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View Poll Results: WHich city has the best freeway system of the 10 largest MSA's?
Dallas/Ft. Worth 93 15.55%
Houston 138 23.08%
LA 158 26.42%
NYC 27 4.52%
Chicago 57 9.53%
Philly 11 1.84%
DC 16 2.68%
Miami 9 1.51%
Atlanta 53 8.86%
Detroit 36 6.02%
Voters: 598. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-02-2007, 08:55 AM
 
609 posts, read 2,124,059 times
Reputation: 134

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We have now talked about best airport, best city, best state, best rail, urban sprawl.

Well, to add to the urban sprawl, some love it, some dont. But no one denies freeways are a big part of urban sprawl. Eisenhower has done a great job at improving our nation's infrastructure with the invenetion of the interstate highway.

SO, which city has the best freeway system. If I had to rate the top 5 best freeway systems in the country, it certainly would not come from the more dense public transportation dependent northeast...I would look towards the sunbelt cities where urban sprawl, lots of land, dominate the landscape.

Personally, I feel the best designed freeway systems come from Texas cities. DFW, Houston, San Antonio all have access roads, or service roads that parallel their freeways, alleviate traffic somewhat, and promote commercial growth along the access roads so that people can get on and off easily. Also, DFW has done a great job at locating the freeways such that it has a relatively easy access. Virtually everyone who does commute by car does most of their commuting by freeway. THere are so many freeways in DFW...more than virtually most US cities. They range from 4-12 lanes wide. Just to name a few: I-20, I 35E, I 35W, I635, I-30, I820, SH 183, SH 114, SH 121, SH 360, US 67, SH 190, SH 161, SH Loop 12. I"m sure I"m missing some. But if you look at our freeway system, you will see it's well planned.
Phoenix for the longest time has been behind.

HOuston has lots of freeways, but the difference b/t Houston and Dallas is that Houston's 3 major business districts (Uptown/Galleria, Downtown Houston, and Med Center) are all located within their inner loop, this poses a problem traffic wise since Houston uses a hub and spoke model for their free way system where you have a system of NE/SE/NW,SW/N/W/E/S freeway heading that central area. THis is why Houston has a bad reputation for traffic in non rush hour times.

LA has lots of freeways. PRobably the most in the country....even more than DFW, which is hard to beat...but LA's population and some topographical limitations has made their roads crowded.

So, what goes into my rankings of best freeway systems in America:
1) relative flow (all big cities have traffic issues, period.)
2) Number of freeways
3) number of lanes/freeway
4) Safety design.
5) long distant access
6) location of freeway in cities.

NOw I know this is going to spark some debate...which is the most interesting part of this forum...so it will be time to hear the other views of everyone else. I do believe that people will start looking up traffic statistics a/b which cities have the worst traffic, etc...which will be good and educational...since there are people on this forum wanting to relocate. Other discussions that will likely be touched upon is the freeway/rail/bus...perhaps traffic flow is better with cities with better public transportation networks...but trust me, the Major Deegan in NYC is a nightmare...older northern city with only 6 lanes across.

Ok, here's my rank of best freeway system considering the top 10 largest MSA"s in the country:

Rank: City: Comments:
1 DFW With spread out business
districts, you get decent
relative commutes. YOu
hardly need to spend anytime
using local roads unless you
live in the urban core. Most
local roads are 6 lanes.
Access roads abundant, and
do relieve traffic, but Houston
overall with more access roads

2) Detroit The urban core has taken a hit
in recent years. THus
businesses spread out more.
Freeways here are a bit
antiquated, but relatively
decent system.
3 Houston Wait times are a nightmare here,
but Houston has well designed
freeways overall. Several lanes
wide, lots of space within a lane,
Lots of access roads for quick
turnaround of retail, and also
changing directions.
4 LA Freeway capital of the world.
THey raised teh concept to a new
level. Traffic is horrible, but
this is great for freeway lovers
who dont like to travel local.

5) NYC OUtside the central urban core
The system is not bad..especially
in WEstchester County, and into
Jersey. PUblic transportation
does alleviate traffic. The urban
core has no place to put
freeways.
6 Atlanta Another sunbelt freeway city.
Lots of people dont mind waiting
but Atlanta's population has out
grown its infrastructure...needs
more freeways per capita

7 CHicago Older northern city. Needs more
lanes. Suburbs are not ideal.

8) Philly Again, lack of concentrion of
freeways is made up by public
transportation. But the large
population with less freeways
makes it hard to get around out
side the urban core.
9 DC All I can say is the "Loop" ...
not good. Metro is great!
10 Miami: TOo many people, not enough
freeways.

