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  #1  
Old 11-11-2012, 02:15 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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Why are Freeways called that? Even when there's a toll?

Always bugged me. Why is an Interstate also called a Freeway?

Is it free passage between towns? Or what? Is a toll road properly called a freeway?
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2012, 02:20 PM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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A toll road is typically called a turnpike. See: Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts.

The reason they are called freeways is because they charged no tolls. Now the word is more akin to expressway in hat you (theoretically) get where you're going faster than on surface streets.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:24 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is online now
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If I may tack on a related question: Does a highway have to be higher than surrounding roads? If not, are turnpikes and freeways species of the highway genre?
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:32 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
Always bugged me. Why is an Interstate also called a Freeway?

Is it free passage between towns? Or what? Is a toll road properly called a freeway?
It's a regionalism. We never called interstates anything but interstates when I lived in the East. On the West Coast, Controlled Access Highways are called freeways whether they are interstate or not.
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  #5  
Old 11-11-2012, 02:48 PM
Twoflower Twoflower is offline
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They're "free" as in unrestricted - no cross streets, traffic lights and such.
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  #6  
Old 11-11-2012, 03:22 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
A toll road is typically called a turnpike. See: Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts.

The reason they are called freeways is because they charged no tolls. Now the word is more akin to expressway in hat you (theoretically) get where you're going faster than on surface streets.
There are some roads that are called turnpikes today but that do not have tolls.

Northern Virginia's Little River Turnpike has been toll-free and state-maintained since the early 1800's but it is still called a turnpike (some maps from the 1800's just call it a "pike", which I believe is the same thing).

Wikipedia says that tolls on the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike in Pennsylvania stopped in 1917.
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  #7  
Old 11-11-2012, 03:39 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
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Originally Posted by Twoflower View Post
They're "free" as in unrestricted - no cross streets, traffic lights and such.
I've always thought this is the reason. Toll roads can be called "freeways" too.
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  #8  
Old 11-11-2012, 04:48 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse View Post
If I may tack on a related question: Does a highway have to be higher than surrounding roads? If not, are turnpikes and freeways species of the highway genre?
etymonline.com
Quote:
highway (n.)
O.E. heahweg "main road from one town to another;" see high (adj.) in sense of "main" + way. High street (O.E. heahstrŠte) was the word before 17c. applied to highways and main roads, whether in the country or town, especially one of the Roman roads. In more recent usage, it generally is the proper name of the street of a town which is built upon a highway and was the principal street of the place.
All the terms mentioned in this thread are essentially interchangeable in common speech.
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2012, 05:54 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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They're not interchangeable. All freeways are highways, but not all highways are freeways.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:54 PM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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highway (n.)
O.E. heahweg "main road from one town to another;" see high (adj.) in sense of "main" + way. High street (O.E. heahstrŠte) was the word before 17c. applied to highways and main roads, whether in the country or town, especially one of the Roman roads. In more recent usage, it generally is the proper name of the street of a town which is built upon a highway and was the principal street of the place.
The main shopping street in most British towns is called the High Street. I don't think this is common in the US, where "Main Street" is more usual, but the derivation is the same.
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  #11  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:03 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
There are some roads that are called turnpikes today but that do not have tolls.
The Hartford Turnpike in Hamden CT is simply a residential town road with a 25 mph speed limit and doesn't go to Hartford at all though its course is on a straight line from New Haven to Hartford. I assume originally it did charge a toll.
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  #12  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:06 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is offline
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Originally Posted by OldGuy View Post
The Hartford Turnpike in Hamden CT is simply a residential town road with a 25 mph speed limit and doesn't go to Hartford at all though its course is on a straight line from New Haven to Hartford. I assume originally it did charge a toll.
Similarly, the Middlesex Turnpike used to be the main road from Middletown, CT to the shoreline back in the day but is now a regular surface street.

Last edited by IvoryTowerDenizen; 11-11-2012 at 06:08 PM..
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  #13  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:07 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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Yup, same thing in Houston. US-59 is a freeway in and around Houston, but it probably just turns into a regular highway with crossroads and streetlights as you get way out of the city.

All interstates, as far as I know, are freeways.

