On this Roadscapes, on a Thursday. I am showing off my new road signs I designed to be used in future roadscapes videos. All of the signs are blue, and all the signs are logo based, with hardly any words. Because most of the world used logo based signage. As you can see, it took me a few weeks to put this together! Enjoy!
Well, it has been all over the news. Up in Philadelphia, the Amtrak Northeast Regional Train 188 was going over 100 miles per hour on a section of track with a 50 mph speed limit. You can tell what happened next. All seven cars and the locomotive jumped the tracks, and 7 people are dead with hundreds more injured. How did this happen? And why was a speed control device not along this part of the track? It could have prevented the things we see in this photo below!
Certainly, there are going to be a lot of questions coming from this. For starters, a House committee decided the right thing to do was to cut the budget for Amtrak, what a smart move! And second, this also highlights the need that America has a major infrastructure problem. I might not agree with everything Donald Trump says, and this might not have been a good time to tweet about this, but he is right!
All types of infrastructure are in trouble in America. Our roads are crumbling and are overcrowded. Bridges are too old and are collapsing. Fatal wrecks on our railroads are way up this year, including plenty of derailments and explosions. We also have very old water and sewer systems. And our power grids could be wiped out in a terrorist attack. Face it folks, we have an infrastructure crisis on our hands, and our politicians in Washington are too busy catering to lobbyists and donors. Hey, Donald Trump got that one right too!
Sadly, it is going to take tragedies like this Amtrak disaster, or a major bridge collapsing, and killing many people, before our politicians gets off of their butts and actually do something about our infrastructure! If nothing is done, people will be spending longer time on bad roads, and on unsafe infrastructure like bridges. It’s just like that John Oliver piece about out infrastructure, he nailed it!
So, do I have the confidence that something will be done? Nope! Washington is way too corrupt right now and it might be left to the states to do something about this. We have a major crisis developing, but it is going to take real leaders to get something done! Who knows, if Amtrak had the funds to put in that speed control device on that track curve, some people would still be alive today. It is a shame some lawmakers are using this disaster to send a message to Amtrak that they should have little to no funding. What a stupid move! And with scenes like this, that was not the time to do something like this!
This week on Roadscapes Wednesday, I am featuring two great videos of the Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland. The tunnel carries traffic on the A2 for 17 KM. The first video from the astey highways YouTube channel is the scenery when you are driving to the tunnel and after you leave the tunnel. The second video is the Gotthard Tunnel, in both directions. Enjoy the videos!
Yes, the USA has plenty of roads! Someone took all the roads in America and put them in one giant map! The Reddit user WestCoastBestCoast94 created this country wide map of all the roads, and it’s beautiful! Any line in black is a road. And as you can see, the major cities are a lot more darker than the rural areas.
But that’s not all! The Reddit user also created road maps for each state. So, what is the road map for Alabama? Look below!
And here is one for Georgia.
Here is one for Florida.
Here is one for Tennessee.
And here is one for Mississippi.
Cool stuff! You can take a look at a map of each of the 50 states and zoom into the maps at: http://foid.me/roads/
This is Roadscapes Wednesday on a Thursday! As you might have heard by now, the BBC has fired Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear. And while the BBC says they might bring back Jeremy, Top Gear won’t be the same. And let’s be sure about something, we have not heard the last from Jeremy Clarkson! Nope, he will be somewhere else very soon, maybe the US version of Top Gear, one can hope!
So, I wanted to showcase Jeremy Clarkson’s most favorite road in the world! The road is in Europe and the country of Romania. The road is called the Transfăgărăşan and is a part of Romania National Road route 7C. The road is the second-highest paved road in Romania and was built in the 1970’s. The Transfăgărășan was constructed between 1970 and 1974, during the rule of Nicolae Ceaușescu. It was built as a response to the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. Ceaușescu wanted to ensure quick military access across the mountains in case the Soviets attempted a similar move to a previous one during 1921.
Yes, Romania already had several strategic mountain passes through the Southern Carpathians. But, these passes were mainly through river valleys, and therefore easy to block and attack in event of a military invasion. So, why not build a road over a major mountain. The sad part about this road, was the cost in human lives. Estimates of around 40 people were killed while building this road. The Romanian Military built this road, and many soldiers were untrained with dynamite. Not a good mix!
So, what does this road have to do with Top Gear. The show visited the Transfăgărășan in 2009. And after filming, Jeremy Clarkson declared this road as the best road in the world! Here is a video clip of this from the BBC.
So, in honor of Jeremy Clarkson and the Transfăgărășan. Here are various road videos featuring this mountain pass!