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Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

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1 hour ago, AuLukey said:

 

Side note, people here know how to properly use/zipper/yield to merge lanes. Charlotte drivers could learn a thing or to and use a little patience and common sense. Drive to the end guys, drive to the end.

 

That sounds magical. I've been given the finger by so many people when I'm caught in post-Panthers game traffic uptown when I try to get in with the zipper technique. And I'm just like o_o

Edited by SgtCampsalot
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I think this could be helpful to squeeze another through lane in an area like where 277 meets 77 on the southern side. You have traffic entering 77 southbound from 277, Wilkinson, Freedom Dr. and exits for Wilkinson, 277, and West Blvd. with only 1 through lane! You can't really widen 77 in that area as it passes under 4 overpasses and this starts most of the 77 traffic southbound. As long as they leave enough shoulder on the 77 side for emergencies, I wouldn't think this would be as dangerous of an idea and would help. 

Edited by JHart

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That sounds magical. I've been given the finger by so many people when I'm caught in post-Panthers game traffic uptown when I try to get in with the zipper technique. And I'm just like o_o


It IS! I was actually caught very off guard here at first when I saw people zippering properly. I’m so used to drivers in Charlotte cutting in too early and/or not letting other people in when it is rightfully their turn. One very simple infrastructural aid up here is the lack of a dotted line to denote the lane is ending. Instead, there simply just isn’t paint after a certain point so it makes it hella obvious you are now in the same lane as the car next you and you better move! Hell, in some places there are even signs that say “stay in lane” and then “merge here” to help out those less mentally fortunate.
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19 hours ago, KJHburg said:

When I was I-75 NW of Atlanta their Express Lane signs were flashing we accept NC Quick Pass and Florida's Sun Pass just thought it was funny to see in the big  A.

I did not like the design of the 75 Northwest Express Lanes.  They were 2 reversible lanes that were in the middle highway a little bit but they jumped completely across the highway to the northbound lanes then in other places they were southbound lanes. They are really only for people coming off I-285 to jump on to go way far north like to Cherokee County or outer parts of Cobb county.    The express lanes in I-75 Southeast towards Macon were the same way.   Very few entry and exit points. 

In contrast the I-85 express lanes are like what is happening on I-77 north in the middle and with multiple points of entry.  all these lanes are variable rate pricing and no I never needed to use  them as avoided peak times.   

Next up I-285 Perimeter between 85 and 75 will have them. As will GA 400 north to Forsyth County.  

Georgia is also developing some of the first Truck only lanes on 75 south towards Macon to speed access to Florida and port of Savannah.  

First 3 photos I-85 express lanes which are being extended further out on 85.   (last photo ode to @SpiritOf76)

Last 2 photos I-75 reversible express lanes hopping from one side of highway to other.  One of my friends using them especially in the evening to get home from Cumberland Galleria area.  4th photo is where the express lanes are to the far left heading northbound by this time in early afternoon. 

 

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The I-75 North portion (north of SunTrust Park) was called the Northwest connector I believe.  I have friends that live up in Acworth, and this 2 lane road, which at times parallels 75, sometimes is above it and sometimes is in the middle of the interstate is probably one of the goofiest transportation projects I have ever seen.  In Atlanta, there is no such thing as getting around any traffic.  It has become constant all day, every day.  I'm not sure how anyone can sit in traffic (especially north on 75 or 85) for over an hour and a half each way.  Mind numbing.

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^^^Yes that is correct is 2 lanes and flips and flops like a fish out of water and goes up and down but people use it.  my friends live in Acworth too in addition to some in Kennesaw. 

As much as I dont like toll lanes I think Charlotte is right behind Atlanta  in development of them with the 77 Express lanes, the new ones to start this year on 485.  Then with 77 south and Independence in the future.  

Here is an interesting fact.   Which is longer I-285 highway or I-485?  the answer is the QC's 485 by 3 miles. 

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20 minutes ago, Crucial_Infra said:

^ I believe Charlotte’s beltway is the longest in the US with the exception of Cincinnati’s  

Not even close though not an interstate because it is all tolled Beltway 8 around Houston is ironically 88 miles!  and it built to interstate standards but because it is tolled is not designated that way.    And when I-540 NC 540 for tolled sections is done in Raleigh it will be 70 miles.  there might be even some longer ones I am forgetting but many are shorter for sure.  

