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Author Topic: Ontario's Highways  (Read 277323 times)

Stephane Dumas

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1100 on: September 26, 2019, 03:50:36 PM »


That's a good question.  The QEW was first "the Middle Road" before it was the QEW.
The 401, on the other hand was just Highway 2A, or maybe the Toronto By-pass.  But I'm not sure if the Toronto By-pass was ever actually used in normal parlance.  Without looking it up, I don't think the M-C Freeway designation was applied until the advance of the Centennial in 1965.
The 400 was the Toronto-Barrie Highway for for five years before it became the 400.

I've never given it much thought, but it could just be simple as a prominent traffic reporter of the time called the highways as "the" and it's just stuck for the decades that follow.

Hwy-401 from Scarborough to Oshawa was known as Hwy-2A. The 401 number was assigned in the early 1950s.  The Toronto by-pass name was once used briefly in maps back when northern Toronto metro was still farmland.
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GaryV

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1101 on: September 26, 2019, 04:06:21 PM »

I suspect the convention of prepending "the" before the numbers of 400-series freeways evolved independently in Ontario and has more to do with the first freeways being named ("the Queen Elizabeth Way," "the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway," etc.). 
That doesn't entirely explain it.

Most of the freeways in metro Detroit have names.  Many of those names pre-date the numbering of the roads.  E.g. Detroit Industrial Expressway, Davison Freeway, Lodge Freeway.  Yet no one in the area calls them The 94, The 8 or The 10.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1102 on: September 26, 2019, 04:45:25 PM »

Does anyone know when Highway 401 will be completed to Interstate 75 in Detroit? How about when Highway 400 will finally reach Sudbury?
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wanderer2575

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1103 on: September 26, 2019, 07:22:19 PM »

Does anyone know when Highway 401 will be completed to Interstate 75 in Detroit? How about when Highway 400 will finally reach Sudbury?

To your first question, the last I read is that the Gordie Howe Bridge will be completed in 2024.  Assuming the Maroun family doesn't keep trying to stop it.
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jakeroot

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1104 on: September 27, 2019, 01:28:37 AM »

I suspect the convention of prepending "the" before the numbers of 400-series freeways evolved independently in Ontario and has more to do with the first freeways being named ("the Queen Elizabeth Way," "the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway," etc.). 
That doesn't entirely explain it.

Most of the freeways in metro Detroit have names.  Many of those names pre-date the numbering of the roads.  E.g. Detroit Industrial Expressway, Davison Freeway, Lodge Freeway.  Yet no one in the area calls them The 94, The 8 or The 10.

I typically refer to Michigan state highways as "the M__", as the last time I was familiar with routes starting with just "M" were motorways in the UK.
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mrsman

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1105 on: September 29, 2019, 06:08:32 AM »

I suspect the convention of prepending "the" before the numbers of 400-series freeways evolved independently in Ontario and has more to do with the first freeways being named ("the Queen Elizabeth Way," "the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway," etc.). 
That doesn't entirely explain it.

Most of the freeways in metro Detroit have names.  Many of those names pre-date the numbering of the roads.  E.g. Detroit Industrial Expressway, Davison Freeway, Lodge Freeway.  Yet no one in the area calls them The 94, The 8 or The 10.

I typically refer to Michigan state highways as "the M__", as the last time I was familiar with routes starting with just "M" were motorways in the UK.

If you are not native to the area, the way you call something is irrelevant.  I don't believe that most people in Michigan refer to their highways as "the M 8".  It is just "M8".  But it is unique to Michigan to even refer to state highways with the "M", but then again, they put an M on each state highway marker, and I don't beleive there are any other states that do something equivalent.

