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Thread: Problem with arterial roads

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Problem with arterial roads

    Again not all true!! I have seen many mew arterial roads with less traffic than other arterial roads.It is not all doom and dull those arterial roads with a good city planner .It seems a city with lack of arterial roads and only 2 or 3 arterial roads have more problem than a city with lots of arterial roads.

    They are noted for their lack of residential entrances directly onto the road (except in older or more dense communities);
    Well I don't know what he is talking about here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arterial_road

    An arterial road is a moderate or high-capacity road which is immediately below a highway level of service. Much like a biological artery, an arterial road carries large volumes of traffic between areas in urban centres. They are noted for their lack of residential entrances directly onto the road (except in older or more dense communities); they are designed to carry traffic between neighbourhoods, and have intersections with collector and local streets. Often, commercial areas such as shopping centres, gas stations and other businesses are located on them. Arterial roads also link up to expressways and freeways with interchanges.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    That really is a very very poor article... no offence if the author is on here :P

    Plus that guy who adds road noise dispersion to nearly eveything he can has manged to spam it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    One might do better to reference the FHWA and their definitions, since this is a technical, transportation engineering term.

    Arterials can be principal or minor and exist in rural or urban settings, each of which has some bearing on its structure and function. Here is a link to the USDOT site with definitions:

    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/fcsec2_1.htm

    This Wiki entry needs to get more into the specifics...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    One might do better to reference the FHWA and their definitions, since this is a technical, transportation engineering term.

    Arterials can be principal or minor and exist in rural or urban settings, each of which has some bearing on its structure and function. Here is a link to the USDOT site with definitions:

    http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/fcsec2_1.htm

    This Wiki entry needs to get more into the specifics...

    Okay I think Wiki was not going in all that detail but still don't understand this part they say.

    ((((They are noted for their lack of residential entrances directly onto the road (except in older or more dense communities); )))))

    Well yap Wiki should have talked about smaller arterial roads and bigger arterial roads.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I suspect the point they are trying to make (which I generally agree with) is that the function of an arterial is generally not to provide access to smaller local streets, but rather to move large amounts of traffic between major points (local traffic be damned!). The speed, distance between these major points, and what the major points are (towns in a rural setting, but shopping nodes in an urban one, for example) are the variables that might make one arterial different from another. I would generally agree with this (which is why turning onto or off of an arterial can be so challenging - the allowable speeds are such that people often miss small side roads because they are going to fast.) I agree they could have explained the concept with better, more detailed language, though.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    I suspect the point they are trying to make (which I generally agree with) is that the function of an arterial is generally not to provide access to smaller local streets, but rather to move large amounts of traffic between major points (local traffic be damned!). The speed, distance between these major points, and what the major points are (towns in a rural setting, but shopping nodes in an urban one, for example) are the variables that might make one arterial different from another. I would generally agree with this (which is why turning onto or off of an arterial can be so challenging - the allowable speeds are such that people often miss small side roads because they are going to fast.) I agree they could have explained the concept with better, more detailed language, though.
    I guess if its a big arterial or small arterial .

    Than how many KM should it be to you come to a intersection ? And do you build homes or apartments on a arterial ?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nec209 View post
    I guess if its a big arterial or small arterial .

    Than how many KM should it be to you come to a intersection ? And do you build homes or apartments on a arterial ?
    I'm not sure I understand your question, but I will try. I don't know enough about traffic engineering to talk about preferred distance between controlled intersections. I expect, though, that it has a lot to do with the speeds the road accommodates and what areas adjacent to the arterials one is trying to access (a business park often merits a traffic light. Residential areas usually don't). I think traffic engineers generally are concerned with the time it takes to get form one controlled intersection to the next and not necessarily the raw distance. Of course, we are talking about cars here and not people on foot or bikes. This is why in places like Albuquerque's Northeast Heights we have 1/4 mile distances between lights. Its its a nightmare for non-motorized traffic and a very unpleasant environment to deal with on a regular basis.

    Actually, its a nightmare for cars as well. The areas inside these 1/4 mile superblocks are residential subdivisions that are often very internally focused (curvilinear streets, lots of loops and lollipops) and so through-traffic is not easily accommodated. Instead, everyone goes out to the arterials and jams up traffic.

