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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

Krypto98

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Anyone have updates on the highway 427 opening? I've driven by there a few times this week and it looks pretty much complete
 

Northern Light

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Seems the Ford gov't is musing about proceeding w/the Bradford by-pass.

One can be for/against as the case may be...........it will surprise no one, given my passion for the environment that I'd be in the against camp.

Be that as it may..........the current gov't as per their modus operandi is apparently trying to exempt this project from an updated E.A. even though the last one is 24 years old............

Sigh....

Report here:


From said report:

1612620188989.png


As one can see, this would pass, for an extended distance, through a forested area, and across provincially significant wetlands.

This will do considerable damage.

I'm not sure any compensation can fully off set that; but to the extent it could, it would involve restoring/giving back 1,000ha of land or more for nature.

IT would seem to me, to be more cost-effective to not make the mess the first place.

Doubtless many would disagree here; but my answer to this is the pull the 404 back out; it should never have gone this far north in the first place.

I would argue Green Lane should have been the northern terminus; and I would put it back that way.

Ah well.
 
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ARG1

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Seems the Ford gov't is musing about proceeding w/the Bradford by-pass.

One can be for/against as the case may be...........it will surprise no one, given my passion for the environment that I'd be in the against camp.

Be that as it may..........the current gov't as per their modus operandi is apparently trying to exempt this project from an updated E.A. even though the last one is 24 years old............

Sigh....

Report here:


From said report:

View attachment 298556

As one can see, this would pass, for an extended distance, through a forested area, and across provincially significant wetlands.

This will do considerable damage.

I'm not sure any compensation can fully off set that; but to the extent it could, it would involve restoring/giving back 1,000ha of land or more for nature.

IT would seem to me, to be more cost-effective to not make the mess the first place.

Doubtless many would disagree here; but my answer to this is the pull the 404 back out; it should never have gone this far north in the first place.

I would argue Green Lane should have been the northern terminus; and I would put it back that way.

Ah well.
I generally support 404 North because there needs to be a way around Lake Simcoe that isn't just the 400. The majority of the highway is 3 lanes per direction, and its clearly not enough to support all of the truck routes heading to Northern/Western Canada as well as everyone going to cottage country, oh and Barrie commuters. The Bradford bypass could help make that choice a little easier and give cottage country goers a bit more options.
 

Northern Light

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I generally support 404 North because there needs to be a way around Lake Simcoe that isn't just the 400. The majority of the highway is 3 lanes per direction, and its clearly not enough to support all of the truck routes heading to Northern/Western Canada as well as everyone going to cottage country, oh and Barrie commuters. The Bradford bypass could help make that choice a little easier and give cottage country goers a bit more options.

The 404 doesn't even reach Lake Simcoe, and there is no EA or concrete plan of which I'm aware that gets it past #12.

So I don't see how that can serve the purpose you state.

*****

Aside from that, we would simply disagree on the nature of desirable growth; and on the trade-offs that are acceptable.
 

ARG1

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The 404 doesn't even reach Lake Simcoe, and there is no EA or concrete plan of which I'm aware that gets it past #12.

So I don't see how that can serve the purpose you state.

*****

Aside from that, we would simply disagree on the nature of desirable growth; and on the trade-offs that are acceptable.
It doesn't need to. After the 404 extension to Ravenshoe Road opened, the popularity of the 404 skyrocketed and many people do Ravenshoe Rd. + 48 + 12 to travel around the east side of Lake Simcoe because even if its not fully controlled-access, its still usually faster than to sit for hours on the 400. The extension to Highway 12 would basically serve to remove the part where people have to drive on the poorly maintained and poor condition Ravenshoe Road. You don't need to have a controlled access highway to serve as a bypass, just build it partway there and for most people it'll be good enough, especially if the competition is a 3 lane highway that never moves.
 

Northern Light

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It doesn't need to. After the 404 extension to Ravenshoe Road opened, the popularity of the 404 skyrocketed and many people do Ravenshoe Rd. + 48 + 12 to travel around the east side of Lake Simcoe because even if its not fully controlled-access, its still usually faster than to sit for hours on the 400. The extension to Highway 12 would basically serve to remove the part where people have to drive on the poorly maintained and poor condition Ravenshoe Road. You don't need to have a controlled access highway to serve as a bypass, just build it partway there and for most people it'll be good enough, especially if the competition is a 3 lane highway that never moves.

Again, we would disagree.

Respectfully; I think the answer is fewer trucks, less stuff, fewer people commuting and a larger modal share for transit.

I have zero interest in accommodating people's desires to drive 90 minutes or more to work.

Nor do I think it is remotely responsible ecologically to move as much as we do by truck, as many times as we do (supply chain), plus the sheer volume of 'stuff' people acquire.

