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Regional Boards => Canada => Topic started by: Chris on April 23, 2009, 12:02:55 PM

Title: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Chris on April 23, 2009, 12:02:55 PM
Ontario traffic volumes 2005 (http://www.raqsa.mto.gov.on.ca/techpubs/TrafficVolumes.nsf/fa027808647879788525708a004b5df8/f51986ea499a13b08525745f006dd30b/$FILE/2005%20Annual%20Average%20Daily%20Traffic%20(AADT).pdf)

Busiest:

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

Satellite picture of this section:
(http://i44.tinypic.com/wgutde.jpg)

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.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: un1 on April 23, 2009, 01:42:40 PM
Yep, though the traffic is going down, it was 600,000 a few years ago.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Chris on April 23, 2009, 01:55:06 PM
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?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: un1 on April 23, 2009, 02:10:37 PM
I believe it was the 2002 AADT, but I will double check, if I can find it...
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 23, 2009, 09:01:13 PM
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:
(http://www.onthighways.com/hwy_401_images/401_cl_346_east.jpg)

Crazy interchanges too!
(http://geography.uwo.ca/maplibrary/images/ortho_samples/sco_2002.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: vdeane on April 24, 2009, 02:11:57 PM
401 is certainly a highway of extremes - perhaps the busiest in the world in Toronto, but just 300 km to the east it's your typical rural freeway.  And the speed limit's the same!
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 28, 2009, 01:08:53 PM
Yep its so extreme they not only rely on CCTV cameras for info, the highway even has its own traffic simulator!

Here's an example of simulating traffic patterns compared to CCTV feed:
(http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/9504/217hwy401impactassessme.jpg)

Interesting eh?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Bryant5493 on April 28, 2009, 11:35:34 PM
Going to have to ride on the 401 one day.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Chris on April 29, 2009, 04:51:27 AM
Georgia 401 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_75_in_Georgia) ;)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Bryant5493 on April 29, 2009, 10:11:07 AM
^^ Touché. :-D

Let me re-phrase. One day, I hope to ride on the 401 in Toronto, Ontario.


Be well,

Bryant
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Sykotyk on May 01, 2009, 10:44:46 PM
I drove on the 401, but, oddly enough, never the 'busy' stretch. I've gone in from Sarnia to the QEW and down along the SkyDome, and then back to the 401 on my way to Montreal.

Ontario's freeways are fun to drive. Once the Autoroutes in Quebec get a little more connectivity (and that gap on the A20 is removed) will make for a nice drive from Windsor or Sarnia to Quebec City.

Sykotyk
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Truvelo on June 13, 2009, 02:44:58 PM
I've just come back from Ontario which involved using part of the 401.

These pictures were taken at around 3pm and the traffic was stationary in places. The VMS signs are amusing though, such as the ones about idling and keeping your distance.

(http://www.speedcam.co.uk/d70/401a.jpg)
(http://www.speedcam.co.uk/d70/401b.jpg)
(http://www.speedcam.co.uk/d70/401c.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Hellfighter on June 13, 2009, 08:03:16 PM
Why are there both blue and green signs?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Alps on June 13, 2009, 08:24:34 PM
Why are there both blue and green signs?
Blue = C/D road, green = main freeway
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Hellfighter on June 13, 2009, 09:30:49 PM
Why are there both blue and green signs?
Blue = C/D road, green = main freeway

Oh, so like the blue signs are for the local lanes and the green signs are for the express lanes?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Bickendan on June 29, 2009, 07:37:46 PM
Exactly.
The 401 is one fun freeway to drive.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: mightyace on June 29, 2009, 07:40:39 PM
Exactly.
The 401 is one fun freeway to drive.

To each his own, I drove the 401 once in 1994 and that was enough for me.  I'll take a rural freeway with great scenery any day.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on August 16, 2009, 01:12:55 PM
This is a rare sight:

(http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/3581/evacuatedhighway401.jpg)
IMG WIDTH=800.  NOT 1024.  PLEASE GET IT RIGHT! <- your friendly but incessant moderator

Full size:  http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/3581/evacuatedhighway401.jpg (http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/3581/evacuatedhighway401.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: agentsteel53 on August 16, 2009, 07:31:15 PM
who's the schmuck?  clearly an SUV driver!
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: yanksfan6129 on August 16, 2009, 10:22:01 PM
^^Kind of reminds me of the streets of Pyongyang (and North Korea in general). There are empty streets and freeways because most people don't/aren't allowed to own cars.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Hellfighter on August 17, 2009, 07:36:42 PM
Uhh, who told everybody they can't drive?  :-o
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Bickendan on August 18, 2009, 02:04:04 AM
Yeah, that's just a little bit bizarre... OTOH, empty freeway, one lone SUV in the local lanes... shot for an apocalyptic movie, perhaps?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: mightyace on August 18, 2009, 11:50:06 AM
Or maybe, one hell of an impressive Photoshop job!  :-D
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: yanksfan6129 on August 18, 2009, 08:22:39 PM
I'm pretty sure that was from a time when the highway was evacuated after an accident.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Bickendan on August 18, 2009, 10:24:13 PM
Possibly the plane crash near the freeway a few years back?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on August 19, 2009, 01:10:21 AM
Possibly the plane crash near the freeway a few years back?

Couldn't be.  You would have seen the airport in the shot then.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: PAHighways on August 20, 2009, 02:44:35 PM
Possibly the plane crash near the freeway a few years back?

Every live shot that I remember showing the crash site also showed the 401 (referenced as the Trans-Canada Highway by one report) in the background with traffic.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Stephane Dumas on August 20, 2009, 07:36:36 PM
+1
but does Hwy 401 was once closed during the 1979 train derailement at Mississauga? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Mississauga_train_derailment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Mississauga_train_derailment)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on August 21, 2009, 01:40:51 AM
+1
but does Hwy 401 was once closed during the 1979 train derailement at Mississauga? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Mississauga_train_derailment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Mississauga_train_derailment)

Can't be for that picture.  That's clearly a current SUV on the highway.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on December 14, 2009, 12:15:23 AM
Some more photos of the busy highway:

Interchange:
(http://www.onthighways.com/hwy_401_images/401_cl_346_west_c.jpg)

Collectors end:
(http://www.onthighways.com/hwy_401_images/401_cl_346_west_WB.jpg)

"Narrow" section:
(http://www.onthighways.com/hwy_401_images/401_cl_354_west.jpg)

Winter drive:
(http://www.onthighways.com/hwy_401_images/401_cl_357_Jan09_east.jpg)

Basketweave:
(http://www.onthighways.com/hwy_401_images/401_cl_359_east1.jpg)

Image credits: Onthighways.com (http://www.onthighways.com/)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: ctsignguy on December 15, 2009, 07:50:35 AM
*sigh* boy do those pictures bring back memories...

back from 1998-2004, i was chasing a cute chinese pharmacist in Toronto, and got to experience all the fun of the 401, Don Valley, 404, QEW, etc...and let me tell you, the 401 was plenty busy at night too! 

We met some friends after an anime convention, and we didnt part until close to 2AM.....and the 401 was still jam-packed with traffic.....reminded me of I-95 in New England
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on December 26, 2009, 11:29:45 AM
Yeah the thing is always busy.  Left the airport one time at like 4am and the thing was jammed even at its widest section.

I wish there was high speed rail instead so I don't have to drive to the airport anymore lol
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: yacoded on December 26, 2009, 03:06:59 PM
Haven't there always been plans to connect Union Station to Pearson through rail?  I think now they actually mean it, how can a "global city" have a crappy rail network.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: un1 on December 26, 2009, 03:27:55 PM
I don't think that Toronto has the money to do it, they spent the rest of it on the subway extension to Vaughn. However it would be a great addition, no matter what type of rail it is (however at this point it should probably be subway).

Ontario has a terrible transportation infrastructure, the only good thing is air, but that's only because airports are locally owned.

Also we are starting to veer of topic.. But since I made it worse, I guess it is acceptable for now.  :-P
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Bickendan on December 26, 2009, 05:27:20 PM
Ontario's freeway network is certainly interesting, but still, it's very hard to knock the 401's design.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: TheStranger on December 26, 2009, 07:35:26 PM
Ontario's freeway network is certainly interesting, but still, it's very hard to knock the 401's design.

I wonder how much the 401's large configuration in Metro Toronto was a consequence of the cancellation of the Gardiner extension eastward...
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on December 29, 2009, 10:49:39 PM
If you've looked at the 401 on Google Earth (or Maps) recently, you'll notice that the entire length of the route in the Toronto area has been completely redone, and has far greater clarity and resolution than before.  This also includes Google Streetview photos.

New view from Google Earth:
(http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/1236/clipboard01ii.jpg)

And Google Streetview:
(http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/63/clipboard01md.jpg)

Same spot in 1989 (20 years ago):
(http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/3066/401190800x600.jpg)

Its worth a look.  The recent improvements to the highway and new road construction is also visible.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: joseph1723 on December 30, 2009, 01:23:45 AM
^^^ Nice comparison of the 401 there haljackey, Did you get the 1989 photo off vintagekingshighways.com?. I often browse the photos there and have found them quite interesting especially since it shows Ontario's highways before most of them were reconstructed to modern standards.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: agentsteel53 on December 30, 2009, 03:06:06 AM
vintagekingshighways.com

wow, did not know Averill had a site!  excellent!!!!
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: un1 on December 30, 2009, 08:44:46 AM
Look at the difference in traffic!
Also note the 410 construction since then.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on December 30, 2009, 08:24:42 PM
Did you get the 1989 photo off vintagekingshighways.com?

I think I did.  I have a ton of photos on my hard drive... can't remember where I got everything lol

Look at the difference in traffic!

Traffic and the title of this thread go hand-in-hand.  :P



Since you guys seemed to like the comparison here's another one from one of the "narrow" sections of the highway in Toronto.

2009:
(http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/735/clipboard01vd.jpg)

Compare with 1989:
(http://img44.imageshack.us/img44/3420/40146.jpg)

I don't consider myself to be a roadgeek or whatever when it comes to signage, but the old one looks wacky compared to the new one.

Also, here's a cool satellite image from Google Earth of the 401 overpassing a golf course.  Note the construction between the collector and express lanes:
(http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/3973/clipboard01fa.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: un1 on December 30, 2009, 09:33:45 PM
That's neat hal! Looks like the ramps has less of a sharp curve, signs have completely changed. (In fact the sign on the 1989 picture are almost completely gone now, and are replaced with the newer ones) Same with the last pic, you can see a increase of traffic, but something different this time, traffic density doesn't seem to change much. I'm guessing that the 1989 pic was taken during rushhour and the current one was during low density times. :P

Also you already showed that last picture.  ;-)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: joseph1723 on December 31, 2009, 02:22:01 AM
Here's another one:

2009:
(http://img193.imageshack.us/img193/9372/dscn5100i.jpg)

1989 (from vintagekingshighways.com):
(http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/7660/40186.jpg)

A lot has changed over 20 years, all of the old "truss" lights were removed from this section and replaced with highmast lighting, signs and median barriers have replaced with the redesigned ones and tallwall barriers respectively. It looks like the only thing that wasn't changed was the Dufferin Road sign bridge.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Stojko on January 19, 2010, 05:21:38 PM
Nice shots. I'd like to drive on the 401 one day, I'm planning to drive to Ontario next summer (or the summer after, depending)... looks like quite the drive in the GTA, not so much in the eastern part of the province though. ;)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: joseph1723 on January 22, 2010, 07:28:49 PM
Thanks, here's another shot of the 401 taken at around 4:35 pm today showing all of the nice traffic  :) :
(http://img230.imageshack.us/img230/7015/dscn6266z.jpg)


Just for a comparison here's one from the summer of 1989 at around the same position:
(http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/9026/40190.jpg)
(from vintagekingshighways.com)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: KEK Inc. on March 15, 2010, 03:38:26 AM
This is a rare sight:

(http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/3581/evacuatedhighway401.jpg)
IMG WIDTH=800.  NOT 1024.  PLEASE GET IT RIGHT! <- your friendly but incessant moderator

Full size:  http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/3581/evacuatedhighway401.jpg (http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/3581/evacuatedhighway401.jpg)
Oh, that's a cool shot.  Is there a colored version?  I made it my new desktop background.

I did some quick googling and I think it was a result of a mass evacuation for a propane fire. 

http://toronto.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20080810/to_explo_080810/20080810/?hub=TorontoNewHome

Now, the article has a picture of the isolated highway, but the pavement is wet. 
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 08, 2010, 02:23:48 PM
Here's something interesting:

Red asphalt.
(http://img176.imageshack.us/img176/1481/clipboard01ok.png)

A lot of sections of the 401 were paved with reddish-coloured asphalt in the 80s/90s.  Only a few segments remain as they are resurfaced with standard black asphalt.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: mightyace on April 08, 2010, 06:10:47 PM
^^^

Red asphalt has been fairly common around my hometown of Bloomsburg, PA due to the prevalence of red sandstone and shale in the region.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: un1 on April 08, 2010, 08:38:36 PM
Red asphalt is common here too because of all the rocks made of iron in the area, in fact until they rebuilt the highways around here the past few years it was all red (and old).
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Chris on April 09, 2010, 10:41:23 AM
I've seen it occasionally in Europe as well, but certainly not something you'll encounter every day. That said, asphalt can be made in virtually any color. We have red bicycle lanes in the Netherlands.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 09, 2010, 11:07:38 AM
I've seen it occasionally in Europe as well, but certainly not something you'll encounter every day. That said, asphalt can be made in virtually any color. We have red bicycle lanes in the Netherlands.

