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Obsolete Freeway on ramps #4111840 05/31/16 09:14 PM
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jimbrewer Offline OP
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OK. So I miss my exit on I-10 in Arizona after a long drive. Nowhere near Tucson, but not in the middle of nowhere, either.

No big deal. I take the next exit, which is all by itself and circle around. Holy cow! The on ramp is so sharply below grade that I can't see incoming traffic until I am nosed out into the curb Lane. the on ramp is about 250' long. Maybe a slight exaggeration. The traffic is moving along at 75-80 mph. Pretty obviously, the ramp was an afterthought fifty years ago when they built the highway. Back then, they probably thought the ramp would be used 4 times a day and a car would be on the highway only every couple of minutes. Possibly built to accommodate a well-connected rancher or two back in the day. Didn't look like it had been paved since 1966 either. I wonder how many of these gems are still out there? No way to circle back to the good exit on surface streets, either.

By the way, what is the strategy in this situation? I just gunned it to get to 70+ mph while fully expecting to have to slam on the brakes and swerve into the emergency Lane at the last second. Would I have been better off making a much more leisurely entrance with the idea that unless the coast was clear I would pull over and start from the emergency Lane as if I had just fixed a flat tire? As I said, the on-ramp itself was very little used.


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Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4111845 05/31/16 09:18 PM
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Skid Offline
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Pretty much the entire I-110 north of downtown L.A. is like that (DTLA to/from Pasadena). You have to wait for a break in the traffic. You may have to wait a looong time.

Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4111865 05/31/16 09:50 PM
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That sounds like the Taconic parkway that runs from NYC to Albany, narrow lanes with tiny on ramps and poor visibility. Fun to speed on though...


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Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4111873 05/31/16 09:53 PM
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Kuato Offline
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Originally Posted By: jimbrewer
... Would I have been better off making a much more leisurely entrance with the idea that unless the coast was clear I would pull over and start from the emergency Lane as if I had just fixed a flat tire? As I said, the on-ramp itself was very little used.


Well it's usually fun to test the max acceleration of your vehicle once and awhile. But if that wasn't enough, then a retreat to the shoulder is a good option.

The "why" answer: $$.

Last edited by Kuato; 05/31/16 09:53 PM.

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Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4111883 05/31/16 10:07 PM
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bdcardinal Offline
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I nominate the one where my car got slammed due to poor signage.

Thread for reference with pictures of said intersection
http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/4106739/1/Got_into_an_accident.


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Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: Brybo86] #4111893 05/31/16 10:22 PM
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Bottom_Feeder Offline
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Originally Posted By: Brybo86
That sounds like the Taconic parkway that runs from NYC to Albany, narrow lanes with tiny on ramps and poor visibility. Fun to speed on though...

The Taconic isn't that bad, really. It's fun and it flows relatively well. You may be thinking of the Saw Mill Parkway which is like a 150-year-old horse path they paved over. It's narrow and fast with no shoulder, just guardrails, curbs and drainage grates, and amazingly short off/on ramps, but people drive VERY fast on it. It's like a roller coaster, the Action Park of highways. I haven't been on it in more than 15 years since I lived in the area and I miss it dearly. The people I share the roads with here in the DC area wouldn't be able to handle it.

I'm sure eventually it'll get rebuilt or bypassed completely someday. I just hope I'm able to drive on it again in a capable car before that happens.

Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4111914 05/31/16 10:41 PM
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Those are not "obsolete" they are "legacy" ramps. Built in a different time, different thinking.

Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4111924 05/31/16 10:59 PM
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jimbrewer Offline OP
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"Legacy" ramps. I like that. I've been on the Taconic and the LA freeways. They were nothing like that. Basically those are highways that have turned into city streets. This was completely a blind man's bluff situation.

Yes, it was a different time. Saw an old episode of "26 Men" on YouTube the other day. A Western filmed in Arizona in the late fifties. I can see why my folks picked up their family of five and moved 2500 miles to live there.

Last edited by jimbrewer; 05/31/16 11:00 PM.

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Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4111931 05/31/16 11:07 PM
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Merkava_4 Offline
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Originally Posted By: jimbrewer
By the way, what is the strategy in this situation?


You floor it at the beginning of the on-ramp, that way you're well ahead of the traffic as you merge onto the freeway at 100 m.p.h. What are the chances of somebody being in the right lane traveling 100 m.p.h when you get there ?

Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: Merkava_4] #4111993 06/01/16 01:04 AM
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On ramps? There are none for most entrances on the Merritt Parkway from NY to CT. You're brought to a dead stop about 5-10 ft from on-coming traffic typically doing 65-85 mph on a posted 2 lane - 55 mph "race course." Now merge safely..........


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Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4112062 06/01/16 05:25 AM
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The Arroyo Seco Parkway (aka Pasadena Freeway) has some interesting history behind it.

Designed and built for a different time.

Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: Carmudgeon] #4112086 06/01/16 05:53 AM
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I offer this in case someone out there has been inspired to create a picture book of bad entrances.

Appx. 20 miles west of the region served by the Taconic State, Saw Mill River, Bronx River and Merritt Parkways (CT Rt. 15) you can see where yesterday's US 46, NJ's Rt.17 and I-80 commingle in New Jersey.

Right angle entrances were actually cut through rows of houses. In some cases a single house was removed. You can wave to the people drinking their coffee in the morning.

Medium sized county roads approaching this "distribution region" have a jumble of dedicated lanes (L or R turn only, straight ahead only).

I always have thought the CIA and FBI used the houses there as "safe houses" as they're near everything and nobody is ever outdoors.

Your homework assignment: Map a route from I-80 Eastbound to Rt.17 Southbound (Hint-use Essex St. and go by the Harley-Davidson dealer).

At least Hackensack Hospital (big, new HUMC) is served by the roads.

Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4112090 06/01/16 05:57 AM
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Try the Eisenhower Expressway out of Chicago. They have the on ramps feeding into the left lane and have traffic lights on them too.


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Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4112126 06/01/16 06:51 AM
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Chris142 Offline
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We have on ramps here that are only about 50ft long! This may work for a Porsche or corvette but is down right scary in my pickup or 18 wheeler


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Re: Obsolete Freeway on ramps [Re: jimbrewer] #4112135 06/01/16 07:04 AM
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We lost several on-ramps since the '70s: one that circled a big Catholic church near downtown to get onto the Miss. River Bridge, one that ran through a quiet neighborhood to join the bridge closer to the river, and another that went around a block of businesses near Charity Hospital to join I-10 East. Obsolete ramps here get torn down, it seems.

There's a clearly obsolete off-ramp from the I-10 in New Orleans East, what my first wife (who lived out that way in the '70s) used to call the Land of Mordor. It's not marked, but as you drive past you can see the ramp start away from the main Interstate and dead end against heavy woodsy undergrowth. It's blocked with those big concrete dams. Good thing, or somebody might decide to blaze his own path into the forest. I think it runs into the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.

Did the designers plan to have a real exit there, or was it merely for the Interstate builders' or NWR staff's use? Or is it a ramp to . . . The Twilight Zone? [cue famous music]


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