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  1. Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that the letter inspiring that column is mine. It had been a couple of weeks since I sent it, and actually thought they had opted not to respond. I've sent a note of thanks to Mr. Gammill for his time, interest, and responsiveness. I also told him I found the ODOT's response to be entirely less than adequate.

    The "businesses have been promised access" is a 1st class lame excuse. They don't contribute one penny to the damage, injury, and inconvenience to the people who are ultimately paying the price for their convenience.

    I'm all for accommodating businesses to a reasonable extent, but driving by an accident every other day just so the local car dealer's delivery truck or what-have-you doesn't have to go two or three miles out of his way to get to I-240 E is asinine. Think the folks who get hurt there should get to send those businesses part of the bill.

    I'd even support a compromise - if businesses truly have their knickers in a wad over the idea of closing that ramp, then leave it open during the day, but then close it just around rush hour - say from 3pm to 6pm in the evening. Put a barrier on it. But that costs a lot more money than just closing the thing permanently.

  2. #52

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Yeah, they really need to build all fly-overs and continue that service roads through. Also, if ODOT REALLY wanted to build this right, they'd build a special fly-over dedicated to a Shield's BLVD exit to Northbound I-35, but I'm sure hell will freeze over before ODOT spends that much to build a nice interchange in the current state.

  3. #53

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Here is another link that works(the original one doesn't work for me for some reason): Traffic Talk: Changes to I-35 on-ramp are planned, Oklahoma transportation official says | News OK

  4. Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    I really have no idea what they could do to make it any better right now. In all honesty, I would knock the whole thing down and start over...but that won't work in the short term.

    The problem here is Shields is too close to 35. Also, it really is an alternate boulevard for local traffic to take instead of 35. There is no reason why you need access to SB 35 on Shields. Most cases you just take Shields south. Heck, I jump on it anytime I see the exit from 240 backed up and I usually don't lose any time. If people are taking Shields up to get onto 35 NB, then they can be routed back to Santa Fe to enter 240. It isn't that far at all. Exits from 240 EB to Shields seems fine and so does the entrance to 240 WB.

  5. #55

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Here's a good blog: OKHighways.com -- Interstate 240

    Eastbound:

    1a. Eliminate the off-ramp from I-240 to Walker
    1b. Lengthen the on-ramp from Western to I-240, since the Walker off-ramp would be gone
    1c. New Exit 2 will be for Western and Walker

    2. Eliminate the on-ramp from Walker to I-240

    3a. Create 4th EB lane first as acceleration lane from Shields, then as exit-only lane for I-35 South
    3b. Keep Interstate 240 3 lanes in each direction throughout the Interstate 35 interchange, not just on overpasses

    Westbound:

    1a. Create 4th WB lane as acceleration lane from I-35 South, then as exit-only lane for Shields
    1b. Straighten out off-ramp from I-240 to Shields
    1c. Extend acceleration ramp from Shields through Santa Fe overpass, instead of stopping prior to it like it does now

    2. Eliminate the on-ramp from Santa Fe to I-240

    3. Eliminate the on-ramp from Walker to I-240
    I'll put down what I would do in 10 minutes. Yes, it does involve widening, but I'll put it down anyways.

  6. #56

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Alright, me personally, I would widen the service roads to three lanes each way with one dedicated left turn with another left turn/straight lane and two other straight lanes along side a dedicated right turn lane. Sidewalks on the side of the road opposite from the highway. The next best thing would then to widen the sounding roads as needed(May, Penn, Western etc.) and add medians with landscaping and turn lanes for them(this would encourage new development and revitalize the area).

    This would be an ideal service road, imo.


    Then I would resurface the highway in cement.... make it 4 lanes each way. Remove every other exit/entry. Continue the service road around I44/240 which would narrow down to two lanes each way.

    For the interchange, I would then build this:



    Notice how the service roads continue through the interchange instead of just stopping and going around it.

  7. #57

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    This is BTW, here it the latest plan that I know of.



