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British Columbia's Highways

Started by jakeroot, January 08, 2021, 01:16:21 PM

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dmuzika

Quote from: andrepoiy on June 06, 2022, 05:30:42 PM
Some things I did find interesting though:

The "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights that turn on before a light turns yellow, people seem to start braking when they go on, and they seem to act as an extension of a yellow light. I found that to be quite interesting, and maybe beneficial for Ontario to consider those as well, as it clearly could reduce rear-end crashes.

The flashing "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights are pretty common throughout Western Canada, though it feels like they aren't as common in other jurisdictions.


LilianaUwU

Quote from: dmuzika on June 10, 2022, 02:30:43 AM
Quote from: andrepoiy on June 06, 2022, 05:30:42 PM
Some things I did find interesting though:

The "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights that turn on before a light turns yellow, people seem to start braking when they go on, and they seem to act as an extension of a yellow light. I found that to be quite interesting, and maybe beneficial for Ontario to consider those as well, as it clearly could reduce rear-end crashes.

The flashing "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights are pretty common throughout Western Canada, though it feels like they aren't as common in other jurisdictions.

It's not rare to see them in Québec in low visibility or high speed situations.
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jakeroot

Quote from: LilianaUwU on June 10, 2022, 02:29:34 PM
Quote from: dmuzika on June 10, 2022, 02:30:43 AM
Quote from: andrepoiy on June 06, 2022, 05:30:42 PM
Some things I did find interesting though:

The "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights that turn on before a light turns yellow, people seem to start braking when they go on, and they seem to act as an extension of a yellow light. I found that to be quite interesting, and maybe beneficial for Ontario to consider those as well, as it clearly could reduce rear-end crashes.

The flashing "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights are pretty common throughout Western Canada, though it feels like they aren't as common in other jurisdictions.

It's not rare to see them in Québec in low visibility or high speed situations.

They're not as common elsewhere in Canada likely because no other agency requires them. British Columbia literally requires them at every signalized intersection with an approach speed or speed limit 70 km/h or greater. Like, every single one. Period. So yeah, they're extremely common because that sort of situation is really common.

RoadMaster09

#78
Quote from: jakeroot on June 11, 2022, 02:53:01 PM
Quote from: LilianaUwU on June 10, 2022, 02:29:34 PM
Quote from: dmuzika on June 10, 2022, 02:30:43 AM
Quote from: andrepoiy on June 06, 2022, 05:30:42 PM
Some things I did find interesting though:

The "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights that turn on before a light turns yellow, people seem to start braking when they go on, and they seem to act as an extension of a yellow light. I found that to be quite interesting, and maybe beneficial for Ontario to consider those as well, as it clearly could reduce rear-end crashes.

The flashing "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights are pretty common throughout Western Canada, though it feels like they aren't as common in other jurisdictions.

It's not rare to see them in Québec in low visibility or high speed situations.

They're not as common elsewhere in Canada likely because no other agency requires them. British Columbia literally requires them at every signalized intersection with an approach speed or speed limit 70 km/h or greater. Like, every single one. Period. So yeah, they're extremely common because that sort of situation is really common.

That's overkill. I think 60 mph or higher is what should be needed to trigger them without other circumstances (such as poor visibility, rogue signal on an expressway that would otherwise be a freeway, or first signal in a long time). Higher-speed highways should have them for both road and rail crossings, but to have them at speeds of many lower-frontage suburban arterials is seriously overkill.

TXtoNJ

Quote from: RoadMaster09 on June 11, 2022, 03:31:26 PM
Quote from: jakeroot on June 11, 2022, 02:53:01 PM
Quote from: LilianaUwU on June 10, 2022, 02:29:34 PM
Quote from: dmuzika on June 10, 2022, 02:30:43 AM
Quote from: andrepoiy on June 06, 2022, 05:30:42 PM
Some things I did find interesting though:

The "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights that turn on before a light turns yellow, people seem to start braking when they go on, and they seem to act as an extension of a yellow light. I found that to be quite interesting, and maybe beneficial for Ontario to consider those as well, as it clearly could reduce rear-end crashes.

The flashing "Prepare to Stop" signs/lights are pretty common throughout Western Canada, though it feels like they aren't as common in other jurisdictions.

It's not rare to see them in Québec in low visibility or high speed situations.

They're not as common elsewhere in Canada likely because no other agency requires them. British Columbia literally requires them at every signalized intersection with an approach speed or speed limit 70 km/h or greater. Like, every single one. Period. So yeah, they're extremely common because that sort of situation is really common.

