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Asphalt roads reverting to gravel

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Asphalt roads reverting to gravel

Old 12-18-09, 09:43 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Are you sure it's happening in California? I sure don't see any evidence of it locally and the article didn't mention California. In our area the state and towns seem to be going all out for assorted repaving projects, even on roads that don't appear to be in need of it. Just last week I reported a slight water seepage where our house water line comes in from the street. The water company came out, determined that they needed to replace their feeder line, and brought in some equipment to do that. They had to cut a small hole in the street pavement, but they patched it afterwards and I figured they were all done. But this week someone came out to inspect and noticed some little tiny cracks in the asphalt - probably aggravated by the heavy machinery that had been there. Hardly noticeable at all, but now they're going to tear up half the street in front of our house and do a full repaving job.
Roads in San Diego have been declared the "roughest in the country." So while there may not be an actual campaign to turn these roads into gravel, nature is doing her part to render them to gravel anyway.
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Old 12-18-09, 10:00 AM
  #27  
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Are most of these gravel conversions "no outlet" roads? Or are some of them through roads that might be of importance to through cyclists who live outside the neighborhood?
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Old 12-18-09, 10:33 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
There are a number of advantages to dirt or gravel roads, they are amazingly cheap to build, compared to asphalt roads, dig down a few feet compact the earth, then dump on some gravel and keep rolling it as you layer on more gravel to build up the road. Road work like utilities work is also much easier to deal with in that edges do not need to be sealed.

It's more environmentally friendly, because water can flow through the road surface rather then running off, pollutants are limited to a much smaller area. Speeds are limited by the surface, so it's safer for other road users, the road surface can be "tuned" to limit driver speed, rather then needing a stop sign ever block.
While I agree they are environmentally friendly and I like dirt roads and don't understand the need to spend $$$ on ashphalt for side roads, I don't think they are safer. If you need to stop asap you won't do that as well as on pavement, since your tires will skid.
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Old 12-18-09, 11:34 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by thdave View Post
While I agree they are environmentally friendly and I like dirt roads and don't understand the need to spend $$$ on ashphalt for side roads, I don't think they are safer. If you need to stop asap you won't do that as well as on pavement, since your tires will skid.
It's all relative to how fast you are going, a great example is braking at speed on an asphalt road, then pulling over into a gravel turn out. I was with a friend who did that, luckily that the gravel turnout was long and wide.
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Old 12-18-09, 11:39 AM
  #30  
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IMHO its because local government are having to spend too much money on people that think that the government owes them a living. Less work means less taxes and less to spend on the roads and the like.
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Old 12-18-09, 12:27 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by GodsBassist View Post
+1

I think that's the real root of the issue, anyway, is that people can't go as fast on them. I used to live on a dirt road and loved it.
Yep, I'd have to agree with ya. As I've said before "everyone and their brother are in just too much of a hurry to get nowhere fast." There was a story on the news here in Fl not too long ago about how another county wanted to pave one of it's dirt/gravel roads but weren't getting much support from the residents on that road. The reason was because the county wanted to residents to help pay the costs of paving said road and most of them cannot afford it.
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Old 12-18-09, 12:31 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by thdave View Post
While I agree they are environmentally friendly and I like dirt roads and don't understand the need to spend $$$ on asphalt for side roads, I don't think they are safer. If you need to stop asap you won't do that as well as on pavement, since your tires will skid.
Ah, but if speeds are reduced because of the fact that one is now driving on a gravel road doesn't that also reduce time and distance one needs to stop in?
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Old 12-18-09, 02:33 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
Ah, but if speeds are reduced because of the fact that one is now driving on a gravel road doesn't that also reduce time and distance one needs to stop in?
Yes. But my point stands--it takes more distance to stop on a dirt road than it does on a paved road, all other factors being equal. It isn't a small difference, either.
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Old 12-18-09, 04:17 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by thdave View Post
Yes. But my point stands--it takes more distance to stop on a dirt road than it does on a paved road, all other factors being equal. It isn't a small difference, either.
That's for sure, with dry asphalt having an average coefficient of friction of around .75 and gravel at an average of .25, looks like gravel requires about three times more stopping distance at the same speed if one only went by numbers alone.
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Old 12-18-09, 05:24 PM
  #35  
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Many of the gravel roads I used to ride on in the 1970s were better than the degraded asphalt roads. So much depends on the treatment and maintenance of the gravel. The better graveled roads are no trouble at all. Big rock & poorly maintained are trouble.