    Here is the study pdf.file if anyone wants to look

    http://www.okc.gov/planning/envision240/envision240.pdf

  8. #58

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    If we never get another non-freeway with three driving lanes in one direction, it will be too soon

  9. #59

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    ok

  10. Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by Plutonic Panda View Post
    Then I would resurface the highway in cement.... make it 4 lanes each way. Remove every other exit/entry. Continue the service road around I44/240 which would narrow down to two lanes each way.

    Notice how the service roads continue through the interchange instead of just stopping and going around it.
    After living on the east coast for 5 years now, I'm really curious what is with Oklahoma and Texas' obsession with service roads. In Virginia, Maryland, and even North Carolina, most of the businesses are off of the freeway rather than on the frontage road. These states don't seem to need a service road. Why does Oklahoma have so many of them? Why is it necessary for them to go through intersections? Isn't that the role of the freeway?

  11. Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Also, outside of looking cool, what would the large stack accomplish that this proposed intersection doesn't? The major problem at 35/240 is the slow weaving of traffic (particularly on 240 where the lanes aren't separated from the main lanes). This proposal seems to be much cheaper than a full stack and helps to avoid the weaving that is a huge danger.

  12. #62

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by soonerliberal View Post
    After living on the east coast for 5 years now, I'm really curious what is with Oklahoma and Texas' obsession with service roads. In Virginia, Maryland, and even North Carolina, most of the businesses are off of the freeway rather than on the frontage road. These states don't seem to need a service road. Why does Oklahoma have so many of them? Why is it necessary for them to go through intersections? Isn't that the role of the freeway?
    I don't think Oklahoma is nearly as obsessed with it as Texas, I have always hated the interstate/service road weave interchange concept, the weaving in and out just seems more prone to accidents and backing up. I kind of expect part of it is just that is what the management at TDOT wanted the standard to be and had the money and clout to do it consistently across the state, after that is the standard for a long time institutional momentum just carries on, at least here the Diamond Interchange is far more common in Oklahoma (except for ironically the three largest suburbs of the metro). Another reason Texas has it in several areas is they were big at least for a while on building the service roads first, then waiting till people and businesses built along them they would put the freeway in-between, we tried that concept to where Memorial Road and the Kilpatrick Turnpike are parallel.

  13. #63

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    I like them. They move traffic more efficiently and safely.

  14. #64

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Good to see we're going to update our 1970s interchange to the 1990s while take taking 7 years to do it. Don't aim to high ODOT.

  15. #65

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    Good to see we're going to update our 1970s interchange to the 1990s while take taking 7 years to do it. Don't aim to high ODOT.
    I wouldn't give ODOT all the blame. Oklahoma doesn't want to spend money on roads.

    This is a better design than the I-235/I-44 design. Not having to do dodge traffic entering the interstate while you exit the interstate is a huge improvement.

  16. Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Something I notice with that plan is the retention of the NE corner businesses with the service road on that portion jogging up into Crossroads Blvd. I'm glad to see that they are keeping them, because if they tore them down, we'd just have empty lots there because no one is going to rebuild there.

    It also retains the Ford Dealership??? So why force the dealership to move if you end up keeping the place?

    It does still piss me off that there isn't 240 east access from shields though. It may seem like a short drive to get back to walker (NOT SANTA FE) to get back on the highway, but give it a try in rush hour and see how long that takes. You're doubling the time it takes to make a trip, and I'm not exaggerating that. Take a trip from Discount Tire back to 240/Sooner. Now I have to go through 5 different stop lights to even get TO the highway, which is 5 feet from me. And if you've ever been on the service road during rush hour, you know how busy they can be. And yes, that time now doubles the trip time back to 240/sooner. It's not a 30 minute drive or anything, but it is an inconvenience that could be corrected with a little design work. Going south on 35 isn't nearly as bad. Take shields to 89th and cut over to it. You only have 2 lights that way, basically as before...and you're going in the same direction you would have anyway, unlike 240 east, which requires back-tracking.

