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Roads: Gardiner Expressway catch-all, incl. Hybrid Design (2015-onwards)

If the Gardiner is too full because of construction and you can’t provide more Gardiner capacity, providing better streetcars (and Go service) is the obvious solution.
 
The Humvee is extreme, but the electric SUV trend is where were are headed, and many easily top out over 6000lbs.
"Many"? The most common one, the Model Y, is 1847kg/4070lbs. Model X is not very common comparatively, and it is 5648lb. I think you have to be in a pickup size before weight exceeds 6000 lb
 
"Many"? The most common one, the Model Y, is 1847kg/4070lbs. Model X is not very common comparatively, and it is 5648lb. I think you have to be in a pickup size before weight exceeds 6000 lb
The Mercedes-Benz EQS 580, the Rivian R1S, BMW i7, Cadillac Lyriq are all over 6000lbs, and others push really close like the Kia EV9 (5839lbs).

And yes, the pickups are generally heavier. The *lightest* model of the F-150 Lightning is over 6000lbs, and the heaviest just under 7000. The upcoming Dodge RAM 1500 REV is estimated to be 7500lbs.

Unless the trends really start changing (and car companies decide to stop selling high-margin "light truck" class vehicles), we're aiming to have a heavier weight burden on all infrastructure. In case anyone's missed it, light trucks (including SUVs) now account for more than 80% of new car sales in Canada.

passenger-vehicle-sales.jpg
 
The Mercedes-Benz EQS 580, the Rivian R1S, BMW i7, Cadillac Lyriq are all over 6000lbs, and others push really close like the Kia EV9 (5839lbs).

And yes, the pickups are generally heavier. The *lightest* model of the F-150 Lightning is over 6000lbs, and the heaviest just under 7000. The upcoming Dodge RAM 1500 REV is estimated to be 7500lbs.

Unless the trends really start changing (and car companies decide to stop selling high-margin "light truck" class vehicles), we're aiming to have a heavier weight burden on all infrastructure. In case anyone's missed it, light trucks (including SUVs) now account for more than 80% of new car sales in Canada.

passenger-vehicle-sales.jpg
This could be fixed with legislation. I rather doubt that will happen, but it could. Higher weight vehicles also cause more damage in the inevitable accidents they are involved in.
 
in terms of road wear, 95% of wear will still come from large work vehicles as damage works on a exponential, not linear scale from weight.

EVs are heavier, but will still cause very little road damage. It's the 15-20,000lb dump trucks which are really causing damage.

Also - as others have pointed out, most EVs are much lighter. As others have said, the Model Y is 4,000lbs. Others are even lighter.
 
in terms of road wear, 95% of wear will still come from large work vehicles as damage works on a exponential, not linear scale from weight.
Of course, but those vehicles will also likely be heading the electric route over the next decade or two as well, and will require absolutely massive batteries to pull cargo.

I’ll point out, I’m not anti-electric car. But I’m certainly of the belief that they should be smaller overall. Larger vehicles mean much larger batteries—and that too is a threat.

Frankly, the Gardiner should’ve been torn down decades ago. I can only imagine what’s going to happen to the structure when the inevitable multi-car crash happens, several batteries explode and a massive super-hot fire erupts that’s nearly impossible to extinguish.
 
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The Mercedes-Benz EQS 580, the Rivian R1S, BMW i7, Cadillac Lyriq are all over 6000lbs, and others push really close like the Kia EV9 (5839lbs).

And yes, the pickups are generally heavier. The *lightest* model of the F-150 Lightning is over 6000lbs, and the heaviest just under 7000. The upcoming Dodge RAM 1500 REV is estimated to be 7500lbs.

Unless the trends really start changing (and car companies decide to stop selling high-margin "light truck" class vehicles), we're aiming to have a heavier weight burden on all infrastructure. In case anyone's missed it, light trucks (including SUVs) now account for more than 80% of new car sales in Canada.

passenger-vehicle-sales.jpg
None of those vehicles are selling all that well. R1S is the SUV version of a pickup truck. Rivian is making a smaller SUV which will sell much better. I guess Escalades also weigh about 6k lbs. EVs are generally perhaps 10-15% heavier currently. Batteries are getting lighter so that gap should close.
 
The heavier ones are also outside the effective limits for all the guardrails lining highways. They're designed for 5,000 lbs.

And god knows what they'll come up with to protect pedestrians from EVs in front of Union Station :)
 
The heavier ones are also outside the effective limits for all the guardrails lining highways. They're designed for 5,000 lbs.

And god knows what they'll come up with to protect pedestrians from EVs in front of Union Station :)
Yeah, pedestrian deaths have gone up quite a bit with the SUV trend started.


And that’s not to mention newer high-hood pickups that shield the driver from seeing a 5-year old 10 feet away.


Why we haven’t bothered to put more regulation on the “light truck” class is beyond me. Even standardized bumper height, visibility requirements or weight limits for non-commercial vehicles seem completely reasonable, but yeah… Drivers will always get priority.
 
None of those vehicles are selling all that well. R1S is the SUV version of a pickup truck. Rivian is making a smaller SUV which will sell much better. I guess Escalades also weigh about 6k lbs. EVs are generally perhaps 10-15% heavier currently.

The SUV trend itself, whether electric or ICE, is a problem. It means an overall heavier average vehicle weight of all vehicles on the road.

