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  #61  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 4:28 PM
Sun Belt Sun Belt is offline
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i’ve been all over california this year and everywhere i turn are spanking new roads (SB1), and i’ve *never* seen anything like worst-case midwestern roads in california...
Are you talking about local roads, or freeways? The freeways are pretty well maintained, but the local streets in many municipalities have been so badly neglected for years, that instead of preventative measures in road maintenance what we see are reactionary.

Cities are still playing catch up from the Great Recession years.
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  #62  
Old Posted Oct 21, 2019, 5:48 PM
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Are you talking about local roads, or freeways? The freeways are pretty well maintained, but the local streets in many municipalities have been so badly neglected for years, that instead of preventative measures in road maintenance what we see are reactionary.

Cities are still playing catch up from the Great Recession years.
well i mean both. also i presume state highways that become urban streets (like the 101) are maintained by the state, too. i just haven't come across streets and roads that are really that bad in california. the highways are immaculate.
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  #63  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2019, 3:53 AM
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When I was living in Santa Barbara in the 80s, I was surprised at how bad the local streets were. But that was so long ago, I don't know what it's like now.
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  #64  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2019, 9:08 AM
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Los Angeles City (not counting on other cities) was notoriously known for bad streets, potholes everywhere, groove lines that heavy trucks cause on softer asphalt. It was commonly discussed all the time. They gave grades to all the streets and most got a D or F. But based on what people say here, they would be like a B or C grade. They weren't bad, but they weren't immaculate either. Just many long years of patched up cracks or smoothing over parts that they need when replacing sewer mains or just patches on potholes. So they weren't bad but they weren't perfect and I think many want perfect. But in the past 5 years or so, there has a been a lot of money and effort to address the big issue of the LA City roads. And the worst offenders where Santa Monica Blvd, Venice Blvd in my opinion as these were heavily used all day. I guess there are others.

So the past 5 years, many of the busier roads with bad gradings were repaved first. Followed by flat area residential streets. The ones that have many F grades were the hilly portions which is harder to fix and less priority as only a few people who live there use it rather than the main roads where everyone uses it. There is also effort to fix potholes ASAP but it takes the public to call the city to tell them as the city doesnt just drive around finding potholes. My local area has almost had every primary and secondary street paved at least once or twice. Sometimes you read on facebook comments on how other people in other LA districts aren't getting the same things done but it comes down to their district city councilmember I guess. Now you dont really hear much complaining about LA streets. It is mostly just about homeless or price of rent.
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  #65  
Old Posted Oct 22, 2019, 1:39 PM
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when there is a line of cars pulled over with blowouts, then you will have seen a really bad road. i've seen this on interstates in arkansas outside of memphis where rebar was sticking out of the concrete shredding tires right and left, all over the northern sector of metro st. louis, and any number of the great north/south roads/streets like pulaski in chicago in late winter when the bent/cut streetcar rails are hanging out of the pavement and just absolutely pulverizing wheels/tires in real time...
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Last edited by Centropolis; Oct 22, 2019 at 1:49 PM.
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  #66  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2019, 8:19 PM
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Is there a thread for the best road infrastructure?
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  #67  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2019, 9:15 PM
edale edale is offline
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I find the roads to be pretty great in LA and really everywhere in CA, especially compared to the midwest. I have noticed some segments of freeway make my car "bounce", but that must be a design feature I think.
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  #68  
Old Posted Oct 23, 2019, 11:26 PM
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If you broaden this to not only include maintenance but also roadway design and traffic management, I personally think the City of Chicago ranks horribly on all three aspects.