I'm an L.A. native.  WHen I lived in Northern California, there was definitely some consternation I could hear from some voices when I would refer to the 5, the 99, or the 101.  I later lived in NYC area, and in the city most highways are referred to by name because so many of the parkways don't even have a number and you refer to "the LIE" or "the BQE".  (The few times that highways are referred to by number, you don't use the definite article, but none of those roads are within city limits.  You'd get blank stares if you ask about the 278, it's referred to by its name the Gowanus or the BQE or the Triboro Bridges [not RFK] or the Bruckner.)  Now I live in the DC area.  I also got some consternation referring to the 270 and the 495, but over time I learned to drop the habit in conversation, as I've been here for 18 years.  Yet the CA highways (even in the Bay Area) will always be referred to with the definite article.
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mrsman

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1106 on: September 29, 2019, 06:09:36 AM »

Speaking of Ontario and Southern California. When I drove around the GTA over in 2016 it honestly felt like driving in Southern California. The sheer amount of traffic and fast driving had a similar feel as it did when I went around Los Angeles in 2015. On top of using "the" in front of the route numbers, the signs all were of a similar size, kind of like many of the California highway signs. The whole highway network had a California feel to me.

Montreal on the other hand felt more like driving in New York City for some reason.

Perhaps it's the No Turn on Red.
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tdindy88

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1107 on: September 29, 2019, 09:20:20 AM »

Speaking of Ontario and Southern California. When I drove around the GTA over in 2016 it honestly felt like driving in Southern California. The sheer amount of traffic and fast driving had a similar feel as it did when I went around Los Angeles in 2015. On top of using "the" in front of the route numbers, the signs all were of a similar size, kind of like many of the California highway signs. The whole highway network had a California feel to me.

Montreal on the other hand felt more like driving in New York City for some reason.

Perhaps it's the No Turn on Red.

Didn't think about that. I was thinking more Autoroute 40 across the island. Also the main city is on an island and can only be reached via bridges and tunnels.
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jakeroot

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1108 on: September 29, 2019, 03:55:08 PM »

I suspect the convention of prepending "the" before the numbers of 400-series freeways evolved independently in Ontario and has more to do with the first freeways being named ("the Queen Elizabeth Way," "the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway," etc.). 
That doesn't entirely explain it.

Most of the freeways in metro Detroit have names.  Many of those names pre-date the numbering of the roads.  E.g. Detroit Industrial Expressway, Davison Freeway, Lodge Freeway.  Yet no one in the area calls them The 94, The 8 or The 10.

I typically refer to Michigan state highways as "the M__", as the last time I was familiar with routes starting with just "M" were motorways in the UK.

If you are not native to the area, the way you call something is irrelevant.  I don't believe that most people in Michigan refer to their highways as "the M 8".  It is just "M8".  But it is unique to Michigan to even refer to state highways with the "M", but then again, they put an M on each state highway marker, and I don't beleive there are any other states that do something equivalent.

Well, thank you captain obvious. Of course how I say it doesn't matter to locals. My point was simply that I have referred to Michigan highways with a definite article on the few occasions that I've referred to them, because the uniqueness of the singluar "M" reminded me of UK motorway numbering schemes. I've been to the UK more than Michigan, so I got used to their style first.

I'm an L.A. native.  WHen I lived in Northern California, there was definitely some consternation I could hear from some voices when I would refer to the 5, the 99, or the 101.  I later lived in NYC area, and in the city most highways are referred to by name because so many of the parkways don't even have a number and you refer to "the LIE" or "the BQE".  (The few times that highways are referred to by number, you don't use the definite article, but none of those roads are within city limits.  You'd get blank stares if you ask about the 278, it's referred to by its name the Gowanus or the BQE or the Triboro Bridges [not RFK] or the Bruckner.)  Now I live in the DC area.  I also got some consternation referring to the 270 and the 495, but over time I learned to drop the habit in conversation, as I've been here for 18 years.  Yet the CA highways (even in the Bay Area) will always be referred to with the definite article.

In the Seattle area, there are so many people who were not born here, you can say just about anything and people will figure it out. "Route", "State Route", "Highway, "interstate", and "the" are all used. Some locals get all uptight about that last one, much like Northern California, but freeways are a thing (ie noun), so I don't see why it's a big deal.
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webny99

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1109 on: September 30, 2019, 11:23:19 AM »

So, it's official!

