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Author Topic: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism  (Read 13055 times)

MisterSG1

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Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« on: February 19, 2015, 12:30:02 AM »

It honestly has been frustrating being a road geek who lives in the GTA. Consider that politics have made road expansion a very abrasive issue, I have mostly lost interest in projects here in Ontario. The 401 expansion through Mississauga whose preliminary work was started way back when The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan in the SkyDome.  :D It angers me that such a plan was corrupted by the social engineering of the HOV lanes, but I digress.

My biggest beef with the so called "Herb Gray Parkway", is the lack of proper freeway to freeway connection between Highway 401 and the EC Row Expressway. Ironically, we all know that one can access EC Row from the 401 when coming from Detroit, and one could use the EC Row to get TO Detroit, but not back on the 401 to head to Toronto. Surely, it's better than it was before, but it is unacceptable. It's unclear if we even have a freeway to freeway access from 401 WB to EC Row, as I think you have to stop at a light to get on, does anyone know for sure? Also, one coming WB on the EC Row cannot go on the 401 Toronto bound.

Seeing the current plan with signage also makes me shake my head. The MTO has been obsessed with over the top bilingulaism lately, and sure, having WEST/OUEST appear on a sign isn't all too bad. But when we have signs saying "USA / EU", I mean really? Quebec doesn't have New York as "Nouveau-York" on A-15 south signs now, in fact, I believe USA is used as a control city on A-30 from the A-20, as one can reach multiple states going that route. Furthermore, why is Ontario always so scared of putting Detroit on the road sign anyways? Montreal is a control point on I-87 just a tad north of The Big Apple, but yet Ontario has extreme fear of the US. There's no reason why there can't be some reference to I-75 on these signs. And especially, why is there absolutely no reference to Toronto on these first round of road signs in Windsor? Yes, London is the control point, but even when coming from Quebec, Toronto appears on the first couple distance signs if I recall although Cornwall is the control point. Well that's my rant for now, but I think the signage could be a lot better in this stretch, and the billingualism is simply over the top there.
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SignGeek101

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 12:42:48 AM »

The MTO has been obsessed with over the top bilingulaism lately, and sure, having WEST/OUEST appear on a sign isn't all too bad. But when we have signs saying "USA / EU", I mean really? Quebec doesn't have New York as "Nouveau-York" on A-15 south signs now, in fact, I believe USA is used as a control city on A-30 from the A-20, as one can reach multiple states going that route. Furthermore, why is Ontario always so scared of putting Detroit on the road sign anyways? Montreal is a control point on I-87 just a tad north of The Big Apple, but yet Ontario has extreme fear of the US. There's no reason why there can't be some reference to I-75 on these signs. And especially, why is there absolutely no reference to Toronto on these first round of road signs in Windsor? Yes, London is the control point, but even when coming from Quebec, Toronto appears on the first couple distance signs if I recall although Cornwall is the control point. Well that's my rant for now, but I think the signage could be a lot better in this stretch, and the billingualism is simply over the top there.

I'm not a fan of bilingualism either, but it's a thing that's here to stay. Using USA / EU as a control city is pretty extreme I agree, but there is always the bilingual nut out there who would speak out against not going completely bilingual. Using Av (Name) Ave is another example.

Putting Detroit as a control city would be nice, but it's not often you see on the US side using a Canadian city as its control city (I-87, like you said, is an exception). Most times, like on I-69, I-94, you'll see "Canada" as a control city.

It would be nice to list Toronto as a secondary control city with London, but I don't see how it's so important. There are a lot of other possible places to go that are closer than Toronto, so putting Toronto on a sign in Windsor simply isn't realistic, in my opinion. Personally, I would rather see Interstate shields (maybe I-90 or I-190) on turnoffs such as the QEW as some Americans cut through Canada to head to say, New York city.

So to conclude, I don't agree with a lot of what the MTO does or doesn't do, but I always conclude it could be worse. They put legible signs that are to modern standards and are at least sort of easy to follow most times.

MisterSG1

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 01:08:16 AM »

Control cities on Interstates, as far as I know, I-5 north from Seattle has Vancouver, BC as its control city. Seattle used to be the standard in Vancouver, but has been replaced by "USA Border" as far as I know on newer signs.

I-15 has Lethbridge after passing Shelby, MT. Mind you, that is not a far distance either. In your neck of the woods, I-29 has Winnipeg as a control city north of Grand Forks, not Canada. I-87 and I-89 both have Montreal, and I believe I-91 has Sherbrooke.

The real kicker, in the early 90s, the MTO did in fact sign the Hwy 405 exit off the QEW as "405 to I-190". Yes, I know the QEW technically becomes I-190 as well, maybe that's the reason why they removed it. The I-81 exit east of Gananoque on the 401 is the only point in Ontario where you will see an interstate shield as far as I know.

