the latter, most CA towns of any appreciable size close to a freeway would find their way to BGS's!  However, there are a number of CA cities exceeding 100K population that aren't actual freeway control cities; I can think of a few offhand:  Santa Clara, Fontana, and Huntington Beach are examples.  All do show up on BGS exit signs, however.   
Well, sure, any city hosting a freeway exit should probably appear on a BGS, except maybe a freeway-to-freeway interchange in the middle of nowhere.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 03:00:08 PM »

Illinois tends to use secondary control cities that are in state rather than out of state.  Examples:

I-80 WB
Primary control: Des Moines
Secondary control: Moline-Rock Island

I-55 SB
Primary control: St. Louis
Secondary control: East St. Louis

I-57 SB
Primary control: Memphis
Secondary control: Cairo

I-74 WB
Primary & Secondary controls: Moline-Rock Island

I-74 EB
Primary control: Indianapolis
Secondary control: Danville

I-70 WB
Primary control: St. Louis
Secondary control: East St. Louis

I-64 WB
Primary control: St. Louis
Secondary control: East St. Louis

I-72 WB
Primary & secondary controls: Quincy, sometimes Hannibal (MO)
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 03:02:44 PM »

California has over 100 cities with over 50K population. Almost all of them are on a road.

[citation needed]

:bigass:

Question: does "on a road" entail just pull-through or freeway-to-freeway exit references, or cities cited on off-ramps to surface streets as well?  If the latter, most CA towns of any appreciable size close to a freeway would find their way to BGS's!  However, there are a number of CA cities exceeding 100K population that aren't actual freeway control cities; I can think of a few offhand:  Santa Clara, Fontana, and Huntington Beach are examples.  All do show up on BGS exit signs, however.   
Well, sure, any city hosting a freeway exit should probably appear on a BGS, except maybe a freeway-to-freeway interchange in the middle of nowhere.

I'm creating a thread titled "Medium sized cities not on any freeway BGSes" (since there are no large ones). First, I have to figure out what some possible contenders are, though, so it hasn't been posted yet.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 03:03:32 PM »

Illinois tends to use secondary control cities that are in state rather than out of state.  Examples:

This approach makes sense to me, although I do find East Saint Louis a little silly.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 04:02:49 PM »

Illinois tends to use secondary control cities that are in state rather than out of state.  Examples:

This approach makes sense to me, although I do find East Saint Louis a little silly.
The Distance to Control Signs are even sillier, with East STL always 1-3 miles less than STL. No need to have both on the Distance signs, but the IL/IDOT standard is typically:
1) Next Interchange (mileage)
2) Secondary Control (mileage)
3) Primary Control (mileage)

So I-55 S, I-64 W and I-70 W have East St Louis and St Louis as the mileage points, on the same signs, across Southern and Central IL
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 04:10:19 PM »

Fargo/Moorhead alternates on the bottom line on the freeway.

Yeah, what you said:
MN is weird in places
I have never been able to figure out why on earth they alternate Fargo and Moorhead on distance signs for hundreds of miles. For crying out loud, just pick one, preferably Fargo, and stick with it the whole way! Alternating them does nothing but generate confusion, IMO; it's almost like they couldn't decide between the in-state destination and the larger city and ended up compromising clarity through indecision.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 04:31:06 PM »

I've been browsing GSV for I-95 and it seems that Maine has a disproportionate number of control cities on it within the state. Sure, it's a big state, but there are few major populated centers. Yet, the following control cities appear on entrances to I-95 in Maine: Portland, Augusta, Kittery (Southbound only), Saco (Northbound only), Biddeford (Northbound only), Wells (Southbound only), Auburn, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach (Southbound only), Waterville, Bangor, Newport, Pittsfield (Southbound only), Orono (Northbound only), Houlton (Northbound only), Howland (Northbound only), Medway, Island Falls (Northbound only). That's 18 total, 14 Northbound, and 12 Southbound.

Compare with Florida, with bigger highway length and much bigger population where the following control cities appear on entrances to I-95: Miami (and parts thereof), Ft. Lauderdale (Northbound only), W Palm Beach (Northbound only), Daytona Beach, Titusville (Northbound only), Cocoa (Southbound only), Jacksonville (and parts thereof), St Augustine (Southbound only). That's only 8 total, 6 Northbound and 5 Southbound.

And then there is New Jersey, where I-95 Northbound does not get a single in-state destination, having New York and/or George Washington Bridge as the only controls through the state (the one possible exception is the Newark Airport exit signage where I-95 is signed as "New York, Newark, Elizabeth" if Newark is meant to be Northbound). Southbound you do get a bit more, Fort Lee, Paterson, Newark, The Ridgefields, Trenton, (maybe Elizabeth, see above), Camden. If you were to sign population centers of the size Maine signs, you'd have at least Burlington, New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and Elizabeth serving as control cities, and probably just about anywhere there is an exit.

So is there a reason for this or is it just that different states differ with things like this?

Every state does its own thing. Some states would rather sign cities within their own state than out-of-state cities.

