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skiwest

Cleveland: I-71/I-480 merge

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Is anyone annoyed by the bottleneck on I-480 westbound at I-71?  I-480 westbound is reduced from 4 lanes to 2 lanes at that location, which often results in traffic backups during the evening rush hour.  The problem is compounded by motorists from I-71 northbound merging onto I-480 westbound.  They find themselves in an "exit only" lane for the airport and have a short distance to switch to a thru lane if they are not going to the airport.  Maybe someday ODOT can add another lane to that section of I-480.  

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1 hour ago, skiwest said:

Is anyone annoyed by the bottleneck on I-480 westbound at I-71?  I-480 westbound is reduced from 4 lanes to 2 lanes at that location, which often results in traffic backups during the evening rush hour.  The problem is compounded by motorists from I-71 northbound merging onto I-480 westbound.  They find themselves in an "exit only" lane for the airport and have a short distance to switch to a thru lane if they are not going to the airport.  Maybe someday ODOT can add another lane to that section of I-480.  

More lanes don't necessarily alleviate traffic problems, and frankly we've spent enough money expanding the road networks to account for folks moving further and further away from the core. PS- Traffic is nothing compared to most cities, yet we act like it's a major problem here when your commute goes from 30 minutes to 45.

 

I'm sorry (maybe it's because I'm not caffenated enough right now), but we need more money for public transit, regional trains, and bike/ped infrastructure, not more and more lanes to a problem that barely exists. 

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2 hours ago, skiwest said:

The problem is compounded by motorists from I-71 northbound merging onto I-480 westbound.  They find themselves in an "exit only" lane for the airport and have a short distance to switch to a thru lane if they are not going to the airport.  Maybe someday ODOT can add another lane to that section of I-480.  

 

Seems like more of a lane-striping problem than a sufficient-number-of-lanes problem.

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19 hours ago, GISguy said:

More lanes don't necessarily alleviate traffic problems 

Perhaps, but in this case, adding one lane for a small section of I-480 would alleviate a traffic problem.  Motorists entering I-480 WB from I-71 NB would be able to stay in the current lane instead of having to quickly merge to the left.   

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18 hours ago, Foraker said:

 

Seems like more of a lane-striping problem than a sufficient-number-of-lanes problem.

No, it's not a striping problem.  It's the short distance between the I-71 entrance ramp and the airport exit ramp.

 

I480.jpg

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32 minutes ago, skiwest said:

No, it's not a striping problem.  It's the short distance between the I-71 entrance ramp and the airport exit ramp.

 

 

I don't know about that.  If you add a lane so that the lane from I-71 to I-480 can be a dedicated lane with an exit lane emerging to its right, you have to add a highway lane that you now have to maintain (increased roadway maintenance cost). That also means the I-480 driver has to cross two lanes to get to the exit, but the merging I-71-to-I-480 driver can just stay in their lane. 

 

Moreover, that same cross-two-lanes to get-to-the-exit-lane exists if you restripe so that I-480 loses a lane before I-71 and then the merging I-71-to-I-480 driver can just stay in their lane -- but without the added lane maintenance cost.  And you could do it over a weekend.

 

Adding lanes to the highway is expensive and shouldn't be done lightly.

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1 hour ago, skiwest said:

Perhaps, but in this case, adding one lane for a small section of I-480 would alleviate a traffic problem.  Motorists entering I-480 WB from I-71 NB would be able to stay in the current lane instead of having to quickly merge to the left.   

 

Adding lanes rarely works, in fact it often has the opposite affect. Increasing access to public transit does alleviate traffic, but I doubt you want to hear that. 

 

 

Edited by Clefan98
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1 hour ago, skiwest said:

Perhaps, but in this case, adding one lane for a small section of I-480 would alleviate a traffic problem.  Motorists entering I-480 WB from I-71 NB would be able to stay in the current lane instead of having to quickly merge to the left.   

This seems to have been a curious design mistake from day one.  I cannot tell you how many times during rush hour I would be flying down 1-480 westbound with no problem and then hit that point and it was a cluster f#@k and then once you passed it smooth sailing again.

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1 hour ago, Florida Guy said:

And there is no direct access at this interchange from 480 W bound to 71 N bound. Poorly designed to say the least.

The idea behind not doing that interchange, besides the spatial and land costs, is that 176 to the east provides a much more direct route into downtown form those that are not served here, basically Parma and Parma Heights.  

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No more money for highway widening until RTA gets adequate funding. It's harsh, but why should I subsidize folks that willingly chose to move further and further way from the city center (ie Medina, North Ridgeville, etc.). Lobby for busses, or better park and ride services, instead of acquiescing to single occupancy vehicle folks. I really don't care that your commute is terrible, I'm more concerned about living off a 'BRT line' in the city/county that is absolutely atrocious in timing.

 

Then again we live in Ohio where transit goes to die. 

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1 hour ago, GISguy said:

No more money for highway widening until RTA gets adequate funding. It's harsh, but why should I subsidize folks that willingly chose to move further and further way from the city center (ie Medina, North Ridgeville, etc.). Lobby for busses, or better park and ride services, instead of acquiescing to single occupancy vehicle folks. I really don't care that your commute is terrible, I'm more concerned about living off a 'BRT line' in the city/county that is absolutely atrocious in timing.

 

Then again we live in Ohio where transit goes to die. 

 

Come and complain about it with me this evening:

 

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On 11/8/2019 at 2:38 PM, skiwest said:

The rail yard just to the north most likely resulted in the less than optimal design.

 

I think you mean that the highway was built too close to the rail line. But ODOT didn't want to build I-480 a little farther south or some of its right of way might have ended up across Brookpark Road and in a city other than Cleveland. Some of you may not remember that the City of Cleveland sued ODOT and won because, when ODOT design I-480, it purposefully routed I-480 in Cleveland and not in Parma or Brook Park because the smaller cities would have had a harder time coming up with the local funding match for the construction.

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"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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^ That should have been worked out to be a cloverleaf design...not all people traveling through there are familiar with 176...just poorly thought out by ODOT...as usual.  Dead Man's curve, using wide swaths of land for every exit and entrance ramp, not capping off highways that run through a city center, despising public transportation...the list goes on and on.

 

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