AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The next forum trivia night will take place on OCTOBER 30, 2019 at 8:15 PM Eastern.

Author Topic: Virginia to Toronto and back  (Read 3961 times)

Mapmikey

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2754
  • Co-curator with Froggie of www.vahighways.com

  • Age: 50
  • Last Login: Today at 06:11:41 AM
    • Co-curator Virginia Highways Project
Virginia to Toronto and back
« on: June 04, 2015, 05:24:55 PM »

Took a few days and went to Toronto...

For the trip up, we elected not to get up early but instead go to a place for lunch east of Harrisonburg, VA on US 33, then spend the night in central Pennsylvania.  The VA 280 extension to US 33 is nearly ready for paving on the US 33 end.  I used VA/WV 259 to US 48 west.  This was probably the most crowded I've seen US 48 - 4 or 5 cars visible at any one time in both directions.  Took WV 93, US 50, WV 972 to US 220.  WV 93 north of US 48 is good.  There are now TO US 48 shields at the US 50 jct with WV 93.  Followed US 220 then MD 636, which is now posted from US 220 NB.  Took MD 53 and Vocke Rd to I-68 through Cumberland, then US 220 north past Tyrone, PA.  Took PA 350 to Phillipsburg and stayed the night at I-80/PA 879 Clearfield.  PA 350 badly needs a climbing lane.  It is heavily used by trucks and very slow when you are behind one.

On the second day I used PA 153, PA 255, US 219, PA 321 then US 6 to Warren.  Most of these roads were good to travel, especially PA 321.  Took US 62 north from Warren with the intent to take it to I-290 so I could clinch US 62 in NY.  Had to bail at I-190 because it had taken so long.  US 62 in New York is ridiculous...requires over a dozen turns to stay on the route and for a huge distance north of NY 394 the pavement was in such poor shape that driving 55 mph on it was difficult.  There is an error NY 62 shield at NY 39.  Used the Peace Bridge and the QEW.  Border crossing was essentially empty and a breeze.  Approaching Toronto I used ON 403, ON 401, and ON 400 north to where we were staying, just north of ETR 407.

Toronto has a lot of traffic and could've used one more freeway down to the waterfront area.  Plus one of the days we drove down into the city the Don Valley Pkwy was closed which made traffic impossible.  We did go to the Royal Ontario Museum (good Egyptian and dinosaur exhibits).  On a different day we went to St. Lawrence Market and walked from there to the CN Tower.  Pricey to get up in the tower but it's hard to argue with the view. 

I liked that most routes in Ontario were posted in cutouts.  There are some erroneous ON 9 references still up east of ON 400:  A kings 9 cutout shield WB at Yonge St; a text sign on RR 6 NB near Davis Ave saying to use #9 WB to reach #400 (ON 9 becomes RR 31 east of 400).  GMSV also shows ON 9 east postings at the top of the ramps from both directions of 400.  I also saw a vestige of former ON 7, WB at RR 71 where a WEST banner remains with the RR 7 shield (this was the only RR banner I saw in the Toronto suburbs).

Most roads were underposted for speed limits in Ontario.  And Ontarians ignored all the speed limits.  It was weird in my own car - speedometer is analog and has no km/hr numbers.  But I can tell it electronically to go metric and the needle recalibrates and uses the same painted numbers that the mph used.  So when going 110 km/hr it looked like I was going 110 mph, which took a little getting used to.

Coming home I used ETR 407 back to QEW, then ON 405 to the Lewiston Br to I-190 (border crossing was 45 seconds).  Followed I-290 then I-90 to Erie; I-79 to I-279/I-579 to Pittsburgh; PA 51 to PA 43 to Uniontown then US 40 to I-68.  Hadn't done this part of US 40 in a while and forgot how steep the mountain out of Uniontown is.  The truck speed limit going down the mountain (WB) is 10 mph.  Took my normal route home from Hancock via US 522 south.  Only things of note are that the VA 37 interchange with I-81 south of Winchester is in the infancy of being expanded and that there are now circle 28 postings in the blue business signs VDOT has been putting up the last several years, in both directions on US 17.  The return trip was in one sitting, about 11.5 hrs.