They might have been painted red or had some red colour mixed into the asphalt.  It doesn't make a lot of sense trucking in red asphalt from far away just to make the bike lanes.

Red asphalt is prominent west of the Greater Toronto area.  The 401 in region of Waterloo (city of Kitchener) is almost entirely red asphalt.  However, as widening and resurfacing projects continue, black asphalt will continue to replace it.

(http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/2034/hwy401188lg.jpg)
(image originally from thekingshighway)

Kitchener's location relative to London and Toronto
(http://img684.imageshack.us/img684/540/clipboard02xn.jpg)
(image originally from Google Earth)

Extending the collector/express system to Kitchener is in the Ontario Ministry of Transportation's long term planning list.  However, it probably won't happen until the 2030's if it even happens at all.

There's talk of adding a HOV lane and an extra travel lane or two in each direction as an alternative.  Either plan is good, because the population of this region is exploding and it is a bedroom community of Toronto.  What they really need to consider is either making a new highway or building a true HSR or full commuter rail line from K/W to Toronto and London.



EDIT:  While I'm talking about Kitchener, there are plans for upgrading the highway 401/8 interchange.  This is the busiest major junction in the region.
-Expected completion is 2017.  The preferred design is to have it accommodate a wider road or future collector/express system and have it end here.
(http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/1460/img0007h800x600.jpg)
(image originally from Duke-of-Waterloo from W0onderful Waterloo) More info here: http://www.wonderfulwaterloo.com/showthread.php/64-Hwy.-401-8-Interchange (http://www.wonderfulwaterloo.com/showthread.php/64-Hwy.-401-8-Interchange)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 19, 2010, 02:36:48 PM
I think this is the busiest section of the busiest road on earth:

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2735/4402824098_48ce2d7d19_b.jpg)

Full size here (3888 x 2592):
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2735/4402824098_661d8eeaf2_o.jpg (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2735/4402824098_661d8eeaf2_o.jpg)

There are a lot of lanes here, but even more are needed to reduce congestion and improve overall traffic flow.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Truvelo on April 19, 2010, 02:56:30 PM
If more lanes are needed than a cheap way of doing it would be to convert the shoulders into running lanes during busy periods. That ought to give an extra four lanes at minimal cost.

As for the picture, whoever took it must have been stationary in the fast lane of the 400 to 401 East ramp where the yellow vehicle is here (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=eglinton+ave+toronto&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=20.121063,57.084961&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Eglinton+Avenue,+Canada&ll=43.716214,-79.518615&spn=0.000752,0.002253&t=k&z=20) (http://www.sabre-roads.org.uk/forum/images/smilies/cop.gif)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 19, 2010, 04:22:25 PM
If more lanes are needed than a cheap way of doing it would be to convert the shoulders into running lanes during busy periods. That ought to give an extra four lanes at minimal cost.

That will never happen.  Paved inner and outer shoulders are a minimum safety design standard here, no matter what time of day it is.

It looks like there is room for an extra lane or two on the collector carriageways, but due to the median the express lanes cannot be widened.  Even if the median was destroyed and moved there are several support pillars from the 400 interchange that connect with the median.

Needless to say, if you want to significantly widen the road, significant reconstruction of interchanges is needed.  The right of way could easily accommodate many more lanes if the basketweave were removed/reconstructed.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Chris on April 20, 2010, 09:05:07 AM
Left shoulders are really not necessary when there are only 3 lanes on a roadway. I think it is recommended from 4 lanes or more, but 5 lanes and no left shoulders are common as well..
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Brandon on April 20, 2010, 10:23:57 AM
Left shoulders are really not necessary when there are only 3 lanes on a roadway. I think it is recommended from 4 lanes or more, but 5 lanes and no left shoulders are common as well..

However, using US Interstate standards (which seem to be followed in Ontario), one needs a full left shoulder when a roadway is 3 lanes or more.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 20, 2010, 11:25:19 AM
Left shoulders are really not necessary when there are only 3 lanes on a roadway. I think it is recommended from 4 lanes or more, but 5 lanes and no left shoulders are common as well..

Modern safety design standards here require a full paved shoulder on the left and right side of the carriageway along with a median.

Even 2x2 sections require this:
(http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/3350/clipboard04q.png)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Truvelo on April 20, 2010, 11:33:36 AM
I think left and right shoulders for 2+2 is a little over the top. I always thought the UK had the one of the most toughest requirements for freeway standard roads yet even our 6+6 doesn't have shoulders along the median, see here (http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=51.482292,-0.503311&spn=0,0.036049&z=16&layer=c&cbll=51.483693,-0.500665&panoid=MXb4NNyRtmj5DltN8qJqIQ&cbp=12,202.43,,0,11.32).
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Brandon on April 20, 2010, 11:45:31 AM
This is one of the narrower modern (lane added in 2008-9) medians I can think of (I-55 in Will County, Illinois).  It's a pre-Interstate freeway (built 1956) that recently had the left lane added.  It makes for interesting rush hour driving when someone breaks down on the left.
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=41.612041,-88.165712&spn=0,0.143852&z=14&layer=c&cbll=41.616596,-88.16353&panoid=pUGHkZGIV_f5h4aNtOSWoQ&cbp=12,171.81,,0,9.46

By contrast, here's a section of I-55 in DuPage County with a much wider shoulder.
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=41.728873,-87.974374&spn=0,0.035963&z=16&layer=c&cbll=41.73136,-87.973102&panoid=OXWRkyNL8fNIDBN7tm09xA&cbp=12,247.6,,0,6.61
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: english si on April 20, 2010, 11:57:09 AM
I think left and right shoulders for 2+2 is a little over the top. I always thought the UK had the one of the most toughest requirements for freeway standard roads yet even our 6+6 doesn't have shoulders along the median, see here (http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=51.482292,-0.503311&spn=0,0.036049&z=16&layer=c&cbll=51.483693,-0.500665&panoid=MXb4NNyRtmj5DltN8qJqIQ&cbp=12,202.43,,0,11.32).
Of course, the 1989 orbit study looking at how wide the M25 should be (and ruling that the 6x6 bit has the traffic for 5 lanes each way then - only waiting about 17 years for it to finally be widened!) decided that you shouldn't have 5-lane motorway carriageways (but do 3+2, 3+3, 4+2 or 4+3 instead) and also that any carriageway 4 lanes wide and above should have inside shoulders.

Other than the upgrading of the A404, A312 and a few other roads that are designed to deal with round London local and orbital traffic relieving the M25, Orbit was pretty much ignored - the widening schedule is about 15 years behind Orbit and never as ambitious/extreme. Likewise we've gone, for cost reasons, down the line of wide carriageways, rather than collector-distributor systems, and (also for cost reasons) ditched the idea of inside shoulders - a lane is a better use of space seems to be the prevailing attitude, which seems anti-shoulders (ditching them when bridges or something gets in the way and it would cost too much to sort, or even turning them into extra lanes during busy times and also rarely building them on new roads, such as the new A494, which links two bits of road with shoulders!)

I think the M2 heading out of Belfast is the only road in the UK to have had inside shoulders as part of a permanent plan (parts since turned into another lane), as opposed to a temporary solution to stop there being a capacity decrease where there's not a junction until the road is upgraded further (eg A1(M) at Hook Moor, before the bit south of Micklefield was built).
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 20, 2010, 04:17:59 PM
I think left and right shoulders for 2+2 is a little over the top. I always thought the UK had the one of the most toughest requirements for freeway standard roads yet even our 6+6 doesn't have shoulders along the median, see here (http://maps.google.co.uk/?ie=UTF8&ll=51.482292,-0.503311&spn=0,0.036049&z=16&layer=c&cbll=51.483693,-0.500665&panoid=MXb4NNyRtmj5DltN8qJqIQ&cbp=12,202.43,,0,11.32).

That's one of the reasons why Ontario has the safest roads in North America year after year after year I guess.  :spin:
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Chris on April 20, 2010, 04:57:04 PM
Ontario has a lot more freeway travels than average in Canada, and freeways happen to be the safest roads around.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: The Premier on April 20, 2010, 05:55:46 PM
Left shoulders are really not necessary when there are only 3 lanes on a roadway. I think it is recommended from 4 lanes or more, but 5 lanes and no left shoulders are common as well..

Modern safety design standards here require a full paved shoulder on the left and right side of the carriageway along with a median.

Even 2x2 sections require this:
(http://img52.imageshack.us/img52/3350/clipboard04q.png)

I see no need for a jersey barrier if its less than 3 lanes. A median cable-type barrier makes more sense. A left shoulder is also not needed as the left lane is traditionally the fast lane.


It looks like there is room for an extra lane or two on the collector carriageways, but due to the median the express lanes cannot be widened.  Even if the median was destroyed and moved there are several support pillars from the 400 interchange that connect with the median.

Needless to say, if you want to significantly widen the road, significant reconstruction of interchanges is needed.  The right of way could easily accommodate many more lanes if the basketweave were removed/reconstructed.

I mentioned on the a tread regarding adding more lanes on the 401 and other freeways in the Toronto area on the fictional freeways section of the forum. I mentioned about the need to build more freeways in that area. The problem with that is that there were too much opposition.
The issue with rebuilding or widening of an freeway, especially in urban areas, is that you have to worry about a residence to be seized to allow it. The closure of a particular ramp could prompt travel roads that already can't take the load as it is, creating more congestion on both the freeway and the adjacent roads.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: 3467 on April 20, 2010, 10:58:19 PM
I used to drive the 401 a lot in the 80s, when my relatives in Toronto were alive.
I recall gravel shoulders from [insert destination - S] to London.  When did those go?
I asked an Iowa DOT engineer why the DOT uses gravel for UNpaved shoulders on lightly traveled 4 lane roads.  He told me if the project will fully reconstruct the existing road [I have no clue what "plus new" means, so I'm dropping it from the discussion], the shoulders protect the main road from deterioration and save money in the long run. That seems strange of Iowa.  [Why did you say Illinois?  You first said roads in Iowa, or "iowa," so I'm sticking to it.  And I agree, this does sound strange. -S]
I do know Los Angeles and/or Louisiana [no telling what OP meant] allowed shoulder running in rush hour in the past.  [Here's the rest of your periods: ............... -S]  I don't think there would be anything wrong wth allowing it for limited times and only on the left shoulder [S note: That makes no sense, left shoulders are never full width], but Illinois [or is it Iowa? who cares], like Ontario, has been dead set against it.  [Removed "except on no shoulder 55" because that makes as much sense as "plus new"]

Fixed grammar to be presentable.  Don't care if intent was altered.  If posters insist on disobeying basic rules of grammar and spelling, they get what they deserve.  -S
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 25, 2010, 08:01:58 PM
Also keep in mind that the 401 (along with the other 400-series highways) is in Canada. Having left and right shoulders means there's a place to put all that snow when the plows come by.

In the wider sections of the 401, the snowplows join in a large formation and clear the highway in one fowl swoop. They also don't care about traffic, so you usually see a ton of cars following the plows from behind.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: mightyace on April 26, 2010, 12:31:20 AM
In the wider sections of the 401, the snowplows join in a large formation and clear the highway in one fowl swoop. They also don't care about traffic, so you usually see a ton of cars following the plows from behind.

I guess if they cared about traffic, they'd never get it done.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on April 26, 2010, 03:35:02 PM
Also keep in mind that the 401 (along with the other 400-series highways) is in Canada. Having left and right shoulders means there's a place to put all that snow when the plows come by.

They've done the same thing on I-279 here in the North Hills of Pittsburgh.  I remember it mostly when we had the Blizzard of '93 video's.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on May 10, 2010, 01:45:54 AM
Here's two shots of some construction along Highway 401 in Mississauga I took on Saturday. When complete, the road will be widened from 6 to 12 lanes, and have a collector/express system west of Highway 403 and 410. The interchange with Hurontario Street will also be reconstructed as part of the project.

(http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/5465/clipboard01lm800x600.jpg)

(http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/6803/ml800x600.jpg)

Forgive the bad weather and image quality. I was trying out a new camera, and I think I am going to return it based on the results.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: agentsteel53 on May 10, 2010, 02:14:02 AM
Forgive the bad weather and image quality. I was trying out a new camera, and I think I am going to return it based on the results.

"I'd like to return this camera; every time I try to take a picture, it's cloudy!"

It seems like your photos are being saved at a high-compression/low-quality JPEG setting.  Have you tried playing with that option on your camera, to see if saving at the highest possible quality (largest file size) has an effect?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on May 10, 2010, 01:32:23 PM
Nah I wasn't just these pictures, all the images from my camera are grainy.

