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Old 07-21-2019, 12:38 PM
 
2,154 posts, read 860,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
Austin is much flatter and much less treed than we are.
Actually this isnt quite true.
Although the tree canopy isnt as tall as Atlanta's, its not lacking in greenery or hills.

Only eastern Austin is flat. The western section of it is more hilly / slightly mountainous than most suburbs in Atlanta asside from the foothills of the Blueridge area. It looks more like California. Austin is also one of the more 'green' cities in TX which also surprised me. No, its not Atlanta level but there's a fair amount of greenery.

However between eastern Austin and western Austin (and even Southern) there's a huge difference in topography so in the flatter less lush eastern Austin, it's much easier to see why it's easier to throw up toll roads.

45 in southern Austin faced alot of opposition and lawsuits and is to this date only a month old from its grand opening and even after approved the road had to be heavily condensed due to the environment is passed through so what I'm stating is it isnt quite like its cake and icecream to make highways here. The western section where the majority of the hills are does not have a single freeway or tollroad and from Austin to San Antonio it's very known if one even thought of designing a freeway through that region it would be met with severe lashback. This is why TX130 is on the East side of Austin rather than West although the west is far more directly in alignment with its route to San Antonio. Loop 360 is the only thing that comes close and only a few intersections were converted to interchanges (with MUCH political lashback at that).

On the northern end where 45 ends at 183, the interchange in designed in such a way that it looks as if they intended it to continue further west but abruptly dumps you onto a clogged surface road which also serves as the only route to the west hills area (F.M.620) and traffic on that route is a mess. They proposed to continue it further west but all votes to do so failed not only because the cost to cross the river but the west hills area plainly has far more environmental protection.

If the blueridge area were also present in Texas it's very likely they would not be so eager to coat those areas with highways. I mean one has to admit there is a HUGE topography difference between most of Texas and Georgia of which makes it much easier to design the kind of roads they have here than in the north metro area.

The real issue with the outer perimeter isnt that metro Atlanta does not want it, but metro Atlanta does not want what the politicians intended to do with it, which was route it through every one of their properties which would have in turn caused explosions of growth in the outer Atlanta area and very quickly instead of an outer perimeter you would literally have another clogged suburban highway without anywhere else or any other way to design around it. Although I do like the highways in Texas i have to agree that if the northern arc had been conceived in the design they had in mind (routing and exits through every other development) it would have eventually lead to a bigger problem.

NC terrain has much of the same geographical features of suburban Atlanta but asside from Asheville none of their metros are seated on the foothills of mountains.

Last edited by Need4Camaro; 07-21-2019 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,476 posts, read 17,645,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
Not sure TBH. From the HOT plans I have seen they are seemingly only focused OTP. If they did the ITP lanes they would have to build new lanes however and possibly return the HOV lane to a GP lane or better yet a BRT.
Where the freeways still have additional ROW or land already owned by GDOT to add the lanes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
Yeah I don't understand why they don't convert the old HOV lanes to Peach Pass. At least make it one consistent system everywhere across the metro.

I think I heard at one point that they plan to eventually.
Yes, this needs to happen. Speed up the Xpress Buses.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Where the freeways still have additional ROW or land already owned by GDOT to add the lanes.

Yes, this needs to happen. Speed up the Xpress Buses.
What if they left the HOV alone and just made a seperate lane for BRT and bus stops in the median? Or if they did something similar to what they are doing on GA-400. 1 HOV lane, 1 HOT lane shared by BRT (Katy Fwy does this)
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:24 AM
 
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This is a good idea. One of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the ATL is I-85 in this area.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,476 posts, read 17,645,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
What if they left the HOV alone and just made a seperate lane for BRT and bus stops in the median? Or if they did something similar to what they are doing on GA-400. 1 HOV lane, 1 HOT lane shared by BRT (Katy Fwy does this)
Because we don't have the room for additional lanes. Where would you squeeze that in on Downtown Connector, I-85 in Gwinnett, I-20 in Atlanta?
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:55 AM
 
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Interesting that they can build a whole new freeway interchange (including $7 million for land acquisition) for $20 million, whereas it costs $30 million for a pedestrian bridge across Northside Drive.

