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Urbanrailfan

Best and Worst Roads & Streets

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The best roads and the worst roads depend on which one you travel. They are also outlined in terms of:

- Traffic - is it the best traveled road during commuter hour or is it a gridlock chokehole?

- Drivers - how drivers treat the road and traffic flow or are some of them roadhogs and prone to road rage and poor driving habits

- Conditions - how the city maintains the road through all the elements, if potholes are filled, if construction for widening occurs, or if the street needs repaving to repair the broken cracked street

- Relief Route - if any type of rail parallels it (unless your city is spread out).

- Distance Watch - is it safe to turn on or off or are there so many blind curves and fast drivers that it becomes a danger zone

- Pedestrian Activity - a lot of pedestrians of the street sidewalks, or if it is deserted, or if bad roads are completely lacking passengers (including no sidewalks and have to walk on the street side or in the grass)

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The tri-state intersection just south of downtown Chicago is horrible. I drive it almost everyday and the traffic is always backed up -- unless you are driving in the am before 4. otherwise -- it sucks.

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I-4 from Sanford to Polk/Osceola line is horrible. A combination of 100,000 tourist from different states, different countries with slightly different laws, a number of rush hour commuters traveling in and out of the metro area.

and construction that seems to never end. Plus the I-4 organization just seems to make it more difficult to drive than neccessary, with auxillary lanes, a new fly-over ramp. But thats a highway.

Orange ave. downtown is total gridlock along with International Dr. which is a 2 LANE road which serves Universal Studios, and Sea World, along with dozens of high rise hotels with thousands of out-of-town visitors and 2 large malls all on a 4.5 mile stretch. It very well coul be the most busy road in orlando and most frustrating.

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The Parkways East and West in Pittsburgh are woefully inadequate, both in number of lanes and overall design. Hell, the Parkway East was considered obsolete by the time it opened in 1953. (Oh, and there've been absolutely zero improvements made to the highway since, save for a resurfacing.)

Otherwise, allow me to do some state rankings...

BEST HIGHWAYS:

1) Tennessee

2) Florida

3) Georgia

4) Virginia

5) North Carolina

WORST HIGHWAYS:

1) California

2) Louisiana

3) Illinois

4) Missouri

5) Pennsylvania

BEST DRIVERS:

1) Pennsylvania

2) Virginia

3) Tennessee

4) Ohio

5) Missouri

WORST DRIVERS:

1) Georgia

2) Alabama

3) North Carolina

4) California

5) Florida

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^ lol, is that really the norm in Bangkok? (or at least in that particular intersection)

At least they've done something about traffic in that video with the bus-only lanes, but even they move very slowly or not at all. :D

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BEST HIGHWAYS:

1) Tennessee

2) Florida

3) Georgia

4) Virginia

5) North Carolina

WORST HIGHWAYS:

1) California

2) Louisiana

3) Illinois

4) Missouri

5) Pennsylvania

BEST DRIVERS:

1) Pennsylvania

2) Virginia

3) Tennessee

4) Ohio

5) Missouri

WORST DRIVERS:

1) Georgia

2) Alabama

3) North Carolina

4) California

5) Florida

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree with your best highways...I would add Arkansas to the WORST category, at least as honorable mention, along with Kansas, the only state to put 400 miles of interstate down to one lane for construction...

However, I disagree with your BEST DRIVERS list...I'm a Tennessean, and I consider myself a good driver...but I wouldn't say that we are 3rd best...or in the top 10 nationally as a whole...just spend a day in Knoxville. Nashville and Memphis have some pretty bad drivers, as well. I think we are middle of the road as far as that goes.

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I wouldn't be so quick to say PA drivers are among the best. That state is highly varied. Drivers in Philly suck, even other Pennsylvanians will admit that. I am generalizing of course (this whole discussion is about generalizations :D ). They are unpredictable and their driving habits are actually wasteful. This does not lead to faster transit--it leads to frustration and stress which affects people on some unspoken level I'm sure.

New Jersey drivers are pretty bad too--there can be a cop going southbound on a freeway, separated by a jersey barrier, overturned, on fire, etc... and northbound drivers will STILL slam on the brakes and drive slow for a few moments until they think it's safe to speed up again. While it is normal to see drivers slow down a bit when driving in the same direction as a cop, this NJ thing is most unusual.

Though North Carolina drivers aren't perfect, they are generally reasonably polite. BUT they have a nasty habit of clumping though, and "following the leader"... i.e., everyone will stay in the right lane or left lane in a long line--very few people break the mold and try to get around. And for some unexplainable reason, such drivers make really lousy decisions--trying to pass in a short empty merge lane, and they either barely make it or they give up at the last second and tuck back into the line. This action sometimes causes other people in the line to freak out and slam on the brakes, which causes other problems.

