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Author Topic: Ontario's Highways  (Read 411299 times)

vdeane

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #650 on: August 04, 2016, 01:13:50 PM »

IMO dynamic pricing of HOT lanes is more fair because it gives everyone a chance to decide if they want to pay for the lanes or not on a per-trip basis.  The system Ontario wants restricts it to the privileged few who are lucky enough to win a lottery.  Not fair at all.

More curiosities with the GTA!

It turns out that not only Highway 400 was supposed to be extended south, exit numbers reflect it. Now I know why Highway 401 is Exit 21 instead of Exit 1; it reflects the southward extension.
That's what I thought, but there are only 11 km to the Gardiner, so the numbers would have started at 10 even if ON 400 had been finished.  No idea what the extra 10 km is supposed to be for.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #651 on: August 04, 2016, 01:42:44 PM »

Maybe Toronto's street network dates to the colonial era.

 :nod:
A lot of roads that don't follow the grid date back to the days prior to the British concession system being put in place there. They follow old colonization trails and the like.

Most of Ontario follows that system. A big exception is Kitchener-Waterloo, where the German settlers used their own freaky system.  :biggrin:

Yep, I mentioned this in my Cites with odd street networks thread. It was certainly a big change going from Brampton's grid system to KW :-D

Not to get too far off-topic, but every time I see the Kitchener/Waterloo area on a map, it feels like I'm playing an old Sim City game, where everything is slightly tilted, never to be seen straight on. Sometimes I get a small headache too.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #652 on: August 04, 2016, 01:44:25 PM »

MTO's system is modeled after a decal system that was used along the I-15 corridor in Salt Lake City in the early days of it's HOT lane programme.

I've done a few google searches to look for information on exactly how the decal system was managed by UDOT but haven't found anything too specific as of yet.

Here is what I have found:
http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freewaymgmt/publications/documents/nrpc0610/workshop_materials/case_studies/salt_lake_city.pdf
http://scoe.transportation.org/Documents/Boston%202011/Brandon%20Weston.pdf

The lottery system definitely isn't perfect, but seeing as there is already a toll highway that serves basically the same corridor, it's not like there isn't already another option.

Dynamic pricing on the QEW is going to itself being somewhat of a dilemma.  Any pricing structure that is less that the toll rates on the 407 could conceivably start to attract traffic that would otherwise be bound for the 407.  The QEW's HOT lanes won't have sufficient capacity to accept 407 traffic, so I suspect the rates will have to be higher than what's already in place on the 407 just to ensure the lane remains free-flow.

One of the really noteworthy things about this HOT pilot project is how inexpensive the tags are going to be.  Consider similar solo travel on the 407 for two trips a day, five days per week for three months would cost over $1000 in the same three month period.
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MisterSG1

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #653 on: August 04, 2016, 03:31:46 PM »

More curiosities with the GTA!

It turns out that not only Highway 400 was supposed to be extended south, exit numbers reflect it. Now I know why Highway 401 is Exit 21 instead of Exit 1; it reflects the southward extension.

The street network is odd - streets shift and turn, the grid is skewed, and some streets don't even have directional suffixes. Vaughan and Markham don't seem to have this problem, though isn't their street network a continuation of Toronto's? Maybe Toronto's street network dates to the colonial era.

The reason why Markham and Vaughan's street network is a continuation of Toronto's is because present day Toronto used to be part of what we know now today as York Region. It was York County way back when, but the point is, that Toronto used to be part of what is now known as York Region but split in 1954 to form Metropolitan Toronto. Metro Toronto would exist until 1997, in which the six cities which made up Metro Toronto were amalgamated into a single City of Toronto. The only part of Toronto that's any bit confusing to me if you want to be honest is East York.

A slight curiosity and fun fact, Eglinton Avenue passes through all six former cities during its length across the city.

If you notice, the street grid in Peel Region, that is Mississauaga, Brampton, and Caledon is roughly diagonals instead of N, S, E, W, this concession grid was drawn parallel to Lake Ontario I do believe. The point I'm making is that it's not the same grid system in Toronto/York Region.
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cbeach40

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #654 on: August 04, 2016, 04:28:24 PM »

IMO dynamic pricing of HOT lanes is more fair because it gives everyone a chance to decide if they want to pay for the lanes or not on a per-trip basis.  The system Ontario wants restricts it to the privileged few who are lucky enough to win a lottery.  Not fair at all.

