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Old 04-18-2011, 09:25 PM
 
12,439 posts, read 9,277,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewizard16 View Post
I saw this, and have been discussing it with some other people too. A large part of the problem is the extremely high mileage of state roads to begin with- there are way too many for a state this size, and a lot of that is because of terrain, lack of alternate routing options, and trying to connect every tiny burg with every other tiny burg. Urban road infrastructure in Arkansas is lacking overall and certainly contributes to problems. Some sections of the state (lots of the northern part of the state and pockets in the south and east) have unbelievably nice new roads, yet roads like I-40, 165 S, etc. go without their needed maintenance, resurfacing, or improvements. A lot of it is priorities (there is too much focus on rural road construction- it's viewed as an economic driver to justify all these rural road projects and improvements, but there's little evidence it works), some of it is money, and some of it is quantity. Part of the high fatality rank may be (until recently) very lax safety standards. Arkansas took it's time making seatbelt laws stricter, and doesn't enforce a lot of the distracted driver laws like texting, etc. Some of it is also terrain- there are lots of roads in Arkansas that if you manage to go off of the road, you're in bad shape. You can't wreck through the guardrail on the side of a bluff or mountain (if there's a guardrail) and come out of that well. And there's a lot of fatality deaths on the interstates, which I believe is why they are putting up a lot more of those wire dividers in the medians on interstates with narrow medians.

Some of this study is based off subjective or ill-defined information, but Arkansas does probably have some of the least consistent roads I've encountered. From what I saw of LA, it was mostly all bad. Texas, mostly all good. OK- you don't want to know what I thought. MO- old and bad in places, but major thoroughfares are mostly good due to the focus on high-traffic routes. Arkansas though- bad, good, bad, good, bad interstate to get to Little Rock or Memphis but brand new smooth divided between Clinton and Conway... How much sense does that make?
I can tell you some of the dangerous problems with some of the roads in Arkansas. The road between Fort Smith and Hot Springs has grooves in the road where cars drive most and the state has not fixed them. Normally you will have the roads angled so that the water runs of to one side or another. On these roads, the water does not run off the road but settles in the grooves. This can cause some serious hydroplaning in the non cold months and ice in the cold months. Arkansas was the first State that I have seen with this type of problem. I don't know why it so unique to Arkansas.

The other problem that is dangerous is visibility of the lines. I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis has some of the poorest striping that I have ever not seen...literally. At night, especially when it has been raining, you can't see the lines on the road. It is like they painted the lines with house paint, they are not very reflective.
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:04 AM
 
Location: Wichita, KS
669 posts, read 1,361,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotair2 View Post
I can tell you some of the dangerous problems with some of the roads in Arkansas. The road between Fort Smith and Hot Springs has grooves in the road where cars drive most and the state has not fixed them. Normally you will have the roads angled so that the water runs of to one side or another. On these roads, the water does not run off the road but settles in the grooves. This can cause some serious hydroplaning in the non cold months and ice in the cold months. Arkansas was the first State that I have seen with this type of problem. I don't know why it so unique to Arkansas.

The other problem that is dangerous is visibility of the lines. I-40 between Little Rock and Memphis has some of the poorest striping that I have ever not seen...literally. At night, especially when it has been raining, you can't see the lines on the road. It is like they painted the lines with house paint, they are not very reflective.
It's not unique, we used to have that problem in Iowa too, and I've seen in in Missouri and Texas. I assume it happens when a road is either built on too soft a foundation or conditions exceed what it was built for. That's the exact problem I had in south Arkansas on parts of 165 too- there are grooves worn down where traffic flows and it pools water, making some really nasty conditions for hydroplaning. That plus rental car tires was not a winning combination.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Arkansas, USA
90 posts, read 224,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewizard16 View Post
It's not unique, we used to have that problem in Iowa too, and I've seen in in Missouri and Texas. I assume it happens when a road is either built on too soft a foundation or conditions exceed what it was built for. That's the exact problem I had in south Arkansas on parts of 165 too- there are grooves worn down where traffic flows and it pools water, making some really nasty conditions for hydroplaning. That plus rental car tires was not a winning combination.
The local news this morning said that those types of road conditions are caused by the increased semi-truck traffic on state roads, and said that the state was going to lower their weight limits. This, of course, has business owners, who rely on that transport, up in arms.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VacaGuru View Post
The local news this morning said that those types of road conditions are caused by the increased semi-truck traffic on state roads, and said that the state was going to lower their weight limits. This, of course, has business owners, who rely on that transport, up in arms.
That probably won't go anywhere. We bend over for the trucking industry in this country.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
65,018 posts, read 72,711,274 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grmasterb View Post
That probably won't go anywhere. We bend over for the trucking industry in this country.
And we should, what would we do without them? I have to admit I hate being on the interstates where there are so many, but I realize we need them.