  17. #67

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    It does still piss me off that there isn't 240 east access from shields though. It may seem like a short drive to get back to walker (NOT SANTA FE) to get back on the highway, but give it a try in rush hour and see how long that takes. You're doubling the time it takes to make a trip, and I'm not exaggerating that. Take a trip from Discount Tire back to 240/Sooner. Now I have to go through 5 different stop lights to even get TO the highway, which is 5 feet from me. And if you've ever been on the service road during rush hour, you know how busy they can be. And yes, that time now doubles the trip time back to 240/sooner. It's not a 30 minute drive or anything, but it is an inconvenience that could be corrected with a little design work. Going south on 35 isn't nearly as bad. Take shields to 89th and cut over to it. You only have 2 lights that way, basically as before...and you're going in the same direction you would have anyway, unlike 240 east, which requires back-tracking.
    If I'm every at Santa Fe or Sheilds and want to get on one of the two freeways, I just go south on Shields to 89th anyway. That's a much safer entrance to the interstates in ANY direction.

  18. #68

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    It also retains the Ford Dealership??? So why force the dealership to move if you end up keeping the place?
    I'm pretty sure the pictured Ford Dealership (labeled 5-star Ford) is just a "before" picture, as the residences that have been razed on the NW corner.

  19. Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Something I notice with that plan is the retention of the NE corner businesses with the service road on that portion jogging up into Crossroads Blvd. I'm glad to see that they are keeping them, because if they tore them down, we'd just have empty lots there because no one is going to rebuild there.

    It also retains the Ford Dealership??? So why force the dealership to move if you end up keeping the place?

    It does still piss me off that there isn't 240 east access from shields though. It may seem like a short drive to get back to walker (NOT SANTA FE) to get back on the highway, but give it a try in rush hour and see how long that takes. You're doubling the time it takes to make a trip, and I'm not exaggerating that. Take a trip from Discount Tire back to 240/Sooner. Now I have to go through 5 different stop lights to even get TO the highway, which is 5 feet from me. And if you've ever been on the service road during rush hour, you know how busy they can be. And yes, that time now doubles the trip time back to 240/sooner. It's not a 30 minute drive or anything, but it is an inconvenience that could be corrected with a little design work. Going south on 35 isn't nearly as bad. Take shields to 89th and cut over to it. You only have 2 lights that way, basically as before...and you're going in the same direction you would have anyway, unlike 240 east, which requires back-tracking.
    I'm sure the Santa Fe comment was at me. The reason I said it is because I would tear out the Shields exit completely and put in an on ramp from Santa Fe to 240 East. Then also add an exit from 240 to Santa Fe.

    That would take care most of the issues the Shields ramps cause now.

  20. #70

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Something I notice with that plan is the retention of the NE corner businesses with the service road on that portion jogging up into Crossroads Blvd. I'm glad to see that they are keeping them, because if they tore them down, we'd just have empty lots there because no one is going to rebuild there.

    It also retains the Ford Dealership??? So why force the dealership to move if you end up keeping the place?

    It does still piss me off that there isn't 240 east access from shields though. It may seem like a short drive to get back to walker (NOT SANTA FE) to get back on the highway, but give it a try in rush hour and see how long that takes. You're doubling the time it takes to make a trip, and I'm not exaggerating that. Take a trip from Discount Tire back to 240/Sooner. Now I have to go through 5 different stop lights to even get TO the highway, which is 5 feet from me. And if you've ever been on the service road during rush hour, you know how busy they can be. And yes, that time now doubles the trip time back to 240/sooner. It's not a 30 minute drive or anything, but it is an inconvenience that could be corrected with a little design work. Going south on 35 isn't nearly as bad. Take shields to 89th and cut over to it. You only have 2 lights that way, basically as before...and you're going in the same direction you would have anyway, unlike 240 east, which requires back-tracking.
    Just the former Ford dealer ship building that is owned by the state. It would lose most of its parking lot after project completion.

