I'd prefer Collingwood be served by a 426 coming off Highway 400, and by-passing Barrie somewhere between Innisfil Beach Road and Mapleview Drive, but as a minimal freeway as far as say Highway 90, then as a dual carriageway as far as where Highway 26-New is supposed to go, by-passing Stayner. It would serve several purposes: solve the dangerously backed-up Bayfield Street off-ramp, mitigate the need for any widening through Barrie (which would be very expensive).
Better to widen Highway 400 if necessary (though I am not a fan) than build a new freeway all the way in that direction. A 410 to Collingwood would also punch through the Escarpment at least twice.
Such a Barrie by-pass highway would need strict Greenbelt-type development restrictions for Simcoe County. Barrie might be slowly seeing the light downtown, but the suburbs continue unabated, and even worse are the townships surrounding Barrie, particularly Innisfil.
Last edited by ShonTron; 2010-Apr-22 at 23:33.
I can't imagine there is currently enough traffic to support a 400-series highway north of Orangeville!
All of the above would be solved if, as I proposed, the 427 extension served the Wasaga-Collingwood region instead of doglegging over to the 400 in Barrie. The cross-region 426/Georgian bay highway proposed by me and discussed above would serve as a connector between the 400-427 and even the 410
Everyone: In the Transportation section of www.ebay.com In the Road Maps - Canada section I found this interesting item concerning the MCF/401: As of 4/29/2010
a 1967 Ontario Department of Highways map with details on the MCF/401 item number: 260593977937
There are many interesting maps in this section that those here may be interested in-LI MIKE
An EA exists for the extension of the highway from Green Lane to 12/48, which would be the first step I guess.
The Minister of the Environment with Cabinet's concurrence approved the Ministry of Transportation's (MTO) Highway 404 Extension Environmental Assessment (EA). This EA approval will allow the MTO to proceed to the design and construction stage for a new 45 km four-lane extension to Highway 404 with controlled access extending northerly from Davis Drive to Durham Rd. 23, and a 9 km transition section between Durham Rd. 23 and Highway 12. The design and construction of the highway will be subject to the MTO's Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities. This process provides for public consultation on the design and construction of the highway. It is anticipated that the highway will be constructed in stages over a number of years, to reflect financial constraints and traffic demands
First of all, I'm not sure where the K-W ring road comes from. There are definitely no plans--even vague long term ones--for that, at least as an expressway. Any western bypass of Cambridge is also completely out of the picture. If they do one, it will be on the eastern side near Townline Road as part of the 424 project.
The problem I have with all of these plans is that we aren't really building a network. For all its many faults, at least Michigan has a network that allows you to access all areas of the lower peninsula. These plans seem to just give us an even more jumbled, sprawly mess around the GTA and then pretty much nothing anywhere else.
Some specific points:
- That London stuff seems pretty crazy to me. Those highways will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build and what will they really add to the city? I don't think mobility is that much of an issue there anyway and bypassing the city is already easily done on the 401. If the congestion is really that bad (I've never been stuck there) then add a lane. Veterans Parkway is fine and could even be upgraded to a full expressway to access the north end, I suppose, but that's definitely all that's needed there.
- Highway 7/8 should definitely be an expressway to Stratford. It's already in the planning stages but Stratford's a major destination and it just seems unfinished as it is now. There are also some pretty serious safety issues on that highway.
- Highway 6 is a nightmare and a death trap from Guelph to Hamilton. If any highway in the province should be upgraded to full expressway standards, that's the one.
- The 427 extension is just a sprawl enabler. Until the 400 is absolutely unexpandable, it shouldn't be built. Rail to Orangeville would take a lot of the commuting traffic off the road. I don't think we should allow any subdivisions/new towns to be built without having frequent regional rail service at their heart. If necessary, the developer should pay for it (i.e. Queensville). It wouldn't be all that expensive if you built it before the surrounding neighbourhood rather than trying to jam it in after.
- Collingwood/Wasaga should have a short expressway spur from the 400 bypassing Barrie.