The "privilege" to pay for it? Alps' post a little bit ago hit the nail right on the head - it's about squeezing extra capacity out of it without degrading service. Only a finite number of SOV are permitted in the lane. If you allow everyone in, then the toll would have to be incredibly high to actually keep it from being overwhelmed (see Asphalt Planet's earlier post for a comparison of what people are willing to pay). Rationing the permits keeps it moving, and allows them to maintain the lane's operation.

That's what I thought, but there are only 11 km to the Gardiner, so the numbers would have started at 10 even if ON 400 had been finished.  No idea what the extra 10 km is supposed to be for.

Distances were likely measured right to downtown, which would put it to roughly 15-17 km from Jane St (exit 20). Likely rounded up in order to give themselves some margin for error on that.
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vdeane

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #655 on: August 04, 2016, 06:03:12 PM »

Makes me wonder if it's even appropriate for HOT lanes, then.  Plus ON 407's toll policies are not at all friendly to occasional users... the monthly pass has a fee, and the bill by mail surcharge is obscene.  In fact, ON 407 is THE reason why my parents will never use an all-electronic toll road.

The lottery isn't exactly equitable.  Someone could win who is single and has flext time and doesn't really need to worry about when they get to work/home but simply are annoyed by the traffic and take a pass from someone who has a family and works a strict hourly job where they'd get their pay docked or be fired if they're late.  What about someone who would only use the lanes if the traffic was really bad?  Or someone who moved in after the lottery was held, or changed jobs/homes?

IMO all people have a moral duty to do all they can to make life 100% fair to everyone.  Ontario isn't fulfilling that duty right now.
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #656 on: August 04, 2016, 06:51:36 PM »

^ That argument is preposterous.
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Alps

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #657 on: August 04, 2016, 11:32:19 PM »

IMO dynamic pricing of HOT lanes is more fair because it gives everyone a chance to decide if they want to pay for the lanes or not on a per-trip basis.  The system Ontario wants restricts it to the privileged few who are lucky enough to win a lottery.  Not fair at all.

More curiosities with the GTA!

It turns out that not only Highway 400 was supposed to be extended south, exit numbers reflect it. Now I know why Highway 401 is Exit 21 instead of Exit 1; it reflects the southward extension.
That's what I thought, but there are only 11 km to the Gardiner, so the numbers would have started at 10 even if ON 400 had been finished.  No idea what the extra 10 km is supposed to be for.
The 400 would have swung east partway on its journey southward and hooked up with the Allen Rd./Spadina Expwy. I at least get about 15 km out of that, but 21 is tough.

MisterSG1

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #658 on: August 04, 2016, 11:38:07 PM »

IMO dynamic pricing of HOT lanes is more fair because it gives everyone a chance to decide if they want to pay for the lanes or not on a per-trip basis.  The system Ontario wants restricts it to the privileged few who are lucky enough to win a lottery.  Not fair at all.

More curiosities with the GTA!

It turns out that not only Highway 400 was supposed to be extended south, exit numbers reflect it. Now I know why Highway 401 is Exit 21 instead of Exit 1; it reflects the southward extension.
That's what I thought, but there are only 11 km to the Gardiner, so the numbers would have started at 10 even if ON 400 had been finished.  No idea what the extra 10 km is supposed to be for.
The 400 would have swung east partway on its journey southward and hooked up with the Allen Rd./Spadina Expwy. I at least get about 15 km out of that, but 21 is tough.

I believe that would have been the crosstown expressway which meets the Spadina Expressway, the 400 would have never met the Spadina expressway.
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #659 on: August 05, 2016, 07:50:26 AM »

The 400 would have swung east partway on its journey southward and hooked up with the Allen Rd./Spadina Expwy. I at least get about 15 km out of that, but 21 is tough.