Edited by KJHburg
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Well I believe it is the 2nd longest “interstate only” loop.  As for Raleigh’s 70 miles, again not a true interstate loop so I’m discounting it. :) 

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18 minutes ago, Crucial_Infra said:

Well I believe it is the 2nd longest “interstate only” loop.  As for Raleigh’s 70 miles, again not a true interstate loop so I’m discounting it. :) 

 I-275 around Cincy the other Queen City at  129 miles!   Well the REAL queen city has the 2nd longest all Interstate tagged beltway.  the Beltway I grew up on which is I-495/95 around DC is 64 miles.  I learned to drive on DC Beltway by merging in on the left and crossing over 4 lanes in 2 miles to get off in Tysons!  Ah those were the days a KJ flashback.  (and this is the reason my mother gave up on driving once moving back to the QC)   In the DC area there was a comical book written on driving in DC like performing a Veto move on someone and how to avoid any and all contact with Diplomatic tags.  Some other time I will compose my list of favorite Interstates and beltways LOL   hint #1 in the H-3 in Honolulu from the city over to Windward suburbs.  I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge is beautiful too in corner of AZ and Utah.   and of course there is nothing like the High 5 intersection  at the LBJ and 75 freeways in the Big D. 

Edited by KJHburg
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Charlotte's is the third largest "true" ring interstate/beltway that I could find. I435 in Kansas City is 80.8 miles long and Cincinnati's i275 is 83.7 miles. 

485 is 66.68 miles long. 

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1 hour ago, Nick2 said:

Charlotte's is the third largest "true" ring interstate/beltway that I could find. I435 in Kansas City is 80.8 miles long and Cincinnati's i275 is 83.7 miles. 

485 is 66.68 miles long. 

You beat me to it. Having grown up in the KC area, 435 was always "said" to be the longest and I just believed it. I don't know when the Cincinnati Bypass was completed, but 435 was a complete loop my whole life, and I was born in 89. Guess I learned something today!

Locally the highways were always referred to as bypasses, not a beltway. The boxy shape and the actual way the roads interact make them pretty distinct sections with their own identity. Really only the term "435" actually hints that it is one continuous road. The North-South portions and East-West portions are signed as such. Without leaving the road you go from Southbound 435 to Eastbound 435. It always made complete sense as a local, but I have taken to the "Inner" and "Outer" as making much more sense. 

Funnily enough, 435 had the exact same issue on the southern end as a result of a heavily developed office park. The result was a complete rebuild of the I35,K10,US69,I435 interchange.  That southern section was also one of the early places to use ramp meters, which I am amazed have not made it to Charlotte yet. They are amazingly effective for the price. With that said, I still mistakingly refer to 485 as 435 ALL THE TIME, to very confused looks.

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I have driven to Indianapolis many times using I 275 around southern Cincinnati area and it is strange to travel through three states, cross the Ohio River twice and drive 45 miles or so, past the Cincy airport in Kentucky,  just to transit Cincinnati

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Speaking of 485, are there any plans yet to address the one-lane funnel to 85 south on the airport side? I know the left lane drop was recently removed, and there was talk of reducing 85 SB to 3 lanes at the  Sam Wilson Rd exit to make room for two lanes from 485. I figured they would happen around the same time. 

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^^ That spot desperately needs another merge lane. I make fairly regular trips to Greenville and I don't think I have ever been able to make it through without, at best, needing to slow down to 30 or so mph. 

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Oh man, at rush hour and other times that is a clusterf*** at that 485 onto 85 S interchange. Avoid if possible, check WAZE, Maps or other advisor.

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A couple of factors regarding traffic congestion which may not have been discussed here (although I admit I haven't read the entire thread, which is about as long as War and Peace):  gated neighborhoods and cul-de-sacs.

Charlotte has taken steps to almost eliminate cul-de-sacs (permitting them when there's no apparent alternative); as far as I know, gated neighborhoods are still being built.  I don't know about unincorporated Mecklenburg County, or the towns within it.  But the outlying counties in the Charlotte metro area seem to be sprouting cul-de-sacs and gated communities everyehere.

