News   Feb 23, 2024
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News   Feb 23, 2024
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Roads: Highway 401 Widening - Highway 8 to Highway 410 (MTO, U/C, Planned)

Coming into Toronto during rush hour, from James slow over to the current split near Mavis, the right hand lane clearly moves fastest. Drivers seem to assume that the left lane is always fastest, but that lane is so clogged with cars that it jams up. Driving between two 18-wheelers in the rightmost lane is a bit less pleasant, but they move along much better.

I will be interested to see how traffic patterns change once the express is extended west of Mississauga Road. The volume of cars entering the eastbound 401 at that intersection is practically a full solid lane. The merge between the right lane and the onramp (and the lane changes that many make from the right lane into the middle lane to bypass that little bit of congestion) is what slows down traffic eastbound. That may smooth out nicely when we get the split moved a bit further west.

- Paul
I love that you unintentionally wrote James slow, Paul. Fairly accurate description of the area past that point...

I typically travel eastbound through here on weekends from Guelph Line in the late afternoon. It is getting so bad with traffic, that I will go across Campbellville Rd, James Snow Pkwy, Derry Rd, 407 west, 403 east, to get back to the 401. Yes this roundabout way actually saves me time, and only costs $3 for the 407.

Agreed with your point on using the right lane through that Milton/Oakville stretch of the 401 though. I can sort of keep a nice even speed. The 2 left lanes I find myself constantly starting and stopping. I have always typically used the right lane in stop and go traffic though just due to the fact you can pretty much coast along. I know once the express/collectors open eastbound in that stretch that things will certainly flow a lot nicer. How it will function in rush hour will remain to be seen. Expect a lot of wacky driving and last second lane changes once it does open though...
 
It's mind-boggling to me how everyone still piles into the Express lanes, at the last minute, only to get stuck in traffic while the collectors seem relatively empty. And of course all the people last-minute exiting the express-to-collectors-to-Mavis. I thought have express/collectors here would improve things but it has resulted in a shit show because Mavis exit signage is illogical.
It's kind of no different than how I can often drive in the rightmost lane and pass people in the middle and left lane. This happens all the time on the QEW, especially off peak. The right lane is frequently empty or nearly so.
 
The big question in my mind is how truck behaviour will emerge once we have collectors and express lanes. If we have trucks jockeying for position in the 2-wide express lanes, it’s going to be a very difficult drive, especially with the institutionalised “drive 130 in the left lane” auto behaviour. If the left lane is marked no trucks, it will be a frustrating drive for the trucks, as the slowest vehicle will lead to backlogs.

Sure makes the cost of aggressively building GO service to London and Cambridge look affordable.

- Paul
Problem is once you're in cambridge it's unlikely your destination is near the go.
 
Nov 11
Had my first look at the 401 since my last visit in Aug with rain cutting my shooting, but will do the rest in the coming days.

Where was the westbound traffic at the Credit River as it was wide open for all lanes and slow down at Mississauga Rd where I was getting off. Eastbound doing its thing by being very slow moving.

Creditview overpass is complete with final paving and striping for 4 lanes. One lane close going northbound at this time to allow clean up of the area. Asphalt sidewalk and cycle path in place on the west side of the road on both side of the overpass. Asphalt sidewalk only on the east side.

There was no backup going westbound at Mississauga Rd when I got there and it was wide opening. Something must caused the slow down, down the road some where. The exit from the parking lot to the westbound on ramp is now open.

The 401 westbound express lanes are ready to open any day as final paving for it as well the collectors is done as well striping including the HOV marking. Saw no HOV signs.

Centre barriers are missing in a number of location for the eastbound express lanes as well the transfer lane from the express to the collector east of Mississauga Rd. Eastbound express lanes have final paving and strip up only to the transfer lanes only and ready to be open. Collectors lanes have final paving and is strip with missing lanes from the transfer lanes from the express that will become part of the transfer lane to the express lanes where it is currently.

Overhead signs are up at the eastbound transfer area, but cover over at this time.

Looks like December will see the eastbound lanes open and reduced the cause of slow going with traffic from Mississauga Rd ramps causing it as well construction work. Still looks like work still taking place for the express lanes on the east side of the Credit River.

Good thing I don't have to travel the 401 daily going eastbound as it been a parking lot since day one.

Heading eastbound to Mavis Rd, the westbound traffic was backup like normal for all lanes from the Credit River to Mavis Rd and no idea what caused that since it was wide open about 30 minutes earlier.

A few unedited non tag shots and no idea when the rest will show up as I am only work on July 27 photos at this time with a back log of 4,000 plus to get me up to date.
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A 2 + 1 HOV lane setup is going to be such a disaster. So much tailgating will ensue.
They will cut into the HOV lane. Some of these drivers drive like they will commit a crime if they don't get caught, weaving in and out of the HOV lane is a pretty minor offence to them.
 
Hov lanes should never have been put on the 401. They should rethink the idea completely before they have accidents because of them.
Totally agree as this will be an accident to happen area. Get a few big rigs on this area with one try to pass another will be a nightmare with cars flipping into the HOV illegal to get around the rigs.

Have no use for HOV lanes in the first place as Sunday drivers are in them as well 90% of illegal single drivers

It only going to take a few accidents to see the removal of them. Those who are injury or kill in this area should sue the province for creating a dangerous situation in the first place to please a few drivers.
 
HOV lanes are hardly a new innovation - they've been in some places for years!

There should be more than enough data to show if there's increased accident rates.
 
HOV lanes are hardly a new innovation - they've been in some places for years!

There should be more than enough data to show if there's increased accident rates.
Not for the 401 or 2 + 1 lanes.

Other roads don't have the truck traffic that this area has and or will see more in the coming years.

If it was a 3 + 1, would work.
 
I don't understand why the HOV lane is used as a Fast lane. If you want to do 150km please be my guest in the fast lane.

Simply because it's the leftmost lane. People assume it is going to be the fastest / passing lane because of this.

I agree with the above statements however. Having a 2+1 setup in the express where trucks can use both general lanes is going to aggravate a lot of people- not just the speed demons / aggressive drivers. The express should have been 3+1 with the leftmost general lane restricted to trucks. If you're saying that's too many lanes for what's needed here, then perhaps they could have stripped a collector lane (just 2) for the extra express lane. Sure that may make for tight collector traffic but the highway may probably flow better.

...But I am not an expert in this field. However I am curious if the experts even approve of the finalized 2+1 HOV design for the express. I think this may have been simply done for political reasons as the former Liberal government wanted all new widening projects to include HOV lanes. A 3+1 HOV express was probably too expensive for them and didn't fit under existing structures (the support columns), and HOVs don't really make sense in the collectors. This was the only way to do it unless you replaced all the overpasses that were already designed in mind for collector-express. That would have added cost, complexity and construction time to the project, not to mention wasted infrastructure as these overpasses still have a lot of lifespan left.
 

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