So basically think of it like this: if it has stoplights, crossroads, intersections, it's not a freeway. If it has onramps and offramps, it's a freeway.

Interstates are always freeways (in my experience, anyhow. Any exceptions to this?)
US and State highways can often be freeways but usually turn into regular highways outside of major cities.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:10 PM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
I've always thought this is the reason. Toll roads can be called "freeways" too.
That the meanings have been altered over time does not change the original meanings.
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  #15  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:11 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Interstates are always freeways (in my experience, anyhow. Any exceptions to this?)
Using the limited-access definition, yes. But there are some interstates that are toll roads, such as large portions of I-80 in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:33 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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Originally Posted by drewtwo99 View Post
US and State highways can often be freeways but usually turn into regular highways outside of major cities.
Not necessarily.

"Interstate" means the freeways are federally funded and that they must be constructed to specific federal standards.

These were the creation of the Eisenhower administration. Ike enjoyed the autobahns in Germany during the US occupation following WW2. So the intention of the Interstate system was to provide transportation from state to state, with straight stretches and curves of large radii. Up to then, highways pretty much followed the terrain, with many twists and turns that slowed travel.

Once the Cold War kicked in high gear, the Interstates were also designated by the Civil Defense as evacuation routes from the big cities. There is also legends that the straight stretches could provide airstrips during wartime.

Highways with a "US" designation may or may not be freeways, and are partially federally funded. They also maintain the same numerical designation from state to state.

The highway system in the United States uses the convention that east-west routes are even numbered, north-south routes are odd numbered. Three digit Interstate numbers have the last two digits coinciding with the Interstate highway passing directly through a city. An odd digit for the first number of the three digit designation indicates a route that also goes through the city. An even digit for the first number of the three digit designation indicates a route that generally circles around the city. These three digit routes will eventually rejoin the original two digit Interstate route.

Got that? LOL


~VOW
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  #17  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:56 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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I've always believed in the derivation that "freeway" originally referred to a toll-free limited access highway, in the days when this was a new thing in the American West (as opposed to the toll roads in the more eastern parts of the country).

But ALL such limited access highways in the West were free (once upon a time, when the world was much younger), so the distinct meaning of "freeway" was largely forgotten over the years. So when some limited access highways in California began to charge tolls (an utterly blasphemous abomination!) they continued to be called "freeway" because the word had simply come to mean a limited access highway.

The few remaining Old Ones among us who remember these things will never be heard to call any toll road a "freeway". What a gruesome grotesque oxymoron!
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  #18  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:02 PM
Lord Feldon Lord Feldon is online now
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Originally Posted by drewtwo99 View Post
Interstates are always freeways (in my experience, anyhow. Any exceptions to this?)
Interstate 180 in Wyoming.
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  #19  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:04 PM
ZenBeam ZenBeam is offline
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"Freedom of movement". My cite is driver's Ed. from 30 years ago, where they specifically told us that and specifically said that it would be on the test, so we should all get it right. And it was on the test, and I did get it right, and now it's so deeply etched in my brain it will never come out.
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  #20  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:48 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
A toll road is typically called a turnpike.
Quote:
Originally Posted by robert_columbia View Post
There are some roads that are called turnpikes today but that do not have tolls.
While we're at it, can somebody explain why roads, toll or otherwise, are called "turnpikes"? It's always struck me as a weird word. I tried looking it up, but all I found for the origin is
Quote:
Middle English turnepike revolving frame bearing spikes and serving as a barrier, from turnen to turn + pike
which doesn't explain how we got from a revolving frame bearing spikes to a type of road.
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  #21  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:49 PM
Digital is the new Analog Digital is the new Analog is offline
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Originally Posted by VOW View Post
The highway system in the United States uses the convention that east-west routes are even numbered, north-south routes are odd numbered. Three digit Interstate numbers have the last two digits coinciding with the Interstate highway passing directly through a city. An odd digit for the first number of the three digit designation indicates a route that also goes through the city. An even digit for the first number of the three digit designation indicates a route that generally circles around the city. These three digit routes will eventually rejoin the original two digit Interstate route.
I thought an even first digit meant it loops back to the two digit namesake, and an odd one only intersected it once.