I was using this (http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/canon-canon-powershot-14-1mp-digital-camera-sd1400is-black-sd1400is/10140085.aspx?path=09c8b545d80c52e746782473087b39f5en02). I think I might upgrade to this (http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/sony-sony-cyber-shot-10-2mp-digital-camera-dsc-hx5vb-black-dsc-hx5vb/10140567.aspx?path=dfba68fb1774e3a82f2de5512e1d0451en02&lid=fp-10140567-sonysonycybershot102mpdigitalc-en).

I had a lot more pictures too, but they all came out blury.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Truvelo on May 10, 2010, 02:39:27 PM
Grainy images are caused by high ISO. By default cameras are set to automatically adjust the ISO to suit the lighting. Dull and dark conditions will cause the camera to increase the sensitivity (ISO) to keep the shutter speed high but this also causes noise (grain) because of the camera's high pixel density. Try setting the ISO to manual and select the lowest option - 80 to 100 depending on the camera.

If you want clean images at higher ISO's you'll need a camera with a bigger sensor. This (http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/nikon-d300s-12-1mp-dslr-camera-body-only/10130522.aspx?path=2c823a0868054ec3062ef416a1904971en02) is the camera I use most often for road pictures although mine is the older non S version.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on May 20, 2010, 02:55:28 PM
A new video has been made today showing Highway 401's most congested and widest points.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltcme5qIL9s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltcme5qIL9s)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Truvelo on May 28, 2010, 02:43:56 PM
I recognise the eastbound queue at Eglinton Ave. When I drove that section last year the eastbound lanes were crawling on both occasions.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: The Premier on May 28, 2010, 06:53:18 PM

(http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/5465/clipboard01lm800x600.jpg)

(http://img200.imageshack.us/img200/6803/ml800x600.jpg)

Forgive the bad weather and image quality. I was trying out a new camera, and I think I am going to return it based on the results.

That explains the orange lines for the lanes.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 04, 2010, 12:28:50 PM
Here's a rare pic: Highway 401 with no traffic!

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Evacuated_Highway_401.jpg/800px-Evacuated_Highway_401.jpg)
Ok, one car is driving on it...

This section of the highway was closed during the 2008 Toronto Propane Explosion as a safety measure due to it's proximity to the main blasts. It reminds me of those wide, deserted highways in North Korea.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: agentsteel53 on June 04, 2010, 12:41:02 PM
how did OJ Simpson's white bronco get on there?  :-D
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: The Premier on June 04, 2010, 04:54:29 PM
Probably its an emergency vehicle.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on June 04, 2010, 07:55:55 PM
Here's a rare pic: Highway 401 with no traffic!

{snip}
Ok, one car is driving on it...

This section of the highway was closed during the 2008 Toronto Propane Explosion as a safety measure due to it's proximity to the main blasts. It reminds me of those wide, deserted highways in North Korea.

Um Hal, you already posted that same picture in this thread.  Look on page 1.
http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=808.msg33883#msg33883
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 05, 2010, 01:20:57 AM
Um Hal, you already posted that same picture in this thread.  Look on page 1.

lol, you're right!

Here's something new then. One of Highway 401's rural sections.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bd/Highway_401_Hilly.jpg/800px-Highway_401_Hilly.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: national highway 1 on June 05, 2010, 04:13:15 AM
Here's something new then. One of Highway 401's rural sections.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bd/Highway_401_Hilly.jpg/800px-Highway_401_Hilly.jpg)
Haljackey, is that red/pink pavement on the right 2 lanes of the carriageway? I can see 3 shades of pavement on 1 section of hwy!
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 05, 2010, 10:34:56 AM
Haljackey, is that red/pink pavement on the right 2 lanes of the carriageway? I can see 3 shades of pavement on 1 section of hwy!

Yep, that's red asphalt, which was part of the original 401 in this area. It used to be 4 lanes with a grassy median, but they filled it in to put in an extra lane in each direction along with the median, and made paved shoulders to the side. That's why there's so much colour in the shot.

Although this section is currently in the process of being completely resurfaced, so it should all be one colour (black) when completed.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: vdeane on June 05, 2010, 12:32:03 PM
You call that rural?  Try this...
http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&hl=en&hq=&hnear=Rochester,+Monroe,+New+York&ll=44.429735,-75.854759&spn=0,0.222301&z=13&layer=c&cbll=44.430193,-75.896974&panoid=LMgL-mqTYknM7qWpw3rTSQ&cbp=12,39.02,,0,4.1
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 18, 2010, 02:01:41 AM
Here's a few more shots of mine.

Highway 401 from the Wellington Road overpass in London, Ontario.

Looking east:
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4023/4709993687_74654c49a5_b.jpg)

Looking west:
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4054/4710634690_ec4fbf71f1_b.jpg)

Bonus: zoom in looking west showing the Highway 401/402 interchange in the distance.
(http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1294/4709989587_46f812f203_b.jpg)

Hope you enjoy them!
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on September 12, 2010, 07:05:46 PM
This ain't your average widening project. Highway 401 is being widened in the city of Mississauga (just west of Toronto) from six to fourteen lanes!

Some construction pics from Wikipedia:

Looking at the 401/403/410 mega-interchange
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3b/401-403-410_and_Construction_crop.png/800px-401-403-410_and_Construction_crop.png)

Here's a new basketweave system under construction.
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/59/New_Basketweave.png/800px-New_Basketweave.png)

Schematics of the new cross-section from MMM Group and the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO):
(http://htmlimg1.scribdassets.com/ieeep8t91r980jk/images/1-f4f82393d4/000.jpg)

(http://htmlimg1.scribdassets.com/ieed9uur0b5gg0/images/1-f93855ceab/000.jpg)

Link to a dedicated thread about it on Urban Toronto: 401/Hurontario Reconstruction Starts Sept 2009: http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.ph...hlight=highway (http://urbantoronto.ca/showthread.ph...hlight=highway)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: bogdown on September 19, 2010, 10:32:25 PM
Driven 401 from the 403/410 to the 35/115 bout a month ago, very differing changes of road, especially East of North York
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on November 01, 2010, 08:21:09 PM
Highest AADT in Canada is 431,900 along Highway 401. (As of 2006)

Photo of the segment:
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4135/4765657608_1c9a3782aa_b.jpg)

This section of highway also gets nearly 505,000 during the summer months (SAWDT).

Source: http://www.raqsb.mto.gov.on.ca/techpubs/TrafficVolumes.nsf/fa027808647879788525708a004b5df8/b584ea36565db6108525745f006dd90a/$FILE/Provincial%20Highways%20traffic%20Volumes%201988-2006.pdf (http://"http://www.raqsb.mto.gov.on.ca/techpubs/TrafficVolumes.nsf/fa027808647879788525708a004b5df8/b584ea36565db6108525745f006dd90a/$FILE/Provincial%20Highways%20traffic%20Volumes%201988-2006.pdf") (page 595)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cubssoxfan on March 08, 2011, 05:30:06 PM
Every few years I drive this stretch on my way from Chicago area to St. Jean outside of Montreal.  Only stretch that is more stressful is getting through Montreal, which has an antiquated Autoroute system in much of Montreal.
QUESTION: How are tolls collected on 407 and do they allow camper-trailers?
I would love to bypass 401 through Toronto and the small gap east of the Metro area wouldn't bother me unless it is unbelievably congested.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: PAHighways on March 08, 2011, 07:45:08 PM
It's all electronic tolling, so fares are collected via 407ETR transponders or they take a picture of your license plate and send you a bill for your trip depending on the fare schedule (http://www.407etr.com/About/custserv_fees.asp).
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cubssoxfan on March 15, 2011, 04:24:34 PM
It's all electronic tolling, so fares are collected via 407ETR transponders or they take a picture of your license plate and send you a bill for your trip depending on the fare schedule (http://www.407etr.com/About/custserv_fees.asp).
Thanks, I calculated a toll of $19 (makes the Chicago area tolls seem like a bargain!)  from hwy 401 to the end at hwy 7.  How much time will it save me in afternoon rush? How easy is it to go south on hwy 7 and reconnect with 401? Am I better reconnecting farther east?  Are trailers allowed?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: PAHighways on March 18, 2011, 12:46:26 AM
I've never been on the 407 ETR, so I can't answer those questions.  However, I am guessing that trailers are allowed since they allow 18-wheelers.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on March 18, 2011, 02:51:02 PM
I have no idea how much time would save. It's all dependent on traffic conditions on Highways 401 and 407. The easternmost freeway link between the 401 and 407 is Highway 404. Going any further east on Highway 407 means you need to take surface streets to reach 401.

Trailers are allowed to use the 407, but very few do because of very high tolls.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 22, 2014, 08:36:27 PM
Arguably my best timelapse road video: Highway 401 through Toronto.

It includes a lane counter in the annotations

Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on May 11, 2014, 03:05:48 AM
Haljackey, I want you to know, the only real reason I like roads is because of my SimCity 4, and that was spurred by your insane creations. Thanks for creating cool shit! I play CXL now, but I still have a place for SC4 in my heart.  :-D

EDIT: My camera also had overheating issues while dashcamming near Seattle a couple weeks ago. iPhone?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on May 27, 2014, 10:06:43 PM
Haljackey, I want you to know, the only real reason I like roads is because of my SimCity 4, and that was spurred by your insane creations. Thanks for creating cool shit! I play CXL now, but I still have a place for SC4 in my heart.  :-D

EDIT: My camera also had overheating issues while dashcamming near Seattle a couple weeks ago. iPhone?

Thanks, glad you liked my creations.

I use a Nikon D3200 with a 35mm prime lens.



Here is the 401 through Toronto in the opposite direction at night.

Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 05, 2015, 12:53:31 PM
I love the cityscape developing around the 401 throughout Toronto.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ee/Highway_401_in_Toronto.jpg/1280px-Highway_401_in_Toronto.jpg)

Source: ME! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Highway_401_in_Toronto.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: 1995hoo on April 05, 2015, 12:59:11 PM
I'm sure I have commented on this before, but I've always liked the convention of using the blue signs over the collector lanes and the green signs over the express lanes. I think it makes more sense than the MUTCD system of using the same color for all guide signs and then mandating extra banners on top of the signs to ensure the dumbest drivers out there understand that a sign over a different carriageway is directed at people on that carriageway.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on April 05, 2015, 08:30:32 PM
I'm sure I have commented on this before, but I've always liked the convention of using the blue signs over the collector lanes and the green signs over the express lanes. I think it makes more sense than the MUTCD system of using the same color for all guide signs and then mandating extra banners on top of the signs to ensure the dumbest drivers out there understand that a sign over a different carriageway is directed at people on that carriageway.

What are the chances that the MUTCD might one day allow this sort of signage? I too think it's genius, and would love to see it implemented into the manual.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on April 06, 2015, 09:35:18 AM
I'd like to see HOT lanes get purple signage for this reason as well.  Purple signs would be a great solution for the HOT lanes on the 495 Capitol Beltway for example.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: ARMOURERERIC on April 06, 2015, 11:34:45 AM
FWIW, I watched a fun little movie called "The Art of the Steal" with Kurt Russle last weekend, had quite a bit of road scenes along the 401 between London and Windsor, an Ambassador Bridge crossing and a D-W tunnel drive.  Plus a lot of around Quebec City, Niagara Falls ON, Detroit and Windsor hang out scenes.  Watched the movie like 3 times.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: MisterSG1 on April 06, 2015, 04:56:08 PM
I'm sure I have commented on this before, but I've always liked the convention of using the blue signs over the collector lanes and the green signs over the express lanes. I think it makes more sense than the MUTCD system of using the same color for all guide signs and then mandating extra banners on top of the signs to ensure the dumbest drivers out there understand that a sign over a different carriageway is directed at people on that carriageway.

What are the chances that the MUTCD might one day allow this sort of signage? I too think it's genius, and would love to see it implemented into the manual.

The funny thing is, if you actually mentally think about it, the places which do have an express-local type of setup. (I never liked the term "collectors" too much, it does make sense to us roadgeeks, but I think local sounds better) I can only think of a handful off the top of my head, all seem to do it drastically different. The one outside my own backyard that I am most familiar with is the one on I-96 in Detroit.

The only thing I would like to see, even though it's my own nitpicking, is the 401 collector to express transfer east of Dixie somehow acknowledging that you must move to the express to stay on the 401, some would argue this part is not part of the main express-collector system. Remember that signs on the 403, and now signs on the 401 around Mavis Road acknowledge this as an express-collector system now.

As for blue guide signs, while within the GTA, any situation that resembles an express-collector system gets blue signs, such as on the 404, 400, the Gardiner, and parts of the 403. (NOTE: Hwy 403 signs in EB Collectors that show the diagram sign for Hwy 410/410 and the exit only signs are still green when they should be blue) However, they are nowhere to be found on the Conestoga Parkway in that area around where the Hwy 7 exit is, when that has a short express-collector system.

You may say that's short, well so is the one for the Gardiner, and especially, Hwy 404, but why do those have blue signs while the one in the Conestoga Parkway does not.

