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Old 08-16-2009, 10:20 AM
 
418 posts, read 799,829 times
Reputation: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by wc2005 View Post
Saw it again today at around 2 PM...not rush hour and on Saturday...traffic going northbound was backed up from Braun Road all the way to Shanefield. These traffic lights need to go away!!!
Saturday is rush hour in San Antonio!
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:03 PM
 
872 posts, read 1,017,394 times
Reputation: 437
Yet another example of 1604 traffic being stopped for no reason...this morning (Sunday) at 7 AM, I caught a red light at Military, Shanefield, New Gilbeau, and Braun yet there was NO TRAFFIC coming from those crossroads. Why does the 1604 light turn red if there is no traffic on the crossroads to trigger the light?

Even if there is traffic at the crossroads, the 1604 traffic should have a MUCH LONGER green light than those side roads.
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:54 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, Texas
39 posts, read 94,920 times
Reputation: 41
I HATE DRIVING UP THERE!!! I got smart though...it seems like a longer way but its much quicker to take FM 1560 (which is about 2 miles west of 1604 running parallel) from Culebra to Bandera and vice versa. But I thought that they were the talks to build a toll road from 151 to 281...
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:26 AM
 
872 posts, read 1,017,394 times
Reputation: 437
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrinityTiger View Post
I HATE DRIVING UP THERE!!! I got smart though...it seems like a longer way but its much quicker to take FM 1560 (which is about 2 miles west of 1604 running parallel) from Culebra to Bandera and vice versa. But I thought that they were the talks to build a toll road from 151 to 281...
Yeah, they have talked about it but due to lots of oposition, its kinda quiet right now. Hopefully, we'll see Kay Bailey Hutchison elected as governor (she is officially announcing today) and she is 100% against such toll roads!

Moderator cut: see comment

Last edited by Bo; 08-18-2009 at 07:51 AM.. Reason: national politics are off topic in local forums.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:21 PM
 
872 posts, read 1,017,394 times
Reputation: 437
The new traffic light is now operational.
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Griesheim, Germany
13,805 posts, read 17,897,071 times
Reputation: 3921
freaking great

thanks for the heads up, though. Now I'll be ready for a bunch of idiots that can't handle a stoplight, or maybe just go down Grossenbacher instead.
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:21 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,286 posts, read 1,725,081 times
Reputation: 784
Man, have I missed some fun. I'll try to organize my responses by topic:

Plans for Loop 1604 West

Quote:
Originally Posted by wc2005 View Post
Here is a start on westside traffic. What say you?

Why is 1604 on the west side usually ignored when there are discussions about fixing traffic flow in San Antonio? There should be overpasses in the Bruan Road and New Gilbeau Road area. The left turn lane at Shanefield for northbound traffic on 1604 needs to be extended.
Quote:
Originally Posted by V3rtigo View Post
nothing planned yet, so dont expect anything until at least 2014.
First of all, the RMA now "owns" construction rights for 1604 West by virtue of future plans for a tollway in that area. TxDOT no longer is responsible for that stretch of 1604.

There are two plans in the pipe for Loop 1604 West at this time. The first one would build a super-street (a la 281) from Braun to Shaenfield. They are watching to see how the 281 super-street does when it is done next year.

The ultimate plan is to build a tolled expressway from Braun south to Military. The plans for that are on my site. I believe the current timeframe for completion of that is ~2017.

Dominion overpass

Quote:
Originally Posted by majormadmax View Post
It didn't seem to stop the state from spending millions to build an overpass at the Dominion!

Loop 1604 handles a lot more traffic, and the money should have been spent there first. I would like to know who arranged that deal!
Actually, it doesn't. I-10 at Dominion carries 77,000 vehicles per day; Loop 1604 West at Braun carries 69,000 vpd; Loop 1604 at Culebra carries 40,000 vpd, and 1604 at Potranco carries 22,000 vpd (all numbers 2007 counts).

Quote:
Originally Posted by majormadmax View Post
Sorry, but I call 'BS' on that one! There are two underpasses at Camp Bullis Road and in Leon Springs which are a total of 3.2 miles apart. The entrance to the Dominion is almost at the halfway point, meaning the distance saving is a whopping 1.6 miles! For $20M+, that ridiculous and an extreme waste of taxpayer's money!
As ashneeigh mentioned, the overpass at Dominion was specifically requested by the City to facilitate emergency vehicle access to the east side of I-10 from their fire station on the west side, and the City kicked-in some money to get it done.

When a local agency is willing to put-up money for a project, that helps it get higher priority for any remaining funding. In addition, an overpass there has always been on TxDOT's plan so that they could convert the access roads in the area to one-way, which was required because of increasing traffic volumes. (One-way access roads can carry more traffic and are much safer than two-way access roads. Traffic growth in that area warranted the switch to one-way.) In order to do that, they needed an intermediate overpass between Camp Bullis and Boerne Stage-- otherwise, it was just too far to have traffic go to get from one side of the highway to the other. Additional overpasses are planned eventually at Old Fredericksburg and at Dietz-Elkhorn and those access roads converted to one-way all the way to Boerne.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
What's you're failing to see is that the Dominion project was mandated when it was annexed years ago so emergency crews could reach the area. It has nothing to do with traffic congestion.

