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24.10.14 0545
The W - Random - Why is traffic bad in your area?
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Lexus
Bierwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: Stafford, VA

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.70
I'm going on a limb here and assuming anybody who reads this could make an argument as to why they experience the worst traffic ever anywhere (because no one who posts here is Ukrainian, where statistically it is the worst traffic ever anywhere).

Why? Is it conditions, other lousy drivers, or other x-factors?

I say traffic is so bad around where I live because once you've gotten past all the DC Metro rush hour, you hit the Quantico rush hour.



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RYDER FAKIN
Six Degrees of Me








Since: 21.2.02
From: ORLANDO

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.86
On I-4 here in Orlando, it's usually because the accident happens on the other side of the road and people stop to rubberneck. Leading to accidents on THIS side of the road. Fucking treacherous, when you include all the tourists

Rush Hour is sublime. You really have to be an asshole to wreck going 20 mph

FLEA



Demonstrations are a drag. Besides, we're much too high





Mr. Boffo
Scrapple








Since: 24.3.02
From: Oshkosh, WI

Since last post: 452 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.21
For several years traffic has been bad while they continue to widen US Highway 41 to six lanes (and install roundabouts on all the frontage roads to it) and when you take several busy roads and close down one of them for road construction obviously that makes the other roads around it even busier. I guess it'll be great in September 2013 when the whole thing is supposed to be finished.

I should also add that since I wrote that post about roundabouts I've discovered that two-lane roundabouts are apparently especially confusing for people, because they seem to not understand the difference in which directions they can go in the left lane vs the right lane.
JayJayDean
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

Since last post: 51 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.14
Seattle has really bad traffic because the leaders of this area refused to be forward-thinking back in the 1970s and they did NOT build adequate freeway infrastructure to support the inevitable growth of the area, which ended up happening much quicker than forecasted. Freeways that should be six lanes north and south are instead five thast bottleneck to three or four going through downtown. Main arterials that should be three lanes in each direction are instead two, and some roads that should be multiple lane arterials are one lane in each direction.

There was a plan back in the 1970s that would've made much more freeway mileage through this area, but it got shut down and now we have what we have. And now they do things like make 520 a toll bridge so everyone wants to take I-90 across the water, choking traffic on I-5, I-405, AND I-90. We also have the debacle that is 167, that should be twice as wide as it is now. And the traffic to the north is awful, too.



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Since: 11.12.01
From: China, Maine

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.30


Yeah, we really don't have any traffic here.







samoflange
Lap cheong








Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

Since last post: 372 days
Last activity: 364 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.70
A bunch of years ago I read a book about suburban sprawl (Suburban Nation by Duany et al.) that mentioned an idea known as Braess's Paradox.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braess's_paradox

I've found this to be very true in the Boston area, but this is the only place I've ever regularly driven where there was a traffic issue.
David Adams
Boerewors








Since: 2.1.02
From: NJ

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#7 Posted on
Traffic in New York is a disaster because of overcrowding, outdated infrastructure and sub-par(not terrible) mass transit. I drive from New Jersey to Queens a few times a week and while the morning commute isn't horrible, getting out of the city is nothing short of a nightmare. In short, there are too few lanes to get in and out of the city for too many cars and trucks.
The Holland Tunnel has two tubes, one going in and out and each tube has approximately 8 lanes of traffic at the approaches being squeezed into two lanes in the tube.

The Lincoln Tunnel has 3 tubes, one going in, one going out and one that they switch the patterns depending on the time of day. Each tube has a single entry point going into the city, but multiple entries on the way out.

The George Washington Bridge has 4 main highways leading up to it for 6 lanes of traffic on the NJ to NY side. There are 4 primary roads leading out of the city, the worst one being the Cross Bronx Expressway. Seriously, the less said about that road, the better.


(edited by David Adams on 3.8.12 0927)
Mike Zeidler
Pepperoni








Since: 27.6.02

Since last post: 72 days
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.10
    Originally posted by samoflange

    I've found this to be very true in the Boston area, but this is the only place I've ever regularly driven where there was a traffic issue.


I was in Boston for about a week at the end of June. Perhaps I hit the sweet spot or perhaps Boston drivers complain too much, but driving in Boston traffic is a breeze compared to some places I've driven in.

There is no appreciable traffic in the Champaign-Urbana area, even at rush hour.

Chicago, oh Chicago, how I hate thee. I once went to pick up a piece of furniture in Chicago, got up there in about two hours, luckiest trip into Chicago I've ever made, Boston levels of traffic, easy-peasy. It took me ten goddamn hours to get out of that city. I don't know what the hell was going on, but it seemed like every other intersection was blocked, so I wound up having to make u-turns after crawling forward for 45 minutes multiple times.

At ANY time of day or night, the roads around Chicago are full. On our way back from Boston we skirted around Chicagoland around 3pm on a Saturday. All ten lanes were full. Where are all of you people going?

Give me Boston any day.



"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark

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DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 23 hours
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.71
In Wichita traffic is bad IMO for two reasons.

1. Poorly designed roads, especially where the ramps/exits are.

2. Big reason - rude, badly mannered drivers and speeders. being in a hurry only slows everyone down.

For a city of only a little over 300,000 Wichita traffic is terrible.



Perception is reality
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 8 days
Last activity: 7 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.76
    Originally posted by David Adams
    Traffic in New York is a disaster because of overcrowding, outdated infrastructure and sub-par(not terrible) mass transit.


