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nukenorman

How does Netherlands/Germany do it?

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I went on a road trip around Italy focused mainly around the north, including Pisa, Florence, Venice, Parma, San Marino, Rome, Perugia, Orvieto, Gubbio and Verona. There were three-lane motorways too but I was surprised by the amount that were only two lanes and the way the barriers were all temporary looking concrete blocks. Most of my time was spent around Florence, as that's where my ex-girlfriend lived. My experience of Italian roads was not positive.

 

Fair enough.  There's definitely a mix of two and three lane motorways but my memory is that there are more of the latter. 

 

Thinking about it made me remember that the thing I hate most about Italian motorways is the spaghetti junctions.  They are definitely the worst and most complicated and most poorly signed in the world :laugh:

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I reckon its simple. The cake is more distributed. There are still rich, don't get me wrong, but the crumbs for the cake are better distributed and there are a few more crumbs. UK is best seen as third world treatment for those that cant afford better and the population is well brainwashed into thinking it cant do anything about it if they realized the bad deal for most. 5th richest county in the World, 43rd highest standard of living. Ironically overall India is the fourth richest and WE give them aid. Always been well behind the rest of Europe but the majority don't realize.

As for Holland and Germany, I reckon the people that can make a difference, do.

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I suppose the reason stone is more expensive here is that it's rarely used, at at least used a whole lot less. Just like everything else, the more common something is, the less it costs.

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Nah, the thing is, stone/brick houses can't be built cheap/like crap. American building codes are a lot more lax than over here so you can build really cheap wood houses. Over here building codes and the environment means we can't build wood houses like crap. So it's not that stone houses are cheaper, but that wood houses are more expensive because we build them more solidly to start with. Basically your hurricane proof wood houses, that's our minimum standard plus some extra insulation and such.

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Only coastal homes would need to worry about real shutters on the windows or being hurricane proof.  Those of us in the US that are blessed enough to live in mountainous areas don't need to worry about such things.   :)

 

Still, you can't paint the entire country with such broad generalizations.  I find it fascinating the different building techniques in places such as Hilton Head Island, where they have actual shutters and houses built on stilts to protect them in the event of typhoons, etc. The US is a much newer country compared to many mentioned above, stone building was more more commonplace a few hundred years ago before America was settled.

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Only coastal homes would need to worry about real shutters on the windows or being hurricane proof.  Those of us in the US that are blessed enough to live in mountainous areas don't need to worry about such things.   :)

 

Still, you can't paint the entire country with such broad generalizations.  I find it fascinating the different building techniques in places such as Hilton Head Island, where they have actual shutters and houses built on stilts to protect them in the event of typhoons, etc. The US is a much newer country compared to many mentioned above, stone building was more more commonplace a few hundred years ago before America was settled.

Yeah, i've lived in several different regions in the U.S and they all have different styles of houses. a lot of the west coast houses aren't like southern houses and some southern houses aren't like some northern houses, they have similarities though

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Only coastal homes would need to worry about real shutters on the windows or being hurricane proof. Those of us in the US that are blessed enough to live in mountainous areas don't need to worry about such things. :)

Still, you can't paint the entire country with such broad generalizations. I find it fascinating the different building techniques in places such as Hilton Head Island, where they have actual shutters and houses built on stilts to protect them in the event of typhoons, etc. The US is a much newer country compared to many mentioned above, stone building was more more commonplace a few hundred years ago before America was settled.

That doesn't change the building code/quality differences, hurricane proof houses where just used as an example.

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Here in Los Angeles, asphalting is SLOWLY getting fixed. We used to be the state of cruising, now we are full of fruits who enjoy bikes and Priuses causing traffic and deaths I HATE IT! I see Germans driving on dashcams and man when you crank 150+ km/h they move aside unlike here where stupid idiots cut you off on purpose. I'd LOVE to move out in a heartbeat and make a living in Munich seeing how beautiful the landscape and everything is. Good luck with messed up suspensions unless you have a pickup or a high-risen vehicle in 80% of California, the interstates are wrecked and unmaintained unless you go towards Anaheim/Santa Ana.

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Here in Los Angeles, asphalting is SLOWLY getting fixed. We used to be the state of cruising, now we are full of fruits who enjoy bikes and Priuses causing traffic and deaths I HATE IT! I see Germans driving on dashcams and man when you crank 150+ km/h they move aside unlike here where stupid idiots cut you off on purpose. I'd LOVE to move out in a heartbeat and make a living in Munich seeing how beautiful the landscape and everything is. Good luck with messed up suspensions unless you have a pickup or a high-risen vehicle in 80% of California, the interstates are wrecked and unmaintained unless you go towards Anaheim/Santa Ana.

