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Roads: GTA West Corridor—Highway 413—Guelph to 400

Northern Light

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Even strictly speaking in regards to roadways the problem wasn't cancelling Spadina, the problem was not having any additional capacity north-south through the city wider than two lanes each direction between the 427 and the DVP. Ditto for crosstown after they turned St. Clair into the streetcar ROW.

Combine that with incredible growth and lack of transit building and you have the commuting nightmare we see today.

Six-lane roads and expressways are City killers and awful to live near.

They deliver pollution, congestion, physical and psychological separation between communities and deliver little back in return.

There is an argument to be made for additional 'arterial roads' in some portions of the City (very hard to do now); but might have been quite useful.

There remains a need to make it easier for pedestrians, cyclists, transit and cars/trucks to get over/under major barriers in this City, particularly highways, and rail corridors.

A lot of congestion is related to the need to get around said barriers.

But I, for one, am entirely grateful we didn't see any more six-lane roads than we did, or expressways, and frankly, I wish several we got hadn't happened.

I believe in the utility of highways for moving people and goods, between Cities/Regions, but not within them.

An excellent piece on these barriers, focusing on pedestrians, but usuable in many respects for drivers too.......is found at Metroscapes by Trevor Heywood:

 

Ward8

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To be honest IMO we would have been better off in terms of GTA traffic flow if this was completed. Perhaps not the route they planned that would have destroyed some nice heritage, but something alongside it. For a major world city, our road connections and expressways are laughable
As compared to what other major cities? The most well "expresswayed" cities in the US are places like Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles. Not exactly premium destinations, and Los Angeles has worse traffic than we do. The problem with the Spadina expressway is not that it would have destroyed some nice heritage, it's that it would have destroyed the city itself. North America is rife with examples of cities that built highways to make travel in a city easier, but resulted in having no city left to travel to. Great visuals of this below.

 

sonysnob

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The problems with Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati aren't at all related to the construction of freeways throughout their neighbourhoods.

San Diego has one of the most extensive freeway networks in all of the US, and nobody ever says that San Diego is a terrible city because of it's freeways. San Diego is in fact a beautiful city where it is easy to get around in.

Madrid, Spain also has a very extensive urban freeway network (in addition to a public transportation network that is enviable to a Torontonian). Nobody ever talks about Madrid being ruined by its freeways.

It's such a silly Toronto mentality that looks at transit from such an either/or mentality.
 

Northern Light

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The problems with Detroit, Cleveland and Cincinnati aren't at all related to the construction of freeways throughout their neighbourhoods.

San Diego has one of the most extensive freeway networks in all of the US, and nobody ever says that San Diego is a terrible city because of it's freeways. San Diego is in fact a beautiful city where it is easy to get around in.

Madrid, Spain also has a very extensive urban freeway network (in addition to a public transportation network that is enviable to a Torontonian). Nobody ever talks about Madrid being ruined by its freeways.

It's such a silly Toronto mentality that looks at transit from such an either/or mentality.

Madrid is removing freeways (in their case via burial), and replacing them with parks.


Before/After pic from the above link:

1622054795639.png


Rochester, NY, Syracuse, NY, Buffalo, NY, Detroit, and even Long Beach, CA are in the process of removing past freeways. These are all straight-removals.

San Diego will follow soon enough.
 

sonysnob

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Madrid replaced it's urban freeway with a tunnel and then built a park overtop.

Nothing was removed.

And no one is talking about removing any freeways in San Diego.

Detroit is talking about downgrading a spur section of the 375 freeway to a boulevard because it's cheaper, nothing meaningful.

Buffalo is talking about removing the skyway because it's cheaper.

Long Beach is talking about removing the 103, a nothing freeway that doesn't connect to anything and is a little over a mile long, it's nothing.