That's overkill. I think 60 mph or higher is what should be needed to trigger them without other circumstances (such as poor visibility, rogue signal on an expressway that would otherwise be a freeway, or first signal in a long time). Higher-speed highways should have them for both road and rail crossings, but to have them at speeds of many lower-frontage suburban arterials is seriously overkill.

BC speed limits are a lot slower than you think.

stevashe

Quote from: jakeroot on June 07, 2022, 12:01:52 PM
Quote from: andrepoiy on June 06, 2022, 05:30:42 PM
For road design:

The turn arrows to me look weird, like they were drawn by kids...
Some signs are also strange (such as a "MERGE" sign as opposed to just, using the pictoral sign of a lane ending)
And don't get me started on the traffic signals!! Why do the signals on the side look rather neglected (with no backplates), and why are they 8-8-8-12???? Ahhhhhh

The arrows in British Columbia are not completely unique to BC. They are also used in WA, by a few cities. I've always preferred them simply because I find them easier to comprehend.

I do not understand the MERGE sign either. So many symbols and yet they write that one out. Weird.

The arrows used in WA aren't quite the same, though, and I prefer the look. I don't like how the BC arrows have such a long straight tail and then a tiny little curve, and I think that might be part of the reason why andrepoiy said they look "drawn by kids".

Here's a comparison, with BC on the left and WA (from Bellevue) on the right.



The more interesting thing (from my perspective) about BC turn arrows is that darn near every intersection in the province uses that same exact style! In the cities around Seattle, it seems like every other city (not to mention WSDOT) has its own unique style :spin:


Also on that merge sign, I really don't get why they use that, given the whole bilingual situation and a very well established symbol that can take the place of it. You'd think that with a whole host of symbolized signs you can see throughout the province that aren't used in the US, that there wouldn't be an example of the opposite case, but here we are! I will say BC isn't the only place I've seen a spelled out "MERGE" sign though, I have seen quite a few in Minnesota when I've been there a couple times, which struck me as odd then too, though the ones there do also feature a sideways arrow at least. (Example)

jakeroot

Quote from: stevashe on June 13, 2022, 05:44:58 PM
Quote from: jakeroot on June 07, 2022, 12:01:52 PM
The arrows in British Columbia are not completely unique to BC. They are also used in WA, by a few cities. I've always preferred them simply because I find them easier to comprehend.

I do not understand the MERGE sign either. So many symbols and yet they write that one out. Weird.

The arrows used in WA aren't quite the same, though, and I prefer the look. I don't like how the BC arrows have such a long straight tail and then a tiny little curve, and I think that might be part of the reason why andrepoiy said they look "drawn by kids".

Here's a comparison, with BC on the left and WA (from Bellevue) on the right.



The more interesting thing (from my perspective) about BC turn arrows is that darn near every intersection in the province uses that same exact style! In the cities around Seattle, it seems like every other city (not to mention WSDOT) has its own unique style :spin:

British Columbia's arrows do have a pretty distinct advantage over most other designs: they are narrow enough that most cars can pass on either side of them, but they are still long enough to be imposing. With the angle of approach, there is a distinct advantage to "longer" designs rather than wider designs, and I think most Washington State (and US) arrows miss that mark.

Most of Washington (outside of Bothell, Bellevue, and the few other places that use the BC-esque design) use really small arrows, both width-wise and length-wise. I don't find them particularly useful compared to the much larger arrows used in British Columbia (on left, WA on right):


jakeroot

#82
Quote from: stevashe on June 13, 2022, 05:44:58 PM
Also on that merge sign, I really don't get why they use that, given the whole bilingual situation and a very well established symbol that can take the place of it. You'd think that with a whole host of symbolized signs you can see throughout the province that aren't used in the US, that there wouldn't be an example of the opposite case, but here we are! I will say BC isn't the only place I've seen a spelled out "MERGE" sign though, I have seen quite a few in Minnesota when I've been there a couple times, which struck me as odd then too, though the ones there do also feature a sideways arrow at least. (Example)

There is a MERGE sign on I-705 in Tacoma, although it's rectangular: https://goo.gl/maps/De19idFxSJmTdvqEA

The idea of unnecessarily writing things out reminded me today of the HOV lanes in British Columbia, which use text in addition to the diamond, as opposed to a diamond with accompanying signage (as is the norm elsewhere). I would think the diamond would be enough in addition to the black-on-white signage also indicating who/what can use the lane...here's a picture I took today:


HOV LANE, Hwy 1, Surrey, BC by Jacob Root, on Flickr

JREwing78

#83
2 more years of reconstruction before long term repairs of the Coq Highway 1 through Fraser Canyon are expected to be completed:
https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/flood-damaged-sections-of-trans-canada-highway-in-fraser-canyon-facing-2-more-years-of-repair/ar-AA12Gf8X

Chris

This news release is about Highway 1 through the Fraser Canyon, not the Coquihalla Highway (which is Highway 5).