110 km/h can now be seen on 3 Ontario highway segments! 2 of these 3 are connections between the US border and the Toronto area, so it shouldn't be too challenging for many of us in the Eastern US to see 110 km/h in action!
I got to drive what is IMO by far most interesting of the 3 (that being the QEW between St. Catharines and Hamilton). It's the only six-lane / jersey barrier style highway of the bunch, and it's also the only one with recurring congestion issues.

My hot take is that this limit increase is going to single-handedly eliminate the weekend congestion on this stretch of highway.
Traffic already moves right along; the left lane often moves at 140 km/h or better. The OPP will still suspend your licence if you exceed 150 km/h; that law isn't changing. So basically, the upper bound of traffic speeds remains unchanged, while the lower bound goes up by 10 km/h. And that is what will work wonders for the traffic flow. You'll have the left lane moving along just that much better, so there's less braking, and the right lane will be moving along better too, so it's more viable as a passing lane if there's slow drivers in the middle and on the left.

All told, it just got a lot easier to cruise on that highway segment, and I can't wait to see what happens next summer when the real tourist traffic heats up! This is now the nearest highway to me with a limit higher than 65 mph, which I find pretty crazy. It also probably owns almost every other freeway in the Americas in terms of average traffic speeds; wouldn't surprise me one bit if the average speed is north of 85 mph (at least when there's not congestion). Hopefully New York will see what's going on west of the border, take the cue, and bump their limits up to 70 or 75 mph!
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cbeach40

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1110 on: September 30, 2019, 12:04:50 PM »

Obviously, the QEW is a big one that isn't numbered, too. I often hear it referred to as just "the QE", and I'm tempted to start using that too, since W is such a clunky letter when spoken.

*The Queen E  :)
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GaryV

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1111 on: September 30, 2019, 01:25:52 PM »

So, it's official!

... by far most interesting of the 3 (that being the QEW between St. Catharines and Hamilton ...

Is it possible that the 110 signs went up before Labor Day?  I thought maybe it was posted that when we drove it on Aug 26.  Even so, it wouldn't have mattered - the road was clogged from Hamilton out through Stoney Creek and beyond - and was still clogged on our return trip later that afternoon.

As webny99 noted, it's not a "modern freeway".  Did they add the jersey barrier because they added a 3rd lane?  And the pavement was some of the worst we were on in Ontario.

402 between London and Sarnia was not posted 110 that week - I sure wish it had been!  Although 401 where not under construction and not hopelessly clogged through Toronto has some of the fastest traffic.  I was going about 115 just to not be run over.

On our return trip from Peterborough on Labor Day, people convinced us to take ETR 407.  Anyone know when we might expect to receive a bill (Michigan license plates)?
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1112 on: September 30, 2019, 02:47:51 PM »

^ Why isn’t the QEW a modern freeway?  I drove it a few days ago, and the pavement condition seemed just fine.

The biggest gripe about the QueenE is that it needs another lane in sections. But that’s true about a great many freeways in southern Ontario.
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webny99

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1113 on: September 30, 2019, 03:26:45 PM »

So, it's official!
... by far most interesting of the 3 (that being the QEW between St. Catharines and Hamilton ...
Is it possible that the 110 signs went up before Labor Day?  I thought maybe it was posted that when we drove it on Aug 26.

No, it wouldn't have been posted at 110 in August. I was up that way mid-August, and it definitely hadn't changed then.
According to the article, it went into effect on Sept. 26th (last Thursday).



As webny99 noted, it's not a "modern freeway".  Did they add the jersey barrier because they added a 3rd lane?  And the pavement was some of the worst we were on in Ontario.
^ Why isn’t the QEW a modern freeway?  I drove it a few days ago, and the pavement condition seemed just fine.
The biggest gripe about the QueenE is that it needs another lane in sections. But that’s true about a great many freeways in southern Ontario.