I regularly rode many miles on gravel to make loops. Tubulars. I'd also ride trails, carefully.
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Old 12-18-09, 06:00 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
That's for sure, with dry asphalt having an average coefficient of friction of around .75 and gravel at an average of .25, looks like gravel requires about three times more stopping distance at the same speed if one only went by numbers alone.
In a skid yes.

If you know how to brake on them and don't skid, it doesn't take all that much extra distance.

I'm all for turning some roads in the more suburban and rural areas back to gravel. I don't think its a worthwhile idea in the more urban centers though.
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Old 12-18-09, 06:37 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
In a skid yes.

If you know how to brake on them and don't skid, it doesn't take all that much extra distance.
Failed physics class, did you?
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Old 12-18-09, 06:50 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Failed physics class, did you?
Not sure your point here.

Skid stopping on gravel roads greatly increases the distance it takes to stop, especially when gravel is wet.

Failed physics? Quite the contrary. I did just fine in Physics I/Kinematics. Physics II/EMAG was the course that I had difficulty with.
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Old 12-18-09, 06:55 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Gravel roads are fine for light traffic use and in colder climates, and though they maybe cheaper to build, in high volume traffic situations the saying "Pay me now or pay me later" comes to mind. Over the long run with high volume traffic, paved roads over time would end up costing the same or less due to less maintenance.
I'm dubious as well, unless you're talking about lightly used neighborhood roads.

Graded roads that carry even moderate volumes of traffic require almost constant maintenance. I've ridden quite a number of undermaintained USFS gravel roads, and they all go to endless washboards up to several inches deep. Fun to ride on? Nope.
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Old 12-18-09, 07:46 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
In a skid yes.

If you know how to brake on them and don't skid, it doesn't take all that much extra distance.
With dirt and asphalt track experience under my belt, one can do as you say, the problem is takes more skill/practice to do it on a dirt/gravel surface, and it usually requires one to put their vehicle sideways. When our local track went from dirt to asphalt, the laps times increased dramatically due to the increased traction.
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Old 12-18-09, 09:41 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
Gravel roads are fine for light traffic use and in colder climates, and though they maybe cheaper to build, in high volume traffic situations the saying "Pay me now or pay me later" comes to mind. Over the long run with high volume traffic, paved roads over time would end up costing the same or less due to less maintenance.
I don't think anyone was proposing a gravel surface for high volume arterials, however it's perfectly reasonable for smaller roads that see small volumes.
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Old 12-18-09, 10:05 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by thdave View Post
Yes. But my point stands--it takes more distance to stop on a dirt road than it does on a paved road, all other factors being equal. It isn't a small difference, either.
This is true, the idea is that your not going to try to go 80MPH on a gravel road, then jam on the brakes 10ft from the stop sign. You need to bring your vehicle to a slower and gentler stop. The technique is the same as that used on a road that is snow or ice covered. Whether it takes longer to stop from the same speed is immaterial if your going a slower speed and stop properly.
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Old 12-18-09, 11:19 PM
  #43  
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good grief. a transportation crisis!