For instance, I-595 in Fort Lauderdale is a pure east-west that hits I-95 once.
I-295 in Jacksonville is a circle, and hits I-95 twice.


-D/a
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  #22  
Old 11-11-2012, 08:17 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lord Feldon View Post
I love how that entire wikipedia article is basically written from an astonishment point of view. It's like the author just couldn't believe that that intersate existed.

It doesn't meet federal standards. It's got several stoplights... but somehow it is an interstate.

Ah well, this is why we rarely should ever deal in absolutes

Last edited by drewtwo99; 11-11-2012 at 08:20 PM..
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  #23  
Old 11-11-2012, 08:27 PM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
While we're at it, can somebody explain why roads, toll or otherwise, are called "turnpikes"? It's always struck me as a weird word. I tried looking it up, but all I found for the origin is which doesn't explain how we got from a revolving frame bearing spikes to a type of road.
The road was blocked at points by poles, i.e., pikes, that were raised on a hinged vertical base, i.e., turned. Think the gates that open to let you out of a parking garage, only much larger. You paid your toll and went about your business.

Most roads with the word "pike" in their names were at some point a toll road. Most continue to be major roads, which is precisely the reason they were initially built (usually by a private business) and tolled.
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  #24  
Old 11-11-2012, 08:34 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Using the limited-access definition, yes. But there are some interstates that are toll roads, such as large portions of I-80 in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
I-90 in Ohio, perhaps, but I-76 in PA and I-90/87 in NY

Last edited by Polycarp; 11-11-2012 at 08:35 PM..
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  #25  
Old 11-11-2012, 08:37 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
They're not interchangeable. All freeways are highways, but not all highways are freeways.
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Using the limited-access definition, yes. But there are some interstates that are toll roads, such as large portions of I-80 in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
I've always believed in the derivation that "freeway" originally referred to a toll-free limited access highway, in the days when this was a new thing in the American West (as opposed to the toll roads in the more eastern parts of the country).

But ALL such limited access highways in the West were free (once upon a time, when the world was much younger), so the distinct meaning of "freeway" was largely forgotten over the years. So when some limited access highways in California began to charge tolls (an utterly blasphemous abomination!) they continued to be called "freeway" because the word had simply come to mean a limited access highway.

The few remaining Old Ones among us who remember these things will never be heard to call any toll road a "freeway". What a gruesome grotesque oxymoron!
Freeways originally were limited access roads, period. The first ones were not highways in the modern sense, but more like boulevards, express routes within cities. Using freeway to mean free of tolls is a bit of folk etymology, trying to explain something using a "logical" story instead of actual research. You can read a detailed popular history in Earl Swift's The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways.

Chronos, I repeat that in popular speech, all the terms are interchangeable. Freeways and highways and thruways and expressways and interstates and any other regionalism can all mean toll or free, include routes that may have stoplights and access roads, or any other variation that might exist locally. How exactly are you claiming that this is wrong?
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  #26  
Old 11-11-2012, 11:23 PM
Mr Downtown Mr Downtown is offline
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To answer the OP, the term freeway denotes free flow of traffic.

Freeways and interstates have no at-grade intersections and no traffic signals, except in a few unusual cases such as drawbridges.

In the Midwest and some other places, early superhighways were called expressways, a shortening of express highway. In California and some other places, an expressway is a sort of junior superhighway, which may have infrequently spaced at-grade intersections and traffic signals, but not as many as ordinary roads or streets.

Thruway, turnpike, and toll road usually denotes a toll-financed facility. Most thruways and turnpikes were built prior to the 1956 legislation creating the Interstate system. Some ordinary surface roads were built as turnpikes in the 19th century and retain that name. A pike is merely a pole, which was turned to allow the traveler to pass when the toll had been paid.
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  #27  
Old 11-11-2012, 11:30 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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A two-lane back road through the middle of nowhere might well be a highway, but it's not a freeway.
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  #28  
Old 11-12-2012, 12:00 AM
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The key to understanding a freeway is the phrase "limited access."