A few examples:

The new Jane Byrne will be better than the old, but not significantly.
290 has this weird stretch of left exits that hampers traffic flow on the freeway because of weaving.
90/94 does NOT maximize the footprint of the ROW. With a few key property acquisitions, you could double the express lanes making them permanently both directions.
The horrible practice of having four way stop intersections on major roads which in any other city would be signalized and set ina timed traffic light pattern.
The only scattershot use rather than universal of signalized Left turns at intersections between major roads.
The horrible practice of having near-universal street parking on MAJOR roads when these could otherwise be lanes to move traffic. Most houses have garages on alleys, they can use them. Their visitors can park on side streets.
The awful maintenance of the pavement. There are techniques for paving that last in this weather and they don’t have the funds to even maintain what’s there, let alone rebuild.
The fact that roadway markings are altogether missing on many major arterials is sad.
A coherent street parking permit system. A better idea? Get rid of permitting altogether, if drives up residential costs and decreases the activity of nearby business relative to what they’d be getting if those spaces were being filled by patrons from elsewhere. If there are so many people that it requires managing the parking, a better strategy is to increase public transit so that they don’t NEED to park to live (it is transit heavy, but there are still expansions that should be happening). Public residential garages are also a concept that I find interesting to help with this.
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Last edited by wwmiv; Oct 23, 2019 at 11:44 PM.
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  #69  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2019, 1:35 AM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
If you broaden this to not only include maintenance but also roadway design and traffic management, I personally think the City of Chicago ranks horribly on all three aspects.

A few examples:

The new Jane Byrne will be better than the old, but not significantly.
290 has this weird stretch of left exits that hampers traffic flow on the freeway because of weaving.
90/94 does NOT maximize the footprint of the ROW. With a few key property acquisitions, you could double the express lanes making them permanently both directions.
The horrible practice of having four way stop intersections on major roads which in any other city would be signalized and set ina timed traffic light pattern.
The only scattershot use rather than universal of signalized Left turns at intersections between major roads.
The horrible practice of having near-universal street parking on MAJOR roads when these could otherwise be lanes to move traffic. Most houses have garages on alleys, they can use them. Their visitors can park on side streets.
The awful maintenance of the pavement. There are techniques for paving that last in this weather and they don’t have the funds to even maintain what’s there, let alone rebuild.
The fact that roadway markings are altogether missing on many major arterials is sad.
A coherent street parking permit system. A better idea? Get rid of permitting altogether, if drives up residential costs and decreases the activity of nearby business relative to what they’d be getting if those spaces were being filled by patrons from elsewhere. If there are so many people that it requires managing the parking, a better strategy is to increase public transit so that they don’t NEED to park to live (it is transit heavy, but there are still expansions that should be happening). Public residential garages are also a concept that I find interesting to help with this.

Yeah, I think the topic about how a towns roads are layed out etc. is way more interesting than a discussion about a towns potholes or whatever.
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  #70  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2019, 6:23 AM
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As Crawford said, are we talking rich countries only? Then it’s somewhere with hot summers and brutal winters like Chicago, Montreal, Detroit etc.

If it’s really anywhere in the world, then it’s a big city in Africa where most of the roads still aren’t fully paved.
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  #71  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2019, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by wwmiv View Post
A coherent street parking permit system. A better idea? Get rid of permitting altogether, if drives up residential costs and decreases the activity of nearby business relative to what they’d be getting if those spaces were being filled by patrons from elsewhere.
I find Chicago's on-street parking rules completely inscrutable. Was at Lincoln Park Zoo with my family a few months ago, and I asked two doormen if parking rules are enforced on Sunday mornings. They had no clue. I had the same issue later that day, trying to park in the South Loop; doorman again was clueless. In both cases I just paid for off-street parking (so easy now with all the apps), but it would be nice to have coherent rules.

When my sister lived in Chicago she would just give me the resident guest passes, but it was still confusing. Got a ticket once but ignored it; they don't come after you unless you have at least three (also bizarre; why do you have two "freebies"?).
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  #72  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2019, 5:39 PM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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My guess on roads is going to be places in the north because of Freeze expansion and in the warm wet south, sinkholes, floods, washouts, soft ground settling etc.

Dryer parts of the country in the mountain west and great plains luck out as these climates are less harsh on roads and concrete, there is a reason why north African deserts house some of the best ancient ruins. Large blocks of stones hold up a LOOOOOONg time in dry climates.

You also have the "bad government" issue which is going to be the problems in California, road maintenance deferred due to internal political issues and other such bullshit.

There is no reason California roads should be in bad shape, they are in a climate that is easy on things like roads and have a massive tax base to maintain them but somehow those funds never seem to make it to cold hard repair work. Some mysteries will never be solved
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  #73  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2019, 6:29 PM
montréaliste montréaliste is offline
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My guess on roads is going to be places in the north because of Freeze expansion and in the warm wet south, sinkholes, floods, washouts, soft ground settling etc.