As a recently expatriated Californian who now lives in Queens, I still feel the traffic here makes more sense than it does in SoCal. At least, I can wrap me head around why it exists due to the sheer amount of people in such a small space. And while the subway is a bit grimy and slow, I'm fairly lucky that I pick it up at a pretty nice spot. I've read six books in four months due to my morning and evening commutes.

The thing that really gets me about traffic in NY is the ├╝ber-aggressive driving style. That mutherfucker WILL cut you off to get a single car length ahead, and WILL tailgate you on an open highway in the slow lane when you're going 10 MPH above the speed limit - and if you don't like it, then FUCK YOU. I'm really not exaggerating. And, while there are lanes designated on the streets, those are just for suggestive purposes. In LA, honking can get you shot. Here, people honk at school buses and ambulances.
samoflange
Lap cheong








Since: 22.2.04
From: Cambridge, MA

Since last post: 372 days
Last activity: 364 days
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.70
    Originally posted by Leroy
    In LA, honking can get you shot. Here, people honk at school buses and ambulances.


I've seen cars stopped a crosswalk honking at a lady pushing a baby carriage across the road, basically telling her to hurry the F up. Or if a light turns green and the first car isn't immediately halfway through the intersection the entire line of cars behind it start honking. Excessive horn usage is the number one thing I hate about city driving.
cranlsn
Liverwurst








Since: 18.3.02
From: Sussex, WI

Since last post: 14 days
Last activity: 12 hours
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.00

In the Milwaukee-metro area (suburbs), the reasons for our traffic being bad vary.

1. People that feel the speed limit isn't for them. I've literally had people tailgate me in a 25mph school zone, then give me the finger at the intersection (with kids at the cross walk...nice).

2. Poorly designed interesections. City planners in our area of the world seemed to have though themselves above 90 degree angles, and intersected our streets at ridiculous angles.

I don't think roundabouts are ALL inherently evil, but I don't think they are a universal solution either. They were considering putting three of them in our downtown area within 2 blocks of each other. Fortunately, it was shot down so I don't have to navigate a slalom course this winter.
Mr Heel II
Lap cheong








Since: 25.2.02

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 9 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.85
Iowa has bad traffic because:

1. All traffic lights are carefully designed to stop as many people as humanly possible as often as possible.

2. Iowans think tying up all lanes at 10-15 mph under the speed limit is a sanctioned sport.
StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

Since last post: 19 days
Last activity: 19 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.90
    Originally posted by David Adams
    Traffic in New York is a disaster because of overcrowding, outdated infrastructure and sub-par(not terrible) mass transit.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this guy saying NYC has sub-par mass transit. Bad traffic or no, NYC has to be one of the top 5 cities for public transportation... in the entire world.

- StingArmy

(edited by StingArmy on 3.8.12 2024)
Leroy
Boudin blanc








Since: 7.2.02

Since last post: 8 days
Last activity: 7 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.76
    Originally posted by StingArmy

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around this guy saying NYC has sub-par mass transit. Bad traffic or no, NYC has to be one of the top 5 cities for public transportation... in the entire world.


According to Ask Men (askmen.com), the definitive source on international mass transit rankings, NYC ranks 7th. TAKE THAT HONG KONG!!!

The NYC subway is also the only place where you can see someone tell an 80-year old woman to go fuck herself (at Lexington and 51st - although she did have it coming ....)

Portland, OR has the best mass transit system I've ever experienced. I mean... the downtown area had FREE public transit service. Seriously. Of course, Portland doesn't have random accordion players and they do have smelly hippies, so six of one....
Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.43
Here in Edmonton, we have tonnes of potholes that cause traffic headaches, and a mayor who's really not doing anything about them. He'd rather pay a tonne for an arena the billionaire NHL team owner is crying any whining for than fix our roads.

*I've twisted my knee and fallen quite a number of times because of those potholes on my way to work, so I know all about it



...on a roll!
Tenken347
Boudin blanc








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 7 hours
Last activity: 6 hours
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.14
In my experience, 90% of traffic problems could be avoided if people just understood merging. My lane goes, then your lane goes, then my lane goes. Like a zipper. When people wait until the last minute and force their way in, or refuse to let other cars merge, it grinds everything to a standstill, and it doesn't have to. I once lost two hours of my life because there was one closed lane on a four lane highway, and people couldn't seem to figure out how to get over.
PeterStork
Sujuk








Since: 25.1.02
From: Chicagoland with Hoosiers, or "The Region"

Since last post: 42 days
Last activity: 4 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.00
    Originally posted by Tenken347
    In my experience, 90% of traffic problems could be avoided if people just understood merging. My lane goes, then your lane goes, then my lane goes. Like a zipper. When people wait until the last minute and force their way in, or refuse to let other cars merge, it grinds everything to a standstill, and it doesn't have to. I once lost two hours of my life because there was one closed lane on a four lane highway, and people couldn't seem to figure out how to get over.


I am using MY ONE THOUSANDTH POST (since January 25, 2002!) to say:

THIS.

Minnesota did a study a few years ago proving the zipper method's superiority, and when we vacationed there I was pleased to see "Merge Here" signs in a construction zone showing people where to get out of their closing lane. It's tough for me to obey the principles, though, since you know everyone is going to try to keep you from merging to punish you. Bah.
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