Nita
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Arkansas, USA
90 posts, read 224,628 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grmasterb View Post
That probably won't go anywhere. We bend over for the trucking industry in this country.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
And we should, what would we do without them? I have to admit I hate being on the interstates where there are so many, but I realize we need them.

Nita
You're both right, but the roads obviously can not handle the trucking industries heavy traffic, in their current condition. There are only two choices, lower the weight limit, or beef up the roads to handle them. Which do you think is going to cost the state less, in the long run?
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
529 posts, read 1,338,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txdave35 View Post
I think the problem is the extreme lack of safe driving here. Good lord, did anyone go to driving school in AR? I spent the weekend driving from Bella Vista to LR on 540 and I-40. I would say 9 out of 10 drivers had to be going at least 90 mph, 20 miles over the speed limit. Several cars decided to drive mere inches from my bumper. Get off my bumper, you idiot. If I just barely hit my brakes, they would have no time to react. Not to mention that this excess speeding burns up more fuel and doesn't save that much in time travel.

This is why we have so many fatalities here!
Arkansas roads are not great but people (like you) need to keep right. If you are not passing someone in the left lane then you need to move over and let people pass you. Its not your job to control the speed of other drivers, that's the job of the state troopers. If you don't like someone tailgating you then move over and let them pass.

The left lane is for passing only. Drivers in other states seem to get it for the most part but Arkansas drivers will just sit in the left lane going under the speed limit while ten cars pass them on the right. That is unsafe. I wish the state troopers would enforce a left lane law.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:00 AM
 
12,439 posts, read 9,277,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagelw View Post
Arkansas roads are not great but people (like you) need to keep right. If you are not passing someone in the left lane then you need to move over and let people pass you. Its not your job to control the speed of other drivers, that's the job of the state troopers. If you don't like someone tailgating you then move over and let them pass.

The left lane is for passing only. Drivers in other states seem to get it for the most part but Arkansas drivers will just sit in the left lane going under the speed limit while ten cars pass them on the right. That is unsafe. I wish the state troopers would enforce a left lane law.
I can't rep you enough for that.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Fishers, IN
6,512 posts, read 9,869,916 times
Reputation: 3996
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
And we should, what would we do without them? I have to admit I hate being on the interstates where there are so many, but I realize we need them.

Nita
Lower weight limits should be enforced, or the trucking industry should be forced to pay for the damage they are causing to roads. Will the cost be passed off to the consumer? In all likelihood. Or, if the cost of shipping by truck were to finally be reflective of the true costs, then maybe some items would be shipped via rail. If that hurts the trucking industry, oh well.
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:11 AM
 
12,439 posts, read 9,277,488 times
Reputation: 3126
Quote:
Originally Posted by grmasterb View Post
Lower weight limits should be enforced, or the trucking industry should be forced to pay for the damage they are causing to roads. Will the cost be passed off to the consumer? In all likelihood. Or, if the cost of shipping by truck were to finally be reflective of the true costs, then maybe some items would be shipped via rail. If that hurts the trucking industry, oh well.

If it is weight limits on big rigs that is the problem, how are the other 45 states that performed better on the survey dealing with the problem. I think blaming it on trucking is just a bunch of huey. It is not like Arkansas is the only state that has big rigs on the highways and interstates.
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