News   Apr 15, 2021
 155     0 
News   Apr 15, 2021
 484     0 
News   Apr 14, 2021
 411     0 

Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

MisterF

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
3,361
Reaction score
2,041
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.
Like you said, it's about the right lane exiting (or ending) versus the left lane ending. None of the lanes has to exit. Outside of Canada it's typically done like this. That way you can drive in the right lane without worrying about when your lane is going to end or turn into an exit.
 

nfitz

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
23,860
Reaction score
4,026
Location
Toronto
If a driver gets on the 401 at Windsor, they should be able to stay in the same right lane all the way to Quebec, without having to merge into the middle or left lane because of an exiting or ending right lane.
Why? It makes more sense when the road width transitions from 6 lanes to 4 lanes that the right lane disappears, not the left one. And that's the way it's often done, both here, and outside of Ontario.
 

Kitsune

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 11, 2007
Messages
1,312
Reaction score
331
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.

I'm thinking all the focus for highway 17 is in Northwestern Ontario - they are doing a more traditional no interchange but four laning the 11-17 duplex, including Ontario's first Cable Stay bridge over the Nipigon River. Northern Ontario Highways is also available - http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/highway-bridges/pdfs/northern-highways-program-2015-2019.pdf.
 

innsertnamehere

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 8, 2010
Messages
15,142
Reaction score
10,581
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.

The government has been holding consultations on what people would like to see with that $15 billion, I would suspect that they come out with a project list in the next budget. I highly suspect highway 17 widening to at least Renfrew will be on that list.
 

MisterF

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
3,361
Reaction score
2,041
Why? It makes more sense when the road width transitions from 6 lanes to 4 lanes that the right lane disappears, not the left one. And that's the way it's often done, both here, and outside of Ontario.
I'm curious as to why you think that. Several people have said why the left lane ending makes more sense than the right lane ending or exiting, but nobody's given reasons for the opposite view. As for outside Ontario, as far as I know it's only in Canada that the right (slow) lane is typically the one that ends. In the US and Europe, it's typically the left lane that ends; disappearing right lanes are much less common.
 

nfitz

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
23,860
Reaction score
4,026
Location
Toronto
I'm curious as to why you think that. Several people have said why the left lane ending makes more sense than the right lane ending or exiting, but nobody's given reasons for the opposite view.
When you do the transition, it's best done at an intersection. So 2 lanes keep going, and the third lane goes off somewhere. Which should always be the right lane.

Though if it isn't, then you will merging to the left, rather than right. And merging to the left is safer, as you can see better on the driver side than the passsenger side, with a smaller blind spot.

As for outside Ontario, as far as I know it's only in Canada that the right (slow) lane is typically the one that ends. In the US and Europe, it's typically the left lane that ends
I've done most of my European driving in the UK - and I admit it IS normally the left lane that ends ... but they drive on the left.

But that's my recollection ... so I jumped to one of the most notorious 3-lane to 2-lane merges that I've driven a lot. Just before entering the infamous Brynglas Tunnel on the M4 in Wales.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@51.6026...i4LIeTtSea9A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en

And it is indeed the left lane that leaves - which would be the same as here.

disappearing right lanes are much less common.
You mention the US. US often loses the right lane too. I've been driving Seattle to Vancouver a fair bit lately. My recollection along the I5 as you head north, is that it is the right lane that goes. And it is ... here it is going from 3 lanes to 2 lanes somewhere north of Everett.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@48.4647...48upjmvQNsaA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en

Now, I'm sure there are exceptions. But it doesn't seem to be as cut-and-dry as you make out.
 