Not only do you have on ramps, off ramps, and no traffic signals, the right-of-way boundaries of the freeway do not permit any type of access whatsoever. If you own a house that shares a property line with the freeway, you may not cut a hole in the fence and fashion your own personal driveway to the freeway.

At the time the property is acquired, there is a specific clause to the purchased land whereupon the right to access is taken.

This is why there is often considerable compensation to businesses which are affected by a new freeway. The businesses may be compensated, or a frontage road will be constructed.


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  #29  
Old 11-12-2012, 12:32 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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Originally Posted by VOW View Post
Not necessarily.

"Interstate" means the freeways are federally funded and that they must be constructed to specific federal standards.

These were the creation of the Eisenhower administration. Ike enjoyed the autobahns in Germany during the US occupation following WW2. So the intention of the Interstate system was to provide transportation from state to state, with straight stretches and curves of large radii. Up to then, highways pretty much followed the terrain, with many twists and turns that slowed travel.

Once the Cold War kicked in high gear, the Interstates were also designated by the Civil Defense as evacuation routes from the big cities. There is also legends that the straight stretches could provide airstrips during wartime.

Highways with a "US" designation may or may not be freeways, and are partially federally funded. They also maintain the same numerical designation from state to state.

The highway system in the United States uses the convention that east-west routes are even numbered, north-south routes are odd numbered. Three digit Interstate numbers have the last two digits coinciding with the Interstate highway passing directly through a city. An odd digit for the first number of the three digit designation indicates a route that also goes through the city. An even digit for the first number of the three digit designation indicates a route that generally circles around the city. These three digit routes will eventually rejoin the original two digit Interstate route.

Got that? LOL


~VOW
Not, of course, counting I99, which seems to horribly offend highway buffs because it violates the naming convention.
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  #30  
Old 11-12-2012, 01:42 AM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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As a specific example, US 101 in California is a freeway part of the way and a non-freeway part of the way.

From the Wiki entry.

Quote:
North of Ventura, U.S. 101 switches intermittently between freeway and expressway status (i.e. there is occasional cross-traffic), but there are no traffic signals until San Francisco. The last traffic signals along this stretch of the route were removed in the early 1990s when the section through downtown Santa Barbara was constructed to freeway standards after years of resistance from the local community.
I often take it going south, and south of Gilroy there are stretches with cross traffic, though no traffic lights.

In fact here is a picture of an "End Freeway" sign on 101.
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  #31  
Old 11-12-2012, 04:26 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
Freeways and interstates have no at-grade intersections and no traffic signals, except in a few unusual cases such as drawbridges.
As with everything about this topic, there are notable exceptions, of which Breezewood, PA is perhaps the most famous.
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  #32  
Old 11-12-2012, 07:51 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
The road was blocked at points by poles, i.e., pikes, that were raised on a hinged vertical base, i.e., turned. Think the gates that open to let you out of a parking garage, only much larger. You paid your toll and went about your business.
I guess that makes sense; thanks. (Still seems weird to refer to the road itself as a "pike," but no weirder than lots of languagey things, I guess.)
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:17 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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The term "highway" is rarely used in the northeast. There are expressways, thruways, parkways* (the generic term in NYC), turnpikes**, and (in NY) a couple of nonce names: the Adirondack Northway and the Quickway (a name I just love).

I can't recall driving on any actual freeways. Maybe in Florida.

*Common in New York. NY Parkways are different in that they do not allow trucks (and have deliberately low bridges so trucks or buses can't pass) and they have no route numbers.

**The Connecticut Turnpike has no tolls, though it originally did.
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  #34  
Old 11-12-2012, 09:37 AM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF View Post
The road was blocked at points by poles, i.e., pikes, that were raised on a hinged vertical base, i.e., turned. Think the gates that open to let you out of a parking garage, only much larger. You paid your toll and went about your business.