Sure I like the idea of different carriageways having different colors, but where do we draw the line, in Greater Buffalo close to the Lackawanna Toll Barrier on I-90, there is something that does resemble an express-collector system there, should the signs in the outer carriageways get different colors than the mainline? As I recall, the outer carriageways go to US-219.

These are some ramblings by me.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: mrsman on April 07, 2015, 07:16:47 PM
I'm sure I have commented on this before, but I've always liked the convention of using the blue signs over the collector lanes and the green signs over the express lanes. I think it makes more sense than the MUTCD system of using the same color for all guide signs and then mandating extra banners on top of the signs to ensure the dumbest drivers out there understand that a sign over a different carriageway is directed at people on that carriageway.

What are the chances that the MUTCD might one day allow this sort of signage? I too think it's genius, and would love to see it implemented into the manual.

The El Monte Busway along the I-10 freeway east of Los Angeles had signs with white background and black letters.  Originally all the signs had signs like that to distinguish the busway from the regular freeway.  These signs were that way even when HOV-3 drivers were allowed to join.  Now, it seems that there are green signs for everything except for the bus only ramps.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on April 08, 2015, 11:44:21 AM
I'm sure I have commented on this before, but I've always liked the convention of using the blue signs over the collector lanes and the green signs over the express lanes. I think it makes more sense than the MUTCD system of using the same color for all guide signs and then mandating extra banners on top of the signs to ensure the dumbest drivers out there understand that a sign over a different carriageway is directed at people on that carriageway.

What are the chances that the MUTCD might one day allow this sort of signage? I too think it's genius, and would love to see it implemented into the manual.

The El Monte Busway along the I-10 freeway east of Los Angeles had signs with white background and black letters.  Originally all the signs had signs like that to distinguish the busway from the regular freeway.  These signs were that way even when HOV-3 drivers were allowed to join.  Now, it seems that there are green signs for everything except for the bus only ramps.

Interesting. And that reminds me: Washington, as with other states, signs HOV/HOT lanes with white signs to distinguish between GP and diamond lanes.

But then I-90 with its express lanes uses a smattering of white and green, despite being HOV-only (and in fact, has a couple of black on green HOV signs, a la Caltrans).
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: 1995hoo on April 13, 2015, 08:43:35 PM
The HOV lanes—though we didn't call them "HOV" back then—on I-95 (later I-395) in Virginia used to have guide signs with white text on a black background. Similar concept to the signs on 401, just a different color scheme. They were quite faded by the late 1980s and have long since been replaced with mundane old BGSs, though I don't remember when that occurred.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 09, 2015, 06:03:53 PM
6-10 laning in Kitchener / Cambridge starts next week

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5664230-highway-401-widening-work-starts-monday-in-cambridge/ (http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5664230-highway-401-widening-work-starts-monday-in-cambridge/)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on June 09, 2015, 08:09:09 PM
6-10 laning in Kitchener / Cambridge starts next week

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5664230-highway-401-widening-work-starts-monday-in-cambridge/ (http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5664230-highway-401-widening-work-starts-monday-in-cambridge/)

It's amazing how many projects are going on with the 401 right now. Herb Gray Pkwy (which should be open soon), widening in Mississauga, plus the connection between the 401 and the 412 and later 418.

I kind of wish Ontario put more priority on more northern areas, such as the west ward extension of the 417, the 400 extension, and the twinning of the 17 from the Manitoba border to Thunder Bay (which I know the MTO is planning to start in 2018).

Anyway, thanks for sharing. I didn't know about this one. There is another project I look forward to seeing completed!
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on June 10, 2015, 01:43:08 PM
I kind of wish Ontario put more priority on more northern areas, such as the west ward extension of the 417, the 400 extension, and the twinning of the 17 from the Manitoba border to Thunder Bay (which I know the MTO is planning to start in 2018).

Priority is slowly shifting to the south after being disproportionately high in the north for the last several years. The upgrades to Hwy 69 have been plugging along, the Hwy 11 four-laning has been completed to North Bay, Garden River Bypass on 17 is new, and the Thunder Bay to Nipigon section of Hwy 11/17 continues as well. The 417 project is a Southern Ontario program, and continues to be under construction as it stands. And as you said, the widening of Hwy 17 easterly from the Manitoba border is coming very soon (though only to Kenora, not going west of there through the great expanse of nothing that is between there and Thunder Bay).

So overall, the swing is more to the south, but there's still an awful lot going on in the north.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 11, 2015, 01:57:34 PM

It's amazing how many projects are going on with the 401 right now. Herb Gray Pkwy (which should be open soon), widening in Mississauga, plus the connection between the 401 and the 412 and later 418.


401 is a long and busy highway. There's always construction on at least one stretch of it at any given time.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: aboges26 on June 13, 2015, 10:51:22 PM
I kind of wish Ontario put more priority on more northern areas, such as the west ward extension of the 417, the 400 extension, and the twinning of the 17 from the Manitoba border to Thunder Bay (which I know the MTO is planning to start in 2018).

Priority is slowly shifting to the south after being disproportionately high in the north for the last several years. The upgrades to Hwy 69 have been plugging along, the Hwy 11 four-laning has been completed to North Bay, Garden River Bypass on 17 is new, and the Thunder Bay to Nipigon section of Hwy 11/17 continues as well. The 417 project is a Southern Ontario program, and continues to be under construction as it stands. And as you said, the widening of Hwy 17 easterly from the Manitoba border is coming very soon (though only to Kenora, not going west of there through the great expanse of nothing that is between there and Thunder Bay).

So overall, the swing is more to the south, but there's still an awful lot going on in the north.

After twinning from the Manitoba border to Kenora, does anyone have any insight as to what would the next segment on Hwy 17, that is separate of Hwy 417 efforts, to be twinned?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on June 14, 2015, 01:01:28 AM
I kind of wish Ontario put more priority on more northern areas, such as the west ward extension of the 417, the 400 extension, and the twinning of the 17 from the Manitoba border to Thunder Bay (which I know the MTO is planning to start in 2018).

Priority is slowly shifting to the south after being disproportionately high in the north for the last several years. The upgrades to Hwy 69 have been plugging along, the Hwy 11 four-laning has been completed to North Bay, Garden River Bypass on 17 is new, and the Thunder Bay to Nipigon section of Hwy 11/17 continues as well. The 417 project is a Southern Ontario program, and continues to be under construction as it stands. And as you said, the widening of Hwy 17 easterly from the Manitoba border is coming very soon (though only to Kenora, not going west of there through the great expanse of nothing that is between there and Thunder Bay).

So overall, the swing is more to the south, but there's still an awful lot going on in the north.

After twinning from the Manitoba border to Kenora, does anyone have any insight as to what would the next segment on Hwy 17, that is separate of Hwy 417 efforts, to be twinned?

I would think the MTO would twin the 17 between North Bay and Sudbury, both moderate sized cities. They have a combined population of about 200 000, and a single lane highway (the 17) is the only highway that directly connects them. After that, probably Sudbury to Sault Ste Marie. The 417 would be extended west to North Bay, completing the twinning in that area. Just my thoughts mind you, I don't really know whats going on in the heads of the MTO.

Over the next two or three decades, I think the 17 will be twinned for its entire length, but again, don't quote me on that.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on June 15, 2015, 10:49:01 AM

After twinning from the Manitoba border to Kenora, does anyone have any insight as to what would the next segment on Hwy 17, that is separate of Hwy 417 efforts, to be twinned?

I would think the MTO would twin the 17 between North Bay and Sudbury, both moderate sized cities. They have a combined population of about 200 000, and a single lane highway (the 17) is the only highway that directly connects them. After that, probably Sudbury to Sault Ste Marie. The 417 would be extended west to North Bay, completing the twinning in that area. Just my thoughts mind you, I don't really know whats going on in the heads of the MTO.

Over the next two or three decades, I think the 17 will be twinned for its entire length, but again, don't quote me on that.

In Northwestern Ontario, the Hwy 11/17 corridor between Nipigon and Thunder Bayis slated to be completed or at least under construction by 2018. The section of Hwy 17 west of Kenora should be under construction by that point as well.

In Northeastern Ontario, there is no immediate plans to widen anywhere along the Hwy 17 corridor, though various studies have been planned for expansion for the whole stretch between Sault Ste. Marie and the Nipissing-Renfrew boundary. Some of those studies were cancelled as they were not deemed critical enough to spend the money on, but the more critical ones have gone ahead.

In terms of timelines in NER, pure speculation but I would expect the areas around North Bay and Sudbury to see upgrades in the 10-30 year time frame (perhaps even as far as Espanola to Mattawa). Maybe in the area around Soo as well. But I would not expect too much beyond that, as west of Espanola the highway is in pretty good shape and there is little to no demand along it.

For Hwy 17 in Southern Ontario, expansion between Renfrew and Arnprior is underway. Conceptually the section between Petawawa and Renfrew is slated for expansion, but no timeline has been set on that. West of Petawawa there are no plans to expand Hwy 17.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: aboges26 on June 15, 2015, 01:54:52 PM

After twinning from the Manitoba border to Kenora, does anyone have any insight as to what would the next segment on Hwy 17, that is separate of Hwy 417 efforts, to be twinned?

I would think the MTO would twin the 17 between North Bay and Sudbury, both moderate sized cities. They have a combined population of about 200 000, and a single lane highway (the 17) is the only highway that directly connects them. After that, probably Sudbury to Sault Ste Marie. The 417 would be extended west to North Bay, completing the twinning in that area. Just my thoughts mind you, I don't really know whats going on in the heads of the MTO.

Over the next two or three decades, I think the 17 will be twinned for its entire length, but again, don't quote me on that.

In Northwestern Ontario, the Hwy 11/17 corridor between Nipigon and Thunder Bayis slated to be completed or at least under construction by 2018. The section of Hwy 17 west of Kenora should be under construction by that point as well.

In Northeastern Ontario, there is no immediate plans to widen anywhere along the Hwy 17 corridor, though various studies have been planned for expansion for the whole stretch between Sault Ste. Marie and the Nipissing-Renfrew boundary. Some of those studies were cancelled as they were not deemed critical enough to spend the money on, but the more critical ones have gone ahead.

In terms of timelines in NER, pure speculation but I would expect the areas around North Bay and Sudbury to see upgrades in the 10-30 year time frame (perhaps even as far as Espanola to Mattawa). Maybe in the area around Soo as well. But I would not expect too much beyond that, as west of Espanola the highway is in pretty good shape and there is little to no demand along it.

For Hwy 17 in Southern Ontario, expansion between Renfrew and Arnprior is underway. Conceptually the section between Petawawa and Renfrew is slated for expansion, but no timeline has been set on that. West of Petawawa there are no plans to expand Hwy 17.

Have there been any bypass-type concepts for the Soo?  Would there be any interchanges on a bypass of the Soo or would it be at-grade completely?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 15, 2015, 04:00:55 PM
This thread is for 401. Back on topic...

News regarding Mississauga widening

Highway 401 expansion ignores key design flaws, hurts area businesses
http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/supply-chain/highway-401-expansion-ignores-key-design-flaws-hurts-area-businesses-149461/
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on June 15, 2015, 05:53:32 PM
This thread is for 401. Back on topic...

News regarding Mississauga widening

Highway 401 expansion ignores key design flaws, hurts area businesses
http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/supply-chain/highway-401-expansion-ignores-key-design-flaws-hurts-area-businesses-149461/

Uh oh. "Ignores key design flaws" seems pretty serious to me.  Although I think the widening must fix the traffic problems. It doesn't make sense that the widening wouldn't do anything.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on June 15, 2015, 06:44:47 PM
It's not a design flaw, and this isn't a new story.  (Though why it keeps getting picked up in news articles is beyond me).

From August, 2014:
http://www.trucknews.com/transportation/small-bump-road/1003059446/

The grade through the Credit River Valley is about 3%, which is well within the range of acceptable grades for modern highways.  It's not surprising the MTO has stopped responding to phone calls and letters.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on June 15, 2015, 07:16:23 PM
It's not a design flaw, and this isn't a new story.  (Though why it keeps getting picked up in news articles is beyond me).

From August, 2014:
http://www.trucknews.com/transportation/small-bump-road/1003059446/

The grade through the Credit River Valley is about 3%, which is well within the range of acceptable grades for modern highways.  It's not surprising the MTO has stopped responding to phone calls and letters.

Well, that's good. I hope the MTO widens the 401 all the way to the 407 eventually. Whenever that needs to be done.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on June 16, 2015, 02:04:08 PM
News regarding Mississauga widening

Highway 401 expansion ignores key design flaws, hurts area businesses
http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/supply-chain/highway-401-expansion-ignores-key-design-flaws-hurts-area-businesses-149461/

 :banghead:

Well, that's good. I hope the MTO widens the 401 all the way to the 407 eventually. Whenever that needs to be done.

Plan is to have to the Credit River completed by 2018. Further expansion out to RR-25 in Milton has been programmed, but no firm timeline yet.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on June 17, 2015, 12:18:38 AM
Plan is to have to the Credit River completed by 2018. Further expansion out to RR-25 in Milton has been programmed, but no firm timeline yet.