Napoleon

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 3, 2015
Messages
632
Reaction score
363
You mention the US. US often loses the right lane too. I've been driving Seattle to Vancouver a fair bit lately. My recollection along the I5 as you head north, is that it is the right lane that goes. And it is ... here it is going from 3 lanes to 2 lanes somewhere north of Everett.
Having lived all over the US, I can assure you that it is almost always the right lane that goes when there is a reduction in lanes. In fact, when I picture the sign, I can only picture this one:
lane-ends-ahead.jpg

I can hardly even imagine the mirror image that's how rarely I've seen it.
 

nfitz

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
23,860
Reaction score
4,026
Location
Toronto
Having lived all over the US, I can assure you that it is almost always the right lane that goes when there is a reduction in lanes.
Yes, I thought so. I thought I was losing my mind for a second when MisterF said it is always the left lane that goes in the USA.
 

MisterF

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
3,361
Reaction score
2,041
When you do the transition, it's best done at an intersection. So 2 lanes keep going, and the third lane goes off somewhere. Which should always be the right lane.

Though if it isn't, then you will merging to the left, rather than right. And merging to the left is safer, as you can see better on the driver side than the passsenger side, with a smaller blind spot.

I've done most of my European driving in the UK - and I admit it IS normally the left lane that ends ... but they drive on the left.

But that's my recollection ... so I jumped to one of the most notorious 3-lane to 2-lane merges that I've driven a lot. Just before entering the infamous Brynglas Tunnel on the M4 in Wales.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@51.6026...i4LIeTtSea9A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en

And it is indeed the left lane that leaves - which would be the same as here.

You mention the US. US often loses the right lane too. I've been driving Seattle to Vancouver a fair bit lately. My recollection along the I5 as you head north, is that it is the right lane that goes. And it is ... here it is going from 3 lanes to 2 lanes somewhere north of Everett.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@48.4647...48upjmvQNsaA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=en

Now, I'm sure there are exceptions. But it doesn't seem to be as cut-and-dry as you make out.

Yes, I thought so. I thought I was losing my mind for a second when MisterF said it is always the left lane that goes in the USA.
Correct that it's not cut and dry, which is why I used words like "typically" and "common". Nowhere did I claim that it's always the left lane that ends in the US. That being said, I was going by my own experience driving in the States, where I've noticed more left lanes ending than right. Here's another left lane ending, this time on I-490 in Rochester. Of course, that stretch of highway has lanes ending on both sides, so maybe Americans just don't follow any one standard.

A few more highways that have left lanes ending (right lanes in the UK):
M74 in Scotland: right lane ends.
A6 in France: left lane ends.
E4 in Sweden: left lane ends.
 

muller877

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
1,689
Reaction score
760
Correct that it's not cut and dry, which is why I used words like "typically" and "common". Nowhere did I claim that it's always the left lane that ends in the US. That being said, I was going by my own experience driving in the States, where I've noticed more left lanes ending than right. Here's another left lane ending, this time on I-490 in Rochester. Of course, that stretch of highway has lanes ending on both sides, so maybe Americans just don't follow any one standard.
.

I thought Ontario is pretty good at least at warning drivers. Going to other states/provinces there are quite a few times where the lane ends without notice nor any indication which lane has priority. All that happens is 2 lanes become 1 and good luck to you. (thanks for the warning Ohio)
 

muller877

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
1,689
Reaction score
760
Correct that it's not cut and dry, which is why I used words like "typically" and "common". Nowhere did I claim that it's always the left lane that ends in the US. That being said, I was going by my own experience driving in the States, where I've noticed more left lanes ending than right. Here's another left lane ending, this time on I-490 in Rochester. Of course, that stretch of highway has lanes ending on both sides, so maybe Americans just don't follow any one standard.
.

What I liked in some parts of the UK is what I will call a "staggered merge".

https://www.google.com/maps/@50.9592825,-1.396112,183m/data=!3m1!1e3

When there is an on-ramp with 2 lanes onto a highway (and no new lanes are created) there is not a rush to merge immediately. There is a solid white line between the 2 merging lanes. The innermost lane merges immediately and then in about 300m the outer lane merges.

They will also create rumble strips and horizontal stripes to stop the cue jumpers from merging too early.
 

Top