Most roads with the word "pike" in their names were at some point a toll road. Most continue to be major roads, which is precisely the reason they were initially built (usually by a private business) and tolled.
At sections along the road, there would be a tollbooth and a large bar or pole placed across the road. You would pay your toll at the booth and the tollbooth agent would move (turn) the bar (pike) out of your way so you could proceed. Then he would put the bar back for the next customer.
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  #35  
Old 11-12-2012, 11:24 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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A two-lane back road through the middle of nowhere might well be a highway, but it's not a freeway.
Ithaca, NY, the home of Cornell University, is a moderately isolated college town in the Southern Tier of New York. You can't get there via an Interstate. The nearest one is I-86, a good 35 miles away. (I-86 is a good example of the variation in what high-speed roads are like. It's built on top of NY route 17, which will someday all be I-86. Like nuclear fusion, this date has been 25 years away for the past 25 years. Route 17 is in most places, a four-lane, divided, high-speed limited access road. An expressway, IOW. But in a few places side roads and individual buildings retain direct access and even a few stoplights exist. Two large sections of it have been brought up to Interstate standards and they are labeled I-86/NY 17.)

Getting into Ithaca is a matter of taking any one of a half dozen New York state numbered roads, all of which are two lane, total access routes. (However, NY13 does have a few miles of high-speed, limited access on the east side of town out to the suburbs.)

The state numbered roads are part of the state highway system, just as I-86 is part of the interstate highway system. But nobody in Ithaca would ever say, take highway 96 north to Rochester. It would always be, take route 96 north to Rochester. You don't take highway 13, either, even if it is an expressway for a few miles. You might say, take route 34 south and then the highway into New York City. I doubt that the use is at all common, though.

Highway was at one time the preferred name for a two-lane road that had been widened, graded, and paved to state standards. (National standards for interstate roads in the 20s through 40s.) The Lincoln Highway and dozens of others are covered in Swift's book.

But we're not asking what words are used for two-lane roads through the rural sections of states. We're asking with words are used for four-lane, limited-access, high-speed routes. In that later case highway is a somewhat old-fashioned regionalism, but it is still interchangeable with expressway and the rest. It may have other meanings, too. Dictionary.com:
Quote:
1. a main road, especially one between towns or cities: the highway between Los Angeles and Seattle.
2. any public road or waterway.
3. any main or ordinary route, track, or course.
I'm using it in sense 1. You seem to be using sense 3. Fine, as long as we make a clear distinction.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:42 AM
robardin robardin is offline
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
The term "highway" is rarely used in the northeast. There are expressways, thruways, parkways* (the generic term in NYC), turnpikes**, and (in NY) a couple of nonce names: the Adirondack Northway and the Quickway (a name I just love).
Not for naming the major arteries, but "highway" is certainly a common term in my experience (and personal vocabulary) as the generic word that means "opposite of local street driving with stop lights and such". As in the sentence, "The highways <any of them that would be in play> are totally jammed".

As far as named roads, the "highways" tend to be multilane roads but street grade level with traffic lights, like Sunrise Highway (NY RT-27) that runs along most of the South Shore of Long Island and eventually becomes the Montauk Highway, and the West Side Highway in Manhattan. A big chunk of it is a "real" highway, but south of 57th St. or so down to the Battery (the southern tip of Manhattan), it has traffic lights and is street grade level.

So ironically, these two named Highways I use all the time are not, in fact, what I would otherwise call "highways" (they have red lights).
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:52 AM
doreen doreen is offline
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
The term "highway" is rarely used in the northeast. There are expressways, thruways, parkways* (the generic term in NYC), turnpikes**, and (in NY) a couple of nonce names: the Adirondack Northway and the Quickway (a name I just love).
Can't speak for the rest of the state, but "parkway" is not the generic term in NYC. If I want to use a generic term as in " My son is learning to drive, but I'm not sure whether he's ready for __________ yet" or "All of the __________ are backed up, I'm going to take the streets" , the blanks will be filled in with "highways" not "parkways" or "expressways". And if you're just referring to the names of the roads, there are at least as many expressways as parkways in NYC (although plenty are not well-known, such as the Nassau Expressway and the JFK Expressway)
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  #38  
Old 11-12-2012, 12:01 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post

The state numbered roads are part of the state highway system, just as I-86 is part of the interstate highway system.
Just a TEENSY clarification:

Interstate highways (using the "I-" designation) and US highways (using the "US" designation) are ALL part of the State Highway System within the boundaries of the individual states. The State has complete jurisdiction and physical control of these structures.