That's pretty far. But, I guess eventually it'll have to be done. Population growth and all that.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 23, 2015, 07:17:42 PM
Highway 401 extension / Herb Grey Parkway set to open next week

Main thread:
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=188722 (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=188722)

Story:
http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/herb-gray-parkway-only-days-away-from-opening-to-traffic (http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/herb-gray-parkway-only-days-away-from-opening-to-traffic)

Some pics:
(https://postmediawindsorstar.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/herb_gray_parkway.jpg)

(https://postmediawindsorstar.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/herb_gray_parkway-4.jpg)

(https://postmediawindsorstar.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/herb_gray_parkway-3.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on June 23, 2015, 09:58:21 PM
Highway 401 extension / Herb Grey Parkway set to open next week

Main thread:
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=188722 (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=188722)

Story:
http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/herb-gray-parkway-only-days-away-from-opening-to-traffic (http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/herb-gray-parkway-only-days-away-from-opening-to-traffic)

Some pics:
(https://postmediawindsorstar.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/herb_gray_parkway.jpg)

(https://postmediawindsorstar.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/herb_gray_parkway-4.jpg)

(https://postmediawindsorstar.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/herb_gray_parkway-3.jpg)

This is exciting news!  I've been checking for updates almost daily now. Great pictures as well.  It's the first time a section of the 401 has been opened since the 60's.

Not a fan of the right sign in the first pic. Waay too crowded IMO.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on June 25, 2015, 01:05:51 PM
An opening date is now "this weekend". No exact time, but Sunday is hinted by the Ontario Provincial Police due to traffic patterns.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 26, 2015, 01:13:53 PM
Tons of photos via

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=188722&page=29

Quote from: Symz;7076303
A lot of pictures are popping up in the local media of this project since it is about to open. I thought I'd share some of them.

source: http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/parkway-to-open-new-world-for-windsors-drivers (http://blogs.windsorstar.com/news/parkway-to-open-new-world-for-windsors-drivers)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway26.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway24.jpg?w=950&h=618)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway11.jpg?w=950&h=662)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway12.jpg?w=950&h=666)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway5.jpg?w=950&h=653)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway61.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkay14.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway13.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway22.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parway28.jpg?w=950&h=634)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway20.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway25.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway30.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway91.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway21.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway23.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway41.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway15.jpg)

(http://wpmedia.blogs.windsorstar.com/2015/06/parkway18.jpg)

The next 3 links are sets of photos showing the border road before construction, during construction (recap) and some of the neighbourhoods that had to be torn down for the parkway

http://windsorite.ca/2015/06/photos-border-road-before-the-parkway/ (http://windsorite.ca/2015/06/photos-border-road-before-the-parkway/)

http://windsorite.ca/2015/06/photos-border-road-neighborhoods-bulldozed/ (http://windsorite.ca/2015/06/photos-border-road-neighborhoods-bulldozed/)

http://windsorite.ca/2015/06/photos-boarder-road-parkway-construction/ (http://windsorite.ca/2015/06/photos-boarder-road-parkway-construction/)


Finally an article talking about the first steps toward building the new bridge are a few days away.

http://blogs.windsorstar.com/business/first-step-toward-building-the-new-bridge-coming-in-next-few-days (http://blogs.windsorstar.com/business/first-step-toward-building-the-new-bridge-coming-in-next-few-days)

Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on June 26, 2015, 02:01:55 PM
I find it absolutely fantastic that the MTO builds freeways to their fullest potential right of the gate. Most departments build just one section at a time, perhaps widening when necessary. This way, at least once it's open, most drivers won't have to worry about construction within a few years as traffic grows (though I think traffic counts will remain at manageable levels until the new bridge opens).
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on June 26, 2015, 09:59:10 PM
StreetView was just updated in that area back in May '15, so you can get a really good view of the new segments of the 401 from 3 & the E.C. Row.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on June 26, 2015, 10:26:44 PM
Looking at StreetView, here's what I can piece together of what the new exit numbers will be:
WB:
10: ON-3 (original end of 401) (https://youtu.be/x0Eh4q7aSHk?t=2m10s (https://youtu.be/x0Eh4q7aSHk?t=2m10s))
7: Todd Lane/ON-3 WB (https://youtu.be/4eSBPVkJpfI?t=5m33s (https://youtu.be/4eSBPVkJpfI?t=5m33s))
5: ON-3 to the Ambassador Bridge https://goo.gl/maps/INIi4
?: Ojibway Parkway (too far away from E.C. Row)

EB:
?: E.C. Row (gore sign not posted yet at time StreetView was there)
6: Todd Lane https://goo.gl/maps/jrKfD
10: ON-3 (original end of 401) (https://youtu.be/328JaFdIgmg?t=9m26s (https://youtu.be/328JaFdIgmg?t=9m26s))

Guess this is better than nothing. lol.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Stephane Dumas on June 27, 2015, 09:03:48 AM
Looking at StreetView, here's what I can piece together of what the new exit numbers will be:
WB:
?: ON-3 (original end of 401) (no idea, imagery from 2014)
?: Todd Lane (no idea, imagery from 2014)
5: ON-3 to the Ambassador Bridge https://goo.gl/maps/INIi4
?: Ojibway Parkway (too far away from E.C. Row)

EB:
?: E.C. Row (gore sign not posted yet at time StreetView was there)
6: Todd Lane https://goo.gl/maps/jrKfD
?: ON-3 (original end of 401) (no idea, imagery from 2014)

Guess this is better than nothing. lol.

There's also these 2 videos posted on Youtube who might give more clues about the new exit numbers.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on June 27, 2015, 11:46:46 AM
Looking at StreetView, here's what I can piece together of what the new exit numbers will be:
WB:
?: ON-3 (original end of 401) (no idea, imagery from 2014)
?: Todd Lane (no idea, imagery from 2014)
5: ON-3 to the Ambassador Bridge https://goo.gl/maps/INIi4
?: Ojibway Parkway (too far away from E.C. Row)

EB:
?: E.C. Row (gore sign not posted yet at time StreetView was there)
6: Todd Lane https://goo.gl/maps/jrKfD
?: ON-3 (original end of 401) (no idea, imagery from 2014)

Guess this is better than nothing. lol.

There's an Exit 7 I saw in the Westbound video, but I don't know where.

10: ON-3 (original end of 401) Eastbound
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on June 27, 2015, 07:30:34 PM
There's also these 2 videos posted on Youtube who might give more clues about the new exit numbers.

Thanks for posting those two videos.  Was able to get 2 more exit numbers from them.  Updated my post on the previous page.

Also, it seems that they will be ending the 401 temporarily @ Exit #5, even though you still will be able to go all the way to Ojibway Parkway.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: vdeane on June 28, 2015, 03:37:41 PM
That could also be temporary signage.  The section between the exit for ON 3 and Ojibway Parkway isn't done and won't be opening until later.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on June 28, 2015, 10:29:04 PM
That could also be temporary signage.  The section between the exit for ON 3 and Ojibway Parkway isn't done and won't be opening until later.

The way it's stripped at Exit #5 seems to indicate that it will open to Ojibway Parkway on opening day.  There is a lane that goes to the left.  You can clearly see this @ the 9:15 minute mark of the WB video. https://youtu.be/4eSBPVkJpfI?t=9m15s (https://youtu.be/4eSBPVkJpfI?t=9m15s)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on June 28, 2015, 10:34:07 PM
naw.  Hwy 401 will end just east of the EC Row Expressway interchange at Labelle Street until the new bridge is opened in 2020 (ish).  Despite the fact that the highway was fully striped as far as Ojibiway Parkway, its not going to be opened for another 5 years.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Stephane Dumas on June 29, 2015, 11:51:03 AM
It's now open! :)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/herb-gray-parkway-officially-partially-open-1.3131565
http://windsor.ctvnews.ca/herb-gray-parkway-officially-open-opp-to-keep-close-eye-on-motorists-1.2444161
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: lordsutch on June 29, 2015, 02:52:17 PM
Now updated in OSM (including adding a ramp that got missed earlier); it will take a bit longer to show up in high zooms and get into the OSRM routing database, but I already dirtied the tile cache at each level so the area should rerender soon.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on June 29, 2015, 04:33:06 PM
Has construction on the bridge over the Detroit River even started yet? Or are NIMBYs screwing with it?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: lordsutch on June 29, 2015, 04:44:22 PM
Has construction on the bridge over the Detroit River even started yet? Or are NIMBYs screwing with it?

Latest news: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/local-companies-to-submit-qualifications-for-gordie-howe-bridge-work-1.3127450
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on June 29, 2015, 04:50:00 PM
Has construction on the bridge over the Detroit River even started yet? Or are NIMBYs screwing with it?

Latest news: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/local-companies-to-submit-qualifications-for-gordie-howe-bridge-work-1.3127450

Seems like it is going through well and at the international level NIMBYs won't screw with it.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: vdeane on June 29, 2015, 06:29:08 PM
Why does the new section of ON 401 have such a low speed limit?  60 kph?  Seriously?  Even parallel ON 3 has 80 kph!
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on June 29, 2015, 06:49:19 PM
Why does the new section of ON 401 have such a low speed limit?  60 kph?  Seriously?  Even parallel ON 3 has 80 kph!

I believe it's because the lanes were reduced to two lanes, and the highway isn't complete its construction yet. Surprised me as well though.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on June 29, 2015, 07:08:25 PM
Why does the new section of ON 401 have such a low speed limit?  60 kph?  Seriously?  Even parallel ON 3 has 80 kph!

I believe it's because the lanes were reduced to two lanes, and the highway isn't complete its construction yet. Surprised me as well though.

When construction is finished the speed will probably be 90 to 100 kph.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: MisterSG1 on June 29, 2015, 08:01:33 PM
Check the Blue Water Bridge approaches on Highway 402 and look at the incredibly slow speed limit there and you'll find your answer....
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: lordsutch on June 29, 2015, 11:17:00 PM
I believe it's because the lanes were reduced to two lanes, and the highway isn't complete its construction yet. Surprised me as well though.

Correct. I believe in the design plans it's supposed to be signed at 80-100 km/h when it's finished, with the limit dropping near the Huron Church Rd exit, probably due to the 90-degree curve and the possibility of traffic backups. Eastbound I think it's planned to be 90 along the section inside EC Row. Of course, MTO might decide to post something different when it's done.

My understanding is that it's supposed to be opened all the way to Ojibway Parkway when the work on the connecting ramps and roadways are done, rather than just sitting there for years until the GHIB is done, although it might not be signed as 401 westbound at the Huron Church exit to discourage non-local traffic (perhaps "Truck Ferry to USA" or something), since it will divert some traffic away from using the Huron Church/EC Row parclo, particularly the truck ferry traffic and local traffic destined for points east rather than Windsor.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on June 30, 2015, 10:49:02 AM
When construction is finished the speed will probably be 90 to 100 kph.

The most recently released plans call for it to be 80 km/h from the bridge to the diversion from the ECR alignment, then 90 km/h from there to approximately Cousineau Rd, then 100 km/h from Cousineau Road easterly. I don't know if they've changed anything, but that was the most recent plans for that stretch once the construction crews clear out.

Check the Blue Water Bridge approaches on Highway 402 and look at the incredibly slow speed limit there and you'll find your answer....

Beginning at the BWB plaza, it's 80 km/h for 1710 m, then opens up to the full 100 km/h. Not really "incredibly slow" by any stretch of the imagination.
Now, before reconstruction it was a 70 km/h zone for a while out further, and during the work that was reduced to 50 km/h under the DCZ. Now that was painful.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on July 01, 2015, 01:19:55 AM
Google still didn't (it's been a day and a half, c'mon now! :-D ) have the road updated, so I sent an email to Google. They should have it fixed soon hopefully.

When construction is finished the speed will probably be 90 to 100 kph.

The most recently released plans call for it to be 80 km/h from the bridge to the diversion from the ECR alignment, then 90 km/h from there to approximately Cousineau Rd, then 100 km/h from Cousineau Road easterly. I don't know if they've changed anything, but that was the most recent plans for that stretch once the construction crews clear out.

Here: http://www.hgparkway.ca/sites/default/files/pdfs/WEP%207th%20PIOH%20-%20Roll%20Plan%20WEB.pdf

Document was slow to load on my computer. Red speed limits are the 401.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on July 01, 2015, 08:54:08 AM
Google updated it! Now it shows the completed part of the Herb Gray parkway! :D
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on July 01, 2015, 10:29:21 AM
Google updated it! Now it shows the completed part of the Herb Gray parkway! :D

Only problem is that they still show tons of buildings in the corridor and overtop of both {3} & {401}.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: 02 Park Ave on July 01, 2015, 12:01:52 PM
Was the Herb Gray Parkway timed to be open for Canada Day or was it just a coincidence?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Chris on July 01, 2015, 03:12:42 PM
Imagery is also available in the historical imagery layer of Google Earth, dated March 2015.

(http://i.imgur.com/lwFjVXB.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/izOmcUR.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on July 01, 2015, 04:33:45 PM
Was the Herb Gray Parkway timed to be open for Canada Day or was it just a coincidence?