Dryer parts of the country in the mountain west and great plains luck out as these climates are less harsh on roads and concrete, there is a reason why north African deserts house some of the best ancient ruins. Large blocks of stones hold up a LOOOOOONg time in dry climates.

You also have the "bad government" issue which is going to be the problems in California, road maintenance deferred due to internal political issues and other such bullshit.

There is no reason California roads should be in bad shape, they are in a climate that is easy on things like roads and have a massive tax base to maintain them but somehow those funds never seem to make it to cold hard repair work. Some mysteries will never be solved


Yes, I was surprised at the statistical chart that put San Francisco's road infrastructure at the top of the dereliction list. I drove from San Diego to San Francisco and back down to Los Angeles in 1990 and it was a magic carpet ride back then. things may have changed, I know road conditions have gotten worse in Montreal in the past thirty years. Road infrastructure here was so abominable that the major East West highway that leads into downtown has been entirely demolished and rebuilt in the past 5 years. It is almost finished. The old works dated back to 1966, and had to be removed completely. I doubt that that kind of thing would be necessary in a climate like Texas or California. Road salt and freeze thaw cycles damage the concrete/rebar structures on one hand, and the expansion and contraction of the roadbed and surfaces on the other.

The old Champlain Bridge was also replaced entirely with a 4 km long 4.5 billion dollar span inaugurated this summer. The old one was brought into service in 1959, and thus lasted 60 years. It will be demolished and the cost of that operation will hover around half a billion dollars.

The other major spans around the island also need a lot of work on a regular basis, there is talk of building a new Ile-aux-tourtes bridge at the Extreme West end, and a major overhaul of the LHLafontaine tunnel in the East end is starting next month and will cost a billion dollars to complete.

A lot of the work listed above is due to premature damage caused by erosion from salt, ice and water.
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  #74  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2019, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Centropolis View Post
i’ve been all over california this year and everywhere i turn are spanking new roads (SB1), and i’ve *never* seen anything like worst-case midwestern roads in california...

All over?

Yeah right. Our highways in this state are absolute crap.
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  #75  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2019, 1:57 AM
jtown,man jtown,man is offline
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Why are California's roads rated so poorly? They have a really high gas tax and are even running surplus budgets and have good weather, what gives?

Last edited by jtown,man; Oct 25, 2019 at 7:56 PM.
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  #76  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2019, 3:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jtown,man View Post
Why are California's roads rate so bad? They have a really high gas tax and are even running surplus budgets and have good weather, what gives?
California has mandated spending minimums for certain state budget items (such as education) and therefore to balance the budget they have often taken from the transportation gas tax to help balance the budget. Attempts to require the gas tax to be spent on road and highway infrastructure have failed.

We’ll see how much of the $52 billion in revenue being raised from the most recent gas tax increase and increased DMV auto registration fees actually ends up going to repair highway infrastructure.
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  #77  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2019, 5:18 PM
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Again. Every major and moderate city here in the US has absolutely horrible roads. Everyone. Western Europeans and Japan puts us to shame. Even Canada..
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  #78  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2019, 6:12 PM
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Again. Every major and moderate city here in the US has absolutely horrible roads. Everyone. Western Europeans and Japan puts us to shame. Even Canada..
My city does not have horrible roads. But I dont think thats by anyone's competence its just the climate is very easy on our roads
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  #79  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2019, 6:38 PM
iheartthed iheartthed is online now
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Again. Every major and moderate city here in the US has absolutely horrible roads. Everyone. Western Europeans and Japan puts us to shame. Even Canada..
There are some places that are far worse than others.

Something that did not get mentioned that also contributes to road conditions is vehicle weight. Michigan has one of the highest weight limits in the country, along with no toll roads and few roads where heavy loads are restricted.
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  #80  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2019, 10:41 PM
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^ Your roads are bad too.

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My city does not have horrible roads. But I dont think thats by anyone's competence its just the climate is very easy on our roads
I've been to Phoenix. Your roads are shit. Sorry.
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