Routes clinched: I-90 (PA), I-279, I-579, MD 636, WV 93, WV 972, ON 405, ON 427, Don Valley Pkwy

New additional mileage: PA 350 (I-99 to US 322); PA 153 (I-80 to PA 255); PA 255 (PA 153 to US 219); PA 321 (US 219 to Kane); US 6 (Kane to Warren); US 62 (Warren to I-190); QEW (USA to ON 403); ETR 407 (QEW to ON 400); ON 401 (ON 403 to ON 404); ON 403 (Hamilton to ON 401); I-90 (PA line to I-290)

Mike

Logged

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10511
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 08:40:24 AM
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 06:44:49 PM »

Let us know how long it takes the 407 ETR folks to send you a bill, if they ever do. I've been curious about how that works as to different states.

It's funny, I was just thinking of making a trip up to Toronto to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame midweek sometime this summer when the matter on which I'm currently working ends. I haven't been to Toronto since August 1986.
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Mapmikey

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2754
  • Co-curator with Froggie of www.vahighways.com

  • Age: 50
  • Last Login: Today at 06:11:41 AM
    • Co-curator Virginia Highways Project
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2015, 08:35:27 PM »

We walked right by the Hockey HOF...it is about as downtown as one can be.

If you are serious abut visiting Toronto this summer check the city's event calendar...they are hosting the Pan-AM games in a few weeks.  They are setting up a bunch of temporary HOV lanes on their freeways (different from what London did for the 2012 olympics where the temp special lanes were for ticket holders - they were mostly unused while regular traffic got one less lane in a lot of inner urban areas).

ETR407 website seems to suggest a bill won't come until the end of a monthly billing cycle. 

Mike

Logged

SignGeek101

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1866
  • Winnipeg sign geek and civil engineering student.

  • Age: 23
  • Location: Winnipeg
  • Last Login: July 19, 2018, 09:05:19 PM
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2015, 09:42:05 PM »

I liked that most routes in Ontario were posted in cutouts.

Ontario uses both the non-cut out and cut out variants. Why I don't know, but Ontario probably has the best shields / trailblazers in Canada I think.

Most roads were underposted for speed limits in Ontario.  And Ontarians ignored all the speed limits.

No one follows the silly 100 km/h limit. You go that fast and you're making the road more dangerous for everyone else. Cops have to go 120 just to keep up. I think Ontario would raise it, but with the "speed kills" and the politics around that, plus ticket revenue, it won't happen for now.

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10511
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 08:40:24 AM
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 10:32:14 PM »

We walked right by the Hockey HOF...it is about as downtown as one can be.

If you are serious abut visiting Toronto this summer check the city's event calendar...they are hosting the Pan-AM games in a few weeks.  They are setting up a bunch of temporary HOV lanes on their freeways (different from what London did for the 2012 olympics where the temp special lanes were for ticket holders - they were mostly unused while regular traffic got one less lane in a lot of inner urban areas).

ETR407 website seems to suggest a bill won't come until the end of a monthly billing cycle. 

Mike



Thanks. It occurred to me that we already have a rather expensive trip planned for the end of July for our fifth anniversary (a weekend at the Inn at Little Washington), so I realized I should save the money I'd spend driving to Toronto. I guess if I have some free weekdays maybe I'll do a day trip or two to western Maryland.

Thanks for the info on the ETR, as I've wondered about that for a while. Let us know if you do receive a bill, if you don't mind. I'm just interested in knowing (a) how long it takes and (b) whether they might not bother if you're from a more distant jurisdiction and you just have the one trip.
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Mapmikey

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2754
  • Co-curator with Froggie of www.vahighways.com

  • Age: 50
  • Last Login: Today at 06:11:41 AM
    • Co-curator Virginia Highways Project
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 06:13:40 AM »



Thanks. It occurred to me that we already have a rather expensive trip planned for the end of July for our fifth anniversary (a weekend at the Inn at Little Washington), so I realized I should save the money I'd spend driving to Toronto. I guess if I have some free weekdays maybe I'll do a day trip or two to western Maryland.