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those of you who think Florida has a good highway system obviously have not been to FL in a while. They are in fact very poorly planned, with insufficient quantity of highways and lanes to accomodate FL's large population density. Jacksonville is the only city with a loop bypassing the city. Travelling between Orlando and Tampa on I4 is a nightmare

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those of you who think Florida has a good highway system obviously have not been to FL in a while.  They are in fact very poorly planned, with insufficient quantity of highways and lanes to accomodate FL's large population density.  Jacksonville is the only city with a loop bypassing the city.  Travelling between Orlando and Tampa on I4 is a nightmare

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How about having to drive 10 miles over the speed limit on I-75 (in the middle lane, add an additional 5mph for the left lane) to avoid getting run down by 18-wheelers? It was like that the other day for the entire stretch from at least I-10 to the Florida Turnpike. (100+ miles) I would assume that it is just as bad stretching up into Georgia as well. South of the Turnpike it was just more of the same, however it drops from 3 lanes in each direction to just 2 all the way to Tampa. (another 70+ miles of playing in heavy traffic) While many of our highways are fairly well maintained (few potholes, smooth wide lanes, etc.), they are just not large enough for the current traffic levels. It's just about time to add additional lanes all the way down 75...

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LA is pretty bad as far as drivers go (too many bimbos on the phone while driving an SUV), but San Francisco is far worse. I've been there several times and am always amazed.

San Francisco it also bad concerning freeway design (it's crazy and difficult to navigate).

Houston has the best freeyway layout I've seen (just too many folks using it).

Michigan and Ill. have very good drivers.

Snow states will have better drivers than sun states. In LA if it starts to drizzle traffic will slow to a crawl.

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tallahassee florida is nice... i go to work at 5.45 pm alot of weekdays and literally drive through downtown and some of the most congested roads in the panhandle... there just is no other way to go unfortunatly. tallahassee is not being missed by the newest wave of growth in florida (we typically are miseed by hurricanes...knock, knock, knock) so major problems will surely arise if I-10 and local highways are not adressed soon... 6 lanes through tallahassee sounds like it will help... but no bypass and infill of downtown is going to create a parking lot in our beautiful city.... and florida drivers are great drivers.... tourist, retires, and college students (who we unfortunatly welcome) are truly obstacles though...lol

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San Francisco Bay Area Highways Are All Being Fixed Right Now They Notice How Crappy Our Highways Were So We Are Fixing it and adding more intersections we just fixed the nasty nimitz we made out highways wider and fixed all our potholes and SF is fixing its highways pretty proud of the redevelopment here

Vta Project Manager

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Though North Carolina drivers aren't perfect, they are generally reasonably polite. BUT they have a nasty habit of clumping though, and "following the leader"... i.e., everyone will stay in the right lane or left lane in a long line--very few people break the mold and try to get around. And for some unexplainable reason, such drivers make really lousy decisions--trying to pass in a short empty merge lane, and they either barely make it or they give up at the last second and tuck back into the line. This action sometimes causes other people in the line to freak out and slam on the brakes, which causes other problems.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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Minnesotans have a love for using the speed limit as a light suggestion. It seems the cops seem to agree... 70mph is simply too slow. I'd say that LA drivers drive fast, too.. except I think I've been above 60 once on I-5.

I think the fast driving also stems from the fact that cops in Minnesota can't "hide" and jump out and pull you over (entrapment), nor can they have quotas for numbers of tickets. (Like in many other states.)

The worst stretch of road I've been on in the Twin Cities is U.S 169 at I-494. The idiots that designed the reconstruction of 169 10-15 years ago built it as a freeway except for a short stretch beginning at 494 and going for about 2 miles or so to the Minnesota river.

The result is heavy traffic backing up for miles at stop lights. The last time I took that road it took me over an hour to move 1 mile... in a manual... on a hot day.

Minnesotans are also very selfish on the road. Don't let the high proportion of mini-vans give you the wrong idea. They won't let you merge into traffic. Maybe that's a problem with having meter lights at EVERY freeway entrance in the metro area. UGH. Oh well. It does help the traffic flow at peak times.

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Here in NJ, we've problably got some of the worst drivers in the contry.

In Freehold itself:

-You'll be almost 100% assured to hit a 1-2 mile long backup heading into, through, and out of downtown on Broadway, South St., or Main St., due to the unsyncronized lights and heavy traffic flow through downtown. This usually occurs between 4AM and 10PM, all week.

-There's also a good chance that you'll have backups because of congestion and heavy light traffic along Rt. 9, the main route taken to and through the outskirts of the city.

On a side note, I used to live in Philadlephia, and I've noticed that the street traffic here is worse than there, however the traffic on the freeways there used to be killer.