- The most urgent and obvious highway project in the province is eliminating the Mississauga bottleneck on the 401. That highway is Ontario's main street and people sit literally for hours at that segment. It's completely unnecessary. Transit could take a lot of the growth but any road that goes from 14 lanes to 6 instantly is going to be a serious problem.
- The Ottawa bypass is crazy. I can't believe they're seriously talking about that. Talk about outdated planning. Spend that money on their amazing rapid transit plan!
- The new bridge in Windsor is essential and that new highway is the most impressive infrastructure project built in Ontario in decades.
- I really don't get the need that the Mid-Pen is serving. The QEW is congested, yes, but it's not that bad. With decent rail service to Niagara, the need for a new highway would be pushed way into the future.
- I believe that the value of a four lane controlled access highway transcends mere capacity. It's vastly safer and more comfortable than a two lane undivided highway and I think that Canada should have at the bare minimum a simple cross-country network built to expressway (i.e. Interstate level) standards. Highway 17 is that one highway for Canada. People should be able to drive to the west without having to go to the States or wind through every town on a dangerous two-lane highway. Those alternating passing lanes seem like a good idea at first but they make for the most dangerous roads around, especially in a winding and hilly remote area with a lot of trucks. It's the link between the two halves of our country. For people that shout "There's no demand!" I would point to highways like I-94 or I-29. Do you think there's any more demand through North Dakota? Thunder Bay's a lot bigger than Bismarck. It would also be a great long-term job creation project for a struggling part of our province.
Last edited by unimaginative2; 2010-May-01 at 21:35.
Does anyone know what's going on with the Minister's approval of the 407 East EA? According to 407eastea.com, today is the last day for the minister to provide a decision. Is this a firm limit? What happens if no decision is made today?
I oppose the vast majority of the proposed new highways/extensions/widenings.
I see them generally as vast expenditures which serve to promote sprawl, decimate high-grade farmland and/or natural areas.
I say that as a licensed, car-owning driver, but who happens to take mostly TTC/GO.
Of all the proposals the only one that stands out as manifestly justifiable is the 401 extension in Windsor to a new bridge. As the current situation really is untenable, even at current traffic volumes.
Of course congestion does need to be addressed, both through demand-management AND through alternate transportation choices where practical. To that end, my alternatives listed below.
Improve Rail, particularly the following:
Separate Hamilton Junction
Twin-track the Hunter Street Tunnel
Rebuild the Hamilton Belt Line as a twin-track, grade-separated line
Twin Track + passing tracks for all of CN from Stoney Creek to Niagara
Triple track for Stoney Creek to Hamilton Junction
Service - GO, hourly (outside rush hour) from Stoney Creek to Toronto via Hunter St.
Service - GO, hourly (outside rush hour) from Stoney Creek to Toronto via CN Liuna
(total off-peak, 2-way service, every 30min) rush hour is double.
Service (GO or VIA) St Kitts to Toronto Commuters - 1 train daily
Service St.Kitts (GO or VIA) to Hamilton Commuters - 1 additional train daily
Daily off-peak VIA service, Toronto - Niagara (3 x daily, better reliability, price and longer consists than today)
Niagara Excursion service (Friday-Sunday and Holidays only)
GO - 2 Friday runs, 4 runs Sat/Sun
VIA - 2 Friday runs, 4 runs Sat/Sun
Form Niagara Region Transit
- create seamless regional service between St. Kitts/Welland/Thorold/Niagara and Niagara-on-the-Lake
** comprehensive cost is well below a new mid-peninsuala corridor and should easily meet demand
Launch Brantford to Hamilton rail service, rush hour only.
2 trains to Hunter
2 trains to Burlington/Aldershot
Build a new rail ROW from Brantford to K-W via Cambridge.
Provide 2 trains (rush hours only), Brantford to K-W (* service might originate in Hamilton)
Stratford Excursion service (weekends/holidays, in-season only), Hamilton to Stratford via Brantford
Excursion service on re-built Barrie-Collingwood railway. Toronto - Wasaga spur
Service to operate seasonally, weekends and holidays only
Comparable to Niagara, 2 Friday evening runs, 4 runs each weekend day.
