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Old 04-23-2014, 12:23 PM
 
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they really screwed the pooch with the northern beltline/I-22.

when they built I-22, they should have connected it to I-65 a few miles further north than it currently is, and just made that last segment of I-22 from say, Graysville to Gardendale, the first segment of the northern beltline.

i would support a full beltline, but the bottom line is given the current proposal, truck traffic going between Memphis (or Little Rock, or Oklahoma City) and Atlanta will still end up going through downtown. And this is probably the biggest source of truck traffic in the metro area due to the sheer size of the Atlanta area and the massive UPS/FedEx/Amazon/Wal-Mart operations that exist in this corridor. if the northern beltline is going to be built, it needs to be extended to I-20. if it can't hit the 459 terminus at i59 in trussville, then extend the beltline to i20 in moody or something. otherwise, the atlanta<-->memphis truck traffic will still abuse our downtown interstates.

i know bringing all of this up now won't do any good, but i can't figure out why on earth people in charge couldn't figure this out. having the last 10-15 miles of I-22 being the first phase of the northern beltline would have made a TON of sense.
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
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1. Diverting 22 to serve as a section of the belt line would make it less of a direct route for people going from here to Memphis and would add complexity and expense and not do a good job at either task.

2. It won't work completely until It is done and connecting to I-20 is already In the cards, just quietly as Raj has suggested.
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Old 04-23-2014, 01:57 PM
 
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diverting I-22 5-10 miles further north wouldn't have added more than a couple minutes to a trip to Memphis (and would actually make it shorter for some parts of the metro area (albeit a very small portion).

there's no way anyone will ever be able to convince me that incorporating part of 22 into the northern beltline would not have been a good idea. it wouldn't have been much more expensive (if any). the road would have been a few miles shorter and when the northern beltline construction came time to build, tens if not hundreds of millions would have been saved because the segment from gardendale to graysville would already have been completed.
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Old 04-23-2014, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
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They are using a connector instead of an interchange to connect 22 to 422. Cost and complexity are an issue with the terrain in that area.

Two separate projects envisioned years apart. You can not suggest one be compromised for another that may or may not be built.
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Old 04-23-2014, 07:32 PM
 
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It is being suggested that one of the 'spokes' should be part of the wheel. Moving I-22 north of Gardendale would have eliminated its local purpose of commuting to the Walker County suburbs and beyond.

Imagine if everyone currently commuting on US78 had to go to a place north of Gardendale. In most cases their commute would have been doubled.

I personally don't understand why it is so hard to see the pattern on a map and understand the logic. Almost all roads serve more than one purpose. I-22 is a NW to SE road. How could it possibly serve as a section of I-422, which west of I-65 is a NE to SW roadway.

Raj
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Old 05-22-2014, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
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Work progresses. Hopefully they can get eventually work on more then one segment at a time:

Northern Beltline construction continues, blasting to begin in a couple weeks | AL.com
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:15 AM
 
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To continue my retrograde naysaying: I still don't really understand the purpose of this tremendous use of public funds.
I've heard it is to:
(1) create a bypass so transportation does not go thru the city.
Isn't this what 459 already is? Why do we nee two of these?
(2) further develope areas north to the city.
I just don't see this as an unmitigated good thing. I'm not even sure people on the north side (who aren't major property owners) do either. Not saying they don't, as a whole. I just haven't seen anything either way. And for this argument to work, it should seem obvious to me the current residents would be the driving force behind the desire to build this road. Personally, I like that there is some less developed land immediately north to the city. Those that want to work in Bham but live in a more developed place, can live to the south. Those that want a less developed place, can live to the north.

Speaking of self-funding projects, this will create more financial burden. Road maintenance will be up to the state and region, not just the feds. Supposedly gas taxes don't even cover current roads. And since there is resistance to raising gas taxes, inflation will further eat away at this income, and road maintenance and building will eat further and further into general funds.
Furthermore, I also care about how we use federal funds. The sequester is rather devastating. Why are we spending on projects like this road then?

If we are going to pour money into road improvements, I'd rather it was already in highly developed areas. I.e., I'd rather have a comprehensive road improvement plan down 280 and to the south then further sprawl to the north. Create more proper planning in the already developed areas.
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Old 05-23-2014, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Birmingham
11,790 posts, read 11,400,231 times
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All that's been covered.