    Generally, the types of establishments historically built along these roads in urbanized areas are strip mall style retail with big boxes mixed in. Big setbacks and large lots make businesses easier to spot and access (from your car!) while speeding along at 35mph or faster. Apartment complexes are also common for similar reasons - they are easy to spot from a distance and once you pull into the complex can drive slowly through the complex to find the right building.

    This model, which consumes a very large area of my fair city's northeast quadrant, is extremely user-hostile and unpleasant. Neighborhoods may be walkable, but there is no retail within the superblocks, so almost everyone must drive to access retail. Plus, there is virtually no grid to diffuse traffic - everything is fed onto the arterials. I don't go up there at all if I can avoid it. I think they would have done better to create a more complete grid through the superblocks and perhaps a hierarchy of arterials that accommodate traffic at different speeds. This way they could create some more walkable neighborhood retail areas that work better for local residents.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Just a thought

    Without agreeing or disagreeing with the Wiki article... it may be that Wiki authors have to think of a GLOBAL audience. While US DOT definitions may be the standard for the US, they may not be in all countries.

    Have you put your thoughts into the Wiki discussion page, or only here on Cyburbia? The whole point of the Wiki is that YOU can be part of improving the article.

    Try it, you'll love it!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Hay wahday first of all suburbs in the Toronto area the superblocks are ver big and its bad for car traffic or foot traffic.Some of the subdivisions lack traffic and what I mean by that is all cars have to go out to the arterial road to get anywhere to the local store or pizza place and so on.

    Some other subdivisions have put in some small collector roads to connect 2 or 3 superblocks but that is it no more than 2 or 3 .Take out the arterial roads and the city will come to a stop .

    Here is a superblock that is space 2 KM and most superblock in York are 2 KM apart



    Going from point (A) to pint (B) you have to use the arterial because there is no collector roads in alot of those big superblocks



    And because those big superblocks in the Toronto area are space most of the time 1.5 KM or 2KM and some 2.5 KM and 3KMThere is lots of traffic on those arterial roads.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    These maps from Toronto could just as easily be northeast Albuquerque - same patterns of large superblocks with similar "loops and lollipops" style residential streets that do not allow for through-traffic.

    The challenge we have with the arterials in this part of town is probably similar to yours. Vehicles are humming along at 35-40mph, but some need to get off into their subdivision to get to their house. If they need to turn left, things become tricky. Even with medians and turn lanes, often traffic backs up and this can be dangerous when you are all sticking out into the higher speed left lane.

    If you need to leave your subdivision and access the arterial and (G_d forbid) turn left, you need to wait for four lanes of high speed traffic in each direction to lull enough to let you in. Its a nightmare.

    I think the key problems here are a lack of local through-streets and the absence of roads with carrying capacities between arterials and residential streets. Some cities do have these "access roads" that allow for people to leave the arterial (but parallel it) and slow down enough to read road signs and get into the subdivisions. This might be an option, but these areas are currently developed housing, so I don't know how one could get around that unless they use the existing ROW. Adding more controlled intersections (traffic lights) is untenable because it would slow arterial traffic too much. It will be interesting how we deal with this problem as the population continues to grow.

    Lastly, and perhaps most significant, this environment results in an inordinately high number of pedestrian deaths because of the high volume, high speed traffic and large distance between lights (meaning people cross on foot at non-controlled intersections). Pedestrians account for 20 percent of all traffic deaths in the metropolitan area; the national average is 11.4 percent.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  11. #11
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I have found that in newer or suburban type of development areas one of the biggest problems is a lack of a good network of collector roads.

    NEC does a good job of pointing this out. Detroit has a lot of the same road geography as TO. Suburban superblocks are generally 1.6 km square here. Suburban arterial congestion issues often exist in places developed after 1950 because the collector network has a pieced together quality and a road does not extend through several of these superblocks, allowing alternatives that would shorten trips and save gasoline. When you get into older suburbs, the collectors connect, even cross jurisdictional lines. It makes for much better traffic flow.

    To blame the arterial network is a lot like not paying your water bill then blaming the toilet when your house begins to stink.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    sorry I'm little busy now I will post back soon.I also seen some errors with my writing I will try to fix up.

    But I should add one of the big problems in are city is there is alot of traffic, do to lack of collector roads.And putting in more lanes is not the answer to many of the collector roads do to lack of room.

    There is no room to build new collector roads because of many homes in the way.Mississauga is little better do to smaller superblocks but stll the superblocks could be smaller.
    Last edited by nec209; 03 Mar 2008 at 12:35 AM.

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