The Federal government does not build or maintain any of these roads. The Feds have the construction standards, and control the pursestrings.

But ALL Interstates and US highways are 100% included in the individual State Highway Systems.


~VOW
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  #39  
Old 11-12-2012, 01:03 PM
FatBaldGuy FatBaldGuy is offline
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So, why do people drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
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  #40  
Old 11-12-2012, 01:35 PM
brad_d brad_d is online now
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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I often take it going south, and south of Gilroy there are stretches with cross traffic, though no traffic lights.

In fact here is a picture of an "End Freeway" sign on 101.
Just yesterday I drove from Santa Barbara to Long Beach, which involved driving on the 101 from Santa Barbara to Sherman Oaks.

Between Santa Barbara and Ventura, the "freeway" status of the road toggles on and off several times according to the signs, but generally with no changes to the road itself that a casual motorist would notice. Just a "BEGIN FREEWAY" sign here, and some time later another one reading "END FREEWAY."
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  #41  
Old 11-12-2012, 01:53 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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The toggling back and forth of "End Freeway" and "Begin Freeway" along US 101 in the Santa Barbara area probably has to do with the access control along the right-of-way line. If the State has not acquired the access rights along a certain stretch of the highway, it cannot be designated a freeway.

There was a very long and convoluted battle between the City of Santa Barbara and the State of California over the construction of 101 to be a freeway through the city limits.

Santa Barbara wanted the freeway to be completely subterranean, so it would not be visible and "destroy" the ambiance of the city. Those requirements were damned near impossible to construct.

The traffic volume along 101 over the years has increased, like traffic volumes throughout California, and there absolutely NEEDED to be a freeway in that part of the State.

So the battle continued on and on and on...

The coast is also very popular to bicyclists, and there are portions of the US 101 freeway where bicycles are permitted.

Normally, bikes are absolutely VERBOTEN on freeways.


~VOW
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  #42  
Old 11-12-2012, 02:24 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Originally Posted by doreen View Post
Can't speak for the rest of the state, but "parkway" is not the generic term in NYC. If I want to use a generic term as in " My son is learning to drive, but I'm not sure whether he's ready for __________ yet" or "All of the __________ are backed up, I'm going to take the streets" , the blanks will be filled in with "highways" not "parkways" or "expressways". And if you're just referring to the names of the roads, there are at least as many expressways as parkways in NYC (although plenty are not well-known, such as the Nassau Expressway and the JFK Expressway)
Maybe things have changed, but back when I was growing up, New Yorkers called all the roads parkways generically. That's because there were far more of them than the other designations (e.g., Northern State, Southern State, Sagtikos, Pelham, Palisades, Taconic, Sprain Brook, Cross Island, Belt, Grand Central, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River, Bronx River, Wantaugh, Cross County, and others). There were a few expressways (Cross-Bronx, LIE, BQE, Clearview), but parkways are far more numerous.
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  #43  
Old 11-12-2012, 02:37 PM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Originally Posted by FatBaldGuy View Post
So, why do people drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
Hey, someone should ask Cecil that!
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  #44  
Old 11-12-2012, 02:58 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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nm

Last edited by doreen; 11-12-2012 at 03:01 PM.. Reason: bad formatting
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  #45  
Old 11-12-2012, 03:06 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Maybe things have changed, but back when I was growing up, New Yorkers called all the roads parkways generically. That's because there were far more of them than the other designations (e.g., Northern State, Southern State, Sagtikos, Pelham, Palisades, Taconic, Sprain Brook, Cross Island, Belt, Grand Central, Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River, Bronx River, Wantaugh, Cross County, and others). There were a few expressways (Cross-Bronx, LIE, BQE, Clearview), but parkways are far more numerous.

Like I said, I can't speak about areas outside of NYC , but I'm 49 years old ,have lived in NYC my entire life and have never heard "parkway" used generically. Maybe they do it in the northern and eastern suburbs (which is where you will find the Northern State, Southern State , Sagtikos, Palisades, Taconic, Sprain Brook, Cross Island, Saw Mill River, Wantagh and Cross County parkways) but not in NYC.


