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Worst road conditions in North America

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  • Worst road conditions in North America

    I have done a lot a car travelling through out North America.

    The Montreal area, especially during the pothole season in spring, is pretty bad. Heavy road construction and repairs seem to be an on-going thing for over 40 years. Can it be worst? Yes! When I travel in SE Pennsylvania, it seems worst then the Montreal area.

    Nothing beats bad rushhour traffic like LA and NYC, with Boston, DC and Vancouver making the top 5 list. People in Montreal and Toronto complain about morning traffic, but that is nothing compared to LA and NYC.

    Curious to read about driving experience of other fellow North Americans.

    (Keep the politics out of your comments. This is plainly and only about road and traffic conditions you experienced as a driver, not which party in power invested or not in infrastructure!)

  • #2
    Arizona isn't all that bad. I think the worst stretch of interstate highway right now is from just South of Phoenix at Queen Creek to Casa Grande where I 10 is still two lanes both directions. There are no frontage roads in this section of the highway either. First, this means that traffic most of the time is heavy in both directions and slows because of it. Then, if there's an accident or the like that closes even one lane in either direction the back up quickly stretches for miles and you crawl forward at a snail's pace. Since there are few alternatives to just riding it out you sit for hours trying to move the few miles to get past the bottleneck. That is if the road isn't closed entirely for an extended period while they clear things.

    I 17 North to Flagstaff is the same way on weekends. You have massive traffic out of Phoenix heading to the "High country" where it's cooler and there are lakes and such for recreation. Same things happen. Slow traffic due to load and if there's an accident the road closes for hours and there's no alternative route around it.

    Phoenix itself is not bad. We've got a good and expanding freeway system that works pretty well. Even rush hour isn't all that bad.

    On the other hand, Tucson is miserable to drive in. The "Berkeley of Arizona" has government that opposes any improvements to traffic flow and instead installs more HAWK pedestrian lights



    Invented there, this monstrosity brings traffic to a halt for several minutes every time someone activates it.
    They also have put in bike lanes everywhere and encourage bicycling. The worst is probably the insane [i]no left turn, u-turn, right turn intersections where to make a left, you go through the intersection to a second light and u-turn to make a right back at the intersection. It's the most insane traffic jamming device imaginable.



    You end up with multiple sets of lights controlling all this which slows traffic to a crawl.
    The whole of it makes driving in Tucson an insufferable nightmare of a crawl across town 24/7. They won't build freeways because those are evil or something to the Leftists running the city. The streets are potholed and crumbling too because they spend all the money on more light fail (aka choo choo trains to nowhere) in a city that doesn't have anywhere close to the population density or numbers to support it.

    Rural Arizona roads are great! You can fly down them and they're almost all in good condition. US 191 from Duncan / Morenci to Alpine is one of those truly classic sports car roads to drive.

    There are so many that have the neatest places you never heard of to stop and visit too.

    ...

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    • #3
      The washboard conditions found in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Alaska are as bad as it gets.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Capt AFB View Post
        I have done a lot a car travelling through out North America.

        The Montreal area, especially during the pothole season in spring, is pretty bad. Heavy road construction and repairs seem to be an on-going thing for over 40 years. Can it be worst? Yes! When I travel in SE Pennsylvania, it seems worst then the Montreal area.
        Dunno what the word is in English, and neither wiki nor google give me anything else but frost. That is to say, that in Northern Europe the road repairs are always going on because the ground freezes, and thus the water in the ground freezes and expands and it will always result in roads breaking. I would imagine same situation to be in effect in Montreal.

        I bet the worst roads are in Mexico though.
        Wisdom is personal

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        • #5
          In the Aleutians they have something called Muskeg. See if that is similar to what you are trying to describe.

          Most states have areas that are hard to keep paved. Louisiana has an area that is essentially sponge. Over the ages, the Mississippi River has gone back and forth creating deltas like a hose snaking back and forth if dropped on the ground. The delta creates land that very sponge like. Once the Mississippi creates a new channel a new Delta starts to form. Much of South Louisiana has no bedrock. When they were building I-10 through the Atchafalaya Basin they were having trouble finding bedrock to support the "bridge" across the area. I worked with a man who worked with the construction of said Interstate. They used to hold back and wait for someone to come in with drilling samples supposedly showed bedrock. It was not from the area! These lands do not form a good foundation for roads. The ground settles and often sinks. The I-10 road has pot holes all the time. Hurricanes and Floods also have a negative impact.