It opened on Monday. That would have been nice if they opened it on Canada Day though. They could have some sort of 8 km walk / run similar to what happened before the 404 extension opened last September.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on July 01, 2015, 06:25:34 PM
Maybe off topic, but what's the opinion of Windsor residents in regards to the extension? Any ideas?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Alps on July 01, 2015, 11:51:34 PM
All traffic forced off at Ojibway for now?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on July 02, 2015, 01:07:10 AM
Maybe off topic, but what's the opinion of Windsor residents in regards to the extension? Any ideas?

Not sure, but I would think reactions would be mixed. Although environmental concerns were addressed, a large portion of tall grass prairie habitat was destroyed. However, through traffic has been drastically reduced, which can only mean locals would be pleased. The highway is of course below grade, so noise won't be as much of a concern.

All traffic forced off at Ojibway for now?

Labelle Street. Apparently (according to Satellite) striping is done all the way to Ojibway, but isn't opened yet. Should open later this year hopefully.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on July 02, 2015, 08:27:56 PM
So, I found my way down to Windsor, and all I can say is wow.  The Herb Gray Parkway is amazing.  Really impressive piece of infrastructure.

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/401_WEP_3_forum.jpg)

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/401_WEP_2_forum.jpg)

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/401_WEP_1_forum.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on July 02, 2015, 09:48:14 PM
So, I found my way down to Windsor, and all I can say is wow.  The Herb Gray Parkway is amazing.  Really impressive piece of infrastructure.

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/401_WEP_3_forum.jpg)

I can't get enough of that VMS Ontario now uses. It's so clear. Hopefully all the old ones will be replaced in the coming years.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on July 02, 2015, 10:54:45 PM
So, I found my way down to Windsor, and all I can say is wow.  The Herb Gray Parkway is amazing.  Really impressive piece of infrastructure.

I can't get enough of that VMS Ontario now uses. It's so clear. Hopefully all the old ones will be replaced in the coming years.

Alberta also has very clear VMSs. Drive anywhere in Banff and you'll know what I'm talking about. Though I don't like Ontario's logo in the top right. I don't see how that's beneficial.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on July 03, 2015, 10:34:16 AM
So, I found my way down to Windsor, and all I can say is wow.  The Herb Gray Parkway is amazing.  Really impressive piece of infrastructure.

I can't get enough of that VMS Ontario now uses. It's so clear. Hopefully all the old ones will be replaced in the coming years.

Alberta also has very clear VMSs. Drive anywhere in Banff and you'll know what I'm talking about. Though I don't like Ontario's logo in the top right. I don't see how that's beneficial.

I'm heading there next month. I'll have a look. Thanks for pointing that out.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on July 03, 2015, 01:35:44 PM
So, I found my way down to Windsor, and all I can say is wow.  The Herb Gray Parkway is amazing.  Really impressive piece of infrastructure.

I can't get enough of that VMS Ontario now uses. It's so clear. Hopefully all the old ones will be replaced in the coming years.

Alberta also has very clear VMSs. Drive anywhere in Banff and you'll know what I'm talking about. Though I don't like Ontario's logo in the top right. I don't see how that's beneficial.

I'm heading there next month. I'll have a look. Thanks for pointing that out.

Sure thing. Here's a photo I snapped of the last time I went through there:

(http://i.imgur.com/6SIM8Vyh.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: iBallasticwolf2 on July 03, 2015, 04:04:48 PM
So much better than the VMSs in Cincinnati.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: thenetwork on July 03, 2015, 04:48:34 PM
So, I found my way down to Windsor, and all I can say is wow.  The Herb Gray Parkway is amazing.  Really impressive piece of infrastructure.

The HGP makes the EC Row look like an utter disaster.  But then again the ECR, if I recall, was not designed nor built by the MTO, but rather by the city of Windsor proper.  I wonder if there would be a major rehab of the EC Row in the near future as much of that freeway is over 30 years old?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on July 03, 2015, 06:09:59 PM
So much better than the VMSs in Cincinnati.

Canada certainly seems to be on the up with their VMSs, though WSDOT does good VMSs as well:

(HOV Lane on left, hence separate speed limit)

(http://i.imgur.com/wMwxFLT.png)

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NNjfJayFFl0/VUk4ei6Cj9I/AAAAAAAABl8/6J2yfpyg14M/s1600/I5VMS.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: mrsman on July 05, 2015, 03:36:18 AM
So much better than the VMSs in Cincinnati.

Canada certainly seems to be on the up with their VMSs, though WSDOT does good VMSs as well:



(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NNjfJayFFl0/VUk4ei6Cj9I/AAAAAAAABl8/6J2yfpyg14M/s1600/I5VMS.jpg)

What does low pressure refer to?  Is it weather?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on July 05, 2015, 02:31:57 PM
What does low pressure refer to?  Is it weather?

The cameras are housed in a high-pressure environment to keep water out. The "low pressure" message is a maintenance warning to DOT workers to take a look at it.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on July 06, 2015, 09:06:47 PM
I didn't post this here when I plastered it elsewhere on the internet.  Apologies to those who have seen it (and those who don't care), but this is a video of the Herb Gray Parkway  through Windsor.

Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on July 06, 2015, 10:13:04 PM
I didn't post this here when I plastered it elsewhere on the internet.  Apologies to those who have seen it (and those who don't care), but this is a video of the Herb Gray Parkway  through Windsor.


Thanks for posting this. It's the only video footage (apart form the company video) that I've seen.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: MisterSG1 on July 09, 2015, 04:59:43 PM
I didn't post this here when I plastered it elsewhere on the internet.  Apologies to those who have seen it (and those who don't care), but this is a video of the Herb Gray Parkway  through Windsor.


Why did you have to have a Tragically Hip song in your video? Sure, if you have to use a Canadian band in your video, you could have used The Tea Party since they are from Windsor. That's the beauty of SIRIUS radio, I don't have to hear that nonsense like the tragically hip which the government of Canada forces radio stations here to play.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on July 09, 2015, 05:36:35 PM
I used the Hip because I like the Hip.  I assume most people just listen to their own music anyways.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Henry on July 13, 2015, 01:06:34 PM
So once the Gordie Howe Bridge is complete, one can drive from Detroit to Toronto (and Montreal/Quebec City) nonstop? That would be nice to do!
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: lordsutch on July 13, 2015, 01:50:06 PM
So once the Gordie Howe Bridge is complete, one can drive from Detroit to Toronto (and Montreal/Quebec City) nonstop? That would be nice to do!

Well, you can already do that via I-94 east to the Blue Water Bridge and ON 402.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on July 13, 2015, 02:30:46 PM
You still won't be able to, because either way you'll have to drive through Toronto...
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Bickendan on July 13, 2015, 02:31:54 PM
You still won't be able to, because either way you'll have to drive through Toronto...
uh... doesn't make sense. That's like saying you can't drive from Houston to LA because you have to drive through LA.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on July 13, 2015, 02:40:31 PM
^ I was joking saying that you wouldn't be able to drive from Detroit to Montreal or Quebec City without stopping because you'd have to stop for traffic in Toronto (you'd have to stop for gas otherwise too).  It may not be very funny, but it certainly makes sense.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Bickendan on July 13, 2015, 02:57:33 PM
That Montreal bit was missing, because that makes more sense :P
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on July 13, 2015, 04:08:04 PM
i could see how that would be confusing.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Duke87 on July 20, 2015, 11:54:15 PM
Presumably one can drive through Toronto nonstop if one does it at the right time.

More practically speaking, the trip cannot be nonstop because of the need to clear customs to get to Detroit.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Dr Frankenstein on July 22, 2015, 09:52:10 AM
I've driven through Toronto on the 401 without stopping (though I came fairly close to) on a Monday around noon.

Of course, customs may count as a stop too...
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on July 22, 2015, 10:11:45 AM
I've driven through Toronto on the 401 without stopping (though I came fairly close to) on a Monday around noon.

Of course, customs may count as a stop too...

Customs very much counts as a stop.

It's like those on these forums who lament the lack of a full freeway for Hwy 137... it's an uninterrupted flow facility and has no capacity issues in and of itself. The toll bridge and customs would gum up a conventional highway just as much as it would a freeway.

There's no capacity benefit to upgrading it. And in terms of safety, yes, removing the five entrances/sideroads would reduce the chances of a conflict from those points. But suddenly you'd have freeway with significant queuing... that's just begging for rear end collisions, and at higher speeds. Such a terrible plan.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Stephane Dumas on July 22, 2015, 10:21:27 AM
You still won't be able to, because either way you'll have to drive through Toronto...

Technically, if we left Hwy-401 at Mississauga to take Hwy-407 to reach the future Hwy-412 to return on Hwy-401 and vice-versa we don't pass within Toronto city limits. ;)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: MrDisco99 on October 24, 2015, 07:53:51 PM
I did this drive a few weeks ago and while I did have to spend some time at customs, I don't recall having to stop at all on Huron Church Rd. now that it's much shorter.

When is that bridge supposed to happen?  I didn't see any signs of construction.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on October 24, 2015, 08:52:13 PM
The first part of the extension opened in June and extends from the old alignment to Labelle St. I believe the second section will connect to Ojibway Pkwy, then to the bridge.

The bridge should be complete by 2020, and I believe talks are between companies who want to build the bridge and the Canadian Government who is building it. I also believe the land acquisition process on the US side is complete, but I'm not sure.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on October 26, 2015, 08:45:31 AM
I did this drive a few weeks ago and while I did have to spend some time at customs, I don't recall having to stop at all on Huron Church Rd. now that it's much shorter.

When is that bridge supposed to happen?  I didn't see any signs of construction.

Short answer, they expect to have a contractor in place some time in 2016, and construction work will commence at that time.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on October 29, 2015, 10:09:44 PM
On Oct 30 CBC will air a Marketplace story about speeding on the 401: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/marketplace-speed-limits-1.3292975
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on October 29, 2015, 10:46:09 PM
On Oct 30 CBC will air a Marketplace story about speeding on the 401: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/marketplace-speed-limits-1.3292975

I heard about that. Everyone that has been on the 401 (including me) knows that the 100 speed limit is a giant joke.  :-D

Going that speed, especially with heavier traffic (but not a traffic jam) probably results in more accidents.

I'll have to remember to watch that episode.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: US 41 on October 29, 2015, 11:06:37 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/marketplace-speed-limits-1.3292975

24 hours, 37,000 speeders: 1 day on Canada's busiest highway

"More than 80% of cars on ON 401 were speeding. Ontario has some of the slowest highway speed limits in the world, but few people are actually obeying them, data from a CBC Marketplace investigation reveals."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  Ontario does have really low speed limits. I was probably the only driver on ON 7 between Ottawa and Toronto that was going 80 km/h. I was getting passed by almost everyone. ON 7 should at least have a speed limit of 90 km/h. Actually had I have known the speed limit was going to be 80 km/h the whole way I would have taken 416 to 401 instead.
  In Toronto it is only common sense not to follow the speed limit. When everyone is going 120 km/h, you do 120 km/h. You're going to be a moving hazard if you're going 100 km/h while everyone else is doing 120 km/h. This is the same in every large city however. I typically go 65-70 mph on I-94 (a.k.a. The Dan Ryan Raceway  :biggrin:) in Chicago even though the speed limit is 55 mph.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on October 30, 2015, 01:49:07 AM
Toronto reminds me of LA. Highways are referred to using definite articles, and no one goes anywhere near the speed limit (less there's traffic).
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cu2010 on October 30, 2015, 03:28:42 AM
  In Toronto it is only common sense not to follow the speed limit. When everyone is going 120 km/h, you do 120 km/h. You're going to be a moving hazard if you're going 100 km/h while everyone else is doing 120 km/h. This is the same in every large city however.

Good luck being able to actually do 100 in Toronto half the time, though. :)

I just drove a large chunk of the 401 last month (from Cornwall all the way to the 402), and I was probably doing about 110-115 km/h the whole way. Was still getting constantly passed by people. Regarding Toronto, I actually got lucky and hit it at the right time where I could fly through at 110...though on the return trip, traffic was so bad I was lucky to be able to go 20!

It doesn't help that the Ontario police don't seem to actively enforce the 100 km/h speed limit...they must know it's too low!
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on October 30, 2015, 09:03:21 AM
Free flow speeds through the GTA tend to be in the 95-105 km/h range. As you get further out and into Eastern and West Ontario the FFS tends to rise a little more.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on October 30, 2015, 02:40:10 PM
Free flow speeds through the GTA tend to be in the 95-105 km/h range. As you get further out and into Eastern and West Ontario the FFS tends to rise a little more.

I'm assuming the 95-105 km/h range is MTO-provided? A lot of what I've read, both here in and in the past, indicates that average speeds w/o traffic are higher than that (closer to maybe 110?)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: vdeane on October 30, 2015, 06:41:25 PM
It doesn't help that the Ontario police don't seem to actively enforce the 100 km/h speed limit...they must know it's too low!
No idea why they don't enforce it, but they have lobbied vehemently against raising the limit to 120.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: US 41 on October 30, 2015, 11:17:24 PM
(http://www.australien-ozeanien.de/Canada/Ontario/353_Kanada_speeding-fine.jpg)

I saw this exact sign pretty much on ON 17 which has a speed limit of 90 km/h. I don't think they pull you over until you are going 20 km/h over the speed limit. I know 50 km/h over is considered reckless driving.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on October 31, 2015, 11:45:22 AM
CBC Marketplace story:
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on October 31, 2015, 12:33:33 PM
Honestly, I think the whole thing on safety is BS. I'm sure the government (and OPP) are quite glad to be raking in $$ every year from people who want to be safe on the roads.