Again, the "Canada" signage seems to appear in places that border Ontario.

But as for "Toronto", remember, in Montreal, Toronto is used as a control point on A-20 in the city, and when you cross the boundary into Ontario, you'll see one MTO distance sign referencing Toronto, and you won't see another until you are close to Kingston, that's all I'm asking for in Windsor. For Toronto to be acknowledged on the first round of signs, in a perfect world, I'd have Toronto on the road signs on the exit on I-75 in Detroit with a Hwy 401 shield, but perhaps I'm asking for too much.
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Bickendan

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 02:11:43 AM »

Quote from: SignGeek101
Most times, like on I-69, I-94, you'll see "Canada" as a control city.
What would you put on I-69 or 94 as the final control point? Port Huron? Sarnia? London? Or just Canada?

For I-69, I'd probably go
"Coldwater
Battle Creek
Lansing"

"<Minor Town>
Battle Creek
Lansing"

"Battle Creek via I-94
Lansing
Flint"

"<Minor Town>
Lansing
Flint"

"Lansing
Flint
Detroit via I-96"

"Grand Rapids via I-96
Flint
Canada"

"<Minor Town>
Flint
Canada"

"Flint
Port Huron
Sarnia, CANADA"

"<Minor Town>
Port Huron
Sarnia, CANADA"

"Port Huron x miles
BLUE WATER BRIDGE - TOLL
Sarnia, CANADA x KM
London, CANADA x KM"

"Exit 275 - Last US Exit 2 miles
BLUE WATER BRIDGE - TOLL
Sarnia x KM
London x KM
Toronto x KM"
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dcbjms

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 06:47:51 AM »

In the case of Windsor, IIRC it's one of the municipalities covered under the French Language Services Act, hence the bilingual signage.  So it's not over-the-top but following the law in this case.  Interestingly, on the other hand, east of Toronto, the 401 does mention how to get to I-81/Thousand Islands or to Ogdensburg, NY quite explicitly, as does the 416.  So I guess the MTO is doing a case-by-case basis, which of course does not excuse the non-mention of Detroit except by osmosis.
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cbeach40

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 10:13:47 AM »

My biggest beef with the so called "Herb Gray Parkway", is the lack of proper freeway to freeway connection between Highway 401 and the EC Row Expressway. Ironically, we all know that one can access EC Row from the 401 when coming from Detroit, and one could use the EC Row to get TO Detroit, but not back on the 401 to head to Toronto. Surely, it's better than it was before, but it is unacceptable. It's unclear if we even have a freeway to freeway access from 401 WB to EC Row, as I think you have to stop at a light to get on, does anyone know for sure? Also, one coming WB on the EC Row cannot go on the 401 Toronto bound.


There really isn't a practical reason to use that move. The drive time along Howard/Division/Provincial from the ECR to Hwy 401 is less than it would be to go all the way down to where the two highways meet and doubling back. Or if you're in the extremely rare case where a logical destination is best accessed that way yes, you'd have to go through some signals along Hwy 3. But considering how rare that move is, there isn't much sense of paying tens of millions of dollars to build the massive flyover ramps that would be needed to accommodate that.

For assurance signs, yes, there probably ought to be some reference to Toronto, at least on one of the first ones. Might be worth investigating.
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kkt

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 12:55:57 PM »

Signing to EU is going to really confuse motorists looking for the Fritzowl Monumental Transatlantic Bridge...
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MisterSG1

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2015, 08:49:20 PM »

In the case of Windsor, IIRC it's one of the municipalities covered under the French Language Services Act, hence the bilingual signage.  So it's not over-the-top but following the law in this case.  Interestingly, on the other hand, east of Toronto, the 401 does mention how to get to I-81/Thousand Islands or to Ogdensburg, NY quite explicitly, as does the 416.  So I guess the MTO is doing a case-by-case basis, which of course does not excuse the non-mention of Detroit except by osmosis.

No it does not. Nowhere in Ontario will you see any mention of the word "Odgensburg", it is simply a "Bridge to U.S.A." BUT in this case, the corresponding NY state route is shown for the exit here. I think it's NY 37. Unless this has changed, other than the awkward mention of "Buffalo, U.S.A" on the QEW signs, the only US control city is way up in Northern Ontario for Hwy 61, Duluth is listed as a control city.....since I have never been beyond Sudbury, I know nothing of what it's like today. I've been to St. John's and usually go yearly, but have never been any bit west of here in Canada.
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SignGeek101

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 10:34:58 PM »

In the case of Windsor, IIRC it's one of the municipalities covered under the French Language Services Act, hence the bilingual signage.  So it's not over-the-top but following the law in this case.  Interestingly, on the other hand, east of Toronto, the 401 does mention how to get to I-81/Thousand Islands or to Ogdensburg, NY quite explicitly, as does the 416.  So I guess the MTO is doing a case-by-case basis, which of course does not excuse the non-mention of Detroit except by osmosis.

