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Fewer motorway junctions

So that motorways can at last be used for the correct purpose.
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(+1, -2)
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Anyone who knows the M25 (and many of us know it better than our families) could not have failed to notice that the regular big jams all occur where there are several junctions together. The same applies for other busy motorways points - M6 Birmingham, M1 Luton and Sheffield.

So what is really needed is fewer junctions. Motorways were designed for long distance travel but people use them for local "junction hopping". The M25 was supposed to be an orbital motorway linking the other motorways that feed London. Close all the other junctions - that would leave about 8 junctions only - and watch the traffic flow. On the other motorways just keep open one junction for each major town or city.

Bizarrely, the trend is to open new junctions whenever possible. Sorry, this is about the UK but I'd guess the same applies elsewhere.

TwoSheds, Oct 24 2002


snarfyguy, Oct 24 2002

       //The M25 was supposed to be an orbital motorway linking the other motorways that feed London.// Pardon me, but this is exactly what it is!   

       //Motorways were designed for long distance travel // - that's a hell of an assumption too.   

       btw, the M25 was supposed to be the middle one of three London orbital motorways, one running around the North/South Circular, and one running at a radius of where the A404 linking High Wycombe and Maidenhead is. The DOT (allegedly) commissioned a number of reports about 20 years ago and discarded all that said they needed 3 motorways in favour of the one that said one would be fine - according to an ex-colleague who worked there at the time.
PeterSilly, Oct 24 2002

       The reason that the M25 is so badly traffic jammed is because it is circular and tailbacks become tailforwards if they are long enough. It all has nothing to do with too many junctions
Alphaman, Oct 24 2002

       I've made this statement as well. All things considered, interstate highways support too much local traffic. In the US this is largely because Federal monies go toward their construction. This relieves the local and/or state goverment from having to foot the bill for new or improved surface roads.   

       Where I live, the local highway has no fewer than 12 exits in my city. I've recently discovered I can cover the 20 miles to work as fast or faster by using surface roads instead of the highway. This is largely because everyone else thinks (as I used to) that getting from point 'A' to point 'B' will be faster on a limited access road.   

       Closing a number of the access points to the highway would force local-only traffic to use surface streets and free up the highway for through traffic. Localities would have to improve their roads, but that could be offset by lower Federal taxes.
phoenix, Oct 24 2002

       Surely the idea of persuading drivers to use major roads is a good one - less noise for local residents, faster traffic flow, less chance of pedestrian/moving vehicle interactions, less chance of cyclist/moving vehicle interactions, less chance of moving vehicle/moving vehicle interactions. Need I go on?   

       The UK government is all for this. You only need to look at the proliferation of "traffic calming measures" on the UK's minor roads.
Mayfly, Oct 24 2002

       phoe, I respectfully suggest that your city has >11 highway junctions because the traffic situation demands them. I'm sure interchanges are only built when needed, not just on a whim.   

       It would seem to me that reducing that number would make traffic problems even worse.
waugsqueke, Oct 24 2002

       Then there are situations like what I ran into when living in detroit a few years ago. *shudder*   

       It doesn't have anything to do with the number of exits, the problem is that there's just too damn many cars and not enough places to put them. It doesn't matter which highway/thruway or surface street you use, they're all clogged in rush hour. You could walk faster! (Same goes for the Chicago area toll roads from the suburbs to the city too.) And they couldn't add more roads/lanes as all the land was full of houses/apartments/businesses etc.   

       As for federal vs state funds, Michigan refused to fix ANY of their roads on their own dollars for several years and only recently started fixing anything when they got federal money. I've never seen such potholed dangerous roads in my life as the ones in the detroit area.
Aurora, Oct 24 2002

       I don't understand why simple infrastructure isn't put to better use. The spacing of interchanges, as much as their location near population or service areas, seems to perfectly suit the sites for placing transponder towers. It strikes me as cold hearted of freeway designers to cater to the needs of frequenters of these roads while leaving much to the imagination of occasional users,
reensure, Oct 24 2002

       [waugsqueke] I hear ya bro and you're right, after a fashion. This city is so dependent on the local piece of Interstate it would curl up and die if it went away. My point is that I don't think that's what the Interstate was intended for.   

       Exacerbating the problem is an upcoming referendum to raise taxes to improve the Interstate. Oddly, the stretch through my city doesn't have any planned improvements, but there are plans to widen the upstream and downstream portions and add new exits. Why? Because many of the people who work in this city live in the 'burbs and want to use the Interstate to get to work. Where's the sense in that?
phoenix, Oct 24 2002


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