Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

Discussion in 'Transportation & Infrastructure' started by Haljackey, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Haljackey

    Haljackey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    This thread is for the discussion of the 400-Series Highways (including the QEW), municipal expressways, and other freeways for the GTA and southern Ontario.

    Current map of all Ontario/municipal highways/freeways/expressways:
    [​IMG]

    Proposed new routes and extensions:
    [​IMG]


    What do you think about the limited access highway system in the GTA and in Southern Ontario? Do you think some routes should be expanded or extended? Do you support the construction of new routes to help support Ontario's growing economy and population?

    Personally I agree that some routes should be expanded.
    -The 400 should eventually get built to Sudbury.
    -The 401 needs a new route to a new crossing in Windsor, an extended collector/express system in Mississauga, and a joining collector/express system between the 427 and 409 in Toronto. HOV lanes along the entire route in the Greater Golden Horseshoe is a priority as well.
    -The 403 should be extended from the 401 to the 402 north of London. Traffic on the 401 between the 402 and 403 is heavy and a new route should be considered.
    -The 404 should be extended to just south of Lake Simcoe.
    -As volumes increase, the 406 needs to be consistently upgraded into a full freeway
    -The 407's extension is debatable. As long as the 407's new section is tolled by the province, I think an extension to the 115 is ok. I think those two new north/south connections to the 401 aren't really needed. Maybe one, but two???
    -The 408 (probably the name for the Mid-Peninsula Highway) is also debatable. Again, if it is a toll route and tolled by the province at least part of its construction is warranted. I don't think that loop around Hamilton is needed, just start it from the 403/407/QEW junction in Burlington.
    -The 410's current extension to Highway 10 is fine. I don't see the point extending it any further at this time.
    -The 417 should continuously be replacing Highway 17 as traffic volumes increase. Completing this route from Manitoba to Quebec in the long term will help boost Northern Ontario's economy.
    -The 420 should be extended only if the 408 (Mid-Peninsula Highway) is built to connect it to the Niagara Region.
    -The 427 should be extended when traffic volumes warrant it. HOV lanes should be built on this route in the GTA.
    -The QEW should get some HOV lanes along its entire length, especially from Hamilton to the Niagara Region.

    For the other proposed expressways, I don't support them all.
    -The ones in Windsor are needed to help connect to new boarder crossings.
    -The ones around London are definitely needed. London is the largest city in North America not to have a freeway serving local traffic, and these routes will at least help to partially serve local traffic.
    -K/W's routes are also in high need. This CMA's population is exploding due to its proximity to the GTA and new routes are needed to support this population boom. (Of course, more rail transit is the optimal solution here)
    -Hamilton doesn't need any more highways (except if the Mid-Peninsula Highway is built).
    -Toronto doesn't need any more highways. However, improvements to the DVP should be made such as adding HOV lanes. The Gardiner expressway should be buried like Interstate 93 in Boston and have some HOV lanes added. Allen Road should be covered as it is a sunken highway to reduce noise.
    -Barrie needs capacity upgrades to its current highways, not new highways.
    -A loop around Ottawa won't be needed if capacity upgrades are made on the 417 and 416.

    Most of the other routes aren't really needed. We live in the 21st century, and the emphasis should now be on transit on a local and regional level. Introducing light rail transit in major cities (such as Kitchener and London) and expanding rapid transit programs in the GTA is a must to support an exploding population and overcrowded highways and transit systems. A high-speed rail line between Windsor and Quebec City should start construction as soon as possible to help reduce traffic volumes on the intercity highways. Decaying freight rail infrastructure should be revived and expanded to reduce the amount of truck traffic on our highways. Gas won't be cheap forever, so we need to plan smart, green networks for the future.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
    #1

  2. andomano

    andomano Active Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 400 is being built to Sudbury. A new section was opened late last year just south of Sudbury (about a 40km stretch)... and the rest of the distance between that extension and Parry Sound is either being constructed or still undergoing EA.

    The 404 I believe is supposed to begin construction this year.

    Hwy. 17 does not need 4 laning all the way to Manitoba. The only section that may need expansion is between Sudbury and North Bay.