    I think the best option would be what Venture said and build a ramp from Santa Fe. Another option would be to do what they plan on doing on the westbound side and have a dedicated ramp lane separated from thru traffic where you don't merge onto the interstate until your east of it. I don't think they did this because they don't want to obtain the necessary right of way from the OGE facility.

  21. Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Something I notice with that plan is the retention of the NE corner businesses with the service road on that portion jogging up into Crossroads Blvd. I'm glad to see that they are keeping them, because if they tore them down, we'd just have empty lots there because no one is going to rebuild there.

    It also retains the Ford Dealership??? So why force the dealership to move if you end up keeping the place?

    It does still piss me off that there isn't 240 east access from shields though. It may seem like a short drive to get back to walker (NOT SANTA FE) to get back on the highway, but give it a try in rush hour and see how long that takes. You're doubling the time it takes to make a trip, and I'm not exaggerating that. Take a trip from Discount Tire back to 240/Sooner. Now I have to go through 5 different stop lights to even get TO the highway, which is 5 feet from me. And if you've ever been on the service road during rush hour, you know how busy they can be. And yes, that time now doubles the trip time back to 240/sooner. It's not a 30 minute drive or anything, but it is an inconvenience that could be corrected with a little design work. Going south on 35 isn't nearly as bad. Take shields to 89th and cut over to it. You only have 2 lights that way, basically as before...and you're going in the same direction you would have anyway, unlike 240 east, which requires back-tracking.
    If you take the service road around I-240, it turns back south and drops you off right at 89th, where you can then re-enter the Interstate on the northbound I-35 service road, then use the entrance to merge right back onto I-240. One traffic light. Heck, you can even avoid that by using the Texas Turnaround at 89th. Or by getting to the northbound I-35 service road by crossing back at 82nd rather than 89th. Zero traffic lights, then, and I'd bet dollars to donuts it doesn't take you 30 minutes.

    No, not as convenient for you individually, but quite a bit safer for the thousands of folks traveling on I-240 who would really like not to be in an accident precipitated by that "five-feet-away" convenience.

  22. #72

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by jn1780 View Post
    I wouldn't give ODOT all the blame. Oklahoma doesn't want to spend money on roads.

    This is a better design than the I-235/I-44 design. Not having to do dodge traffic entering the interstate while you exit the interstate is a huge improvement.
    Oklahoma doesn't want spend money on anything there was a dang fight to prevent the capitol from falling apart. There's a difference between being fiscally conservative and just being cheap.

  23. Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Venture, that would be a lot more help. I didn't catch that you meant adding an on-ramp at Santa Fe. I don't know that you could do that though. It would fall under the same new federal regs on on/off ramp proximity. Remember, the shields exit is right there too. We'd end up with another cross-feeding entrance/exit lane. Not sure how the grade differences there would make it work either. That's the same reason why there isn't a westbound santa fe exit...grading and mixing lanes, etc.

    SoonerDave - good idea. I hadn't thought about that path. I don't know that most people will think of it, but it does definitely remove the need for back-tracking. Nice.

  24. Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    Venture, that would be a lot more help. I didn't catch that you meant adding an on-ramp at Santa Fe. I don't know that you could do that though. It would fall under the same new federal regs on on/off ramp proximity. Remember, the shields exit is right there too. We'd end up with another cross-feeding entrance/exit lane. Not sure how the grade differences there would make it work either. That's the same reason why there isn't a westbound santa fe exit...grading and mixing lanes, etc.

    SoonerDave - good idea. I hadn't thought about that path. I don't know that most people will think of it, but it does definitely remove the need for back-tracking. Nice.
    If you got rid of the shields ramps completely it should avoid the conflict.

  25. #75

    Default Re: I240 and I35 Interchange

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    Oklahoma doesn't want spend money on anything there was a dang fight to prevent the capitol from falling apart. There's a difference between being fiscally conservative and just being cheap.
    And way too few pontificating under/near the capitol's rotunda are not in th dark on that difference. Some are so buried in the dark that two hands and a flashlight wouldn't help at all.

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