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Old 12-24-2009, 12:36 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,456,149 times
Reputation: 4125

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I was checking out the Popular Science's list of the Top 100 cool things of 2009, and the new MO-13 / I-44 interchange made it on the list for its implementation of a Diverging Diamond interchange to reduce traffic.

Diverging diamond interchange - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One of the advantages, on paper, are increased flow and thus less traffic jams. One of the disadvantages is that drivers have to drive on the left side of the road for a bit, which may throw some drivers off.

So now that the interchange has been open for six months, what do you think of it? Do you commute on that interchange? Have you noticed a difference in traffic? Have people adapted to driving on the left for a short distance adequately? Do you have other thoughts?

If you guys like it, I may want to suggest this design for some of the more congested areas in the Seattle area. There's very little data to run off of since that interchange is the only one of its kind in North America and the only other places where such an interchange exist is in France.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,044 posts, read 21,131,710 times
Reputation: 5033
I find it very strange to drive through. But, it seems to work well. I definitely get through that intersection much faster.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:12 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,240,196 times
Reputation: 21263
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
I was checking out the Popular Science's list of the Top 100 cool things of 2009, and the new MO-13 / I-44 interchange made it on the list for its implementation of a Diverging Diamond interchange to reduce traffic.

Diverging diamond interchange - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One of the advantages, on paper, are increased flow and thus less traffic jams. One of the disadvantages is that drivers have to drive on the left side of the road for a bit, which may throw some drivers off.

So now that the interchange has been open for six months, what do you think of it? Do you commute on that interchange? Have you noticed a difference in traffic? Have people adapted to driving on the left for a short distance adequately? Do you have other thoughts?

If you guys like it, I may want to suggest this design for some of the more congested areas in the Seattle area. There's very little data to run off of since that interchange is the only one of its kind in North America and the only other places where such an interchange exist is in France.

It is monumentally strange, but it works, and that is the most important thing. The first time I saw it, I thought that they engineers must have been smoking crack, but even though it is strange, it really works well. I'd much rather have one of these than those insanely stupid "roundabouts" that you are finding more and more common on the roads these days. Those things are the worst possible solution.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
158 posts, read 312,837 times
Reputation: 108
It's different - not necessarily better or worse except that, since it is unfamiliar, I have to slow down and think about what I'm doing every time I drive through the area. From what I've seen, apparently so do lots of other people! If the goal was to slow things down then you got that with this driver. If the goal was to (somehow) make things more efficient, nope, that isn't happening. In an era when gas prices are going up, global warming may someday actually be a real problem, and moving traffic around as quickly and efficiently as possible is becoming an increasing priority, creating a quirky intersection just so some traffic designer will see their name in lights (or Wikipedia) for decades to come --- IMHO -- definitely not one of our shining moments of human achievement.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:41 PM
 
794 posts, read 1,493,013 times
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I believe the new interchange is working to a certain extent. It has clearly reduced traffic back-ups that previously occured with all the trucks trying to make a left turn off of 13 to eastbound I-44. Is it enough? I doubt it. We have a situation where a major four lane highway effectively empties into a T intersection. I am afraid that anything short of a fly-over is going to still be a problem - and I don't see how they will ever acquire the land for that.

The real test will occur when summer traffic meets high volume events at the fairgrounds.

I can see the design working well, however, in a setting where the traffic volume has stabilized and particularly where there is less heavy truck traffic. The ability to simply eliminate left turns across oncoming traffic lanes is a great asset. The limitation is the two traffic lights required at the cross overs - one at either end. If you are consistently filling up the space between the cross overs with cars waiting for the light and vehicles are backing up behind the lights, then a few impatient drivers who end up blocking the intersection will simply shut the whole thing down.

By the way, having driven a good deal in France I have to disagree with the negative comment about roundabouts. Properly sized, they can move an enourmous volume of traffic with amazing efficiency. However, I have not seen a well executed version anywhere in the US. There are, what, two or three in Springfield? They are awful. Of course they are not suited for Interstate interchanges at all.
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:41 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
31 posts, read 88,726 times
Reputation: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekOfTheOzarks View Post
It's different - not necessarily better or worse except that, since it is unfamiliar, I have to slow down and think about what I'm doing every time I drive through the area. From what I've seen, apparently so do lots of other people! If the goal was to slow things down then you got that with this driver. If the goal was to (somehow) make things more efficient, nope, that isn't happening. In an era when gas prices are going up, global warming may someday actually be a real problem, and moving traffic around as quickly and efficiently as possible is becoming an increasing priority, creating a quirky intersection just so some traffic designer will see their name in lights (or Wikipedia) for decades to come --- IMHO -- definitely not one of our shining moments of human achievement.
I see this as a good thing! Too many people aren't aware of what the Hell they're doing while they speed through an intersection, and sometimes that ends up a fatal mistake.
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Old 12-30-2009, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
158 posts, read 312,837 times
Reputation: 108
Exclamation Intersection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muscled1 View Post
Too many people aren't aware of what the Hell they're doing while they speed through an intersection, and sometimes that ends up a fatal mistake.
Adding a confusing traffic pattern to the equation definitely doesn't make the situation safer! This is much like a discussion about locks ... locks only keep honest people out. Silly traffic-flow designs only make safe drivers slow down.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:54 AM
 
3,326 posts, read 7,523,352 times
Reputation: 1957
I think it's great. Making that left turn onto I-44, which soooo many people do, is not nearly the problem it used to be. It's one of the more ingenious designs I've seen for a roadway. The signs they've used in Springfield make it abundantly clear as to what you're supposed to do.
They're also putting one in Kansas City at the I-435 & Front Street interchange. This time, the diamond will be part of the underpass on Front Street. It has a similar traffic flow problem to the one in Springfield where there's just as many people making a left turn as are going straight ahead.

As for roundabouts, they're fine and many in the Kansas City area are designed well enough (some are not), but too many Americans don't quite get the concept of it.
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Highlandville
167 posts, read 387,360 times
Reputation: 67
I have to leave the fairgrounds and pass through that interchange a bit and I like it a lot. They are thinking about a second one in Ozark over Hwy 65. it moved 3xs the traffic over a given time during peak times. yeah a lot of folks dont like it, but it does work (when people dont stop to turn left, and look both ways) it has a dedicated lane to turn left uninterrupted, so its irritating when people stop for no reason mid-turn
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:04 PM
 
436 posts, read 490,764 times
Reputation: 164
There are now 7 complete diverging diamonds in the US:

Springfield MO: I-44 and MO 13

Springfield MO: US 60 and National Ave

American Fork UT: I-15 and Pioneer Crossing Blvd

St Louis MO: I-270 and Dorsett Rd

Alcoa TN: US 129 and Bessemer St

Lexington KY: KY 4 and US 68

Lehi UT: I-15 and UT 92

Another 80 projects are in some form of study, planning or construction in the US.
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