Thoughts on Freeway Intersections

Ok, so what is the deal with freeways? There are a couple of different methods to how they are built. These are:

  1. Cloverleaf.
    These were all the rage years ago. You get four circles where traffic moves from one location to the other.
    1. Benefits:
      1. Well, first - Cloverleaf intersections they are fairly clean, standardized, and they work for the most part.
    2. Drawbacks:
      1. Traffic can backup on the curves
      2. Everyone has to slow down on the curves or go flying off into other kinds of traffic
      3. They use the most land and cost the most also.
  2. Spaghetti Bowls
    First attempt at trying to make intersections which are supposed to keep the traffic flowing
    1. Benefits:
      1. None. Spaghetti bowls are just that - a bunch of bits and pieces of a freeway going in all different directions.
    2. Drawbacks:
      1. Lots. From people having accidents while trying to guess where they are supposed to get on or off.
My idea for freeways is called the Whirlpool. It is modeled after basket weaving. In basket weaving the opposing sides of the weave are threaded in and out of the weave making the whole very strong. Think of doing this weave and always making everyone make a left or right turn based upon the way in which they want to travel. Or to put that another way - take the circles from the Cloverleaf which were on the outside and put them on the inside of the intersection. This then allows the sweeping curves which normally would swing around the outside of the circles to be pulled up close to the intersection.
  1. Whirlpool
    1. Benefits:
      1. Uses less land
      2. Straightens out the curves in the Cloverleaf somewhat which allows everyone to travel at a higher speed to move from one freeway to the other.
      3. Causes the center of the intersection to become a Metroplex so buses et al can drop off or pick up customers.
      4. Costs less than a Cloverleaf but more than a Spaghetti bowl.
    2. Drawbacks
      1. Could cause accidents because people are not used to it.

Here are some pictures so you can get an idea for what I am talking about. And by-the-way, anyone can use this idea. Just give me a little credit is all I ask.

Two lane road

Normal Intersection

Cloverleaf Intersection

Basket Weaving

An attempt at drawing
a whirlpool intersection

A whirlpool intersection
with a Metroplex in the center