This site isn't particularly well written, but it has maps that show the various iterations of the never-built 400-extension.

http://www.gettorontomoving.ca/highway-400-extension.html
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #660 on: August 05, 2016, 08:21:17 AM »

Photos of the signage along the recently widened section of Highway 7/8 through Kitchener.  These photos were taken back in May, so they are very much out of date in terms of surface course paving:

























The full set, and some more non-sign photos:
http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/hwy_7_images/Contracts/Conestoga_Construction.htm#May16
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Transportfan

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #661 on: August 06, 2016, 01:34:26 AM »

I always wondered why there are so many urban "county" roads here in Ontario. Seems so anachronistic to me

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #662 on: August 06, 2016, 02:57:56 PM »


Hmmm, I thought someone on here said it was. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the concept of Connecting Links? Victoria St has Hwy 7 and RR 55 shields side by side, so I thought this would equate to a Connecting Link. I figured this means the Region maintains the road, but signs it as a provincial highway. How is that different from a Connecting Link?

A Connecting Link is a legal agreement between the municipality and the Province. The road is designated as a continuation of the King's Highway, and while the municipality owns the roadway, many operations on it are subject to MTO review and approval. The upside of that is that expenses the municipality incurs along the designated CL receive provincial funding. In the case of Victoria Street, no such agreement is in place.

Thank you for the explanation! Wikipedia says it's not a CL either, and I believe you. But I'm still wondering who maintains Victoria St, since it has both a Hwy designation and a RR designation?

My question got buried here, but I'm wondering now if Victoria St is a full regional road (maintained by the region) that is simply signed as Hwy 7 to make navigation easier?
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #663 on: August 06, 2016, 03:30:21 PM »

The 400 would have swung east partway on its journey southward and hooked up with the Allen Rd./Spadina Expwy. I at least get about 15 km out of that, but 21 is tough.

This site isn't particularly well written, but it has maps that show the various iterations of the never-built 400-extension.

http://www.gettorontomoving.ca/highway-400-extension.html
I'll quote this post since I've found more interesting things while checking the site.

It's turns out that they want to complete their road transportation plans from the 1960s, by using tunnels (a la I-710 gap). Here's what they want to do with Toronto: Link

It makes sense: Toronto has tripled in size since 1971 (when they had last built a major freeway, or even a road) and thus gridlock is occurring. However, due to political reasons, nobody wants to build anything.

But what's strange about Toronto is that there's a lot of parks and rivers - not small neighborhood parks to go on the weekends, but large parks, such as parks along the Don Valley Parkway, and rivers running through Toronto. This must date to when Toronto wasn't a full blown major city.
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cbeach40

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #664 on: August 06, 2016, 06:48:58 PM »


My question got buried here, but I'm wondering now if Victoria St is a full regional road (maintained by the region) that is simply signed as Hwy 7 to make navigation easier?

That is accurate. There are a few cases where the municipality signs the provincial route for continuity's sake but forgoing strings that come attached to a CL agreement. Victoria Street is one such example.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #665 on: August 07, 2016, 01:13:20 AM »

The 400 would have swung east partway on its journey southward and hooked up with the Allen Rd./Spadina Expwy. I at least get about 15 km out of that, but 21 is tough.

This site isn't particularly well written, but it has maps that show the various iterations of the never-built 400-extension.

http://www.gettorontomoving.ca/highway-400-extension.html
I'll quote this post since I've found more interesting things while checking the site.

It's turns out that they want to complete their road transportation plans from the 1960s, by using tunnels (a la I-710 gap). Here's what they want to do with Toronto: Link

I'm sorry, but that plan looks so ridiculous, especially the roadway over Lake Ontario (the "offshore extension"). Like I mentioned earlier, I really don't think anything will be done in regards to freeways in Toronto. Fun to speculate, but that type of stuff will forever belong in the "fictional highways" board.

There is a proposed tunnel in Ottawa though that would connect ON 417 to A-5 in Quebec. Looks pretty neat if it will ever be built (which I don't think ever will be).

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #666 on: August 07, 2016, 01:28:01 AM »

The 400 would have swung east partway on its journey southward and hooked up with the Allen Rd./Spadina Expwy. I at least get about 15 km out of that, but 21 is tough.

This site isn't particularly well written, but it has maps that show the various iterations of the never-built 400-extension.

http://www.gettorontomoving.ca/highway-400-extension.html
I'll quote this post since I've found more interesting things while checking the site.