No it does not. Nowhere in Ontario will you see any mention of the word "Odgensburg", it is simply a "Bridge to U.S.A." BUT in this case, the corresponding NY state route is shown for the exit here. I think it's NY 37. Unless this has changed, other than the awkward mention of "Buffalo, U.S.A" on the QEW signs, the only US control city is way up in Northern Ontario for Hwy 61, Duluth is listed as a control city.....since I have never been beyond Sudbury, I know nothing of what it's like today. I've been to St. John's and usually go yearly, but have never been any bit west of here in Canada.

Sign for Deluth.
http://goo.gl/maps/KM1Mv

jakeroot

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2015, 02:18:33 AM »

Putting Detroit as a control city would be nice, but it's not often you see on the US side using a Canadian city as its control city (I-87, like you said, is an exception). Most times, like on I-69, I-94, you'll see "Canada" as a control city.

Washington State signs I-5 north from Seattle as "Vancouver B.C." Just thought you might like to know that.
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SignGeek101

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2015, 11:57:05 AM »

Putting Detroit as a control city would be nice, but it's not often you see on the US side using a Canadian city as its control city (I-87, like you said, is an exception). Most times, like on I-69, I-94, you'll see "Canada" as a control city.

Washington State signs I-5 north from Seattle as "Vancouver B.C." Just thought you might like to know that.

I know, signs in Shelby Montana say "Lethbridge" for I-15 and signs in Grand Forks show "Winnipeg" for I-29. I should have said cities in Ontario, like MisterSG1 said, because I don't think I've seen a BGS in the US states bordering Ontario have a control city in Ontario.

AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2015, 04:29:11 PM »

The use of city vs. region might be a land border vs. water border difference
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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2015, 09:37:38 PM »

I-87 northbound has signage for Montreal at various places. including where it leaves the Thruway in Albany.
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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2015, 09:39:27 PM »

No it does not. Nowhere in Ontario will you see any mention of the word "Odgensburg", it is simply a "Bridge to U.S.A."

I hate signs that say "Bridge to U.S.A." or "Bridge to Canada" and nothing else.

And I don't care for the Caltrans signage on I-5 approaching the Mexican border that reads "International Border" and not much else.
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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2015, 10:08:50 PM »

There is a sign on the I-87 (NYS Thruway) in Rockland County stating the distance to Montreal in miles.
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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2015, 10:23:01 PM »

There is a sign on the I-87 (NYS Thruway) in Rockland County stating the distance to Montreal in miles.

There are many signs for Canadian cities on American highways. It's nice to see.

http://goo.gl/maps/1NBky

The opposite is also true:

http://goo.gl/maps/rqfIq

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2015, 10:54:09 AM »

I know, signs in Shelby Montana say "Lethbridge" for I-15 and signs in Grand Forks show "Winnipeg" for I-29. I should have said cities in Ontario, like MisterSG1 said, because I don't think I've seen a BGS in the US states bordering Ontario have a control city in Ontario.

"Lethbridge" starts showing up on I-15 distance signs as far south as Great Falls, MT, http://goo.gl/maps/IlaoN, though Shelby is used as the control city.

It seems that some jurisdictions are better than others when it comes to using cities outside their own province, either Canadian or US.  Some provinces either will use a vague representation (something like USA, Provincial Border, etc.) or pick a small border town.  For example, TCH 1 west of Banff uses "Lake Louise", then "Field" (BC); IMO "Kamloops" would be a better choice.
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MisterSG1

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2015, 11:20:32 PM »

No it does not. Nowhere in Ontario will you see any mention of the word "Odgensburg", it is simply a "Bridge to U.S.A."

I hate signs that say "Bridge to U.S.A." or "Bridge to Canada" and nothing else.

And I don't care for the Caltrans signage on I-5 approaching the Mexican border that reads "International Border" and not much else.

Amen brother, I think I'll start a new thread on this site somewhere on this topic, but the case in BC, where they used to show Seattle as a control point may be a result of "border thickening" which has been very unfortunate.