Just my opinion of course.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: Stephane Dumas on October 31, 2015, 05:47:42 PM
Honestly, I think the whole thing on safety is BS. I'm sure the government (and OPP) are quite glad to be raking in $$ every year from people who want to be safe on the roads.

Just my opinion of course.

You're not the only one.  I think the same thing as well as that video titled "Speed Kills Your Pocketbook".
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on November 02, 2015, 08:08:26 AM
I'm assuming the 95-105 km/h range is MTO-provided? A lot of what I've read, both here in and in the past, indicates that average speeds w/o traffic are higher than that (closer to maybe 110?)

Not an official number, based on daily observation. Again, FFS definitely increases as you get out of the central part of the GTA. By the time you get out into the Eastern and West parts of the province it's definitely greater.

Bear in mind, the GTA portions of highways like QEW, 401, 409, and 427 are some of the oldest sections of freeway in the province and have some significant design compromises that will slow down drivers, even subconsciously.

It doesn't help that the Ontario police don't seem to actively enforce the 100 km/h speed limit...they must know it's too low!
No idea why they don't enforce it, but they have lobbied vehemently against raising the limit to 120.

What? No they haven't. They're enforcing the law they have. If the limit were increased, they'd support it. That's how policing PR works.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: vdeane on November 02, 2015, 12:56:52 PM
What? No they haven't. They're enforcing the law they have. If the limit were increased, they'd support it. That's how policing PR works.
According to the Stop100 Facebook page, they've spoken out against raising the limit to 120/130 several times.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: MrDisco99 on November 02, 2015, 05:10:45 PM
I also posted this in the Ontario Highways thread, but looks like it may be more appropriate here:


I wondered what locals thought of this when I drove through there last month.  I was surprised to see the limit was only 100 along the entire length of 401.  Having foreign plates, I tried to stay under the radar by setting cruise at 110, and had to stay out of everyone's way because I was getting passed by everyone, except some trucks which likely are governed to do the limit.  I can see how this can cause some problems.

Here in the US speed limits are typically 65 or 70 mph between cities, and go up to 75 or 80 mph out west.  I've also driven in the UK and Ireland which has speed limits of 70mph and 120kph on their motorways respectively.  I've found that where the speed limits are higher, you tend to see less variance in the speed of traffic.  You're always going to have a few menaces weaving through traffic at 150kph, but the majority of the traffic stays in a narrower speed range and results in smoother, safer flowing traffic.

Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: MrDisco99 on November 02, 2015, 05:21:31 PM
What? No they haven't. They're enforcing the law they have. If the limit were increased, they'd support it. That's how policing PR works.
According to the Stop100 Facebook page, they've spoken out against raising the limit to 120/130 several times.

Of course they would.  Keeping limits low means they can keep their numbers up with little effort.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on November 02, 2015, 05:49:57 PM
What? No they haven't. They're enforcing the law they have. If the limit were increased, they'd support it. That's how policing PR works.

According to the Stop100 Facebook page, they've spoken out against raising the limit to 120/130 several times.

Of course they would.  Keeping limits low means they can keep their numbers up with little effort.

I believe there is an official and unofficial answer to this. Officially, they will support whatever the law states is the limit. However, unofficially, I suspect there is some disagreement with having higher limits, because there may be increased difficulty with hitting quotas.

Occasionally, a law enforcement agency may disagree with higher limits on account of increased traffic fatalities (however untrue that may be), however, this is usually only in isolated cases. I couldn't say for sure which is the case for the OPP.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on November 03, 2015, 08:53:37 AM

I believe there is an official and unofficial answer to this. Officially, they will support whatever the law states is the limit. However, unofficially, I suspect there is some disagreement with having higher limits, because there may be increased difficulty with hitting quotas.

Officially, the law says 100. So they and MTO have to stand behind that.
There wouldn't be any problem meeting quotas or anything if the limit were increased to 110 for example.

According to the Stop100 Facebook page, they've spoken out against raising the limit to 120/130 several times.

I wouldn't put much faith in a broad statement like that made by the Stop100.ca folks. That organization seems to be run by a bunch with the mental maturity and capacity of 12 year olds. Their complete lack of political and engineering competency has seemingly done almost as much to hurt their cause as help it. And trying to engage them in a rational discussion is a completely futile exercise.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on November 03, 2015, 02:39:25 PM
I wouldn't put much faith in a broad statement like that made by the Stop100.ca folks. That organization seems to be run by a bunch with the mental maturity and capacity of 12 year olds. Their complete lack of political and engineering competency has seemingly done almost as much to hurt their cause as help it. And trying to engage them in a rational discussion is a completely futile exercise.

Perhaps if you took them seriously, it wouldn't seem as futile.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: vdeane on November 03, 2015, 05:36:51 PM
I wouldn't put much faith in a broad statement like that made by the Stop100.ca folks. That organization seems to be run by a bunch with the mental maturity and capacity of 12 year olds. Their complete lack of political and engineering competency has seemingly done almost as much to hurt their cause as help it. And trying to engage them in a rational discussion is a completely futile exercise.
Everything on their site looks reasonable to me.  Of course, I don't put much stock into whatever drivel the insurance lobby and "speed kills" people put out.  Of course insurance companies like lower limits... speeding tickets give them an excuse to arbitrarily raise people's rates and increase their profit margins.  And it's not exactly a secret that governments are using tickets as a way to balance budgets.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on November 03, 2015, 06:40:21 PM
I wouldn't put much faith in a broad statement like that made by the Stop100.ca folks. That organization seems to be run by a bunch with the mental maturity and capacity of 12 year olds. Their complete lack of political and engineering competency has seemingly done almost as much to hurt their cause as help it. And trying to engage them in a rational discussion is a completely futile exercise.

Perhaps if you took them seriously, it wouldn't seem as futile.

What part of trying to engage a group in a rational and professional discussion, and not being impressed by the outcome is not taking a group seriously?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on November 03, 2015, 07:13:55 PM
I wouldn't put much faith in a broad statement like that made by the Stop100.ca folks. That organization seems to be run by a bunch with the mental maturity and capacity of 12 year olds. Their complete lack of political and engineering competency has seemingly done almost as much to hurt their cause as help it. And trying to engage them in a rational discussion is a completely futile exercise.

Perhaps if you took them seriously, it wouldn't seem as futile.

What part of trying to engage a group in a rational and professional discussion, and not being impressed by the outcome is not taking a group seriously?

I was responding to cbeach's accusation that Stop100 is "run by a bunch with the mental maturity and capacity of 12 year olds". Someone with "political and engineering competency" should be able to engage someone without generalizing the lot of them beforehand (which is what cbeach seems to be doing).

Nowhere have I seen any evidence that Stop100 has enganged in discussions with the government, short of letters and emails to local MLAs. Perhaps, living in Ontario, you know more than I do.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: noelbotevera on November 03, 2015, 07:51:07 PM
Here's the funny thing - raising speed limits pressures drivers to go faster, and it means less rear end collisions. However, the trade off here is that pile ups occur more. I'd say that if people keep jostling with Toronto, eventually the speed limits will go through the roof. That day will happen soon.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on November 03, 2015, 07:56:21 PM
pile ups occur more.

Citation please.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: noelbotevera on November 03, 2015, 08:48:03 PM
pile ups occur more.

Citation please.
Do the two words "common sense" apply here (if they don't, I need a reality check)?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on November 03, 2015, 10:44:19 PM
Nowhere have I seen any evidence that Stop100 has enganged in discussions with the government, short of letters and emails to local MPPs. Perhaps, living in Ontario, you know more than I do.

FTFY. Ontario uses Members of Provincial Parliament instead of MLA's in provincial government.

Everyone has been bashing Ontario, but don't forget that after the fuel crisis of the 70's, Quebec, Newfoundland, and PEI also kept the lower limits of 100 km/h from the old 70 mph (113 km/h) limit beforehand (before Canada went metric). They're just as guilty  :-P

I have no relation, nor am I part of or affiliated to, Stop100.ca. I don't agree with their policy of raising the 401 to 130 km/h. I don't think any Canadian road could handle that speed, not with the climate here. But I think they have managed to raise some legitimate concerns regarding the issue.

I'm no road engineer (not yet anyway  :-D), so I can't tell what standards Ontario uses to place speed limits on their roads. Quebec recently installed variable speed limit signs on their roads, which change according to conditions. I think that would be a smart move in Ontario for the MTO to consider.

Quite the debate here though, nice to see.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on November 04, 2015, 08:11:49 AM

I was responding to cbeach's accusation that Stop100 is "run by a bunch with the mental maturity and capacity of 12 year olds". Someone with "political and engineering competency" should be able to engage someone without generalizing the lot of them beforehand (which is what cbeach seems to be doing).

I have talked with them on multiple occasions, even giving them another chance a few times. I think speed limits in this province need to at least be reviewed, and that their approach is a good start to it at least. But each time it was like arguing with a YouTube comments section.


Nowhere have I seen any evidence that Stop100 has enganged in discussions with the government, short of letters and emails to local MLAs. Perhaps, living in Ontario, you know more than I do.

They have. But again, their approach is so ham-fisted that it's not really helping matters.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: vdeane on November 04, 2015, 01:22:29 PM
Everyone has been bashing Ontario, but don't forget that after the fuel crisis of the 70's, Quebec, Newfoundland, and PEI also kept the lower limits of 100 km/h from the old 70 mph (113 km/h) limit beforehand (before Canada went metric). They're just as guilty  :-P
I'd definitely say that for Quebec (which also has low limits) and maybe Newfoundland (due to its remoteness), but PEI doesn't have any freeways and doesn't strike me as "middle of nowhere".  That said, this particular campaign is for Ontario, which is notable given how well-engineered the 400 series highways are.

Quote
I have no relation, nor am I part of or affiliated to, Stop100.ca. I don't agree with their policy of raising the 401 to 130 km/h. I don't think any Canadian road could handle that speed, not with the climate here. But I think they have managed to raise some legitimate concerns regarding the issue.

I'm no road engineer (not yet anyway  :-D), so I can't tell what standards Ontario uses to place speed limits on their roads. Quebec recently installed variable speed limit signs on their roads, which change according to conditions. I think that would be a smart move in Ontario for the MTO to consider.
While 130 does strike me as a bit high, it's often better to aim higher and negotiate to what you really want than to ask for what you want and get less.  That said, I wouldn't use winter to take 130, or any speed limit, off the table.  The roads are fine most days in winter and winter doesn't even last the whole year.  If people don't know how to drive for the conditions in a blizzard, then they shouldn't be allowed to drive at all.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on November 04, 2015, 01:59:01 PM
I agree that there is certainly merit to having a discussion about speed limits in Ontario.  Certainly, most modern freeways in Ontario have been constructed to a design speed of 120km/h.  Also, it should be noted that a design speed for a freeway only establishes a set of minimum design criteria for a highway.  It's therefore quite possible, that many sections of a road with a design speed of 120km/h could be safely driven at higher speed.

That said, some of the older sections of the 400 series of highways (I'm sure similarly to those highways in other jurisdictions) do have design compromises, and do have sections that have lower design speeds than the 120km/h that is typical.  I know from reviewing some of the material related to improvements to Highway 400 in the Barrie area that sections of the 400 have a design speed as low as 110km/h.  There are sections of the QEW that also have a lower design speed than 120km/h.

Check out the wonky structure that is proposed to twin the existing Garden City Skyway Bridge.  The new Toronto-bound lanes will have a much more pronounced curve in order to meet current highway design guidelines compared to the existing structure.
http://www.qewgcs.ca/qewgcs/pdf/QEW%20GCS%20PIC%203%20Displays%20Part%202.pdf

All that said, Ontario does have low speed limits, and probably should increase at least some of them.  But, speed limits should be reviewed on a case by case basis in order to appropriately match the speed limit to the specific highway conditions of the roadway that the limit applies to.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on November 05, 2015, 07:15:36 PM
Herb Gray Parkway's final section to open within a couple weeks

http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/parkways-final-section-to-open

(last 401 extension, all that is left is the bridge)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: MrDisco99 on November 05, 2015, 07:54:59 PM
Until the bridge is built, I'm guessing the majority of traffic will continue to exit/enter at Huron Church Rd.

What's over at that end of Windsor now, anyway?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on November 05, 2015, 09:02:33 PM
Until the bridge is built, I'm guessing the majority of traffic will continue to exit/enter at Huron Church Rd.

What's over at that end of Windsor now, anyway?

Not much, but the village of Sandwich (now part of Windsor) is accessed via the last 401 exit, Ojibway Parkway

Ojibway turns into Sandwich St, which in turn turns into Riverside Drive. It's a scenic drive going this way with the Detroit skyline on your left.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@42.276072,-83.0776844,2821m/data=!3m1!1e3
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on November 05, 2015, 10:06:41 PM
Good. I was wondering if this phase was going to be done before the end of the construction season.

