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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

Hank

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Really? Asking drivers at or below the speed limit to stay in the right lane is fine. But now we need the middle lane drivers to speed as well? That's asking a lot, don't you think?

In a three lane highway, both the left and middle lanes are passing lanes. If you're in the middle lane, someone's behind you, and no one's beside you, you should move into the right lane. It's that simple.
 

Mr_Praline

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In a three lane highway, both the left and middle lanes are passing lanes. If you're in the middle lane, someone's behind you, and no one's beside you, you should move into the right lane. It's that simple.

Correct, it's exactly that simple. You need to stay at the speed of traffic in the passing lanes, or move aside. If you are not comfortable with the idea of speeding, that's fine - that's what the right-hand lane is for. It's not as black and white as "middle lanes have to speed" - you go at the speed of traffic. If the roads are empty, you're more than welcome to travel in those lanes at the speed limit, provided you aren't impeding other drivers. If the roads are full up, you need to match everyone else's speed to be as safe a driver as possible.
 

junctionist

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Correct, it's exactly that simple. You need to stay at the speed of traffic in the passing lanes, or move aside. If you are not comfortable with the idea of speeding, that's fine - that's what the right-hand lane is for. It's not as black and white as "middle lanes have to speed" - you go at the speed of traffic. If the roads are empty, you're more than welcome to travel in those lanes at the speed limit, provided you aren't impeding other drivers. If the roads are full up, you need to match everyone else's speed to be as safe a driver as possible.

Generally, there are 3 lanes where there are higher traffic volumes. The middle lane often has spillover traffic from the right lane, so drivers rarely break that rule by cruising in the middle lane. Also, we have a substantial group of drivers who are only comfortable or required to drive 100 kph. They're not the majority, but the majority end up in the middle and left lanes to pass them.
 

Kitsune

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construction has started on realigning 2.6km of the CN mainline so a parclo can be built between highway 400/69 & 522, and because of poor soil conditions where the new alignment would have crossed the existing alignment. It'll cost 24 million, and include three bridges over the rail line - 1 for highway 69 and 2 for highway 400 as it'll be on a new alignment through the area.
 

doady

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Getting upset at people because they don't break the law and drive over the speed limit seems kinda ridiculous, honestly. It sounds exactly like something Rob Ford would say. It's sad, I thought we were living in the post-Fordist era, but apparently not.
 

Juan_Lennon416

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Getting upset at people because they don't break the law and drive over the speed limit seems kinda ridiculous, honestly. It sounds exactly like something Rob Ford would say. It's sad, I thought we were living in the post-Fordist era, but apparently not.

Not too sure why you reference Ford when this sort of thinking has been around for many years. Heck...so many people get upset when someone doesn't run the red light
 

Transportfan

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construction has started on realigning 2.6km of the CN mainline so a parclo can be built between highway 400/69 & 522, and because of poor soil conditions where the new alignment would of crossed the existing alignment. It'll cost 24 million, and include three bridges over the rail line - 1 for highway 69 and 2 for highway 400 as it'll be on a new alignment through the area.

A Parclo is a waste of money up there. The MTO should just build a cheaper diamond.
 

Kitsune

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... they are using both designs and in some cases half parclo and half diamond.. The cost difference is negligible in the middle of no where.. The fact they are starting the realignment suggests they may have or are very close to a unreported deal with the Henvey Inlet First Nation, as this area of the upgrade (about a couple KM's from where the CN realignment is happening) will be crossing 2km of there territory. The existing highway covers a lot more then that.
 

Admiral Beez

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In a three lane highway, both the left and middle lanes are passing lanes. If you're in the middle lane, someone's behind you, and no one's beside you, you should move into the right lane. It's that simple.
That should be the case, but not in the GTA in my experience. If you want to cruise without changing lanes you need to stay in the middle lane, because our highway engineers designed the system so that the right hand lanes disappear into exits while the passing lane continues uninterrupted. For example, take the 427 north from the 401, stay in the right or cruising lane. With hardly any warning the right lane exits onto Derry Road, forcing the driver to rapidly move into what was the middle lane. This happens all over the GTA highways, forcing transport trucks to stay in the middle lane in order to easily navigate across the region.