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the city streets and interstates in this city are very well laid out. so easy to get anywhere in the city. the interstates become a problem sometimes just because of the neverending constuction that goes on. as for the condition that they are in, you had better have heavy duty shocks.

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I dont know how many of you have ever driven through Rhode Island (probly not many...), but the roads are atrocious. Potholes everywhere, crumbling old bridges and sidewalks, trash strewn roads all over, not to mention streets that have been broken up in so many places over the years that you end up having three or four different streets all named the same name (i.e. Eddy Street). Add to that a total ignorance to traffic laws and refusal to obey them, and you have the driving and pedestrian nightmare that can be RI.

On the other hand, the state is compact and dense and therefore easily walkable, if you can navigate over the cracked sidewalks...

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I dont know how many of you have ever driven through Rhode Island (probly not many...), but the roads are atrocious.  Potholes everywhere, crumbling old bridges and sidewalks, trash strewn roads all over, not to mention streets that have been broken up in so many places over the years that you end up having three or four different streets all named the same name (i.e. Eddy Street).  Add to that a total ignorance to traffic laws and refusal to obey them, and you have the driving and pedestrian nightmare that can be RI. 

On the other hand, the state is compact and dense and therefore easily walkable, if you can navigate over the cracked sidewalks...

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I have to say I have driven through downtown Providence and found it to be quite easy (bad road conditions though such as potholes, etc.) but driving through downtown Providence on I-95 especially by the I-195 intersection was a little tricky as the road curves, theres a traffic jam and lots of trucks.

In Mass I find the MassPike heading into Boston from the West (Worcester) is not that bad although you always hit a traffic jam during the weekday. I-95N and Rt. 128 just north of Boston heading towards Salem is absolutly horrendous (at least when I went). There are tractor trailers everywhere and people swerving in and out of traffic mixed with people who dont even know what highway they are on.

Even though Hartford is relvativly small (population: 122,000, metro area; 1,200,000+) the combination of people who live in the city driving in and out of it, people who work in the city and people driving through the city can cause havoc. I-84E through downtown Hartford was poorly designed with the option of continuing on I-84E to cross the CT river, enter I-91N, enter I-91S, enter Rt. 2 or enter various streets in downtown Hartford all within about 1 mile.

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SOME Michigan Drivers are polite, and pretty much all of them do well in the snow, when you spend nine months of the year in winter, you'd better learn how do drive in the crap.

However MOST Michigan drivers don't know their rearends from a hole in the Ground when it comes to traffic. Perhaps It's just the congested way I have to take to get to work here in Grand Rapids, but asside from having April to November Road construction on all of our major freeways, and thoroughfares. If I need to make a lane change and get over, I have to function on the " let me over or hit me" technique, because these Jerks cant handle it. However take someone from Grand Rapids, and put them in a city with "actual"!!! traffic, and they turn into the clampets going the wrong way on the freeway, in their little model T buggie. Take it from a Detroit Native, If you live in a metropolitan area with more than 5million people, you're going to have massive traffic headaches, and long commutes, for up and coming midsize cities, if you have heavy traffic, you should be seeking new civic engineers and road commisions.

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I'll comment on my local roads here in Duluth, Minnesota.

- Traffic - is it the best traveled road during commuter hour or is it a gridlock chokehole?

Duluth has virtually no problem with traffic - almost none. The only time there is serious congestion is when there is road construction on a major route, e.g. the freeway. Traffic-backing freeway accidents are also quite rare and only seem to happen a few times a year.

- Drivers - how drivers treat the road and traffic flow or are some of them roadhogs and prone to road rage and poor driving habits

I don't see to many drivers I would identify as "roadhogs", but there are many who display bad habits and annoyances on the road...e.g. talking on the cell phone while changing lanes without a blinker, etc.

- Conditions - how the city maintains the road through all the elements, if potholes are filled, if construction for widening occurs, or if the street needs repaving to repair the broken cracked street

Terribly! You could easily mistake the roads here for those in a third-world country. You can't really blame the city, though, because the climate makes potholes and the like inevitable.

- Relief Route - if any type of rail parallels it (unless your city is spread out).

I'm not sure what you're talking about...

- Distance Watch - is it safe to turn on or off or are there so many blind curves and fast drivers that it becomes a danger zone
It's safe to turn on and off :)

- Pedestrian Activity - a lot of pedestrians of the street sidewalks, or if it is deserted, or if bad roads are completely lacking passengers (including no sidewalks and have to walk on the street side or in the grass)

I am often saddened by how little many of the sidewalks around here get used. Downtown and the Canal Park tourist district have plenty of sidewalk activity, but in other parts of the town, most of the pedestrians you see seem to be the unemployed and/or unemployable. It's truly a shame.

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