BTW there is at least ONE mention of Fort Lee on NB I-95:

https://www.google.com/maps/@40.8312676,-74.0227595,3a,75y,33.85h,94.62t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYCWaVqIP1fMsn7Ibg-eWAw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 06:05:53 PM »

Quote from: webny99
I have never been able to figure out why on earth they alternate Fargo and Moorhead on distance signs for hundreds of miles. For crying out loud, just pick one, preferably Fargo, and stick with it the whole way! Alternating them does nothing but generate confusion, IMO; it's almost like they couldn't decide between the in-state destination and the larger city and ended up compromising clarity through indecision.

Perhaps because they are effectively sister-cities that just happen to be on opposite sides of a river and state border.  Both cities are in the MPO name.  Fundamentally, it's not much different than alternating between Minneapolis and St. Paul on distance signage (which happens on I-35 and IIRC I-94 as well).
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2018, 07:21:36 PM »

DFW's got a habit of carrying nearby sattelite cities instead of the next major (Denton, McKinney, Waco, etc)

WI has it's next big site approach when signing I-90 and I-94 with Milwaukee, Madison, Wis Dells, Eau Claire and finally St. Paul (no Minneapolis, you get no respect) for I-94 and Janesville (SB Secondary), Madison, Wis Dells, La Crosse for I-90 (No Minnesota, no city gets respect here)  SB out of state?  Chicago (obviously) for both.

43? Green Bay, Milwaukee and Beloit.
41? Fond Du Lac, Green Bay
39? Wausau, [see 90/94]
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2018, 07:45:20 PM »

Fundamentally, it's not much different than alternating between Minneapolis and St. Paul on distance signage (which happens on I-35 and IIRC I-94 as well).

In Minnesota anyway. Strangely, for I-35 in Iowa north of Des Moines, the control city is Minneapolis but most if not all the distance signs use St. Paul.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 07:54:20 PM by MNHighwayMan »
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2018, 07:51:33 PM »

I-5 SB in Oregon uses many small cities starting south from Portland is Salem ok that makes sense it's the capitol the next is Eugene also makes sense still major but the next is Roseburg and Grants Pass come on who as ever heard of those? Next up is Medford I get that one should be used right after Eugene but even after that they still won't use a California city they have to go with Ashland. It isn't until after that we get a California city but it isn't Sacramento or even Redding as you would expect is Yreka who has ever heard of that? While in California they use Portland for NB starting just after Redding while Oregon uses all these little places for the SB direction.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2018, 08:28:46 PM »

Sort of related....

I never did get an answer to this question I posited 2˝ years ago:

Poland signs the remote focal point on its highways. In case of highways reaching a border, they sign the border town along the entire length of a route. So that means Jędrzychowice, a village with a population of 670, is signed across the country from hundreds of miles away...



Yes, but mileage signs are a different beast from control cities.  Is Jędrzychowice used on any guide signs at junctions any farther east than Gliwice?  I can't find any on GSV.  That is to say, it isn't used as a control city until less than 200 miles from the border, at which point it's reasonable to think more motorists would want guidance to the German border (although I still probably wouldn't use it until west of Wrocław).
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2018, 01:14:40 AM »

Maryland has:

I-68: Cumberland and maybe Hancock
I-70: Hancock, Hagerstown, Frederick and Baltimore
I-81: Hagerstown, if any at all
I-83: Baltimore, and I think Timonium at the I-695 interchanges
I-95: Baltimore
I-97: Baltimore and Annapolis.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2018, 01:31:21 AM »

Maryland has:
I-68: Cumberland and maybe Hancock


Yes to Hancock.  Signage on US 220 South just north of the I-68/US 220 concurrency displays "I-68 EAST/MD 144  Hancock".  Also can add Frostburg.  Pull-thru signage on I-68 West at Exit 39 reads "I-68/US 40 WEST  Frostburg"
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2018, 06:37:06 AM »

Oklahoma barely participates in the control city game; on I-35 and I-40, the only control city is Oklahoma City. On I-44 you also get Tulsa and Lawton.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2018, 07:03:34 AM »

Illinois tends to use secondary control cities that are in state rather than out of state.  Examples:

I-80 WB
Primary control: Des Moines
Secondary control: Moline-Rock Island

I thought the primary control city on I-80 WB in IL was "Iowa" :bigass:.
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2018, 10:00:10 AM »

I-95 in NH: Portsmouth, Seabrook and Hampton (at least it did years ago)

I-95 in MA: Boston, Salisbury, Peabody, Burlington (on two or three older signs), Waltham, Dedham, Canton, Foxboro (on one or two interchange signs) & Attleboro

I-95 in PA: Philadelphia & Chester

I-95 in DE: Wilmington & Newark

I-93 in MA: Boston, Dedham, Canton, Braintree, Quincy & Lawrence.
Note: Cape Cod is listed invariably on signage between Exit 27 (US 1 North) and Exit 7 (MA 3 South) but such is not an actual city.

I-90 in MA: Springfield, Worcester, Framingham (on some ramps signs) & Boston
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 10:59:01 AM by PHLBOS »
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Re: Number of in-state control cities on major interstates
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2018, 10:25:11 AM »

California has over 100 cities with over 50K population. Almost all of them are on a road.

[citation needed]

:bigass:

The first list of California cities by population gave me the top 100 and #100 was around 77000, so it might be closer to 200 (and remember that these are cities' official populations inside the city limits). On the list that I saw, it was somewhere in the high 60s before the population fell below 100000. We're not China, but we probably have a dozen cities over 200000 of which people east of the Rockies have never heard (except maybe in songs).
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