Notable other cities not in the 10 largest MSA's

ST. Louis is relatively good.
Kansas CIty is great. FOr a MSA of only 1.8 million people, they seem to have freeways everywhere, even in sparsely populated areas. I am willing to bet they have more freeways per capita there.
Columbus
Denver
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:03 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,745 posts, read 3,440,331 times
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Metroplex, out of curiousity did get the idea of this topic from my thread? lol even if you did I guess you did take it and do your own thing with it so no hard feelings my fellow ex-St. Louisan In any case, I think Chicago and New York tie for first. LA and Dallas tie for second, Detroit and Atlanta tie for third. I guess Miami isn't two bad either since I-75 heads northwest and I-95 northeast, I'll put that 4th. Chicago and New York have the best systems with the most access to the most places in the country. The problem is that their size makes them crowded as hell. I think St. Louis' interstate highway system is excellent. You can get just about anywhere in the country with minimal changing of interstates...St. Louis is the true crossroads of America. Indy is pretty damn decent too...I'd say in terms of travel Indy and St. Louis are the best because their interstate highways form this kind of a crossing like this symbol to the right of the arrow --> *

That's about as good a highway system as you can get. Cleveland is pretty damn decent too. It's got an excellent system of interstate highways. You can get just about anywhere in the country from here too with minimal changing of interstates.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:04 AM
 
609 posts, read 2,124,059 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
Metroplex, out of curiousity did get the idea of this topic from my thread? lol even if you did I guess you did take it and do your own thing with it so no hard feelings my fellow ex-St. Louisan In any case, Chicago easily wins this one, followed closely by Dallas and Detroit. Why isn't New York on this either...they have a great interstate highway system. I-87, I-84, I-95, I-80, I-78. Chicago and New York have the best systems with the most access to the most places in the country. The problem is that their size makes them crowded as hell.
HEy fellow St. Louisan...didnt realize you already had a thread on this...

Sorry if I copied your idea...but maybe this discussion can continue
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 385,876 times
Reputation: 206
Houston easily takes the cake. There was even a book on Houston freeways:

Houston Freeways
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:17 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,745 posts, read 3,440,331 times
Reputation: 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guerilla View Post
Houston easily takes the cake. There was even a book on Houston freeways:

Houston Freeways
But Houston only has two direct connections from its interstate highways currently...I-45 and I-10. oh well...maybe I will rate it higher once Interstate 69 is extended down there. Houston really only needs one east-west freeway anyway. But yea...the Houston freeways are HUGE....like how much bigger can it get? I-45 looked like it was 8 lanes wide on each side. Texas roads are some of the best in the country besides California.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
13,466 posts, read 14,945,293 times
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Oh no to Chicago being number 1. They may have many freeways that get to the city. But their freeway system does not come close to Houston nor Dallas. The Eisenhower is a horrible freeway. I dislike the Austin and Harlem entrances and exits. In Texas, you have the U-Turn thing that many cities would like to have even though they don't like freeways. I don't care for those access roads. But you would care for them in case of an accident.

I would say from the cities I been to
1. LA
2. Houston
3. Dallas
4. Atlanta
5. Chicago
6. Washington DC
7. Miami
8. San Francisco
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:21 AM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,745 posts, read 3,440,331 times
Reputation: 660
Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
HEy fellow St. Louisan...didnt realize you already had a thread on this...

Sorry if I copied your idea...but maybe this discussion can continue
Never mind then...hehehe. mine is slightly different anyway. mine talks about the best cities with the interstate highway connections in the country...and takes into account all cities of the United States...so I give a yay that it should be continued since our's actually approach at different angles. Let the discussion resume
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Old 06-02-2007, 10:16 AM
 
609 posts, read 2,124,059 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf131 View Post
But Houston only has two direct connections from its interstate highways currently...I-45 and I-10. oh well...maybe I will rate it higher once Interstate 69 is extended down there. Houston really only needs one east-west freeway anyway. But yea...the Houston freeways are HUGE....like how much bigger can it get? I-45 looked like it was 8 lanes wide on each side. Texas roads are some of the best in the country besides California.
THis is why I feel DFW ranks higher than Houston. It has I-20, I-30...both east-west thoroughfares. IT also has I 35, which is one of America's longest North-South cooridoors.
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Old 06-02-2007, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 385,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metroplex2003 View Post
THis is why I feel DFW ranks higher than Houston. It has I-20, I-30...both east-west thoroughfares. IT also has I 35, which is one of America's longest North-South cooridoors.
Well, I-30 takes you to Little Rock and ends in Fort Worth. I-20 and I-35 are really the only major freeways in DFW (for cross-America travel). I-10 is enough for Houston, and I-45 (US 75 north of Downtown Dallas) is a freeway up to the Oklahoma border. If those Okies get their heads together and build US 75 into a freeway, I-45 will be a freeway up to Kansas City.

Once I-69 is built on the current US 59 land in Houston, then Houston will have more than just one major interstate running through it.

Despite having just one freeway, Houston has more truck traffic than DFW. I would bet that I-10 is more important than a I-20 or I-35.

This isn't interstate system though, so for traveling around the Houston area, Houston's freeway system is far superior.
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Old 06-02-2007, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 5,741,208 times
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I have been through all of these cities (I drove through Atlanta rush hour traffic during a family trip down South when I was still on my learner's permit! ), but I have driven mostly in Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago. I agree that the Eisenhower is a nightmare. The northwestern suburbs have poor freeway access.

Washington DC needs a better road network.
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