    Most of your information seems to be pulled straight from wiki, or you are simply misinformed about some of the highways. Most highways, such as the 417 through Ottawa and 400 through Barrie are already built to capacity and have no room to grow IE the need for new highways. Anybody who says Toronto doesn't need more highways is silly. The city needs to complete the dead ends created by stubs such as Black Creek, Allen, and Kingston, although this fiscally is pretty much impossible (not to mention NIMBYism)
     
    #2
  3. Hipster Duck

    Hipster Duck Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    3,558
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 400-series highway system is somewhat bizarre in the sense that major transportation corridors are missing (hello, Kitchener to Hamilton?) while some sparsely traveled routes are being duplicated (is there a need, for example, for two freeways from Barrie to Northern Ontario?).

    Among the route improvements you mention:

    -The 400 should eventually get built to Sudbury.They should stick with a North Bay-Sudbury twinning of Highway 17 rather than continuing the 400 north from Parry Sound
    -The 401 needs a new route to a new crossing in Windsor Agree, an extended collector/express system in Mississauga Agree, and a joining collector/express system between the 427 and 409 in Toronto. Disagree - this is very expensive stuff to fit in that part of town and is not worth the effort HOV lanes along the entire route in the Greater Golden Horseshoe is a priority as well. Agree, but this should be a lane cull, not a new construction
    -The 403 should be extended from the 401 to the 402 north of London.disagree - not worth the effort. Traffic on the 401 between the 402 and 403 is heavy and a new route should be considered.
    -The 404 should be extended to just south of Lake Simcoe. [Disagree - this is just a sprawl facilitator
    -As volumes increase, the 406 needs to be consistently upgraded into a full freeway Disagree, this is never busy
    -The 407's extension is debatable. As long as the 407's new section is tolled by the province, I think an extension to the 115 is ok.Agree I think those two new north/south connections to the 401 aren't really needed. Maybe one, but two??? Neither
    -The 408 (probably the name for the Mid-Peninsula Highway) is also debatable Agree. Again, if it is a toll route and tolled by the province at least part of its construction is warranted Still not worth it. I don't think that loop around Hamilton is needed, just start it from the 403/407/QEW junction in Burlington.
    -The 410's current extension to Highway 10 is fine. I don't see the point extending it any further at this time.Agree
    -The 417 should continuously be replacing Highway 17 as traffic volumes increase. Completing this route from Manitoba to Quebec in the long term will help boost Northern Ontario's economy. Should be completed as a RIRO 4-lane highway, nothing more
    -The 420 should be extended only if the 408 (Mid-Peninsula Highway) is built to connect it to the Niagara Region.Agree. If anything, it should just be connected to Thorold Stone Road and then call it a wrap
    -The 427 should be extended when traffic volumes warrant it. HOV lanes should be built on this route in the GTA.Agree
    -The QEW should get some HOV lanes along its entire length, especially from Hamilton to the Niagara Region.Agree

    For the other proposed expressways, I don't support them all.
    -The ones in Windsor are needed to help connect to new boarder crossings.Agree
    -The ones around London are definitely needed. London is the largest city in North America not to have a freeway serving local traffic, and these routes will at least help to partially serve local traffic.That's not necessarily a bad thing
    -K/W's routes are also in high need. This CMA's population is exploding due to its proximity to the GTA and new routes are needed to support this population boom. (Of course, more rail transit is the optimal solution here) They need to build a freeway to Guelph, apart from that this area needs better regional transit connectivity
    -Hamilton doesn't need any more highways (except if the Mid-Peninsula Highway is built).Absolutely
    -Toronto doesn't need any more highways. However, improvements to the DVP should be made such as adding HOV lanes. The Gardiner expressway should be buried like Interstate 93 in Boston and have some HOV lanes added. Allen Road should be covered as it is a sunken highway to reduce noise.Agree on all of these
    -Barrie needs capacity upgrades to its current highways, not new highways. I don't know anything about this, but this sounds about right
    -A loop around Ottawa won't be needed if capacity upgrades are made on the 417 and 416. Agree; besides it would just feed "beyond the Greenbelt" sprawl, anyway

    Most of the other routes aren't really needed. We live in the 21st century, and the emphasis should now be on transit on a local and regional level. Introducing light rail transit in major cities (such as Kitchener and London) and expanding rapid transit programs in the GTA is a must to support an exploding population and overcrowded highways and transit systems Agree. A high-speed rail line between Windsor and Quebec City should start construction as soon as possible to help reduce traffic volumes on the intercity highways. Decaying freight rail infrastructure should be revived and expanded to reduce the amount of truck traffic on our highways. Gas won't be cheap forever, so we need to plan smart, green networks for the future.
     
