California Mountain Roads Using Chip Seal

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CerveloBert
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by CerveloBert

Butcher wrote:Really? Chip seal caused the the motorcyclist to fall of into a ravine? Common, do you think speed had anything to do with this? I have no clue what you are saying, but I can assure you an excessive speed over the speed limit was the biggest factor or they were impaired.


You are probably right in this regard, the motorcyclist was probably going way too fast, and managed to slip on loose aggregate due to the speed/angle of turn (this is an assumption). The motorcyclists indeed do speed up and down that road at very unsafe speeds.

Butcher wrote:Don't get me wrong, I do not like it either, but I would never expect someone else to pay for my issues. Get over it, sure beats gravel and dirt [or bring something worthy to the table to whine about like pot holes].


Los Angeles City and County have been battling pot holes for a very long time. NPR just did a segment mentioning that pot holes are supposed to be repaired within 2-3 days of reporting, any resident of Los Angeles knows that many of these issues go un-attended for 6 months to a year, and only 10 percent of people who claim damage to their vehicles due to the potholes ever get any kind of compensation, and any injuries that have been caused by the negligence of repairing these pot holes get swept under the rug.

djconnel was right when he was talking about where the money goes. Do you re-pave a road that does not need it in the first place and cause a lot of commotion from recreational users? Or do you deal with the basketball sized potholes that plague the Los Angeles basin? I would have much preferred that CalTrans left the road (that was completely fine) alone - and taken the time and money to fix areas where there are real problems with road conditions and infrastructure.

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WMW
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by WMW

It isn't just CA. They are chipsealing a lot where I live in NM... more this year than ever. They just did the entire ski road climb with the gnarly course stuff. Based on my experience with other roads they've done that to, it will absolutely suck for 2+ years... and then they will do it again.

It's economically stupid also. It just shifts the cost from road construction to tires and gas, because the rough surface wears out tires and increases rolling resistance.
formerly rruff...

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kbbpll
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by kbbpll

@Butcher has a valid point and can be argued separately, regarding whether bicycles should pay road taxes and how to determine that share. CerveloBert gets close to my opinion of the situation in CO, at least Larimer County, when he says "Do you re-pave a road that does not need it in the first place and cause a lot of commotion from recreational users?" Every road they chipsealed this year around here did not need it. They could have spent twice as much on half the roads. One gets the feeling they just go out and spray money over as wide an area as possible in an attempt to show that they are doing something for everybody.

I saw a bumper sticker in Routt County a few years ago - "Stop the Chip & Seal Insanity".

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WMW
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by WMW

kbbpll wrote:Every road they chipsealed this year around here did not need it.


Two years ago they repaved the main highway... beautiful smooth tarmac. It was still in pristine condition... this summer when they chipsealed over the top of it. I asked the guy holding the stop sign why? and he said it was to preserve the surface. Some craziness there. At least they didn't do the shoulder, but it *is* covered with gravel and dirt.
formerly rruff...

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kbbpll
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by kbbpll

WMW, it's only "economically stupid" to the taxpayer. Reduced gas mileage means more road money, through taxes on gasoline, and more sales tax when you buy tires or replace your windshield. I wonder if there are any studies on the mpg impact, because the change in rolling resistance is noticeable even in a car. Sorry for posting so much on this thread, but it's really a pet peeve for me.

CerveloBert
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by CerveloBert

How many tax dollars from gasoline sales can you get from a road that has less than 1,000 daily users, opposed to a section of 405 freeway near west LA that sees over 330,000 drivers daily. I don't think the intent is as subversive as you suggest, rather it is an oversight of priorities and responsibilities of companies like CalTrans.

Note - this is the same company that fear-mongered the entire "carmageddon" debacle when initiating the breaking of ground of the Sepulveda Pass project. There was even a group of cyclists that said they would get from LAX to Burbank Airport faster than it would take for a person to check in, fly to burbank from LAX, claim baggage, and get a taxi. - http://news.discovery.com/adventure/tha ... ss-l-a.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

edit: removed quote per forum rules =)

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Guerdi
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by Guerdi

Roads over here in North western Switzerland / eastern France get the exact same traitment. It is supposed to be cheaper for the governement to maintain roads in an acceptable condition for a longer period of time.

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WMW
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by WMW

kbbpll wrote:I wonder if there are any studies on the mpg impact, because the change in rolling resistance is noticeable even in a car.


