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Roads: GTA West Corridor—Highway 413

DirectionNorth

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Something like this would definitely not be a problem. Better yet, there is already such a trail in Ontario - the Herb Gray Parkway extension of the 401 in Windsor has a 17km multi-use trail running alongside and over it. I've biked it many times before, and it's an incredible trail. The whole section of the 401 is sunken
Woah, stop there. Sunken sections in urban areas are fine, since they hide it from the surrounding neighborhoods. Here, it's a rural area. That's an insane cost to hide a highway from a trail.
, and certain segments are covered by short tunnels with green space and paths on top and along the sides. The path is separated by noise barriers and fences, and connects to the local neighbourhoods. There are even new/restored wetland and grassland areas along the corridor.

As for air quality, I never noticed any issues from the truck-heavy traffic, but the air quality in Windsor is bad anyway so I can't say for sure. The only caveat for this kind of project is obviously additional cost from the tunneled sections.
Well, duh. This thing already costs $4 billion (using my super generous estimate), it would make cost actually insane.
 

innsertnamehere

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Woah, stop there. Sunken sections in urban areas are fine, since they hide it from the surrounding neighborhoods. Here, it's a rural area. That's an insane cost to hide a highway from a trail.

Well, duh. This thing already costs $4 billion (using my super generous estimate), it would make cost actually insane.
There is *some* precedent for sunken rural expressways in the Netherlands, or at least a bermed highway:


But generally, yes. The Herb Grey Parkway cost over $150m/km, which is over triple what the 413 would likely otherwise cost. It's not needed. Even in Windsor it's rather over the top.

Given the large right of way proposed I don't see an issue with a multi use trail, but I agree that it generally won't be that useful and won't be super-pleasant.
 

ericmacm

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Woah, stop there. Sunken sections in urban areas are fine, since they hide it from the surrounding neighborhoods. Here, it's a rural area. That's an insane cost to hide a highway from a trail.

Well, duh. This thing already costs $4 billion (using my super generous estimate), it would make cost actually insane.
It doesn't necessarily have to be sunken - you could achieve effectively the same thing with a berm. Also, to be clear I'm also not recommending this exact solution for the 413 - I'm just making a point that trail systems along highways have been done successfully before and can, in theory, be done successfully again, as a way to make a highway corridor more useful to more people than just drivers.
 

junctionist

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Something like this would definitely not be a problem. Better yet, there is already such a trail in Ontario - the Herb Gray Parkway extension of the 401 in Windsor has a 17km multi-use trail running alongside and over it. I've biked it many times before, and it's an incredible trail. The whole section of the 401 is sunken, and certain segments are covered by short tunnels with green space and paths on top and along the sides. The path is separated by noise barriers and fences, and connects to the local neighbourhoods. There are even new/restored wetland and grassland areas along the corridor.

As for air quality, I never noticed any issues from the truck-heavy traffic, but the air quality in Windsor is bad anyway so I can't say for sure. The only caveat for this kind of project is obviously additional cost from the tunneled sections.

It would be incredible for cross-country cycling in Ontario if there was a parallel trail to the 401 for cycling between cities like Toronto, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Chatham, and Windsor. If drivers get the luxury of grade separation for efficiency and safety, why not cyclists?

I think there are much more affordable ways of building a parallel trail than the Herb Gray Parkway, which was inherently more expensive because it was essentially an urban expressway as opposed to a rural freeway.
 
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Steve X

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I didn’t vote for Ford last time but I’m thinking I’ll vote for him this time. The other two seem Incompetent. This government has actually tried to get transit and highway projects going.

I totally agree that some of these projects are bias but at least he got more major projects going than the last government who refuses to fund most of them.
 

Deadpool X

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I do have a problem with tax paying, transit riding, and not property owning people having their taxes directed to build infrastructure so tax avoiding, hummer driving, and massive property owning families can worsen the environment and make a big profit doing it.
Do you know that transit is subsidized by taxpayers and transit agencies don't recover their expenses from fares alone?

And you know what's the fun part? Car driving people contribute way more to these subsidies than transit riding people. You know why? Because there are way more car driving taxpayers than transit riding taxpayers!

I don't have kids and don't plan to have one. Should I complain that my taxes are being used to educate kids that are not even mine?

If everyone starts thinking like that, then we would stop paying taxes and start building our own roads, schools, police our street ourselves, keep our own buckets and fire extinguishers.
 

Steve X

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If no company profits, we'll be stuck in the stone age. Profit causes ambition that causes new technology to develop. It's the government's part to balance capital profit with social benefits.
 

innsertnamehere

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The government hasn’t released detailed modelling to support the 30-minute figure. But a spokesperson for Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said the numbers are based on calculations that show if the 413 isn’t built, peak-hour operating speeds on the 400 and 401 will drop to 35 km/h by 2041, and a trip between King and Trafalgar will take 89 minutes.

The trip on Highway 413 would be faster, at 59 minutes. But even by the government’s estimates the new roadway would hardly be congestion-free. By 2041, at its busiest times the 413 would have an average travel speed of 55 km/h.

Asked whether the government’s estimates take into account induced demand, Jordanna Colwill, the minister’s spokesperson, said they capture “demand that would shift to the new highways from other modes or other adjacent roads.”

Without more detailed modelling, it’s hard to evaluate the province’s travel time projections, said Baher Abdulhai, a professor at U of T’s department of civil and mineral engineering. But he said it’s “highly unlikely” they take into account induced demand and other long-term congestion factors.

Unlike some experts, Abdulhai doesn’t predict induced demand would wipe out all the benefits of the 413, and said the project would deliver some long-term improvements to driving time. But he said the highway would inflict “irreversible damage” by further cementing the region’s dependence on the automobile, leading to more pollution and other negative effects.

I wonder why the Star can't get any experts to quote saying the highway won't have any impact on traffic? They admit the new highway won't be entirely uncongested in peak hour (obviously), but none will admit it won't have 0 impact on traffic. So the Star is trying to spin it's own web that it won't change anything.
 

asher__jo

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I wonder why the Star can't get any experts to quote saying the highway won't have any impact on traffic? They admit the new highway won't be entirely uncongested in peak hour (obviously), but none will admit it won't have 0 impact on traffic. So the Star is trying to spin it's own web that it won't change anything.
They don't need experts when their own government's reports acknowledge the project has dubious value with the way the government is spinning it.
 

toaster29

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I don't think anyone has advocated that wouldn't be the case, though? The alternative is current roads highways and arterials, continue to get worse, which is what I think he's trying to avoid. The GTHA has some of the lowest milage of highway per capita in North America. The population of the GTHA has exploded, the km of highway/capita number is nowhere near where it was 20 years ago. The discussion on this highway seems to lack any talk about the relative impact of this highway, and the GTHA's relative footprint.
 

asher__jo

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I don't think anyone has advocated that wouldn't be the case, though? The alternative is current roads highways and arterials, continue to get worse, which is what I think he's trying to avoid. The GTHA has some of the lowest milage of highway per capita in North America. The population of the GTHA has exploded, the km of highway/capita number is nowhere near where it was 20 years ago. The discussion on this highway seems to lack any talk about the relative impact of this highway, and the GTHA's relative footprint.
What people fail to understand and what politicians repeatedly neglect is that induced demand negates and "relief" benefits that additional road capacity brings. Just as with additional transit being built, people adapt their habits when capacity is increased (in this case, more people get cars or take more car trips they otherwise wouldn't take).
 

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