    #3
  4. Haljackey

    Haljackey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Ok, that sounds about right for the 400 and 404 extension.

    I agree that Hwy. 17 does not need 4 laning all the way to Manitoba. Of course expanding it between Sudbury and North Bay is a higher priority. Highway 17 is part of the Trans-Canada highway, and the only way it will ever be 4 lanes from Manitoba to Quebec is if the federal government decides to make TC-1 a full freeway (on the mainland).

    I'm not saying I know everything about highways, that's for sure, but I have gathered this info from various sites including the MTO and wiki for general knowledge. Misinformed? Maybe, but perhaps this discussion will help people become informed.

    In regard to Toronto not needing any more highways, this is simply on a financial and NIMBY perspective. I doubt this will ever happen, so there is not much point in discussing it. Only radical, high-cost expansions could happen like tunneling Black Creek Drive and Allen Road to connect with a tunneled Gardiner. Surface and elevated routes are not going to happen (except for the possibility of a route in a electricity corridor in east Toronto, which I doubt will get made).


    -400: I agree. It's better than nothing that's for sure!
    -401: Traffic is jammed in Mississauga a lot between Highway 10 and 410. A lot of past projects have been designed to accommodate a collector/express from the 410 to Mississauga Road. This one would be beneficial. The one between the 427 and 409 would cost a lot more that's for sure and I doubt it will ever happen.
    -403: This is long-term and it will really help out London and the municipalities north of London. Maybe the whole route isn't needed, but the section north of London will be needed.
    -404: I agree with you, but according to andomano, its going ahead anyway.
    -406: As I said, this route will only get expanded if traffic volumes warrant it. If it's never busy, it shouldn't happen.
    -Neither connector routes for the 407 is fine with me. I'm ok with one I guess, but I don't understand why two are proposed.
    -I have no further comments on the 408 (Mid-Peninsula Highway) because I simply don't know enough about it.
    -417: Fair enough. It is mainly an economical factor up there.
    -420: Agree.

    Other routes:
    -London region: Agree, of course its not a bad thing! However something needs to go in in the mid-to-long-term while investments in light rail transit need to be made for the local population.
    -K/W/Guelph region: Agree, both are going to be needed, that's for sure!
    -Toronto/GTA: HOV lanes need to go in on the local routes, even if it means converting one of the general lanes to HOV. That's the only way to get traffic moving without building radical alternatives.
    -Barrie region: This is a tricky one, due to the lake and tight right of way. Something will need to be done but I don't think a new route will be built due to public opposition.
    -Ottawa region: According to andomano, this may be the only choice due to a small right of way for the 417 expansion, but I doubt the public will be very accepting of this route.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
    #4
  5. Rainforest

    Rainforest Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,258
    Likes Received:
    1
    Quite the opposite.

    Not only would that cost a lot of money that could be better used for transit construction, but would also swell the downtown's street grid with more cars it cannot handle.

    I am fine with highway extensions at the periphery of GTA and selected places beyond GTA, where such extensions can improve the flow of goods and boost the economy. However, no useful highway extensions can be made within 416.
     
    #5
  6. Long Island Mike

    Long Island Mike Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ontario 400 series highways...my thoughts and suggestions...

    Everyone: I am interested in Ontario's 400 series highways myself and I will make these suggestions:
    400-Name this one the Georgian Bay Expressway or the Northern Ontario Expressway...
    401-Use the Macdonald/Cartier name more or at the very least use the MCF name/initials on signs along with the number. On its western end in Windsor a direct limited access connection to Michigan is most desireable...
    404-This route would run from Downtown Toronto and be named the Don Valley Expressway for its total length...
    427-I will name this the Etobicoke Expressway and I even came up with a nickname for the busy stretch between the 451/QEW
    and the 401/MCF: "The Double E Connector"
    451-Use the "hidden" number along with the QEW and Gardiner names for its entire length between Fort Erie and Downtown Toronto.

    For short-stretch 400 series routes I will propose that they be numbered in the 440 series freeing up lower 400 numbers for other use - I have come up with these: 420 becomes 440;The EC Row Expressway in Windsor will add the number 442;
    405 becomes 445;406 becomes 446;409 becomes 449;The Route 174 limited access section in Ottawa will become 447. The 410 can become 444 if it is not extended.