I think that people tend to underestimate the weight difference between EVs and their ICE counterparts.

‘To further complicate matters, weight gain is even more of an issue for EVs. The Detroit News recently noted that “the starting weight of an electric Hyundai Kona is 28% heavier than the gas-powered model, and the Nissan Leaf is 35% heavier than the starting weight of its gas-powered equivalent.”

“[Jennifer] Homendy [chair of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board] said electric models from Ford, Volvo and Toyota were all roughly 33 per cent heavier than the gas-powered versions of the same vehicles.”
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Batteries are getting lighter so that gap should close.

But unlikely to stop the weight creep that’s been happening for decades. In general, we’ve been making cars heavier and heavier, regardless of whether they’re ICE or EV.

Lighter batteries are likely to spur a demand for longer ranges on EVs (regardless of what actual usage patterns require). Which means even bigger batteries.

In addition, lighter batteries will increase costs and prices in a market that’s seen a 10-20% price increase every year since 2019.

The average price of a new car sold in 2024: ~$67k.
The average price of a new car sold in 2019: ~$40

Despite this new car sales right now are still far behind pre-pandemic numbers and are trending downward. The reason why the SUV and truck markets have increased as a share and been marketed like crazy; they have bigger profit margins that help offset the drop in sales. Some manufacturers have dropped previously-successful low-margin subcompacts entirely in favour of higher margin SUVS.
 
Yeah, pedestrian deaths have gone up quite a bit with the SUV trend started.


And that’s not to mention newer high-hood pickups that shield the driver from seeing a 5-year old 10 feet away.


Why we haven’t bothered to put more regulation on the “light truck” class is beyond me. Even standardized bumper height, visibility requirements or weight limits for non-commercial vehicles seem completely reasonable, but yeah… Drivers will always get priority.
studies have shown that while SUVs are worse for pedestrian safety, it's only a marginal contributing factor.

IIRC the shift to SUVs in the US market has resulted in something like "only" 20-50 additional pedestrian deaths a year. The theory is that there are other contributing factors to skyrocketing pedestrian deaths - honestly I think more of it has to do where Americans are living (southern, extremely pedestrian hostile environments), distracted driving, much higher vehicle speeds (ESPECIALLY in urban areas), and lower levels of enforcement of both driver behavior and vehicle maintenance.

Also - Pedestrian deaths in Canada have been largely falling - going from 304 in 2017 to 280 in 2021:


The difference between Canadian and US traffic fatality rates couldn't be more stark - they are a world apart. Canadian traffic fatalities continue to trend substantially downward, even for pedestrians, while US numbers are increasing.
 
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studies have shown that while SUVs are worse for pedestrian safety, it's only a marginal contributing factor.

IIRC the shift to SUVs in the US market has resulted in something like "only" 20-50 additional pedestrian deaths a year. The theory is that there are other contributing factors to skyrocketing pedestrian deaths - honestly I think more of it has to do where Americans are living (southern, extremely pedestrian hostile environments) and distracted driving.

Also - Pedestrian deaths in Canada have been largely falling - going from 304 in 2017 to 280 in 2021:


The difference between Canadian and US traffic fatality rates couldn't be more stark - they are a world apart. Canadian traffic fatalities continue to trend substantially downward, even for pedestrians, while US numbers continue to increase.
Obviously just my opinion but people being more "squeezed" in day to day life, in addition to worsening traffic means people are making more high risk low reward moves. I see so many people not even slowing down at a red light when making a turn, etc.
 
Obviously just my opinion but people being more "squeezed" in day to day life, in addition to worsening traffic means people are making more high risk low reward moves. I see so many people not even slowing down at a red light when making a turn, etc.
perhaps, but ancedotes are not evidence. Canada's road fatality rate in absolute numbers continues to drop quite substantially. Fatalities have dropped 38% and injuries have dropped a whopping 51% since 2002 in gross numbers, and per capita by even larger amounts. And this trend is continuing.
 
perhaps, but ancedotes are not evidence. Canada's road fatality rate in absolute numbers continues to drop quite substantially. Fatalities have dropped 38% and injuries have dropped a whopping 51% since 2002 in gross numbers, and per capita by even larger amounts. And this trend is continuing.
I wonder how much this has to do with lowering the speed limits? 50 vs 40 can be the difference between death or a few weeks in the hospital.
 
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Whole bunch of factors. Road safety improvements definitely help and probably the biggest contributor to the pedestrian death rates. Most of the improvements are more likely from improved vehicle safety standards.

The problem south of the border is that the US has been counteracting safety improvements in vehicle design with much more unsafe driving environments and poor regulation of new driving behaviors. Things like distracted driving, extreme speeding, and drunk driving are far more prevalent.

Certian laws in Ontario like it's strict DUI standards (0.05 v.s 0.08 in most jurisdictions), stunt driving laws, and harsh penalties for distracted driving keep those dangerous activities to a minimum. The penalties are some of the strictest on the continent.

The biggest factor between the two countries IMO is the design of suburban arterial roads. Canada's are generally still relatively low speed. It's very common to see very high-conflict suburban arterials in the US with 45mph speed limits which is basically insane from a Canadian perspective. Once you couple that with poorer enforcement.. you get bad results. Anecdotally very few Canadians speed any significant amount in urban areas either, limiting that to rural and freeway driving.. which is not the case in the US.
 

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