Do you remember when the then TTC Chair Adam Giambrone openly mused about mothballing the Sheppard Subway due to low usage? Should we bring that up every time someone speaks about the benefits of transit improvements?https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/t-o-could-close-subway-line-introduce-fare-hike-1.249416
 

innsertnamehere

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All of those other than Syracuse are fairly useless stub highways that have no real utility already. Even Syracuse has a half decent alternative a 6-7 km to the east, which is fine considering the size of the city. It's not ideal for travelers looking to go from I-90 EB to I-81 SB.. but otherwise redirecting onto I-481 is not a problem at all.

Rochester was an extremely low use loop around the downtown that literally went nowhere. It made a ton of sense to demolish.

Detroit is planning to demolish a small stub of I-375 at it's southern end, which already ends in an arterial road along the waterfront. Similarly, it's underutilized for it's current 6 lane freeway cross section. Also makes a lot of sense.

Long Beach is another stub freeway that is duplicated by I-710 1.5km to the east, and it's demolition is being accommodated by replacing the Gerald Desmond Bridge, allowing higher capacities to flow onto I-710 once the 103 highway is demolished.

Houston is also planning to demolish part of I-45 around it's downtown, although only after completely reconstructing the other half of the loop as a 22 lane express-collector system to replace the lost capacity.

Montreal demolished A-10 as it similarly ended in downtown Montreal, and they moved the end back a few kilometres. No major loss to the key freeway network.

Freeway demolitions are not happening in the numbers you make them out to be. The ones that are share more similarities to the part of the Gardiner that was demolished in the early 2000's or the Allen Expressway than the Gardiner or 401.
 

sonysnob

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How much money did Seattle just spend on their Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel? That was a huge chunk of change to build a brand new urban freeway to bypass their downtown area.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Allandale25

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Student99

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Six-lane roads and expressways are City killers and awful to live near.

I believe in the utility of highways for moving people and goods, between Cities/Regions, but not within them.
I, for one, have to refute this.
Growing up a minute from the QEW was fantastic convenience. It was great to live near a highway that could take you places quickly. Everyone in my neighbourhood would agree- we had little turnover for real estate, and when homes were for sale, they sold quickly.

As for utility of highways for moving people and goods between Cities/Regions, but not within them... I think this holds true for small towns, yes. But when you get a city that grows up big enough (such as Toronto) they are a necessity. Just as a subway system doesn't make sense within a small town, a highway also doesn't make sense in a small town. But to link small towns, a train might be helpful... just as a highway might be helpful too. When a city is large, transit is helpful to get between zones, just as highways are.
 

Northern Light

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I, for one, have to refute this.
Growing up a minute from the QEW was fantastic convenience. It was great to live near a highway that could take you places quickly. Everyone in my neighbourhood would agree- we had little turnover for real estate, and when homes were for sale, they sold quickly.

Evidence, as in academic studies, generally show a price discount of ~ 4% for homes near higher traffic highways vs what they would otherwise be. Most clearly measured in a study on the construction of a new highway in the Orlando, Fl area.

There were exceptions, based on quality noise barriers and/or proximity of on/off ramps.

But beyond that, you'll find, highways rarely go through the most affluent communities and rarely do those form along a highway route.

In Toronto, property values are among the most depressed in the 401 corridor, with the exception of Avenue to Bayview.

But its notable that on the south side of that highway (in that stretch), you have some incredibly expensive homes that are, to a great degree shielded from the highway by natural valley features. (The highway noise passes over them; while the visual is largely hidden).

****

You, of course, may have a different preference.

Citation: https://www.jstor.org/stable/24860906
 
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Woodbridge_Heights

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I, for one, have to refute this.
Growing up a minute from the QEW was fantastic convenience. It was great to live near a highway that could take you places quickly. Everyone in my neighbourhood would agree- we had little turnover for real estate, and when homes were for sale, they sold quickly.

As for utility of highways for moving people and goods between Cities/Regions, but not within them... I think this holds true for small towns, yes. But when you get a city that grows up big enough (such as Toronto) they are a necessity. Just as a subway system doesn't make sense within a small town, a highway also doesn't make sense in a small town. But to link small towns, a train might be helpful... just as a highway might be helpful too. When a city is large, transit is helpful to get between zones, just as highways are.

I guess this explains your obsession with highways...
 

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