For example, we often see #2 below across the GTA's 400 series highways, where four or three lanes have the right hand lane vanish into an exit, forcing (usually slower) traffic from the right lane into what was the (usually faster) middle or middle-right lane.

fig17.jpg


Instead, IMO we should have dedicated exit lanes on the right, like the below. Thus you would be able to drive from Windsor to Cornwall in the right hand lane, never needing to change lanes, with the passing lane disappearing/appearing where necessary/possible.

fig6-3.gif


And more of this...

left-lane-ends-sign-x-w4-2l.png


And less of this...

W14351-2.jpg


People driving at the speed limit should not be seen as a nuisance, and if they could reliably driving to the right without being forced off the road I expect most would stay right.
 
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MisterF

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Way to go UK! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ned-1-000-driving-60mph-inside-lane-free.html

By the way, does anyone know why the English refer to it as the inside lane when it's clearly the outermost lane on the motorway? Top Gear has never explained that to me :/

Generally, there are 3 lanes where there are higher traffic volumes. The middle lane often has spillover traffic from the right lane, so drivers rarely break that rule by cruising in the middle lane. Also, we have a substantial group of drivers who are only comfortable or required to drive 100 kph. They're not the majority, but the majority end up in the middle and left lanes to pass them.
That's not entirely true. Slow drivers frequently get into the middle lane even when there's nobody in the right lane just because they see it as the default lane to be in. This is true whether it's busy or not, and outside of rush hour there are plenty of stretches of 6 lane highway that aren't all that busy. Like this one - next to no traffic and most of the cars are in the left and middle lanes for no reason. Including the Google car.

My rule of thumb is that if there's someone passing me on the right, I'm probably in the wrong lane.

Getting upset at people because they don't break the law and drive over the speed limit seems kinda ridiculous, honestly.
If you're impeding traffic in the middle lane you're also breaking the law.

147 (1) Any vehicle travelling upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at that time and place shall, where practicable, be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 147 (1).

There's an exception in the Act that if you're passing another vehicle you don't have to move over. In other words, keep right except to pass.

That should be the case, but not in the GTA in my experience. If you want to cruise without changing lanes you need to stay in the middle lane, because our highway engineers designed the system so that the right hand lanes disappear into exits while the passing lane continues uninterrupted. For example, take the 427 north from the 401, stay in the right or cruising lane. With hardly any warning the right lane exits onto Derry Road, forcing the driver to rapidly move into what was the middle lane. This happens all over the GTA highways, forcing transport trucks to stay in the middle lane in order to easily navigate across the region.
Driving in the States I've noticed that it's usually the left lane that ends, not the right. It makes so much more sense that way and doesn't force people driving on the right to constantly change lanes. They do it that way in other countries too. Has the MTO ever given a reason for doing it the other way around?
 

reaperexpress

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Driving in the States I've noticed that it's usually the left lane that ends, not the right. It makes so much more sense that way and doesn't force people driving on the right to constantly change lanes. They do it that way in other countries too. Has the MTO ever given a reason for doing it the other way around?

Having the right lane exit is better from a capacity standpoint because it results in less bottlenecking - the lane disappears where cars disappear along with it. I don't know if the MTO has considered the impact this has on people who now understandably avoid the right lane.
 

gweed123

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Thanks for the link! I'm actually pretty disappointed with how little there is in the way of expansion. Nothing new on Highway 17 twinning west of Arnprior besides what's already under construction. Ditto for the 401 east of Cobourg. I would have figured that with the infusion of $15 billion over the next 10 years that we'd be seeing a few more projects on that list, even if they're in the "Beyond 2019" timeframe. The fact that 417 has been extended a measly ~10km west in the past decade is pretty sad. For the 401, I was hoping to at least see Belleville to Trenton on that list for a 4 to 6 lane widening.
 

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