Any idea on the last exit number?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 05, 2015, 11:17:08 PM
Good. I was wondering if this phase was going to be done before the end of the construction season.

Any idea on the last exit number?

Looks like it will be #2 per the picture here.
http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/parkways-final-section-to-open

Just not sure of the exit number for the EB ramp from {401} to E.C. Row, however, I'm going to assume it will be Exit #3.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on November 06, 2015, 12:11:54 AM
Good. I was wondering if this phase was going to be done before the end of the construction season.

Any idea on the last exit number?

Looks like it will be #2 per the picture here.
http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/parkways-final-section-to-open

Just not sure of the exit number for the EB ramp from {401} to E.C. Row, however, I'm going to assume it will be Exit #3.

It actually looks like Exit 1. Behind the km marker (to the left in the pic), there is a '1' (hard to see) there.

Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: vdeane on November 06, 2015, 01:05:06 PM
Guess MTO is fudging the numbers so they can end with 1.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 06, 2015, 09:30:40 PM
Good. I was wondering if this phase was going to be done before the end of the construction season.

Any idea on the last exit number?

Looks like it will be #2 per the picture here.
http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/parkways-final-section-to-open

Just not sure of the exit number for the EB ramp from {401} to E.C. Row, however, I'm going to assume it will be Exit #3.

It actually looks like Exit 1. Behind the km marker (to the left in the pic), there is a '1' (hard to see) there.

Thanks for the link.

It will be #1.  The ramps going EB to the E.C. Row will be #2.  Confirmed via a tweet I got back from their Twitter account.
Invalid Tweet ID
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: mgk920 on November 07, 2015, 10:54:37 AM
One quick thought - looking over the latest Bing aerial images of the nearly completed ON 401 extension in Windsor, ON, only one thought comes to my mind as to how that temporary end is laid out - "Poetic justice!".

 :nod:

 :cheers:

Mike
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on November 12, 2015, 10:35:25 AM
New interchange at Wonderland Road is apparently now open.

http://www.am980.ca/2015/11/12/65936/
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on November 12, 2015, 11:03:05 AM
I'm being narcissistic, but I took that photo in the article.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on November 12, 2015, 01:21:00 PM
Took a drive out at lunch. Looks good, though once the city rebuilds the road north and south of there it'll be better. Odd to have an isolated section of decent road like that.
The 401 structures are only six lanes wide (two through lanes plus SCL per direction) though the abutments are wide enough to accommodate additional girders to widen the bridge fairly quickly, once that comes to be.

And it's IC #180 in case anyone was wondering.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on November 12, 2015, 08:27:46 PM
I'm being narcissistic, but I took that photo in the article.

Here's a better picture from today.

Highway 401's newest interchange opens at Wonderland Road in London:
http://www.lfpress.com/2015/11/12/new-hwy-401-interchange-opens-at-wonderland-road-in-london

(http://storage.lfpress.com/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1297771171890_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=1200x&stmp=1447351875068)

Press release:
http://www.news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2015/11/new-highway-interchange-improves-access-to-london.html
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 13, 2015, 02:48:37 AM
I'm being narcissistic, but I took that photo in the article.

Here's a better picture from today.

Highway 401's newest interchange opens at Wonderland Road in London:
http://www.lfpress.com/2015/11/12/new-hwy-401-interchange-opens-at-wonderland-road-in-london

(http://storage.lfpress.com/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1297771171890_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=1200x&stmp=1447351875068)

Press release:
http://www.news.ontario.ca/mto/en/2015/11/new-highway-interchange-improves-access-to-london.html

What's the exit #?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on November 13, 2015, 08:06:31 AM
What's the exit #?

180
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on November 13, 2015, 06:07:54 PM
Good news. I do think in the future London needs it's own freeway on the north side. Maybe even give it a 400 series designation or something.

Anyone know how the widening in Kitchener is going?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: rickmastfan67 on November 13, 2015, 08:14:39 PM
What's the exit #?

180

Thanks. :)  Going to add the exit into my {401} file for TM (http://tm.teresco.org/devel/hb.php?r=on.on401) and submit it to the database in a few. :)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on November 14, 2015, 12:00:39 AM
Good news. I do think in the future London needs it's own freeway on the north side. Maybe even give it a 400 series designation or something.

Anyone know how the widening in Kitchener is going?

It just started this year, so it's in the pretty early stages.  Here is a photo from back in October:

(http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/Ontroads/401_cl_281_west_Oct15_forum.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on November 19, 2015, 09:59:02 PM
Drone footage of Highway 401 near the Don Valley Parkway / Highway 404 interchange.


Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on December 20, 2015, 11:17:02 PM
I have made an interchange in SimCity 4 inspired by the 400 / 401 junction in Toronto.

Click here for a full size image: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/779/23269149944_398dc3de30_o.jpg (https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/779/23269149944_398dc3de30_o.jpg)

Location: https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.7169943,-79.5163695,16.63z

Smaller image below:
(https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/779/23269149944_6d0999bbd4_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on February 03, 2016, 07:51:15 PM
Photos of the 401 extension in Windsor

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?p=7323856#post7323856
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on March 31, 2016, 10:44:04 PM
401 lane doubling in Mississauga begins

http://www.mississauga.com/news-story/6405058-construction-set-to-begin-on-highway-401-widening/
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: SignGeek101 on April 01, 2016, 12:19:25 AM
401 lane doubling in Mississauga begins

http://www.mississauga.com/news-story/6405058-construction-set-to-begin-on-highway-401-widening/

About time. I was wondering when they would start that. No date on the overpass demolition yet I guess, but it would have to happen soon I would think. Once they're done widening, the HOV lane will open east of there, right?
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 01, 2016, 01:58:13 PM
Correct. It will only be about 5km long, but it will eventually be extended west to meet up with HOV lanes being built in Kitchener, Cambridge and Guelph.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on April 02, 2016, 10:01:20 PM
Vid of the 401 through part of Greater Toronto

Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on July 16, 2016, 10:10:53 AM
Video of the new extension in Windsor that opened last year


Put annotations on for info
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: 7/8 on July 17, 2016, 06:33:04 PM
I drove the 401 from Hespeler Rd (Cambridge) to Whitby today, and decided to take some pictures :)

401 Widening in Mississauga before Mavis Rd
(http://i.imgur.com/cqN4K1m.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/FgyV8VL.jpg)

The express-collectors currently splits at Hurontario St
(http://i.imgur.com/g39DoVy.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/nOHrmB8.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/vIvjsXq.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/BaiBE91.jpg)

Lighting between Mavis Rd and Hurontario looks temporary
(http://i.imgur.com/glPMZK9.jpg)

Overpass rehabilitation at 401/427 past the Eglinton exit, looked cool to me :)
(http://i.imgur.com/WbQuotd.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/aKvprQ4.jpg)

I tried to get a photo showing the immensity of the North York section of the 401, but I don't think it does it justice
(http://i.imgur.com/sq5X3ho.jpg)

Lake Ridge Road interchange is currently closed at the 412
(http://i.imgur.com/F4VuGfb.jpg)

412 exit on 401 EB
(http://i.imgur.com/7SNNwum.jpg)

Construction around 412 and Lake Ridge Road
(http://i.imgur.com/9HDd0oL.jpg)
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: AsphaltPlanet on July 18, 2016, 05:05:12 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/aKvprQ4.jpg)

This is a neat capture.  The amount of work to rehabilitate that structure really is impressive.

I quite like Ontario's cast in place beam bridges such as this.  While this design is no longer as ubiquitous as it once was, I think these bridges are one of the factors that makes the GTA's freeway system as aesthetically pleasing as it is.  The GTA's highways tend to have an open airiness that not all highway systems have.  That's one of the things that I've always really liked about the areas highway system.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: 7/8 on August 23, 2016, 08:47:22 PM
Happy Birthday to Toronto's portion of the 401! :cheers: If you're lucky with traffic, it can be a fun road to drive :)

http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2016/08/22/celebrating-60-years-of-highway-401-in-toronto.html (http://www.metronews.ca/news/toronto/2016/08/22/celebrating-60-years-of-highway-401-in-toronto.html)

Quote
Celebrating 60 years of Highway 401 in Toronto

Built to solve some of Toronto's traffic woes, the local section of Highway 401 has instead become one of the busiest roadways in the world.

Sixty years ago this week, Ontario Minister of Highways James Allen officially opened the Toronto section of Highway 401 between Islington Avenue and Markham Road. Built over more than six years, the four-lane "super highway," which would eventually cut across Southern Ontario, was supposed to bring an end to Toronto's post-war traffic problems. Six decades and countless expansions later, the promised driving utopia has, unfortunately, failed to materialize.

Here are five things to know about the origins of the 401 on its 60th birthday.

1. The 401 was supposed to be a Toronto bypass

In 1950, prior to construction of the 401 and Gardiner Expressway, all east-west motor traffic in Southern Ontario had to pass through downtown Toronto using regular city streets. The 401—originally billed as a "bypass"—was built in conjunction with Highway 400 to divert traffic over top of Toronto through what was then mostly fields and new housing subdivisions.

2. The interchanges were amazing

Most motorists in Toronto had never experienced a highway interchange until the 401 opened. The gigantic cloverleaf at the intersection of the 400 and 401—nicknamed the "Crossroads of Canada" for its sheer scale—was the most complex ever built in Ontario when it was finished. The province thought the interchanges so complex that it made charts available to schools "with a view to educating drivers to be."

3. The road was supposed be lined with trees and flowers

It was to be a "thing of beauty to behold." As part of Highway 401 construction, the province agreed to replace every tree it chopped down, making the Toronto portion of the highway a giant avenue of more than 300,000 maples, pines, and Douglas firs. The province also toyed with the idea of planting 2.5-metre rose bushes along the shoulder of the roadway; partly to beautify the road, and partly as a safety measure. The roses, the highways department thought, would slow motorists and act as snow fences in winter.

4. Construction didn't go as planned

The Toronto portion of the 401 contained one of the largest concentrations of highway bridges, overpasses, and underpasses in the province, and building all these gigantic structures at the same time was a significant engineering challenge. Hurricane Hazel heavily damaged the unfinished bridge over the Humber River in 1954 and the bridge at the Don River had to be redesigned when soil conditions proved challenging. A shortage of structural steel from the United States also delayed the project.

5. The 401 was never a driver's paradise

No sooner had it opened were drivers complaining of traffic tie-ups. Thousands of people living in the vicinity of the highway used the 401 for local trips, slowing down those using the road for its intended purpose: bypassing Toronto. The road, which was designed more than a decade before it opened, was already a target for expansion to six lanes in April, 1956. Sixty years later, the Toronto portion of the 401 is the busiest section of highway in the world.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on December 07, 2016, 09:35:36 PM
Widest part. Click for full size.

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5580/30136547891_449a84bf7d_o.jpg) (https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5580/30136547891_449a84bf7d_o.jpg)

Via
https://www.flickr.com/photos/anotherangle/30136547891/
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: jakeroot on December 08, 2016, 12:40:50 AM
Widest part. Click for full size.

Via
https://www.flickr.com/photos/anotherangle/30136547891/

It's really amazing how many vehicles that freeway can handle. If you took all the vehicles in the centre carriageways, and stuck them in the outer carriageways, I'd guess that traffic would be horrible. But the extra carriageways adds an incredible amount of capacity.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 25, 2018, 06:43:47 PM
Increasing density along the highway

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wyliepoon/28992399318/

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1810/28992399318_2a138f215b_o.jpg)

Full size
https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1810/28992399318_2a138f215b_o.jpg
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: haljackey on June 26, 2018, 01:58:03 PM
The Toronto Region Board of Trade is calling for a vertical expansion of Highway 401 near Toronto Pearson International Airport to help alleviate gridlock.

https://www.680news.com/2018/06/26/highway-401-ease-gridlock-board-trade/

-----

At the 427 for instance, the 401 goes from 18 to 10 lanes (and just 8 under the 427) as the collector lanes end. If a new viaduct was built to extend the collector lanes between Highways 427 and 409, you would eliminate this bottleneck.
Title: Re: Highway 401 in Ontario - busiest freeway in the world
Post by: cbeach40 on October 11, 2018, 09:33:59 AM
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the completion of the original stretch of Highway 401, Windsor to Québec.
Per thekingshighway.ca:

Weekly Ontario Historical Highway Trivia:


Did you know?

The final gap in Hwy 401 was completed and opened to traffic 50 years ago this week, on Friday, October 11, 1968.  The official opening took place near Mallorytown, between the Hwy 137 Interchange at Ivy Lea and the Hwy 2
Interchange in Brockville.  The dream of building a divided highway from Windsor all the way to the Quebec Boundary was 3 decades in the making.  The first construction contract for Hwy 401 was awarded for the Toronto-Oshawa section of the highway back in 1938.  This new 510-mile freeway revolutionized highway travel in Ontario, by allowing through traffic to bypass the congested sections of Hwy 2 which passed through the various towns and cities across the province.