My domicile of Union County, especially the Weddington/Marvin/Waxhaw area, may be ground zero for gated neighborhoods.  Is the area crime-prone?  Not really.  The promary motivating factors for gated communities seem to be 1) elimination of cut-through traffic, and 2) the aura of exclusivity.

Rather obviously, preventing cut-through traffic either by means of gates or cul-de-sac mazes transfers traffic to other streets.  So the questions are:  how big a problem is this, and what (if anything) should be done?  Bear in mind that with respect to gated neighborhoods, local governments save money -- construction of the streets, sidewalks, and storm drainage inside the gates is done by the developers, and maintenance later is done by the homeowners' associations.  The residents, of course, pay their property taxes, generally at the same rate as those who have government-maintained streets.  So the town and/or county are incentivized to permit the gating. 

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On 4/28/2019 at 9:56 PM, KJHburg said:

When I was I-75 NW of Atlanta their Express Lane signs were flashing we accept NC Quick Pass and Florida's Sun Pass just thought it was funny to see in the big  A.

I did not like the design of the 75 Northwest Express Lanes.  They were 2 reversible lanes that were in the middle highway a little bit but they jumped completely across the highway to the northbound lanes then in other places they were southbound lanes. They are really only for people coming off I-285 to jump on to go way far north like to Cherokee County or outer parts of Cobb county.    The express lanes in I-75 Southeast towards Macon were the same way.   Very few entry and exit points. 

In contrast the I-85 express lanes are like what is happening on I-77 north in the middle and with multiple points of entry.  all these lanes are variable rate pricing and no I never needed to use  them as avoided peak times.   

Next up I-285 Perimeter between 85 and 75 will have them. As will GA 400 north to Forsyth County.  

Georgia is also developing some of the first Truck only lanes on 75 south towards Macon to speed access to Florida and port of Savannah.  

First 3 photos I-85 express lanes which are being extended further out on 85.   (last photo ode to @SpiritOf76)

Last 2 photos I-75 reversible express lanes hopping from one side of highway to other.  One of my friends using them especially in the evening to get home from Cumberland Galleria area.  4th photo is where the express lanes are to the far left heading northbound by this time in early afternoon. 

 

IMG_3233.JPG

IMG_3235.JPG

IMG_3236.JPG

IMG_3522.JPG

IMG_3523.JPG

Those prices look like a discount compared to the 77 toll lane prices. I feel really bad for LKN residents that work in Charlotte. Going to hit the area hard economically. 

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5 hours ago, southslider said:

^The planned 77 toll rates appear to be fair:

https://www.i77express.com/pricing/toll-rates/

I think the 180-day fixed rates are artificially lower than what the variable rates will be after the break-in period. Either way, that website makes it confoundingly difficult (probably intentionally) to determine a typical rate from Uptown to any given exit.

On fixed rate is important to know: $6 round trip on CATS express buses. 

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Just completed a road trip from RDU to Boca Raton and back.  Couple of comments and observations about road construction that may pertain to Charlotte.  RDU new terminal or renovation looks great.  We flew in from OKC and were surprised how the airport had changed from years ago. Next observation; TREES and more TREES.  The drive from RDU to 95 we literally saw 10 buildings....Trees block all sight.  Just like 85 and 77, folks driving thru have no idea you are supposed to be in an area with millions of people.  Now I am not advocating the destruction of habitat for vain reasons but allowing drivers to see your city could possibly be free advertisement and also let folks know your region has energy.  Especially when they see cranes.  Just my opinion.  Last observation in regards to the construction pic above; is that all Charlotte gets?  Because from my eyes Jacksonville and Orlando are pouring prbably billions in to road infrastructure.  Its impressive to see.  Again one of those perception things.  I do realize Charlotte has chosen to invest in mass transit and I applaud that but I would like to think  a comprehensive plan for transit an roads could happen.  I dont know maybe someone can answer that.  

Oh, I still dont get I-74.  Will that connect to Charlotte metro cause I don't get why the signage does not mention Charlotte at the 95/74 interchange in Roberson county?

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