Continues as freight line at other times.
Excursion service on line from K-W to Owen Sound, then connected to Collingwood/Wasaga
Same service level as above.
GO Barrie, twin track all the way, 2-way hourly service all-day weekdays, every second hour on weekends.
Service to Orillia restored (single track rebuilt to Washago) , if need be place D/T Barrie station underground.
Use existing corridor/ROW wherever practical
New Cottage Country Muskoka service, in -season only to Huntsville (VIA/Ontario Northland)
Service currently once daily (except Sat) would be 2 Friday evening runs, 4 runs on Sat/Sun/Holiday in-season)
Car-share/rental in place at all cottage-country destinations.
Bus service for Algonquin campgrounds added from Huntsville Station.
After that, most of these corridors would benefit from demand growth reduction.
Extend the Greenbelt to all of Dufferin County and South Simcoe, as well as to areas that Markham, K-W and Guelph have requested.
Impose tolls on all 400-series highways (lower in rural areas.
Up intensification targets from 40 to 80% for all Greater Golden Horseshoe municipalities.
Up minimum density of jobs + people per hectare by 1/3, add sustainable transportation requirements for public transit, cycling and walking to all new subdivisions.
Make various other transit improvements in the GTA as discussed in so many other threads (ie. DRL, GO Electric Lakeshore, etc. etc)
An environmentally conscientious, libertarian inclined, fiscally conservative, socialist.
I agree with all your infrastructure plans, Northern Lights, though I'd prefer an even better service standard. All urban area GO routes should be upgraded to real electrified regional rail with a service standard of at least every 20 minutes all day using whatever rolling stock is appropriate. This would provide a real transit service rather than a commuter service and would encourage urban development around the stations. Any new suburban development should be centred on a regional rail station with the developer required to pay for the trackage if needed (i.e. Queensville).
I'd like to see an intermediate regional level of service somewhere between GO and VIA that would offer high frequency, limited stops and reasonable comfort but lower fares than VIA out to places like Kitchener, Barrie, Peterborough and Niagara. They would be at least hourly.
I've long been a promoter of the Belt Line upgrade project. TH&B is the best station location and it's also a beautiful building. It should be the main station for Hamilton rather than some GO shack up by LIUNA.
London is the largest city in North America not to have some sort of freeway serving local traffic. The 401 and 402 are for long distance traffic and are not used for local use and commuting.
Traffic congestion is common in the city and it gets worse every year. The proposed routes around London will help relieve congestion as the city grows. The Veteran's Memorial Parkway may one day become a freeway and a route in the west has been protected from development so that it can go in when there is ample need. The route north of the city probably won't happen as development sprawls all the way to London's north city limits, and municipalities north of London reject a freeway plan. The only way this could ever be possible is if the government decides to extend the 403 from the 401 to the 402 west of the city.
Do you know how clogged local streets will become if this happened? 2 lane rural roads will become busy thoroughfares as well. No one will want to pay, and will weaken Ontario's reputation from a economical standpoint. Commuters will hate it, tourists will hate it, truckers will hate it, and thus there will be a lot of protests at Queens Park since a huge majority will oppose this plan. I don't think this will ever happen.
I don't see what the problem with widening the highways is. They're already there, and the 400-series have one of the largest right of ways in the world, so significant reconstruction of the land surrounding the highway isn't usually needed. Widening helps improve traffic flow by increasing capacity which is something a growing economy and population need. Ontario already has very few freeway networks compared to elsewhere so there's already an increased strain on the existing routes. By refusing to build new freeways even more widening and attention needs to be paid to the existing routes.
Simply put, it would cripple our economy if we don't build new highways, widen existing highways or toll existing highways. The only new routes I can see in the near future are the Windsor-Essex Parkway, Highway 424, and a new connection between K/W and the GTA. I don't think the 408 or 407 extension is that badly needed.