Here's the TranBC press release: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022TRAN0100-001502

JREwing78


Bruce

Highway 1 widening between 216 Street and 264 Street (Langley to Aldergrove, roughly) is underway. To cost $345 million (US$260 million) and will include several elements: a set of HOV lanes, new bridges to replace low clearance crossings, and pedestrian/cycling improvements at two crossings. Scheduled to be completed in 2025. The BC government plans to widen Highway 1 all the way to Whatcom Road in Abbotsford at a later date.

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022TRAN0115-001693
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Bruce

Anyone know of a good archive of BC highway maps or logs? I'm researching the history of Highway 99 and have some significant gaps to cover, namely when it was extended across the Lions Gate Bridge and when the Duffey Lake Road was first opened to traffic.
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splashflash

#88
Quote from: Bruce on December 04, 2022, 08:37:09 PM
Anyone know of a good archive of BC highway maps or logs? I'm researching the history of Highway 99 and have some significant gaps to cover, namely when it was extended across the Lions Gate Bridge and when the Duffey Lake Road was first opened to traffic.
UBC Science Library (original library) had some folders about 25 years ago containing old maps for transit and highway maps.  There is also a pretty good stash of old maps at the Whitehorse, Yukon museum.  Regarding Hwy 99 along the Duffy Lake, it was around 1986 (just around Expo '86) that I remember the route being paved north of Pemberton, except for about 10 km of flat section which ran through the Mount Currey Indian Reservation.  Highway 12 between Lillooet and Hat Creek lost its '12' numbering to 99 sometime in the 90's.  I am not sure if I agree with that move.

The old numbering system of US highways (99, 97, 95, and 93) was continued into BC, replacing the old, simpler BC system, occurred in the early 1950s; before that BC97 in the Okanagan was Highway 5 and 93 and 95 had different numbers too, I think 4.  By 1950 the King George VI Highway, to become mostly 99A around 1960, had already been numbered 99, connecting to US99 at Douglas Customs.  This is recorded in road travel guides by CP Lyons, a prolific naturalist of BC, but also Washington.   Milestones on the Mighty Fraser, with first printing 1950, by CP Lyons, mentions BC 99 in the text and on a map.  Did you happen to find when BC 99 was first used?  In contrast, Milestones in Ogopogland, also written by CP Lyons in the early 50s, records that now BC 97 was Highway 5, likely renumbered in 1953. 

You seem to have information already on this section , but you can read about the present BC 99 between the border and Vancouver in a highway history called "From Frontier to Freeway" https://www.crownpub.bc.ca/Product/Details/7680001809_S
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/driving-and-transportation/reports-and-reference/reports-and-studies/frontier_to_freeway.pdf

Highway 1 went across the Patullo Bridge and along Kingway to Vancouver until all the freeways got build and rejigged the system around 1960.  For a while, the freeway sections were named 499 and 401, as the BC government was fighting with the feds.  The Trans-Canada would be Highway 1, except in the four-lane sections, kind of mimicking Ontario.

It seems that 99 was not extended north of the Fraser Highway (Highway 1) until the Port Mann Bridge and Dease Island Thruway (George Massey Tunnel) were built, rerouting both systems.

Wikipedia is pretty useless at the older history, somehow most of the highways appeared in 1953, the first majority government year of BC Social Credit government reign, but really most had been around back to the 1920's, just not in nowhere the condition they would be improved to in the 1950s.

I hope this helps, but would be interested to know what you have found yourself.

splashflash

Well, I found on the internet that HYW 99 signage extended north of Pemberton in 1992, which is probably about right, but that was pretty cosmetic as paving had been done earlier.  Improvements to the highway north of Lillooet occurred before the Olympics, and the section from Pavilion to Hat Creek was widened, straightened and the speed limit raised to 100 km/h from 80 km/hr in the early 90s.  If changing the signage to get that work done was required, so be it.

On the Duffey Lake, does it warrant being numbered.  Much of the route is 60km/hr, which is actually about as high as it should be.  Some of the single-lane bridges have been replaced in the past 10 years and approaches straightened.  For the longest time it was simply a logging road with asphalt slapped down on it.

