Monday, October 26, 2009

Our Neighbors to the South

I have been traveling this last week through Nevada to get to Arizona and a couple of observations are in order.

First, while Nevada is basically barren and their north/south road is two lane and you can go for 120 miles without seeing much more than sagebrush, I swear they have the smoothest roads ever traveled upon. These roads are uncut, unpatched and the road mix that they use is quiet beyond belief - I'm going to call the Nevada Transportation Department and ask them how they do it.

Here in the Phoenix area, I am struck by their use of permissive left turn greens on every street, even those where a motorist crosses 3 lanes of traffic. In Boise, we seem to be much more squeamish about that. Arizona uses a signal arm that is fairly standardized across the region which has a slot for regular left turn green arrows and then permissive left turn green. At least in the west valley area, it appears for the most part, they only activate the permissive.

The medians are landscaped as are the sides of the roadway and it's very attractive. Of course, it's a function of money, but it's also a function they wish to pursue. Part of it comes from the requirements they make developers meet. Each city in the area develops and maintains their own roads in cooperation with the cities they abut.

All in all, it's a highly populated yet very attractive area and the traffic on the surface streets seems to flow very well.


At October 27, 2009 at 2:16 PM , Anonymous SGS said...

Yeah, about the left turn lights. When I moved here to Boise from elsewhere, I was surprised at how restrict they are. We could only turn left when the green arrow is shown, but not at any other time. There is no blinking yellow arrow light or something. Often, I sat there on left lane, seeing for miles, and there is no car coming. It stuck me silly, and I was often tempted to turn left anyway. But I did not. Anyway, I have seen those blinking or yellow left lights in Maine, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Maryland and Virginia, all where I lived before coming here.


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