Thanks for the info on the ETR, as I've wondered about that for a while. Let us know if you do receive a bill, if you don't mind. I'm just interested in knowing (a) how long it takes and (b) whether they might not bother if you're from a more distant jurisdiction and you just have the one trip.

The Toronto trip was for our 25th anniversary and we elected to do that instead of going to one dinner at the Inn at Little Washington.  My wife has trouble believing a $400 dinner could ever be worth the cost...

Mike
Logged

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10511
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 08:40:24 AM
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 08:29:02 PM »

I understand that. We've been there once before, prior to getting married, when her boss gave her a $250 gift certificate. We're staying overnight as well as having dinner. It's a fabulous place, but I certainly understand people hesitating over the price. The fact that it costs more on weekends doesn't help in that respect.
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

cl94

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5732
  • Trust me, I'm a transportation engineer

  • Age: 25
  • Location: Albany, New York
  • Last Login: Today at 02:02:59 AM
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2015, 09:07:51 PM »

US 62 in New York is baaaaaad. You bailed before the worst parts, too. Between I-190 and NY 324, all but about 1/2 mile is city- or county-maintained and neither keeps US 62 in remotely decent shape. If you're lucky, it takes almost 45 minutes to travel the Bailey Avenue portion of US 62 during the day (and you don't want to be on it at night). Niagara Falls Boulevard is bad-either traffic is at a standstill or it's a narrow 4-lane road with a 50 mph speed limit, large potholes, and large ditches immediately beyond the narrow shoulders.

Honestly, bailing may have saved you over 2 hours depending on the time of day. The toll to cross the Grand Island Bridges to get between Buffalo and Niagara Falls is worth every penny to avoid US 62, even though it adds a couple miles to my trips.

I did traffic counts on US 62 this week near its northern I-190 interchange and there was at least one accident each PM rush hour. That is common.

The QEW, on the other hand, is awesome. It's a well-known fact around here that the speed limit isn't enforced unless you're going a good 10-20 km/h faster than everyone else.
Logged
Please note: All posts represent my personal opinions and do not represent those of my employer or any of its partner agencies.

Travel Mapping (updated weekly)

Mapmikey

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2754
  • Co-curator with Froggie of www.vahighways.com

  • Age: 50
  • Last Login: Today at 06:11:41 AM
    • Co-curator Virginia Highways Project
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2015, 10:19:04 AM »

The good news is that I drove US 62 from I-290 north and west to NY 104 in the late 1990s, so all I am missing is I-290 south to NY 354, which I will work in someday...

I got the vibe speed enforcement might be different in Ontario when I saw the signs talking about being 50 km/hr over the limit.  That must be pretty common to warrant widespread signage like they have.  I did not see many people going 90 mph but plenty who were going 70-75 mph...

Mike
Logged

Mapmikey

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2754
  • Co-curator with Froggie of www.vahighways.com

  • Age: 50
  • Last Login: Today at 06:11:41 AM
    • Co-curator Virginia Highways Project
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2015, 06:26:37 PM »

Update on ETR 407 billing...

Now 2 months after driving it I have not received a bill...

Mike
Logged

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10511
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 08:40:24 AM
Re: Virginia to Toronto and back
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2015, 09:32:17 PM »

Heh. Meanwhile, the Inn at Little Washington was utterly stupendous in every way. But when you add tax and tips to the price of dinner ($208 per person prix fixe for seven courses plus dessert) plus wine, you would not have gotten a $50 bill in change if you'd paid with a $1000 bill.

Of course, that's also the fault of the person who decided to order a $275 bottle of wine. What the heck, might as well make a special occasion really special!
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.