Expressways in NYC
Brooklyn- Queens
Bruckner
Clearview
Cross Bronx
Gowanus
JFK
Nassau
Long Island Expressway
Major Deegan
Prospect
Sheridan
Staten Island Expressway
Van Wyck
West Shore
Whitestone

Parkways in NYC
Belt
Bronx
Cross Island
FDR Drive
Grand Central
Harlem River Drive
Henry Hudson
Jackie Robinson
Korean War Veterans
Mosholu
Pelham

The expressway list leaves off a few names that I've never heard used ( the Dr Martin Luther King Jr expressway, the Trans-Manhattan Expressway and the Throgs Neck expressway)
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  #46  
Old 11-12-2012, 03:34 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Originally Posted by doreen View Post
Like I said, I can't speak about areas outside of NYC , but I'm 49 years old ,have lived in NYC my entire life and have never heard "parkway" used generically. Maybe they do it in the northern and eastern suburbs (which is where you will find the Northern State, Southern State , Sagtikos, Palisades, Taconic, Sprain Brook, Cross Island, Saw Mill River, Wantagh and Cross County parkways) but not in NYC.

The expressway list leaves off a few names that I've never heard used ( the Dr Martin Luther King Jr expressway, the Trans-Manhattan Expressway and the Throgs Neck expressway)
They dug the Clearview Expressway across the street from my house when I was growing up, and I never, ever heard anyone call it or the LIE (which was three blocks away) a parkway. And I never heard anyone call the Grand Central Parkway an Expressway. The distinctions were always quite clear.
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  #47  
Old 11-12-2012, 03:35 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
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Originally Posted by VOW View Post
...

Normally, bikes are absolutely VERBOTEN on freeways.


~VOW
Iirc in Virginia, bicycles, horse drawn vehicles, horseback riding, pedestrians, and "self propelled machinery" which I believe refers to tractors, combines, steamrollers, and other such "vehicles" are forbidden on I-95 and possibly other limited access highways. A violation is a traffic offense, but you'd be a fool to take a buggy on that road to begin with.
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  #48  
Old 11-12-2012, 03:50 PM
VOW VOW is offline
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When you enter a freeway, there's a sign that NOBODY reads, about bicycles, mopeds, pedestrians, etc being forbidden entry.

The whole idea of a freeway, with its limited access, straight stretches, uniform widths, and large radii curves is to enable the high speed travel of vehicles. There is usually a minimum speed limit, along with the maximum speed limit.

If you've got a mom pushing a stroller, a kid on a skateboard, or a dog cart, the traffic flow would be constantly interrupted.

Hitchhikers are absolutely, positively WRONG on a freeway. The hitchers are at the ramps, usually well-ahead of the sign prohibiting access to pedestrians, et al.

It all falls within the "limited access" concept.


~VOW

Last edited by VOW; 11-12-2012 at 03:50 PM..
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  #49  
Old 11-12-2012, 05:38 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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Originally Posted by Digital is the new Analog View Post
I thought an even first digit meant it loops back to the two digit namesake, and an odd one only intersected it once.

For instance, I-595 in Fort Lauderdale is a pure east-west that hits I-95 once.
I-295 in Jacksonville is a circle, and hits I-95 twice.


-D/a
Interstate 680 in Omaha is part of a circum-urban loop, but connects to I-80 only one place (western terminus in southwestern corner of the loop). Northeastern terminus connects to I-29 in Iowa, which runs south to I-80.

That's the outer loop, I guess. The inner loop is I-480, which also connects to I-80 in one place (just south of downtown on the east side) and loops up and eastward for a grand total length of less than 6 miles, also connecting on its northeastern terminus at I-29 in Iowa.

So in both cases, each even-numbered extension Interstate is like 1/2 a loop, with part of I-80 being another quarter of the loop, and a chunk of I-29 as the other quarter of the loop.

It's weird.
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  #50  
Old 11-12-2012, 06:45 PM
sisu sisu is offline
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Originally Posted by Twoflower View Post
They're "free" as in unrestricted - no cross streets, traffic lights and such.
That's correct in Australia, in other words you are free to travel without interruption.
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