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Old 07-17-2014, 08:37 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by memph View Post
aka the excesses of totalitarian governments.
Good point. Though monumental scale urban planning is something all governments are prone to do.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Top Gear played Soccer on that street in the most recent special (driving Lorries across Myanmar).

They actually did a good summary of it. Myanmar built a new capital city from the ground up (call it excessive totalitarian government if you want, but it put the people to work). The whole town is pre-planned for a large population, hence huge streets like this that (for now) have no traffic.

Now, I know the general trend in the Urban Planning forum is "Density / Walk-ability", but is that really what urban planning is all about? I'd say this is a prime example of planning in action. They built a mega-city for their people, and designed it from the ground, up, to support a large population. Yes, that street isn't too easy to walk across (well, it is right NOW), but walk-ability doesn't always equal good urban planning. If you're planning a route that's designed to carry a heavy load of traffic, starting with 10 lanes per side is a pretty good way to insure you'll never have backups.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:28 PM
 
Location: bend oregon
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I thought four lanes in each direction was a lot
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:23 PM
 
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Here is the Top Gear segment...

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Old 07-18-2014, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cab591 View Post
Top Gear played Soccer on that street in the most recent special (driving Lorries across Myanmar).

They actually did a good summary of it. Myanmar built a new capital city from the ground up (call it excessive totalitarian government if you want, but it put the people to work). The whole town is pre-planned for a large population, hence huge streets like this that (for now) have no traffic.

Now, I know the general trend in the Urban Planning forum is "Density / Walk-ability", but is that really what urban planning is all about? I'd say this is a prime example of planning in action. They built a mega-city for their people, and designed it from the ground, up, to support a large population. Yes, that street isn't too easy to walk across (well, it is right NOW), but walk-ability doesn't always equal good urban planning. If you're planning a route that's designed to carry a heavy load of traffic, starting with 10 lanes per side is a pretty good way to insure you'll never have backups.
There's a highway in Toronto that's 9 lanes per side and is heavily congested.

Mainly though:

1) This is not a highway, it's a surface street, and from an engineering point of view, I don't think it would work very well. It's not just difficult to cross on foot, but I think you'd have issues crossing it by car too if it ever had a significant amount of traffic.

2) It's an eyesore right in front of the national government building. There are some relatively wide (though typically more like 10 lane) avenues that are still relatively attractive. Usually they have landscaped medians, access lanes with more landscaping (usually street trees) between the access lanes and main travel lanes...

3) There's little to suggest this part of the city will need so much capacity. It seems like it will mostly be reserved for estates of government officials (super low density), some golf courses and the government building. Most of the city looks like it will be to the south and east. Yaza Thingaha road looks like it could potentially become quite busy as the city grows, but this road (Yaza Htarni) I doubt it, especially west of Yaza Thingaha. Also this is a rather poor country, car ownership will probably always be quite low, currently it has 100 times fewer cars per capita than the US, lower than North Korea.

4) Even if they think this will eventually get a lot of traffic, there's no reason why they can't just control a large ROW and add more lanes as needed.

I think the real reason for this super wide road is to show how powerful the government is and to hold military parades. They're not the only ones with this mentality, Ceausescu build a big boulevard to his palace, and there's the massive Tienanmen Square in Beijing and a huge road (14 lanes?) in front of the Imperial Palace. You could maybe add Champs Elysee. The Washington Mall was meant to be very grand and is probably somewhat oversized although it was meant to show how great the democracy was rather than an authoritarian government. Brasilia has lots of big oversized spaces. But at least most of those aren't eyesores, and the Champs Elysee and Beijing's big roads did end up filling with traffic.

I think this on in Naypyidaw is particularly ridiculous because it will likely always be empty and was designed in a way that looks awful. It's kind of like the empty roads of Pyongyang, although I think this road is even wider than the widest of Pyongyang, and North Korea actually has 50% higher vehicle ownership (according to wiki).
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memph View Post
I think the real reason for this super wide road is to show how powerful the government is and to hold military parades.
Exactly. I think so too.

Those lanes are not intended for cars, but for tanks and artilleries--either for defense and/or parades.
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:04 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
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In a poor country where most don't own cars and can't afford cars, there's a good social justice argument against spending or planning too much for car roads, especially at the expense of transit and non-car transportation. Roads are still needed, especially for goods transport, but this road doesn't serve much economic purpose. The most economically efficient road spending would be elsewhere.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:30 PM
 
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It reminds me of driving on Queens Highway in Canada, I never was more sure that i was going to die than that 45 minutes on that road. In the passenger seat i should add.
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