Uhh.. yeah, where did I say it wasn't a modern freeway?
The very fact that it's part of the 110 km/h pilot proves that it's just fine, even by modern standards. It could use a widening, especially between the Red Hill Valley Pkwy and Grimsby, but that's more of a weekend/summer travel issue than a weekday/rush hour issue.

In particular, you have 4 lanes coming across the Skyway, dropping down to 3, then 2 lanes from ON 20 and 2 lanes from the Red Hill Valley Pkwy all merging in to those same 3 lanes, which is a recipe for disaster. I would think at least having auxiliary lanes between the Red Hill and Fruitland Road would be in order, just to avoid the 8 lanes of traffic descending into 3 all at once.



402 between London and Sarnia was not posted 110 that week - I sure wish it had been!

I suspect that would have changed last Thursday as well.
It can be hard to tell, though. I wouldn't have even noticed the change if it hadn't been for the "limit change ahead" signage, because the actual speed limit signs are miniature; small enough that visually distinguishing between 100 and 110 is difficult at 100 km/h, and almost impossible at 110 km/h!  :)
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GaryV

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1114 on: September 30, 2019, 04:59:22 PM »

"Modern freeway" was my selection of words.  You don't see newly built freeways with jersey barriers - those are usually added when the road has to add a lane, and there's no right of way available.

I still contend that it was bumpier pavement than the other freeways we drove in Ontario.  Much better than Michigan standards of course - but what isn't?
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webny99

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1115 on: October 01, 2019, 03:03:24 PM »

"Modern freeway" was my selection of words.  You don't see newly built freeways with jersey barriers - those are usually added when the road has to add a lane, and there's no right of way available.

Yes, but it's extremely rare for a completely new six lane freeway to be built. I don't believe the QEW is substandard just because it has jersey barrier.

The only comment I can have about the pavement issue is, there is this segment - apparently some markings are being tested, although it's quite a long stretch and all the markings have been there for at least several years now.
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webny99

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1116 on: October 01, 2019, 03:03:54 PM »

Any idea how did Ontarians pick up the practice of using indefinite articles before freeway numbers? It makes sense in southern California, with all the freeway names (and a populace that got used to saying "the [xxx] freeway"); Did many Ontario freeways originally feature names as well? I'm aware of some major names like the M-C Freeway and the QEW.

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned is that "ON" is a rather awkward prefix. Imagine saying "get on ON-401", for example. Even "take ON-401" sounds weird. So it makes sense to use the definite article instead. "The 401" almost flows just as nicely as just "401", at least IMO. I see it as an introduction of sorts, so the audience that you're going to be mentioning a freeway (as opposed to a local or regional road). It sounds less harsh with the definite article, too, and we all know our northern neighbors have a reputation for avoiding harsh words!  :)

I'm sure the fact that almost all of the freeways start with the number "4" plays into it as well. I just haven't quite figured out the connection/application yet, but I'll give it some more thought!
Obviously, the QEW is a big one that isn't numbered, too. I often hear it referred to as just "the QE", and I'm tempted to start using that too, since W is such a clunky letter when spoken.
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jakeroot

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1117 on: October 02, 2019, 01:16:40 PM »

Any idea how did Ontarians pick up the practice of using indefinite articles before freeway numbers? It makes sense in southern California, with all the freeway names (and a populace that got used to saying "the [xxx] freeway"); Did many Ontario freeways originally feature names as well? I'm aware of some major names like the M-C Freeway and the QEW.

Another thing that hasn't been mentioned is that "ON" is a rather awkward prefix. Imagine saying "get on ON-401", for example. Even "take ON-401" sounds weird. So it makes sense to use the definite article instead. "The 401" almost flows just as nicely as just "401", at least IMO. I see it as an introduction of sorts, so the audience that you're going to be mentioning a freeway (as opposed to a local or regional road). It sounds less harsh with the definite article, too, and we all know our northern neighbors have a reputation for avoiding harsh words!  :)

They could still say "Route" or "Highway" (for everything including freeways -- or, alternatively, "401 Freeway" instead of just "the 401").

