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Old 07-11-2003, 03:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Driving / Interstate Toll Rates...?

Hey, I am driving in the United States for the first time...Being a Canadian, I don't know much about the interstate system. Hoping someone can clear up some questions for me.

First of all, are there motel signs on the US highways? Like every few kilometres, will I see signs for motels/eating places, so I can know where to take an exit? Or will I have to know in advance how to get to each motel?

I'll be going through a toll road: I-69 near the border with Michigan and Ontario. What kind of tolls will I have to pay (Roughly how much)?
I'll face another toll on I-294 in Illinois...again, roughly how much are tolls on US highways?

Hope someone can answer soon.

Thanks.
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Driving / Interstate Toll Rates...?

Quote:
Originally posted by scope

First of all, are there motel signs on the US highways? Like every few kilometres, will I see signs for motels/eating places, so I can know where to take an exit? Or will I have to know in advance how to get to each motel?

Thanks.
i can answer this one.

depends.

some motels have banners on road sides advertising for them and they tell you the exit # to take and what to do after you exit.


there are also signs that tell you what you can do if u take the exit. for example, a sign would tell you all the motels that exit offers.

one might tell u all the resteraunts that the exit offers.
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Old 07-11-2003, 05:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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teh interstates are free-use... anyone can use them anytime. i know there are toll roads, but those are privately owned and because there aren't many out on this side of teh country, i'm not sure how they work.

as to motels, you will find signs preceeding most exits listing the available services... gas, food, lodging, as well as any historical/tourism type places... and regardless of where you're going, there will be plenty of billboards pointing you toward whatever there might be available. i'm just curious... where are you going (and how are you egtting there)? perhaps some of our tfp'ers along the route can point you to some noteworthy sites.
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Old 07-11-2003, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info.
I'm driving from Toronto (Ontario) to Austin, Texas. Yeah, its a crazy long drive that takes about 27 hours...I'll be on the interstate mostly but might stop in Chicago, Memphis, Little Rock, and Dallas on the way.
I'm pretty comfortable with the canadian highway system, but I've never driven in the US...so its a first-time experience for me.
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Old 07-11-2003, 06:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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austin!!

i'm going up there next week (sun-thurs) for orientation.
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Old 07-11-2003, 06:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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a few tips, maybe common knowledge, but i haven't driven in canada either...


drive to the right, unless you're passing or the fastest one on the road. be nice to truckers trying to maneuver across lanes. no matter how long you hold out, the cheapest gas will always be at the station you come across immediately after topping your tank... am i missing anything else?
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Old 07-11-2003, 06:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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keep an eye for exit #'s. do not miss your exit, cuz u're gonna have to go a long way (in some cases) before u find one to turn around.

there's some kinda food/lodging around most exits on an interestate, so finding a place to eat/stay shouldnt be a problem at all.

if i'm not mistaken, the speed limit is 70 on all interstates.
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Old 07-11-2003, 09:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Also please remember that all the signage will be in miles
not kilometers.

The U.S. is still ass-backwards on this,
unlike the rest of the world.
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Old 07-11-2003, 10:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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rogue49: not true.. some have both

although in the 500 miles i generally travel, I only see two of these, and it is only when I am coming near a large city.

don't worry about finding lodging and a place to eat.. if they are near the interstate, they usually will let you know right before the exit.. just make sure, if you plan on stopping soon, if you are out in the middle of no where, take the first one you come to.. it might be a while till the next exit.

it is better to get gas a bit before you have to rather than run out a few miles too short
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Old 07-11-2003, 10:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by The_Dude

if i'm not mistaken, the speed limit is 70 on all interstates.

Actually, the speed limits vary by state. Illinois is 65, Kansas is 70, Colorado is 75. Every time you cross a state border you'll need to check for the new speed limit.

And the speed is in mph, not kmph. A good speed to remember is 65 mph = 100 kmph
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Last edited by mirevolver; 07-12-2003 at 12:14 AM..
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Old 07-11-2003, 10:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mirevolver
Actually, the speed limits vary by state. Illonis is 65, Kansas is 70, Colorado is 75. Every time you cross a state border you'll need to check for the new speed limit.
To my knowledge, the speed limit on Illinois expressways is 55, unless it's in a rural area, in which case it is 65.
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Old 07-12-2003, 12:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by spectre
To my knowledge, the speed limit on Illinois expressways is 55, unless it's in a rural area, in which case it is 65.
55 is standard in urban areas everywhere in the country. But it varies in rural areas.

Here in Phoenix, its 55/65 in and around the city and 75 nearly everywhere else in the state of Arizona.
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Old 07-12-2003, 06:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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watch out for some of those roadside eats... nothing is worse than having a roadside meal and then about 50 miles later having indigestion from all the greasiness.