It's like comparing apples to oranges. At least in my eyes. All of that was outlined in the WOAI article. And I did mention that I was upset that it did cost a lot over the budget to finish up the project.
Actually, they didn't go over budget. They did an estimate for the city back around 2000 where they said that it would cost about $6 million to build it. Starting in 2003, construction costs started spiking, so when all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed several years later, construction costs had escalated to point that it cost substantially more. Plus when they did the engineering, they found that part of the site was in a flood plain, requiring additional retaining and drainage structures. But those were costs over their original estimate, not over their budget. When the project went to bid, those costs were included and the project, the last time I checked, was on-budget.

Attacks on me

Quote:
Originally Posted by nrlatsha View Post
No, he thinks he is.
Quote:
I'm not going to turn the thread into a bash highwayman thread, because that's not what it should be, but it should just be known that he isn't the authority for highway issues around here, and if you agree with what he says blindly, without followup or investigation of your own, well, it's on you. Self proclaimed experts are usually just self-absorbed.
Wow, why all the hating on me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nrlatsha View Post
Easy way to find out true information is to ask txdot themselves.
OK wise guy, where do you think I get most of my information?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nrlatsha View Post
I'm merely stating that TXDot is the authority. When presented with information given to me by TXDot, TXhighwayman disagreed with that information and continued to post his dated information. I'll leave it at that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nrlatsha View Post
The Texas highway man does have alot of information he gathered, and put it into a great site on the internet, but that doesn't mean he's an authority. Some of his information is dated, and sources inside the department disagree with the "facts" he's posts.
I really hate to sound like I'm bragging, but everyone I've ever spoken to at both TxDOT and the RMA, as recently at the Wurzbach Pkwy. and the 281 super-street meetings, have all been quite complimentary of me, my site, and my comments on various blogs, and they frequently refer people to my site for information. In fact, one engineer told me flat out "we appreciate that you put out the facts." Yes, facts do change over time, and there will always be differences of opinion or interpretations, even by people on "the same side". Still, I'd be interested to hear what you're referring to. If you like, you can DM me and we can discuss it there.

Yes, my site is a little dated right now, for the same reasons that I've only been posting here infrequently as of late. As most folks here know, I have an 11 month old baby that takes-up a lot of my spare time (happily, I might add), and I've been heavily engaged in several large projects at work as of late, further reducing the time I have to dedicate to my hobbies.

Traffic signals

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire View Post
They need to call the fine folks in Chicago and figure out how to rig the lights so that if you catch one green, you're good to go for miles and miles without having to stop again (provided you don't turn off that street).
The City of San Antonio is in the midst of a 5-year project to interconnect and synchronize nearly all of the traffic signals under their jurisdiction.

That said, synchronization is difficult to achieve on some roads due to intersection spacing (Loop 1604 West being one of those) and other factors. And in very heavy traffic volumes, synchronization is simply overwhelmed. It's just not the magic bullet many folks like to think it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wc2005 View Post
Yet another example of 1604 traffic being stopped for no reason...this morning (Sunday) at 7 AM, I caught a red light at Military, Shanefield, New Gilbeau, and Braun yet there was NO TRAFFIC coming from those

crossroads. Why does the 1604 light turn red if there is no traffic on the crossroads to trigger the light?
For a number of reasons. For one, when signals are synchronized, the signal at an intersection has to change to green when the "green wave" along the synchronized roadway reaches the intersection, even if there is no traffic in that wave. Also, signals often have a timeout or fail-safe feature to force changes periodically in case a sensor fails.

Quote:
Even if there is traffic at the crossroads, the 1604 traffic should have a MUCH LONGER green light than those side roads.
In general, that's true. However, the suggestions that 1604 should have 3 minutes of green as opposed to 30 seconds for the side streets are ludicrous. There are established formulas that traffic engineers use to determine cycle and phase lengths. Those folks on the side streets have a right to not have to wait unreasonable amounts of time, and you know darn well that if you were one of the people on those cross streets, you'd complain if you had to wait an inordinate amount of time. Increasing congestion on one road to reduce it on another doesn't solve anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rd2007 View Post
BTW, the government does not need to install all of the stop lights they put up. There is no need for all three of them in between Culebra and Bandera on 1604.
Before a traffic signal can be installed, it must satisfy a number of established technical "warrants" regarding safety, traffic, geometry, and other engineering issues. You can find these warrants in the traffic signal section of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/library/pubs/gov/devices/2006part4.pdf (broken link)). This is why the City and TxDOT sometimes tell people that a signal cannot be installed at a certain location.

Misc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wellguy View Post
dvlpr- How can you sit there and blame we that live out here for screwing up the flow of traffic? Everytme we pay for gas that tax is supposed to be used for Highway Improvements. Instead Rick Perry uses it to by hairspray and provide a pillow in his bed for those that operate toll roads.
Go back to government class. The Legislature, not the Governor, writes and passes the budget, and they're the ones that have been diverting Highway Fund revenues to expenditures other than transportation improvements. Also, the Texas Constitution mandates that 25% of gas tax revenue go to public education. On top of that, gas tax revenues lose more and more ground to inflation every year because it has not been increased since 1991 (again, thanks to the Leg), and increasing MPG means people pay even less in taxes per mile. Gov. Perry's has pushed toll roads as a workaround to those gas tax issues because the Leg won't solve them.