    I feel that these 400 series routes should have a name AND a number to make their identification easier where they do not exist now...

    I even feel that these routes should have a special marker similar to the Quebec Autoroute signs or at the very least signage like those MCF signs with distinct colors.

    Insight and ideas by Long Island Mike
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
    #6
  7. TOareaFan

    TOareaFan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    7,388
    Likes Received:
    37
    Quick question....why is it that, in general, people seem ok with extending, both, the 400 (to Sudbury) and the 404 (to the shores of lake simcoe) to the north but everyone seems ok with stubbing the 410 where it is?

    Since all three northerly extensions would mainly be for vacation/cottaging why is it thought to be ok to make people from the western GTA and beyond cross the city on the 401 or 407 to get to the 400 or the 404 before heading north.....wouldn't it make sense to take the 410 north to Collingwood (on some route) to be the main road to that area...maybe even run some railtrack down the middle of it too.

    I don't care one way or the other (don't go north often enough to care) but just intrigues me how people will easily cap the 410 where it is but see the merit in taking the other two roads significantly further north.
     
    #7
  8. Haljackey

    Haljackey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    I would assume because of these reasons
    -400 is the gateway to central/northern Ontario
    -404 has no alternative route
    -410 has alternative route (Highway 10)

    Now that the 410 links up woth Highway 10, there is more direct access to the north. You cannot simply widen the 10 anymore, you need to completely reconfigure it which costs a lot of money and recources. I'm fine with upgrading the 10 to a 4 lane road, but until traffic volumes warrant it, upgrading it to a freeway isn't needed (yet).

    Now I don't know if that's right, but that's my two cents.
     
    #8
  9. Coruscanti Cognoscente

    Coruscanti Cognoscente Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    7,418
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Imperial City
    I've always noticed that too. Personally I think it's just the York vs Peel bias a lot of people seem to have (whether it comes to the 410 or subway extensions).
     
    #9
  10. andomano

    andomano Active Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    0
    Highway 69 in many sections has been in need of upgrades/repairs for quite some time now.

    An extension of the 404 along with the Bradford Bypass would allow for an alternate route while also connecting the Eastern GTA with the North, which would take some pressure off of the central section of the 401 thru TO.
     
    #10
  11. denfromoakvillemilton

    denfromoakvillemilton Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Former City of York, Ontario, Canada
  12. jwill

    jwill Active Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    0
    Who can argue with the 448? Surely the bottom half of the DVP can handle a whole highway worth of traffic being dumped into it.
     
    #12
  13. Haljackey

    Haljackey Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    I guess that's the name of the highway that could be built through the existing power corridor.

    Problem is it hasn't been actually proposed through any creditable source. If the MTO or City of Toronto identified the need for this route it would get a lot more attention and support.

    It wouldn't be that bad to build, especially when you consider the other massive, radical projects mentioned in the above quote. The fact that Highway 2/2A doesn't connect from the Gardiner to the 401 will further strengthen the need for this route.

    According to Statscan, the population of the GTA will be 9-10 million in 2031 so identifying, protecting and constructing new transportation corridors is a must, even if it is a highway opposed to light rail/subway. That said, running a rail line along the route wouldn't be a bad idea at all. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
    #13
  14. MTown

    MTown Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Beaconsfield
    Highway 2/2A doesn't connect the 401 to the Gardiner because somewhere at some point someone made the enlightened decision to not ruin Scarborough. It was subsequently ruined in other ways, granted, but putting down a highway here would have been/is about as desirable as taking a bullet to the head.

    And speaking of which, I had my lunch today at the northern edge of Cedarvale Park and as I looked down the park corridor to the south-east, I was damn happy the Spadina highway was never built.

    I drive from rural Pickering to central Toronto every day. I have no choice (no, really). I work in construction. Materials and equipment are not transit-friendly. The east end does NOT need more highways. The east end DOES need single-occupant, non-commercial vehicles to be taxed and tolled into oblivion and a proper transit network installed. That's my take on the highway system in the GTA as someone who relies on it daily.
     
    #14
  15. waterloowarrior

    waterloowarrior Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa
    ^ even in a minimal expansion scenario, at the very least the 407 should be connected to the 401 in the east end.
     
    #15

Share This Page