I'd rather boost standard-of-living and protect the environment.

Its just a different way of prioritizing.

You're entitled to your preferences; but you won't shift mine.
 

lenaitch

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The 404 doesn't even reach Lake Simcoe, and there is no EA or concrete plan of which I'm aware that gets it past #12.

So I don't see how that can serve the purpose you state.

*****

Aside from that, we would simply disagree on the nature of desirable growth; and on the trade-offs that are acceptable.

I didn't even know there were plans to extend it to 12. For commercial traffic heading west, Hwy 404 would be of no benefit; neither would it be for Barrie commuters. In order for any improved highway on the east side of the lake to connect to Hwy 11, it would have to follow CR 169, which would require significant land acquisition around Washago, as well as Brechin further south. When travelling down the east side of the lake, I do all I can to avoid Hwy 12 because of all the gravel haulers.

As far as the Bradford Bypass, I don't know how they are justifying (if they are even trying) cutting through that wetland area. It is a helpful filtration/mitigation area for the phosphates coming out the Holland Marsh. If nothing else, the construction costs will be significant.
 

ericmacm

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If the population growth in the area demands the Bradford Bypass, then it should be built. One would argue that not building it could actually be riskier from an emissions, congestion, and safety perspective in the long run, given the increase in commercial vehicle traffic on private roads.

There is absolutely a responsible way to build this highway from an environmental perspective, and the key is for the province to purchase the agricultural land that borders the Holland River(s), restore it back to a woodland state, connect it to the existing swaths of woodland, and turn it into a protected area or provincial park. Almost none of that land in question is actually protected, and much of it is slowly being converted to agricultural land anyway, which, given its proximity to the marsh and river system, is much more damaging to the ecosystem through monoculture and fertilizer runoff than the construction of a highway will ever be. Take a look at the satellite image history of the area, and you will see that parts of the wooded area are slowly being eaten up by farmland expansion. You can see certain sections of the existing wooded areas being sectioned off and cleared for more farms.

It's also important to critically analyze the points and information being presented by environmental groups. The map that shows the "Natural Heritage" lands is intentionally deceptive, because these areas are agricultural lands that are in no way distinct from other agricultural lands in the area. The "Provincially Significant Wetlands" are deceptive too, because the words make it seem like they have a degree of protection, when in reality, it means nothing. Environmental groups like to do this to make their case against a project appear stronger than it actually is. They rely on driving up emotions and one of the easiest ways to do it is to skew information. It also makes you wonder what special interest groups are involved due to certain agricultural lands being considered "natural heritage" whereas others in the same area are not.

If this highway gets built, it's likely that the area will actually receive more protection than it currently has, as a result of compensation efforts.
 

Northern Light

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If the population growth in the area demands the Bradford Bypass, then it should be built. One would argue that not building it could actually be riskier from an emissions, congestion, and safety perspective in the long run, given the increase in commercial vehicle traffic on private roads.

There is absolutely a responsible way to build this highway from an environmental perspective, and the key is for the province to purchase the agricultural land that borders the Holland River(s), restore it back to a woodland state, connect it to the existing swaths of woodland, and turn it into a protected area or provincial park. Almost none of that land in question is actually protected, and much of it is slowly being converted to agricultural land anyway, which, given its proximity to the marsh and river system, is much more damaging to the ecosystem through monoculture and fertilizer runoff than the construction of a highway will ever be. Take a look at the satellite image history of the area, and you will see that parts of the wooded area are slowly being eaten up by farmland expansion. You can see certain sections of the existing wooded areas being sectioned off and cleared for more farms.

It's also important to critically analyze the points and information being presented by environmental groups. The map that shows the "Natural Heritage" lands is intentionally deceptive, because these areas are agricultural lands that are in no way distinct from other agricultural lands in the area. The "Provincially Significant Wetlands" are deceptive too, because the words make it seem like they have a degree of protection, when in reality, it means nothing. Environmental groups like to do this to make their case against a project appear stronger than it actually is. They rely on driving up emotions and one of the easiest ways to do it is to skew information. It also makes you wonder what special interest groups are involved due to certain agricultural lands being considered "natural heritage" whereas others in the same area are not.

If this highway gets built, it's likely that the area will actually receive more protection than it currently has, as a result of compensation efforts.

Your derision of environmental groups is genuinely offensive.

It also misrepresents the nature of the area in question.

Here is a satellite view of the area in question, with the approximate bypass corridor highlighted.

1612635623329.png


Note that all the dark green really is forest, and that much of the pale yellow is marsh (some is indeed farms.

Lets look more closely, shall we?

1612635796282.png




1612635879726.png


Lets look closer still, at where the bypass would cross Yonge Street.

1612636467941.png


If you want to destroy that for a highway, so be it.

I won't argue.