It's huge. Cummins did a test with big trucks.

Relative Rolling Road Surface Resistance %

Concrete polished (best mpg) –12%
Asphalt with finish coat 1%
medium coarse finish 4%
coarse aggregate 8%
Chip and Seal Blacktop (worst mpg) 33%

If I recall correctly, if you are traveling at highway speeds in a car, rolling resistance is typically ~30% of your total drag. So figure ~10% reduction of MPG in your car.

I read somewhere that chipseal was never used on roads with >10,000 cars/day but now they have determined that it is viable for up to 30,000/day... hence the expansion of its use.

Regarding the "cyclists don't pay taxes" mantra, the total fuel tax is ~$0.50/gal. For someone driving 10k miles/yr and getting 25 mpg they are paying $200/yr in taxes. I'd gladly pay that if it would mean that I can ride on smooth pavement and a shoulder that gets swept once a year...
formerly rruff...

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kbbpll
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by kbbpll

Thanks WMW, that's food for thought. Works out to about $2.50 in extra gas tax revenue per 1000 vehicle miles on chip seal versus asphalt. It's not huge, but not trivial either. If in my county we average 2000 vehicle miles per day on the roughly 100 miles of chip seal they did this summer, over 5 years that's almost a million dollars in additional gas tax revenue. I'm not saying it's a conspiracy, and I'd have to research what the actual costs are versus asphalt. I just think it's a pathetic surface for both cars and bikes.

On the bike tax issue, your sample 10k miles/yr 25 mpg $200/yr driver in a 4000 pound vehicle is paying $.000005 per pound-mile. Correct me if I'm wrong, but road wear is directly related to weight and should be taxed as such. Therefore a 200 pound bike/rider combo riding those same 10k miles per year (a true velominati) should pay $10. And this would be additional incentive to lose weight! (WW theme incorporated here... :) ) Like you, I'd gladly pay $200 if they'd sweep the shoulder just one damn time after they chip seal.

CarlosFerreiro
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Location: Shetland, Scotland

by CarlosFerreiro

Chip seal (surface dressing) costs roughly 1/10 as much as a laying a new asphalt wearing surface :(
Here at least it is used to prevent water soaking through a cracked surface, or to increase surface texture where scanning shows it is not up to spec.

Road wear is proportional to something closer to the 4th power of axle load.
That's a big power, "damage" ends up like - 1 large truck = 10,000 cars, 1 car = 10,000 bikes

mattr
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by mattr

CarlosFerreiro wrote:Chip seal (surface dressing) costs roughly 1/10 as much as a laying a new asphalt wearing surface :(
Not to mention it appears to be about 1/20th as durable, and is pretty poor for almost its entire lifespan.

It gets good (passably ok) once its bedded in and the loose stuff has been pushed off the road surface/washed away, then after the first proper bit of weather (either too hot, or too cold) it starts to disintegrate.
At least in the UK.

CarlosFerreiro
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by CarlosFerreiro

Given the budgets engineers would not chose to use it much. You can get much better long term benefits from a proper overlay design (resurfacing in bitmac/asphalt).
Given budgeting that does not take account of an appropriate long term spending profile related to actual asset management, you end up patching things together as best you can :(
It's worse with bridges.

colinmack
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Location: UK

by colinmack

What they do where I live in West Sussex is to just throw the stuff over the existing road surface without filling in any of the numerous potholes that litter the roads around here. So then you have what looks a fairly even surface only to find deep craters hidden with loose gravel, which does catch you out a bit. Thanks a lot Highways Agency / West Sussex Council. :evil:

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WMW
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by WMW

kbbpll wrote:Therefore a 200 pound bike/rider combo riding those same 10k miles per year (a true velominati) should pay $10.


Around here there is a rightwing bike hate mantra of "you don't pay taxes to use the road!" Just wondered how much these fools were actually paying... and it ain't a lot. We may not wear the road at all, but we are "in the way" more than most road users.
formerly rruff...

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stella-azzurra
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by stella-azzurra

Come on over to the north east.
I'll show you some nice potholes.
What kills an asphalt road is the freezing and thaw that occurs over time.
Regions with moderate temps do not have to spend as much for road repairs.

http://thecaseforcycling.com/index.php? ... r_Roads%3F
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by Weenie


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