Nevertheless, good point. Here in WA, saying "W-A-Five-Nine-Nine" is virtually never used. "SR" or "the" are probably the most common prefixes, because "WA" is similarly awkward. Not using any prefix is probably the most common thing to do, actually.

I'm sure the fact that almost all of the freeways start with the number "4" plays into it as well. I just haven't quite figured out the connection/application yet, but I'll give it some more thought!
Obviously, the QEW is a big one that isn't numbered, too. I often hear it referred to as just "the QE", and I'm tempted to start using that too, since W is such a clunky letter when spoken.

Seattle has a similar situation. Most freeways start with a "5", although we aren't exactly known for our "500 series highways" (we aren't really known for freeways like the GTA). If we were, the freeways alone might have become a well-known "thing", and "the" might have become more commonplace term to describe the freeways, as in Toronto.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1118 on: October 16, 2019, 01:41:12 PM »

Another point I'd like to make about road naming. There's a street in Mississauga, ON, Hurontario St. which most people call "Highway 10", despite being, well, a city street and the highway being decommissioned in 1997.

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.5799031,-79.6161113,3a,75y,97.24h,93.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sR3mywpKvPkFZTlpeVR0cdw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1119 on: October 18, 2019, 07:39:26 AM »

Ontario's most recent twelve-lane highway, the 401 through Cambridge.  Construction has nearly been completed on this segment of highway:


http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/hwy_401_images/401_cl_281_west_WB_w_Oct19_24x16.jpg


http://www.asphaltplanet.ca/ON/hwy_401_images/401_cl_281_east_EB_w_Oct19_24x16.jpg

These were taken last week.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1120 on: October 18, 2019, 11:35:24 AM »

A little interesting that they went with 6-6 instead of 3-3-3-3 like MTO often does, but I guess there are some ROW constraints in that area.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1121 on: October 19, 2019, 11:44:52 AM »

The MTO seems to be less averse to wide carriageways than they once were.  Plus, this will only be six lanes each direction between two interchanges, east of the Highway 24 interchange the 401 will have five lanes per direction, which is kind of the desired width here in Ontario.
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Re: Ontario's Highways
« Reply #1122 on: October 19, 2019, 07:45:13 PM »

Does anyone know why the left lane is still closed on the 401 Cambridge segment?

Also, the Gardiner is in for lengthy repairs: https://globalnews.ca/news/6030771/gardiner-expressway-replacement-lane-reductions/

Quote
The City of Toronto has reduced the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway down to two lanes in each direction until 2021 as workers begin work to replace the highway’s concrete deck and steel girders.

As of Monday morning, both directions of the Gardiner Expressway were reduced east of York Street as the northern portion of the highway between Jarvis and Cherry streets is replaced. Ahead of the closure, City of Toronto staff warned the construction project would have “a huge impact” for residents and commuters.

“This is going to be quite a challenge,” Chief Engineer Michael D’Andrea told reporters on Friday.

D’Andrea said it’s anticipated the work and the associated lane reductions will be in place until 2021. There will also be occasional lane closures of Lake Shore Boulevard East to coincide with the removal and replacement of the highway above.

The work is in addition to the replacement of the westbound ramp to Sherbourne and Jarvis streets, which is slated to be finished in spring 2020.

In mid-2020, it’s scheduled for construction to shift to the south side of the Gardiner Expressway. At that time, the eastbound on-ramp from Jarvis Street will also be replaced.

The City of Toronto said in an effort to expedite construction, it will be pre-fabricating the new sections of the expressway at a nearby location. The new sections will be brought to the site after the old sections are removed.

Officials said the pre-assembly will mean work can be finished up to 40 per cent quicker.

D’Andrea said crews will be working 24 hours a day and seven days a week throughout the duration of the project, but that the noisiest parts of the work will mostly be done by 11 p.m.
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