Quote:
He better enjoy life as it is now since we will have a Lady in his office real soon.
The latest polls have him leading KBH by 10 percentage points last I heard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvlpr View Post
Today, though, building highways is a much more expensive endeavor (for a number of reasons). And we (that is, the state, county, and city) simply don't have the money to continue to construct highways in the manner that many suburbanites have grown accustomed. You're just not going to see highways built like we've been building them over the last 40 years.

I think this entire debate is a perfect example of how the old "heckuva good bargain" of suburbia really comes at quite a cost (mostly horrible traffic). And suburban residents shouldn't look to the rest of us to make financial

sacrifices to further subsidize their choices. That's my point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvlpr View Post
Whether or not people want to accept it, we just don't have enough money to build the massive infrastructure required to support suburban development. That's why Houston, Dallas, and Austin have all funded major freeway extensions in high-growth suburban areas with toll roads.

The bottom line is this: the problem isn't "the people who design and build our roadways". The problem is that suburbanites are unwilling to recognize that they're living with a problem of their own making. They've grown accustomed to

having their new home subdivisions subsidized by the rest of us (in the form of new highways & thoroughfares & improvements to FM and county roads). And, right or wrong, that arrangement just isn't practical anymore.

And even though people don't like hearing this, they're going to have to live with it.
dvlpr, you are exactly right and obviously one of the few people that "gets it". Most people are surprised to find that TxDOT and the City usually have plans to fix a problematic road or intersection. The problem almost always is a lack of funding. We just don't pay enough in taxes (believe it or not) to build everything that's needed. Even in Germany, where the average person pays over 50% of their income a year in taxes, the government had to institute tolls on the Autobahn for trucks to help pay for infrastructure improvements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba steve View Post
About the Dominion thing... I-10 is federal so wouldn't this bridge be too?
That's a common misconception-- there is no such thing in the US as a "federal" highway. All Interstate and US highways are built, owned, and maintained by the states. The federal government does help pay for them, but in the end, they don't actually own or operate them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wellguy View Post
dvlpr -I think what rd2007 was speaking of is the "Concrete Art" that you see on the sides of overpasses. I don't think money needs to be wasted on Cactus, Airplanes, Hidden Gecko's, etc.
In general, there are very little added costs to add that "flair" to highways. Most of it is done simply by using a special die when the concrete is poured, so there's no additional cost. Painting and staining structures does add some cost, but painting also helps to protect the structure, so it's essentially cost-neutral. And lastly, in countless surveys, the public has overwhelmingly supported highway beautification efforts with the idea that if we have to have these huge, monolithic structures, they should at least be somewhat aesthetically pleasing.

I'll wrap-up by saying this: big cities have traffic congestion-- there's just no way around it, and people need to understand that. San Antonio is now a metro area of over 2 million people, but our traffic is still better than most other cities our size.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:12 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
1,449 posts, read 1,483,544 times
Reputation: 1898
Wow, HwyMan...how long did that take you to write? (Seriously impressed. Great job.)

--Dim
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Griesheim, Germany
13,805 posts, read 17,897,071 times
Reputation: 3921
well, traffic lights do not work here. The one on SW Military that I have reported is still giving preference to two closed Lackland gates and the new one north of Marbach is already retarded. There was a big line on 1604 while it gave preference to the left turn signals and that should not happen. Obviously the engineers that develop and research these things need to all be fired and sent back to elementary school.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:49 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
8,278 posts, read 12,173,078 times
Reputation: 4304
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexHwyMan View Post
Dominion overpass

Actually, it doesn't. I-10 at Dominion carries 77,000 vehicles per day; Loop 1604 West at Braun carries 69,000 vpd; Loop 1604 at Culebra carries 40,000 vpd, and 1604 at Potranco carries 22,000 vpd (all numbers 2007 counts).
THM

Thanks for the constructive and comprehensive reply, but I have to challenge your one statement concerning the Dominion overpass. While I understand that the volume of traffic westbound on IH-10 may be that great, there is no way on God's green earth that the traffic on the access road that feeds into the Dominion exeeds that of 1604!

Whoever provided those figures did so to justify the ridiculous expense of that overpass to serve the small population that lives in the Dominion, and those stats give the impression like there was a traffic light on IH-10 at the Dominion and that was the number of vehicles that were affected by the installation of the overpass. That is simply not a true statement. The only ones who benefitted were those who live in the Dominion, and I don't know the exact number but I can guarantee it isn't 77,000!

It is clear that the Dominion overpass was a vast waste of taxpayer's money to serve a very small portion of the population. And as I stated before, there already existed two overpasses within 1.6 miles in both directions of the entrance to that community, so the claims that it was necessary for emergency services don't hold water either. There were some backroom shenanigans behind that deal...
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