Bruce

Thanks, I've already managed to find some of this information by combing through newspaper archives. Found that the first use of "99" (and the other numbers) was in March 1940, a year earlier than what Wikipedia already had. The highway also had a special purple shield for the King George Highway section for a few years at least. Highway 99 was extended through to West Vancouver by 1955, so this preceded the Port Mann Bridge and Second Narrows Bridge by a few years.

I'm currently stuck on trying to find when the Whistler and Pemberton sections were paved, as all I can find are some vague years (1966 and 1975, respectively). The yearly reports from the Highway Ministry aren't all that clear either, so it's back to newspaper combing. I also need to dive deeper to find when the Sea to Sky Highway; the earliest mentions are from around 1985, so I presume it was being marketed as part of Expo 86. The provincial government had also worked on some rebuilding projects on the highway at the time, mostly in response to a bridge collapse that killed 9 people in 1981.
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andrepoiy

If you do have the information, don't hesitate to edit Wikipedia!

The Ontario articles are relatively well written simply because someone painstakingly sifted through old archives and stuff to write them!

splashflash

#92
The West Vancouver to Squamish section of the highway was simply known as the Squamish Highway, infamous of course for mudslides and washouts.  I can remember the M Creek washout reports on the news in the early 80s.  Part of the rebranding to Sea-to-Sky was probably to allay fears some people had from the early 80's and pitch the tourism aspect, especially Whistler.

A book by R.G. Harvey, carving the Western Path, aRoutes to Remember, has a good segment on the debris torrents in HowemWound in the early 80's.  He describes some of the remedial actions by highways crews in the mid 80's.

The segment of highway through the Mount Currie Indian Reserve north of Pemberton actually stayed unpaved years after the Duffey Lake Road was paved, even though it was signed 99.  It certainly kept the traffic slower.

You must be able to find the annual BC Highways tourism maps of that era, mid 1960's to 70's.  They were available at all chambers of commerce and tourism bureaus.  They were pretty accurate when it came to pavement, as the governments of the time  knew asphalt equalled votes.  The later ones from the mid 80's on showed towns as all the same font size and missed details of the earler maps.

Bruce

Quote from: splashflash on December 10, 2022, 12:40:31 PM
The segment of highway through the Mount Currie Indian Reserve north of Pemberton actually stayed unpaved years after the Duffey Lake Road was paved, even though it was signed 99.  It certainly kept the traffic slower.

You must be able to find the annual BC Highways tourism maps of that era, mid 1960's to 70's.  They were available at all chambers of commerce and tourism bureaus.  They were pretty accurate when it came to pavement, as the governments of the time  knew asphalt equalled votes.  The later ones from the mid 80's on showed towns as all the same font size and missed details of the earler maps.

Already found some newspaper clippings for the Mount Currie situation, which included a blockade and standoff. Unfortunately the maps aren't readily available to me, since I'm not willing to pay $10+shipping for a map on eBay that may or may not be in good condition. Plus, they're not exactly usable as citations on Wikipedia amid the current climate there.
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splashflash

I assume you are looking at these types of files?https://open.library.ubc.ca/viewer/bcsessional/1.0377971#p6z0r0f:

They do have highway district info on paving. 

And yes, the Wikipedia pages for BC highways has improved in the last year or so, with history before 1953.  Perhaps this partly owing to researchers like you.

Stephane Dumas

#95
I once mentioned it on the late Canroads mailing list and I thought it might be good to re-mention it here. I saw these old pictures posted on Skyscraperpage forums where TCH-1 was known as TCH-401.
https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showpost.php?p=5737743&postcount=3353

Edit: Looks like I also did a thread on AARoads about it, sorry. :-/ https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=6978.0

haljackey


compdude787

Wow, all those new bridges are quite a sight to behold. This is truly an engineering marvel! I can't wait to drive on it once it's done.

webny99

Random question (cross-posted to the Washington thread): Why are commercial vehicles (trucks/buses) banned from using the Peach Arch border crossing between BC and Washington? The only information I can find online is that it's been that way since 1970, but no explanation as to why that's the case. Any insight appreciated!

jakeroot

Quote from: webny99 on March 04, 2023, 11:56:00 AM
Random question (cross-posted to the Washington thread): Why are commercial vehicles (trucks/buses) banned from using the Peach Arch border crossing between BC and Washington? The only information I can find online is that it's been that way since 1970, but no explanation as to why that's the case. Any insight appreciated!

As noted in the Washington thread, there is a parallel truck route 1.5 km east (BC-15, WA-543).



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