 

CA roads are some of the worst, go north and into the Sierra Nevada mountains ugh those winding roads are full of pot holes.

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CA roads are some of the worst, go north and into the Sierra Nevada mountains ugh those winding roads are full of pot holes.

Not a fan of anything in Nevada, much rather go on a road trip north towards Seattle or east towards Salt Lake City if I must drive out of state hah.

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That doesn't change the building code/quality differences, hurricane proof houses where just used as an example.

 

I have to say I don't believe you really know much about the building codes in the US.   The codes vary at the state, county and local levels  The codes are often based on the weather and/or geographical conditions in a particular area.  Most of the major municipalities in the US have adopted the International Building Code with the appropriate changes for their area.  California has some very strict codes in regards to earthquakes and energy conservation (Title 24), areas with heavy snowfall must take into account snow loads on roofs and the supporting structures, these are only a couple examples.  Uniform Building Code (UBC), Standard Building Code (SBC), The Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) International, are just a few of the codes that are used. When they say "they don't build them like they used to,"  I, for one, am very glad they don't.  Wood frame construction became the norm in the US because of an incredible abundance of timber from coast to coast.

 

In an earthquake I would rather be in a properly constructed wood frame structure over any brick/stone and mortar building.

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Hello,

Stone roads? Do you know how much that ###### up your tires after years and years and years of going thru unenven roads made in stone?

Trust me, we have them here and it hurts me every time I drive on them :(

Concrete roads FTW. I don't care if they don't look pretty: They reduce wear and tear on the car which does affect me directly.

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How do they/we do it?

 

With class.

 

like-a-sir.jpg

 

:laugh:

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With class while eating the dodos to extinction.

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Their taxes go towards helping their citizens. My taxes go towards warfare, being the world police and building giant data centers to spy on our citizens. 

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It is rich. Stone, tile roofs, brick are way way more expensive than timber houses and shingled roof. Concrete side walks are also way way cheaper than stone side walks. It why the USA uses these materials becaues the others are to dam expensive. I used to work in this industry.

 

It's not 'Rich'. We have an abundance of these materials so it's economical to build with them. The entire world isn't the same.

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Hello,Stone roads? Do you know how much that ****s up your tires after years and years and years of going thru unenven roads made in stone?Trust me, we have them here and it hurts me every time I drive on them :(Concrete roads FTW. I don't care if they don't look pretty: They reduce wear and tear on the car which does affect me directly.

Ashpalt is better for wear and tear than concrete actually though, why some roads use concrete on high speed curves, better grips but harder on the rubber,

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Well, I've always wondered why most houses in America are built with wood instead of brick/cement, especially in areas prone to weather phenomena like tornados and hurricanes. You'd think that it would fare better than a wooden house.

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it is always good to think of it like this. You get what you pay for. if you live in an area where the taxes are higher but they actually use the money to put back into the community either in the way of better roads and side walks, or just taking care of the place, they you are getting a better investment for your money. Here were i live there is a village just outside of the town i live in that has a much hiring tax rate than the town i live in, however, they have beautiful brick roads, and side walks, everything is meticulously maintained, and its a happier safer, better looking community. But where I live the taxes are cheap and they didnt even plow the roads this morning and we had 4in of snow.

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Well most European countries are the same size as individual US states, so it's much easier to maintain small areas.

Being that the US is one of the biggest countries in the world, it's basically impossible to make everything "nice".

 

Not to mention we have huge weather tangents here.  In my state, a new road gets almost immediately destroyed by a single winter.

The joke here is that we have 3 months of summer, and 9 months of road construction.  There's just no way to keep up with it.

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Hello,

Ashpalt is better for wear and tear than concrete actually though, why some roads use concrete on high speed curves, better grips but harder on the rubber,

I actually ment asphalt, sorry.

Ashpalt FTW :)

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Well most European countries are the same size as individual US states, so it's much easier to maintain small areas.

Being that the US is one of the biggest countries in the world, it's basically impossible to make everything "nice".

 

Not to mention we have huge weather tangents here.  In my state, a new road gets almost immediately destroyed by a single winter.