But here in my province, the only control cities in the US you will see on any signs are "Lewiston, U.S.A.", "Niagara Falls, U.S.A.", "Buffalo, U.S.A.", and "Duluth". But I get the feeling, a "Bridge to U.S.A." gives a sort of otherworldly description to it. I've always been intrigued by this topic, but Ontario is probably the least friendly province to showing corresponding routes on the other side or cities. Interesting with the Canada signage, as someone stated, about a sign close to NYC showing Montreal on a distance sign over 300 miles away, but in that same state, all the border crossings which go into Ontario are simply signed as "Bridge to Canada" or "Canada". The one on I-190 is a little bit better but I still don't like it too much, "Peace Bridge, Ft Erie, Can". Perhaps it's not practical to have control cities in the Niagara Region border crossings, but there is absolutely no reason why Watertown couldn't appear on that sign on the 401, or Kingston appearing on the NY side.
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jakeroot

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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2015, 03:22:00 AM »

No it does not. Nowhere in Ontario will you see any mention of the word "Odgensburg", it is simply a "Bridge to U.S.A."

I hate signs that say "Bridge to U.S.A." or "Bridge to Canada" and nothing else.

And I don't care for the Caltrans signage on I-5 approaching the Mexican border that reads "International Border" and not much else.

I'd rather have "Bridge to USA" than a sign 10 miles from the border that just says "Customs".
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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2015, 06:59:25 AM »


Along  the Trans Canada at Woodstock, New Brunswick:




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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2015, 07:13:14 PM »

Quebec seems to post state names rather than control cities or "USA".
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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2015, 08:43:39 PM »

Which makes a lot of sense, given the number of states that Quebec borders.
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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2016, 03:11:22 PM »

Update: 2020 completion date of the bridge may be unlikely

http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/a-2020-opening-of-the-new-windsor-detroit-bridge-is-looking-like-a-long-shot

I posted this same article in the "Detroit Bridge Wars" thread early today :)

My biggest beef with the so called "Herb Gray Parkway", is the lack of proper freeway to freeway connection between Highway 401 and the EC Row Expressway. Ironically, we all know that one can access EC Row from the 401 when coming from Detroit, and one could use the EC Row to get TO Detroit, but not back on the 401 to head to Toronto. Surely, it's better than it was before, but it is unacceptable. It's unclear if we even have a freeway to freeway access from 401 WB to EC Row, as I think you have to stop at a light to get on, does anyone know for sure? Also, one coming WB on the EC Row cannot go on the 401 Toronto bound.

Do you think there will be a lot of traffic between the EC Row and the 401 for those movements? I feel like a lot of people in Windsor would use other N-S roads to get between the EC Row and the 401 instead. I think Dougall Parkway and Division Rd are fine alternatives.

Seeing the current plan with signage also makes me shake my head. The MTO has been obsessed with over the top bilingulaism lately, and sure, having WEST/OUEST appear on a sign isn't all too bad. But when we have signs saying "USA / EU", I mean really? Quebec doesn't have New York as "Nouveau-York" on A-15 south signs now, in fact, I believe USA is used as a control city on A-30 from the A-20, as one can reach multiple states going that route. Furthermore, why is Ontario always so scared of putting Detroit on the road sign anyways? Montreal is a control point on I-87 just a tad north of The Big Apple, but yet Ontario has extreme fear of the US. There's no reason why there can't be some reference to I-75 on these signs. And especially, why is there absolutely no reference to Toronto on these first round of road signs in Windsor? Yes, London is the control point, but even when coming from Quebec, Toronto appears on the first couple distance signs if I recall although Cornwall is the control point. Well that's my rant for now, but I think the signage could be a lot better in this stretch, and the billingualism is simply over the top there.

I agree the billingualism is over-the-top. Quebec has hardly any English signs even close to their borders, yet we sign French on the other side of the province (My Dad's side of the family are anglophone Quebecers, so this is a common complaint in my family :-D). I also think it's silly how the MTO avoids signing American cities. I think the 401 West signs should say Detroit too. Maybe it's because some Canadians are scared of Detroit ;-)
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Re: Hwy 401 Extension....missed opportunities and criticism
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2016, 06:31:00 PM »

I agree the billingualism is over-the-top. Quebec has hardly any English signs even close to their borders, yet we sign French on the other side of the province (My Dad's side of the family are anglophone Quebecers, so this is a common complaint in my family :-D).

Windsor is a designated area under the Ontario French Language Services Act; apparently there are enough Francophones to justify it, even though most MTO signage is such that a Francophone would have little trouble deciphering it.

As for why Ontario translates "USA" and Quebec doesn't, presumably the Quebec language authorities have decreed that "USA" is actually a French word, much as they decided "STOP" is a French word - after all, it's good enough for France and Belgium and Switzerland, even though stop controls are much rarer in Europe than North America - so they can avoid posting bilingual stop signs.
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