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Old 07-22-2019, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,476 posts, read 17,645,124 times
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Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Interesting that they can build a whole new freeway interchange (including $7 million for land acquisition) for $20 million, whereas it costs $30 million for a pedestrian bridge across Northside Drive.

Yep, no accountability in City Hall on that project.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Because we don't have the room for additional lanes. Where would you squeeze that in on Downtown Connector, I-85 in Gwinnett, I-20 in Atlanta?
Pretty much what I proposed before, although extremely expensive and very unlikely to come to past, I personally think would be fairly innovative.

Submerge a new HOT lane with limited exits and a new dedicated BRT lane, not exactly under ground but below freeway level (they would reside under the left two lanes of I-85) perhaps even make the BRT an electrified 'tram on rubber wheels ' with multiple cars and dedicated stops underneath I-85 technically making I-85 a major transit corridor of which carries a virtual tram / sub-surface subway-bus with uninterrupted access between Downtown and Gwinnett.

The HOV lane could remain intact as a high occupancy means with every exit (its not truly an Express lane, just a controlled access lane) for people unwilling to pay or could be returned to General Purpose

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
Interesting that they can build a whole new freeway interchange (including $7 million for land acquisition) for $20 million, whereas it costs $30 million for a pedestrian bridge across Northside Drive.

While I see what you're inferring, one should note that the most expensive part of building the interchange is already complete in this case. That is the overpass. Bridges are very expensive. The only thing they are doing is regrading the terrain and paving out off ramps over raw earth. If the overpass did not exist it would cost MUCH more.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,476 posts, read 17,645,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
Pretty much what I proposed before, although extremely expensive and very unlikely to come to past, I personally think would be fairly innovative.

Submerge a new HOT lane with limited exits and a new dedicated BRT lane, not exactly under ground but below freeway level (they would reside under the left two lanes of I-85) perhaps even make the BRT an electrified 'tram on rubber wheels ' with multiple cars and dedicated stops underneath I-85 technically making I-85 a major transit corridor of which carries a virtual tram / sub-surface subway-bus with uninterrupted access between Downtown and Gwinnett.

The HOV lane could remain intact as a high occupancy means with every exit (its not truly an Express lane, just a controlled access lane) for people unwilling to pay or could be returned to General Purpose



While I see what you're inferring, one should note that the most expensive part of building the interchange is already complete in this case. That is the overpass. Bridges are very expensive. The only thing they are doing is regrading the terrain and paving out off ramps over raw earth. If the overpass did not exist it would cost MUCH more.
We will not see a widening of any freeway ITP. Land costs are too high and digging underground too expensive. We need to reallocate the existing lanes we have to make them more efficient than carrying 1 person in 1 vehicle. That is incredibly inefficient and uses a lot of energy.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:34 AM
 
2,154 posts, read 860,610 times
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Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
We will not see a widening of any freeway ITP. Land costs are too high and digging underground too expensive. We need to reallocate the existing lanes we have to make them more efficient than carrying 1 person in 1 vehicle. That is incredibly inefficient and uses a lot of energy.
In a way I agree but the way the law is laid out it's practically just as impossible. I mean they aniahlated gas tax from funding transit means to begin with so that gives us a clear idea where their mindset is on the matter.

They could instead of tolling the HOV lanes, make them HOV 3+ lanes (carrying 3 or more passengers) which could in turn make more capacity for BRT while forcing 2 or less drivers to the GP lanes. Then the left lane is more transit orientated at least.

I personally however dont see BRT being very effective unless it was completely segregated from other vehicular traffic.

On a curious note though, just how expensive would it be to submerge 2 lanes each way (4 lanes total) from I-285 to Downtown? By submerged, these lanes would technically only be underneath the freeway, but not underground, although lower than surface level in most cases. The only time they may 'tunnel' is when going under existing underpasses.
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