But please don't suggest that those of us who care are misrepresenting the value of this space.
 

ericmacm

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Your derision of environmental groups is genuinely offensive.

It also misrepresents the nature of the area in question.

Here is a satellite view of the area in question, with the approximate bypass corridor highlighted.

View attachment 298578

Note that all the dark green really is forest, and that much of the pale yellow is marsh (some is indeed farms.

Lets look more closely, shall we?

View attachment 298579



View attachment 298580

Lets look closer still, at where the bypass would cross Yonge Street.

View attachment 298583

If you want to destroy that for a highway, so be it.

I won't argue.

But please don't suggest that those of us who care are misrepresenting the value of this space.
I am well aware of the condition of the area, the environmental sensitivities of the Holland River ecosystem, and am even advocating for additional restoration and provincial protection of the nearby farmland areas as compensation for highway construction. I would personally be very interested to see how the province plans on building the road over the sensitive wetland areas for both forks of the Holland River. Assuming that I don't care about the environment is a very bold assumption to make. My disdain for environmentalist groups comes largely from their lack of transparency and manipulation of facts, not from the causes they advocate for. It's possible to be pro-construction and pro-environment at the same time, the two ideas aren't incompatible.

The corridor that you have identified in your first image is over 400m wide, upon trying to recreate the dimension in Google Earth. Going off the measurements of the 400-series highways nearby, the width of HWY 400 ROW nearby is approximately 45m wide, and the 404 ROW is approximately 75m wide. The actual Bradford Bypass would likely only be as wide as the 400 and consequently, be less disruptive. It will most likely only be wider for the interchanges, and even then, it would be dependent on the interchange style that they would use. The only place in this section of corridor that would have an interchange would be near the intersection of Bathurst and Hochreiter, which currently consists of two residential properties, a section of clear-cut land owned by the nearby marina, and privately owned forested land that would only require minimal clearing.

Keep in mind that all of the land in this area is privately owned. The only true "value" that the land carries is for the property owners in the area. It's true that the land is forested and certainly would support wildlife in the area, but let's be realistic. All of this forested area could be cleared by owners for farmland tomorrow without any issue if they wanted to. In particular, the section of Yonge that you identified is actually a residential neighbourhood, filled with secluded estates and large lawns with only a couple of parcels of truly wooded land. These residential neighbourhoods, along with the nearby golf course and marinas, are included in EcoJustice's map as "Natural Heritage" land, which is completely farcical. If the province were to build this highway, but be forced to restore and/or protect additional forested land, it would be a massive win for the environment in the area.
 

ARG1

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I am well aware of the condition of the area, the environmental sensitivities of the Holland River ecosystem, and am even advocating for additional restoration and provincial protection of the nearby farmland areas as compensation for highway construction. I would personally be very interested to see how the province plans on building the road over the sensitive wetland areas for both forks of the Holland River. Assuming that I don't care about the environment is a very bold assumption to make. My disdain for environmentalist groups comes largely from their lack of transparency and manipulation of facts, not from the causes they advocate for. It's possible to be pro-construction and pro-environment at the same time, the two ideas aren't incompatible.

The corridor that you have identified in your first image is over 400m wide, upon trying to recreate the dimension in Google Earth. Going off the measurements of the 400-series highways nearby, the width of HWY 400 ROW nearby is approximately 45m wide, and the 404 ROW is approximately 75m wide. The actual Bradford Bypass would likely only be as wide as the 400 and consequently, be less disruptive. It will most likely only be wider for the interchanges, and even then, it would be dependent on the interchange style that they would use. The only place in this section of corridor that would have an interchange would be near the intersection of Bathurst and Hochreiter, which currently consists of two residential properties, a section of clear-cut land owned by the nearby marina, and privately owned forested land that would only require minimal clearing.

Keep in mind that all of the land in this area is privately owned. The only true "value" that the land carries is for the property owners in the area. It's true that the land is forested and certainly would support wildlife in the area, but let's be realistic. All of this forested area could be cleared by owners for farmland tomorrow without any issue if they wanted to. In particular, the section of Yonge that you identified is actually a residential neighbourhood, filled with secluded estates and large lawns with only a couple of parcels of truly wooded land. These residential neighbourhoods, along with the nearby golf course and marinas, are included in EcoJustice's map as "Natural Heritage" land, which is completely farcical. If the province were to build this highway, but be forced to restore and/or protect additional forested land, it would be a massive win for the environment in the area.
You're mostly correct, although its more likely to be 404 level wide instead of 400. Highways nowadays are built with wide medians so that future lane extensions if necessary are quick and painless. Its a lot easier to build an extra lane in the middle of 2 carriageways that are pre-allocated than to extend to each side. The 400 is simply just an old highway and isn't built to the standards we build highways nowadays so its a lot narrower.
 

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