It's turns out that they want to complete their road transportation plans from the 1960s, by using tunnels (a la I-710 gap). Here's what they want to do with Toronto: Link

I'm sorry, but that plan looks so ridiculous, especially the roadway over Lake Ontario (the "offshore extension"). Like I mentioned earlier, I really don't think anything will be done in regards to freeways in Toronto. Fun to speculate, but that type of stuff will forever belong in the "fictional highways" board.

There is a proposed tunnel in Ottawa though that would connect ON 417 to A-5 in Quebec. Looks pretty neat if it will ever be built (which I don't think ever will be).
Yeah I tried to be nice but, well, I'll admit the plan is ridiculous. I do not think that those freeways will ever happen. Seriously, I think that FritzOwl will have his freeways built by the time these freeways have a study completed.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #667 on: August 07, 2016, 11:47:28 AM »

Why would Victoria be signed as Highway 7, when it follows the Conestoga?

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #668 on: August 07, 2016, 08:34:02 PM »

Why would Victoria be signed as Highway 7, when it follows the Conestoga?

Coming from the west, Highway 7 and 8 follow the Conestoga Parkway, then Hwy 8 branches off while 7 stays on the Parkway. Then, at Victoria St, Hwy 7 leaves the parkway and follows Victoria St east to Guelph. At this point, the Conestoga Parkway becomes 85 as it heads north to Waterloo.

So to clarify, Victoria St is Hwy 7 from the Parkway east to Guelph and beyond.
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7/8

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #669 on: August 07, 2016, 08:40:41 PM »

I just took a trip to Forks of the Credit today (which was beautiful, I can't believe I've never been before when I grew up in Brampton)! But anyway, I noticed on the 410 extension that the median lights aren't up north of Mayfield Rd, though the base supports seems to be there.

This picture from Wikipedia shows what I mean, and even notes this in the caption. Does anyone know why the high-mast lighting isn't in place?

« Last Edit: August 08, 2016, 12:53:22 PM by 7/8 »
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #670 on: August 07, 2016, 09:42:57 PM »

Possibly because it isn't close enough to an exit? Here where I live, you never see lights on a freeway where there's not an exit around. But, it's weird that they put in the bolts for the lights but didn't actually put the lights in.

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #671 on: August 08, 2016, 09:12:25 AM »

I just took a trip to Forks of the Credit today (which was beautiful, I can't believe I've never before when I grew up in Brampton)! But anyway, I noticed on the 410 extension that the median lights aren't up north of Mayfield Rd, though the base supports seems to be there.

This picture from Wikipedia shows what I mean, and even notes this in the caption. Does anyone know why the high-mast lighting isn't in place?

The northern most portion of the 410 probably didn't meet the lighting warrant when it was constructed, so they didn't install high mast lights.  Though they probably recognized that lighting may be required in the future, so built the mounts so that lighting can be installed once it is warranted.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #672 on: August 08, 2016, 10:30:00 AM »

^ But by today's overly strict regulations about building near rivers, the area won't be fully built out anyways.

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #673 on: August 08, 2016, 10:54:33 AM »

^ But by today's overly strict regulations about building near rivers, the area won't be fully built out anyways.

Adjacent development is a factor for intersection illumination on a King's Highway, but not for continuous freeway illumination.

The biggest construction cost is of course running the conduits and installing the footings, so putting them in during a major construction project (in this case, building from scratch) makes total sense. But the rest of the costs - poles, wires, luminaires, and far an away the most, the operation and maintenance - it makes sense to defer until it's needed.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #674 on: August 09, 2016, 07:10:06 PM »

^ Thanks guys for answering my 410 lighting question.

I noticed on my trip to Grey County a couple weekends ago that they've changed the design of their regional road shields. Also, the photos below show that Simcoe County also changed their design.

Here's a photo from thekingshighway.ca which shows the old designs for Grey County (left) and Simcoe County (right) on old Hwy 24 (photo taken May 13, 2007)



And here is the GSV of what I believe is the same location, taken in June 2015

https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.2700778,-80.2328735,3a,15y,30.94h,86.41t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sFNeoJI2nKjRxyLLuwlI8_w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


GSV suggests that Simcoe County switched between August 2009 and October 2011, while Grey County switched between October 2011 and June 2015. I'm surprised I didn't notice sooner, but I unfortunately don't head up that way as often as I used to :-/
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