Have a great drive!
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I believe there are no tolls anywhere on I-69. I-94 (east of chicago) is not a toll road either. I-80 is a toll road in Indiana but not in Illinois. However, portions of I-90 and all of I-294 (tri-state) are toll roads. I'm not sure how many toll booths are on I-294 but it is something like 6 or 7. They are generally $.40-$.50 each. There are some exits on the toll roads that require smaller amounts. Check out:
http://www.illinoistollway.com/

Also, if you decide to follow I-90 downtown keep in mind that the skyway portion (south of downtown chicago) is $2 and is currently undergoing a lot of construction.

Basically a handfull of change will get you through. There are of course "manual" lanes at the booths where you can pay with bills.

Typically toll roads are shown in green on road maps.

Where are you heading? If you follow I-90 west from Chicago it is toll road with 4 or 5 toll booths before the Wisconsin border. I-94 is also toll road all the until Wisconsin also. I'd bet there are other members more familiar with the Chicago area that could give you some good tips. If you have the time there are plenty of things to do downtown. It is worth a side trip.

Last edited by rs8001; 07-14-2003 at 10:31 PM..
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Without blowing my own horn, I've driven over a goodly portion of this country. So here are my own hints for happy driving long distances.

-Get maps and look at them when you stop to eat, etc. They will generally tell you things you need to know (such as toll roads) plus you might actually want to stop and see something along the way. All hotels have fliers in the lobby for local attractions, too.

-You can cross most of America without hitting a toll road. The are generally more prevalent in urban areas and in the eastern part of the US. If you DO hit a toll road, you will always have plenty of warning if you want to detour and avoid the toll, plus they always post the amount on huge signs. Tolls vary from 40 cents to 75 cents every 5 to 10 miles. Heavy urban areas (such as the Golden Gate Bridge and some roads in Chicago) may be a dollar or 2, depending on the special circumstances. These are RARE.

-US highway signs are excellent for telling you when an exit has Gas/Lodging/Food including which direction to turn from the freeway and frequently how far you have to drive (in miles) to get there. Of course, you will be able to see most of these things from the freeway. (The major exception to this is large Indian reservations. Ask me how I know sometime.)

-STAY AWAY FROM SODA! Yes, some is fine with your big mac or if you need a caffeine buzz to keep you awake, but it doesn't substitute for WATER! Get a small ice chest and fill it with some bottled water. (I learned this lesson driving to Houston.)

-Stay away from foods you know that may upset your stomach or give you diarrhea! Nothing and I mean NOTHING sucks like taking a messy dump in a road side rest stop. I also make sure I have a roll of TP in the car Just In Case, along with a thing of wetwipes. (God bless the man who invented wetwipes.) If you HAVE to use a rest stop, these things are LIFESAVERS for making the loo sanitary for use. Plus rest stops generally don't have soap...

-Munchies, gum, Altoids, etc. help alot, especially if you are feeling sleepy and can't stop.

And lastly, Have fun! This is a HUGE country with A LOT to see!

Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2003, 10:55 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Usually there will be a big blue sign, with square pictures of places that there is. McDonalds, Shell Stations, Amoco's, Motel6(DON'T STAY HERE) Etc etc etc.
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Old 07-15-2003, 03:10 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Even numbered Interstates run east-west, odd numbers run north-south.
Lower numbers are to the south and west of the country and increase as you go north and east (I-5 and I-10 are in Los Angeles, I-80 and I-95 are in New York).
Three-digit numbers represent local feeders in metro areas. Here the rules become a little different. The last two digits represent the parent Interstate, the first, if even, represents a "loop" that encircles a metro area and meets back up with the parent road. Odd numbers feed directly into a city. There are exceptions to this though. Two I can think of off the top of my head are I-495 in New York (The Long Island Expressway) and I-664 in Norfolk, VA (Feeds from I-64 to the Naval Base). Three digit interstates can be duplicated within the country but can appear only once in a state. For example, in addition to the L.I.E., there are also I-495's in Maine, Virginia, Delaware, Massachussets, and Pennsylvania.

Some interesting reading (or not, depending on your point of view):

http://www.kurumi.com/roads/index.html
http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/highways.asp
http://www.exit109.com/~ghealton/wri...terstates.html
http://www.usastar.com/i95/annivsry.htm

There is an urban legend that states that one mile of every five in the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System (the original Interstate system, built in the 50's and marked with special signs) has to be completely flat and straight, with no overpasses or other obstructions. The reason for this is so that in time of war or other national emergency they can be used as runways. This is NOT true. Here the myth is debunked by the Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/rw00b.htm

-Mikey
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