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Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world

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Chris:
Ontario traffic volumes 2005

Busiest:


--- Quote ---401 HWY400 IC 359 -N.YORK WESTON RD IC 357 -N.YORK: AADT 426,400
--- End quote ---

Satellite picture of this section:


I wonder how long it's gonna take before some Phoenix, Houston or Atlanta freeway is gonna overtake the 401 to be the busiest in the world. The busiest freeway in the United States is the I-405 near Seal Beach, California with 397,000 vehicles per day.

un1:
Yep, though the traffic is going down, it was 600,000 a few years ago.

Chris:
600,000 are you sure?

A simple traffic engineering fact says that you can multiply the number of lanes (16) by 2200 vehicles per hour by 10 - 12 hours (depending on situation), which would give a maximum capacity of about 16*2200*12 = 422,000 vehicles per day.

So 600,000 seems a bit unlikely to me. Do you have a source?

un1:
I believe it was the 2002 AADT, but I will double check, if I can find it...

haljackey:
Perhaps 600k was the highest recorded traffic flow in one day.

Seriously, the 401 in the summertime is madness!  Commuters, JIT inventory trucking routes, and a recreational route all in one!  I was stuck at the 400 interchange one day for over 2 hours on my way to Canada's Wonderland (a theme park in the region).  Amazingly busy road!

Doesn't help that its the only "true" east-west highway in Toronto.  (Gardiner ends at DVP, 407 outside city limits.)

Yep, the 401's a monster.  The 407 was supposed to help take some traffic off it, but with high tolls to use the 407 and exceptional growth in the region, the 401 remains the busiest highway in North America, perhaps the world.

Here's a pic of one of the busiest sections of the highway:


Crazy interchanges too!

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