Time to have motor vehicle ownership become culpable for its true costs on society! I will gladly pay a gasoline tax for my bicycling use. My Washington car tabs used to cost a few hundred dollars a year.
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Old 12-19-09, 01:03 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
This is true, the idea is that your not going to try to go 80MPH on a gravel road, then jam on the brakes 10ft from the stop sign. You need to bring your vehicle to a slower and gentler stop. The technique is the same as that used on a road that is snow or ice covered. Whether it takes longer to stop from the same speed is immaterial if your going a slower speed and stop properly.
What, you actually expect people to slow down when they are traveling on snow or ice covered streets??? What have you been smoking??? Don't ya know that with ABS that most people think that they are allowed to go at the posted speed 24/7 and not worry about "little" things like stopping distance.
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Old 12-19-09, 01:36 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
There was a story on the news here in Fl not too long ago about how another county wanted to pave one of it's dirt/gravel roads but weren't getting much support from the residents on that road. The reason was because the county wanted to residents to help pay the costs of paving said road and most of them cannot afford it.
There are a couple of roads that I ride on that I have no idea why they are even paved. One runs along the ridge of a mountain, and the other is a little ways up from the base of the same mountain. There are parallel roads on either side of the mountain. Makes a nice loop to ride on, but these roads have no point.
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Old 12-19-09, 08:41 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
What, you actually expect people to slow down when they are traveling on snow or ice covered streets??? What have you been smoking??? Don't ya know that with ABS that most people think that they are allowed to go at the posted speed 24/7 and not worry about "little" things like stopping distance.
That brings back memories of being passed by other motorists doing 40 to 50 mph, while I'm driving downhill at 10 mph in a near whiteout on the West side of Donner summit. The only way that I could discern where the road was, was to follow the snow embankment left by the snowplows.
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Old 12-19-09, 09:49 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Digital_Cowboy View Post
What, you actually expect people to slow down when they are traveling on snow or ice covered streets??? What have you been smoking??? Don't ya know that with ABS that most people think that they are allowed to go at the posted speed 24/7 and not worry about "little" things like stopping distance.
As someone who has driven in Canada on roads where conditions were so bad, that the only way to know where the road was was to denote where the trees were on either side and figure the centre line was to split the difference, yes, I do expect people to slow down. What I find funny though is people who think that 4WD means they can stop faster All cars have had 4 wheel stop for decades, in many ways I think we should return to rear wheel drive, if the car can't go, then stop, quits being an issue.

Gravel roads are intended for low traffic, low speed streets, where asphalt paving is likely to break down from age, rather then traffic. There really needs to be one thing different though, from the traditional gravel road, a better transition between a gravel and paved portion, maybe like a concrete strip, so that the paved portions don't get ruined from running over the edge, kind of like when between a carpeted and hardwood floor you have a metal strip. Also you don't want too much loose gravel dragged across the paved road. This could be accomplished by mixing concrete with the last metre of gravel before the paved portion of the intersection.
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Old 12-19-09, 10:03 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
What I find funny though is people who think that 4WD means they can stop faster All cars have had 4 wheel stop for decades, in many ways I think we should return to rear wheel drive, if the car can't go, then stop, quits being an issue.
Agreed. Seems like most of the people I see who have gotten into trouble on winter roads were driving 4WD vehicles. With 2WD you have a reminder of slippery conditions every time you feel the wheels slip a little when accelerating and it encourages more careful driving. 4WD lets you accelerate a lot faster and removes some of that feedback - but provides no advantage when it's time to stop.
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Old 12-19-09, 02:48 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
As someone who has driven in Canada on roads where conditions were so bad, that the only way to know where the road was was to denote where the trees were on either side and figure the centre line was to split the difference, yes, I do expect people to slow down. What I find funny though is people who think that 4WD means they can stop faster All cars have had 4 wheel stop for decades, in many ways I think we should return to rear wheel drive, if the car can't go, then stop, quits being an issue.
Sorry, I forgot the smiley, as like you and any reasonable person I expect drivers to slow down when road/weather/lighting conditions call for it. But sadly these days that doesn't seem to happen often enough. A lot of that is probably due to as you said so many people driving 4WD cars, as well as the ABS system found on most modern cars, as well as suspensions that make it seem as if one is driving on glass.

Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
Gravel roads are intended for low traffic, low speed streets, where asphalt paving is likely to break down from age, rather then traffic. There really needs to be one thing different though, from the traditional gravel road, a better transition between a gravel and paved portion, maybe like a concrete strip, so that the paved portions don't get ruined from running over the edge, kind of like when between a carpeted and hardwood floor you have a metal strip. Also you don't want too much loose gravel dragged across the paved road. This could be accomplished by mixing concrete with the last metre of gravel before the paved portion of the intersection.
Also correct me if I'm mistaken, but if there were more dirt/gravel roads in the residential areas then neighborhoods wouldn't need to petition their city councils to put in "traffic calming" devices.
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Old 12-19-09, 03:18 PM
  #50  
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I live on a dirt/gravel road, 15 min from downtown san francisco. It's apparently a road that civilization forgot. For the record, maybe some rain soaks through into the ground, but most rolls off down the hill to the paved street and into the storm drain and out to the ocean 1/4 mile away. Fine for me though since we don't use wells for the groundwater anyway.
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