          Pruitt
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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          • #6
            Colorado ranks high on the list of places you do not want to have to drive. Secondary roads that would test a tank's suspension and freeways either constantly under construction or blocked by either forest fires - I-70 and Hwy 115 most recently, -rockfalls or snow and ice. We also have only a tiny number of East-Wet routes through the Rockies,using "passes, which can reach up to 11,000 feet or greater where any weather becomes an issue, and snow and ice are serious problems that can close roads without warning, leaving motorists stranded.

            We also have lot of lousy and aggressive drivers and a large number of uninsured drive rocketing along, plus heavy tourist traffic - unfamiliar with Colorado rules and mountain driving rules and conditions - complicating things, plus heavy ski traffic during winter and a lot of hunters during the various seasons.

            Nice place to live - lousy place to drive, and I've driven in most European countries and major European capitols.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Karri View Post

              Dunno what the word is in English, and neither wiki nor google give me anything else but frost. That is to say, that in Northern Europe the road repairs are always going on because the ground freezes, and thus the water in the ground freezes and expands and it will always result in roads breaking. I would imagine same situation to be in effect in Montreal.

              I bet the worst roads are in Mexico though.
              That water and freeze effect is well known.

              But it does not explain why Eastern Ontario highways and Northern NY State highways (all near the Montreal area) don't seem to be affected as much.

              Actually the reason is that contractors used the cheapest material, often substandard stuff, in the 70s and 80s and the drivers are paying for it now. We had a number of overpasses that needed emergency repairs when one of them collapsed on a car, killing a family! ..Since then, the provincial Ministry of Transportation got very involved (read: micromanaging) in road repairs and most of the heavy traffic is due to repairing the substandard road built in the 70s and 80s...And they are using those repairs to reorganize the road system in and around Montreal... Including bringing down one major bridge and replacing it with a new one...In the meanwhile, traffic and potholes remain an issue driving on the roads in the Montreal area.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Karri View Post

                Dunno what the word is in English, and neither wiki nor google give me anything else but frost. That is to say, that in Northern Europe the road repairs are always going on because the ground freezes, and thus the water in the ground freezes and expands and it will always result in roads breaking. I would imagine same situation to be in effect in Montreal.

                I bet the worst roads are in Mexico though.
                It's called frost heave, very common in America and a lot of places where cold weather occurs.
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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                • #9
                  Orlando, FL. Massive construction and the usual zoo that is traffic to Disney and other amusements in the area make it one mass of fecal matter.

                  Locally, not too much other than rush hour fiascos at a few of the interchanges on I-26. The quality of roads is, by and large, far better than other places the Child Bride and I have lived.

                  Regards,
                  Dennis
                  Last edited by D1J1; 18 Oct 20, 15:13. Reason: Spelling
                  If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                  Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

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                  • #10
                    I've dealt with the 401 countless days.
                    Many of my American guests are surprised at how bad the traffic is there,
                    This study from the US Department of Transport notes:
                    https://international.fhwa.dot.gov/p...llcp_07_02.cfm

                    The key high-volume highways in Ontario are the 400-series highways in the southern part of the province. The most important of these is the 401, the busiest highway in North America, with average annual daily traffic (AADT) of more than 425,000 vehicles in 2004, and daily traffic sometimes exceeding 500,000 vehicles. In much of the Toronto area, the 401 has six lanes in each direction, but some segments have seven, eight, and even nine lanes in each direction. The next most heavily trafficked freeways in the 400 system are the 427, with an AADT of about 312,000 vehicles, and the Queen Elizabeth Way, with an AADT of about 175,000 vehicles.
                    During construction (which is almost perpetual on the 401) those 6 lanes (3 express, 3 collector) can get narrowed down to 2 or even 1.....so the tailback is a sight not to behold. And accidents .....yeah not fun.

                    So hurray Canada...........not.

                    Canadian joke. How many seasons are there in Canada? Two: Winter and Road Construction

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Herman Hum View Post
                      The washboard conditions found in the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Alaska are as bad as it gets.
                      I've only flew around the NWT and Yukon, and only experienced the road system in urban areas. But a friend of mine honeymooned in Northern Canada (they loved the outdoors) mentioned something about needing a SUV with strong shocks absorbers would be a good recommendation for driving in that area.

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                      • #12
                        I think that Mythbusters did an episode regarding how to drive over washboard roads; whether or not higher speed made the washboard less bumpy. IIRC, their conclusion was that higher speed does reduce the magnitude of the ups and downs experienced as a car drives over them. However, it was still one heckuva bumpy ride.
                        ScenShare Guidelines:

                        1) Enjoy creating it
                        2) Enjoy playing it
                        3) Enjoy sharing it
                        4) Enjoy helping others create them

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                        FAQ http://www.harplonkhq.com/Harpoon/Fr...dQuestions.htm

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