The joke here is that we have 3 months of summer, and 9 months of road construction.  There's just no way to keep up with it.

Not an explanation really. US is "bigger" in terms of size, but so are the taxes collected, so you should be able to have the same quality as the one in Europe. The weather is not an explanation either, you have countries, particularly in Central Europe with heavy winter and very hot summer (I live in Switzerland and its below 0c in the winter now and we had 35c in some summer days. )

The explanation is that taxes are spent on different public goods. While most European governments decice to spend on infrastructure (good) and overly-generous pensions (bad), the US government decides to spend heavily for the Pentagon boys to get the latest toys. Whether thats good or bad obviously depends on whether you are on the sending or receiving end of a, say, loaded and flying missile.

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Not an explanation really. US is "bigger" in terms of size, but so are the taxes collected, so you should be able to have the same quality as the one in Europe. The weather is not an explanation either, you have countries, particularly in Central Europe with heavy winter and very hot summer (I live in Switzerland and its below 0c in the winter now and we had 35c in some summer days. )

The explanation is that taxes are spent on different public goods. While most European governments decice to spend on infrastructure (good) and overly-generous pensions (bad), the US government decides to spend heavily for the Pentagon boys to get the latest toys. Whether thats good or bad obviously depends on whether you are on the sending or receiving end of a, say, loaded and flying missile.

Err... what?  The US is huge, so constantly upgrading infrastructure on such a massive land area is simply impossible.

We have almost 5 million miles of roads here.  Good luck making it look "pretty", much less maintaining it.

 

The most money is spent in the heavily populated areas, and it's a constant cycle of rework due to the massive amounts of traffic.  Our 3rd largest city, Chicago, has 1.5 million vehicles per day that use it's northern tollways.  This is worse in NYC and LA.  Show me an area in Europe that gets that much traffic.  There's not a single day in the year where there isn't parts of those roads being rebuilt.  It's a constant cycle and requires a tremendous amount of money.

 

Btw, it's a common misconception that we spend all our money on defense.  Something like 15% or less of the budget goes towards that (and swiftly decreasing), and it's largely in the form of wages for the soldiers. The majority of our money goes towards social programs, and will continue to increase due to our lovely new Obamacare program.  Our country is already broke, so there won't ever be money to make infrastructure look "nice".

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I spent a month traveling Europe and Switzerland was where it started and ended. I was stuck thinking similar thoughts too. Switzerland is also just so clean!

 

When it comes down to it, it probably has a lot to do with the economic scale. The US and other top-power countries are ripe with corruption and have so many people's hands in the pot it really shouldn't be any wonder why at some point the scale tips away from civilian interests. They think we'll be just fine with whatever cheap alternatives but there are intangible cultural differences that arise.

 

With that said though, I would still defend the US infrastructure simply due to it's size and scale. On a more local level I still agree though.

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Err... what?  The US is huge, so constantly upgrading infrastructure on such a massive land area is simply impossible.

We have almost 5 million miles of roads here.  Good luck making it look "pretty", much less maintaining it.

 

The most money is spent in the heavily populated areas, and it's a constant cycle of rework due to the massive amounts of traffic.  Our 3rd largest city, Chicago, has 1.5 million vehicles per day that use it's northern tollways.  This is worse in NYC and LA.  Show me an area in Europe that gets that much traffic.  There's not a single day in the year where there isn't parts of those roads being rebuilt.  It's a constant cycle and requires a tremendous amount of money.

 

Btw, it's a common misconception that we spend all our money on defense.  Something like 15% or less of the budget goes towards that (and swiftly decreasing), and it's largely in the form of wages for the soldiers. The majority of our money goes towards social programs, and will continue to increase due to our lovely new Obamacare program.  Our country is already broke, so there won't ever be money to make infrastructure look "nice".

No, you are wrong. The US does not spend 15% on defense, its about 4.4% in 2013. But, say, UK, France, Germany or Italy spend less than half of that (as a percentage). The delta in Europe goes to, as mentioned, overly generous social payments and infrastructure. Its all a matter of priorities. US wants to be the bully in the world, Europe wants to be the best retirement home in the world. I am not judging whether one is better than the other, i dont like either.

 

Now back on the topic. Think "relative terms" not absolute. If the US has the highest number of vehicles on the road, it also collects the highest amount of $ to support that infrastructure. Clearly, thats doesnt happen, so money is either 1) spend inefficiently 2)spend elswehere 3) 1 and 2

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