1. 459 is just half a bypass. This is the other half. Loop, beltline are other names that other cities use for theirs. It implies a complete circle.

2. We know that 459 helped develop the largest, most prosperous and most desirable suburbs of Birmingham. It may do the same for the North or it may not. But we can say that 459 did not hurt them.

3. The Fed is going to spend gas tax money on this or that. If it is not "this" it will be "that" in some other city in some other state. They will not use it for anything else.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourian View Post
1. 459 is just half a bypass. This is the other half. Loop, beltline are other names that other cities use for theirs. It implies a complete circle.
Yes, thanks. But why do we need that? I suppose so that people can also bypass Bham when going down 65 or future corridor X ( road improvement I can get behind since its improving connectivity between existing major developed areas? I suppose that is actually a decent argument after all, if its deemed necessary. I'm not sure it is... but I'm not privy to shipping transportation issues. I certainly think we shouldn't try to purposely route tourists and other individual travelers around, rather than through the city. I think that could achieve the shipping transportation objectives without having a huge new interstate with such huge a huge span... but given that's likely not the only objective I doubt that was seriously considered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourian View Post
2. We know that 459 helped develop the largest, most prosperous and most desirable suburbs of Birmingham. It may do the same for the North or it may not. But we can say that 459 did not hurt them.
My point is that the current residents should at least be given a say on whether they WANT this. Maybe those residents don't want to turn into Hoover, despite it being a desirable suburb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tourian View Post
3. The Fed is going to spend gas tax money on this or that. If it is not "this" it will be "that" in some other city in some other state. They will not use it for anything else.
this also missed the point that the gas tax already doesn't cover its existing obligations. There is not spare money to be spent on "this and that". In addition, this situation will become worse. The national transportation funding problem is not one of excess that we need to find places to funnel it into.
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Old 05-23-2014, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Birmingham
11,790 posts, read 11,400,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebeard View Post
Yes, thanks. But why do we need that? I suppose so that people can also bypass Bham when going down 65 or future corridor X ( road improvement I can get behind since its improving connectivity between existing major developed areas? I suppose that is actually a decent argument after all, if its deemed necessary. I'm not sure it is... but I'm not privy to shipping transportation issues. I certainly think we shouldn't try to purposely route tourists and other individual travelers around, rather than through the city. I think that could achieve the shipping transportation objectives without having a huge new interstate with such huge a huge span... but given that's likely not the only objective I doubt that was seriously considered.
I think it would be best to divert through-trucks, especially those with hazardous or oversized loads to go around the city and avoid coming through downtown. Tourists and travelers can do however they see fit, but having at least the option to bypass rather then coming through downtown if you are coming from the north and heading south, east or west OR coming from the east or west and heading north. If there is an accident on 65 right around Oxmoor or Lakeshore, the city practically comes to a halt - BOTH SIDES, because of onlookers delay. If we had a complete bypass, the effects of a minor fender bender would not be so disastrous. Looking at a map it is quite easy to conclude that Birmingham is the crossroads of Alabama. Almost all interstate traffic passing through the state will come through here. Half a bypass is not going to cut it.

Quote:
My point is that the current residents should at least be given a say on whether they WANT this. Maybe those residents don't want to turn into Hoover, despite it being a desirable suburb.
I hate this argument. Every city along 459 did not "turn into Hoover". We are not going to "turn into Atlanta." I said that the suburbs along 459 prospered. I do believe there are some people in places like Pinson and Graysville for instance, are excited about the bypass and what it might bring. Does this mean they will have a Galleria like mall some day soon? I doubt it. Does it mean they will have more tax revenue and opportunities then they have now? Absolutely.

Quote:
this also missed the point that the gas tax already doesn't cover its existing obligations. There is not spare money to be spent on "this and that". In addition, this situation will become worse. The national transportation funding problem is not one of excess that we need to find places to funnel it into.
I know, but I went to the gas station a little while ago and sure enough, people where there filling up just like I was. They are still collecting tax and still getting money in the fund. Looks like we got this started just in time.
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