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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

afransen

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HOVs are useful in specific contexts if you ask me.

locations like the QEW through Oakville were a terrible decision. MTO chose to build 1 HOV lane there instead of 2 GP lanes. Huge waste of capacity for what is a high traffic commuter route.

the 400 though, I’m more supportive. HOVs discourage hyper commuters from Simcoe County but provide the necessary capacity for recreational trips which tend to be multi passenger anyway.
Just about every car on the 400 on summer weekends is multi-passenger. What would an HOV lane achieve?
 

innsertnamehere

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Just about every car on the 400 on summer weekends is multi-passenger. What would an HOV lane achieve?
Provides capacity for weekend peak traffic while discouraging single occupant commuters during the week.

because so many cars are multi-passenger, the HOV would effectively have the same capacity of a GP lane on weekends when it is most needed, but provides lower capacity on weekdays when you want to try to discourage single occupant trips.
 

lenaitch

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This causes chaos and is dangerous. You are advocating passing on the right, which is illegal and dangerous (though necessary given Ontario driving culture). HOV lanes are kind of a stupid idea, unless we are reserving them for true HOVs like buses.

Not advocating - just observing. One problem with HOV/HOT lanes is that they are somewhat of a 'roadway within a roadway' with their own set of rules. Exiting them, for whatever reason, can pose challenges to some drivers since you are moving directly into the so-called high speed lane, even if the intent is to continue to move towards an exit.

BTW, passing on the right on a multi-lane roadway, in and of itself, is not illegal in Ontario.
 

Bojaxs

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I've lived in Oakville my whole life and the HOV lanes on the QEW have accomplished not very much since their inception in 2011. They perhaps help to alleviate congestion on the weekends, but that's about it. I often find myself passing people on the HOV lane during peak traffic hours because someone is attempting to get off the HOV into the general purpose lane and is finding it difficult. All the while holding up everyone else in the HOV lane and slowing down traffic on the left/ passing lane.

As someone in this thread mentioned earlier. I think replacing the HOV lane with two general purpose lanes and tolling the furthest, left lane would be ideal. Allow buses and "greener" vehicles to travel freely on the tolled lane, or offer discounts.
 

afransen

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I've lived in Oakville my whole life and the HOV lanes on the QEW have accomplished not very much since their inception in 2011. They perhaps help to alleviate congestion on the weekends, but that's about it. I often find myself passing people on the HOV lane during peak traffic hours because someone is attempting to get off the HOV into the general purpose lane and is finding it difficult. All the while holding up everyone else in the HOV lane and slowing down traffic on the left/ passing lane.

As someone in this thread mentioned earlier. I think replacing the HOV lane with two general purpose lanes and tolling the furthest, left lane would be ideal. Allow buses and "greener" vehicles to travel freely on the tolled lane, or offer discounts.
Tolling would be ideal, because it would give people reason to think about whether they really want to use that lane. I see lots of people diving for the HOV lane when the highway is empty and then proceed to drive in it at 100 kph. It's almost like they derive entertainment value from being able to use it or something. Meanwhile they are getting passed by free-flowing traffic in the general purpose lanes and causing road-rage passes in the HOV lane--people cross the double lines, or aggressively pass in the dashed mixing zones.
 

afransen

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Provides capacity for weekend peak traffic while discouraging single occupant commuters during the week.

because so many cars are multi-passenger, the HOV would effectively have the same capacity of a GP lane on weekends when it is most needed, but provides lower capacity on weekdays when you want to try to discourage single occupant trips.
You could just arbitrarily close lanes during weekday rush hour and achieve the same result.
 

nfitz

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BTW, passing on the right on a multi-lane roadway, in and of itself, is not illegal in Ontario.
True, in Ontario at least, if done safely.

However, the motorist who puts themselves in a position that a car can safely pass on the right, could be ticked, for not staying to the right. Perhaps not on urban highways, but certainly on rural ones.
 

drum118

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I have noticed in a few location where metal barrier fencing has been added to the top of the concrete barrier to block the headlights of on coming traffic and that is a welcome sign.

Don't know if this is cheaper that raising the barrier wall as it be rebuilt or being added.

I know a few locations on curves where the barrier is higher and blocks headlights.
 

Haljackey

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The HOV lane setup in Ontario is only good for long-distance traffic. In other areas there are dedicated HOV-only exits and entrances to local roads and larger highways. In Ontario you have to exit the lane and merge all the way right to exit.

For someone like me, the HOVs on the 403/QEW stretch is quite nice because whenever I use this stretch I use the HOV lane for it's entire length. It may not be the fastest if there's a slow driver in front of you, but it flows better and congests less frequently than the general lanes. Those lanes could be flowing faster at one point and backed up another, whereas the HOV flows at the same speed so it's more efficient.

I do think it's somewhat stupid to put in 1 HOV when they had room for 2 general lanes however. New builds with HOVs are fine, but when you have limited space you may want to squeeze as much lane space in instead. Conversely, if they just dropped the buffer (which isn't really needed, most other areas don't have this) they could have still 10-laned the 403/QEW, but with 1 HOV lane + 1 general lane.

On the 401, the HOV lane is an express lane within the express lanes. Seems kind of odd since you only have 2 express lanes now for general traffic and I could see that getting clogged with trucks with no way to pass them.
 

Northern Light

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In a Toronto Star article discussing the declining health of Lake Simcoe, and on-going threats that will likely harm it further.........

Objections are raised to population growth mandates in the area......

And...to the Bradford bypass.


Behind the paywall:


From the article:

1618240096571.png
 

Bojaxs

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The HOV lane setup in Ontario is only good for long-distance traffic. In other areas there are dedicated HOV-only exits and entrances to local roads and larger highways. In Ontario you have to exit the lane and merge all the way right to exit.

For someone like me, the HOVs on the 403/QEW stretch is quite nice because whenever I use this stretch I use the HOV lane for it's entire length. It may not be the fastest if there's a slow driver in front of you, but it flows better and congests less frequently than the general lanes. Those lanes could be flowing faster at one point and backed up another, whereas the HOV flows at the same speed so it's more efficient.

I do think it's somewhat stupid to put in 1 HOV when they had room for 2 general lanes however. New builds with HOVs are fine, but when you have limited space you may want to squeeze as much lane space in instead. Conversely, if they just dropped the buffer (which isn't really needed, most other areas don't have this) they could have still 10-laned the 403/QEW, but with 1 HOV lane + 1 general lane.

On the 401, the HOV lane is an express lane within the express lanes. Seems kind of odd since you only have 2 express lanes now for general traffic and I could see that getting clogged with trucks with no way to pass them.
Adding HOV lanes in the newly constructed express lanes on the 401in Mississauga was such a foolish idea. I don't think there should be HOV lanes anywhere on the express/ collectors portions of the 401.
 

CaskoChan

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In a Toronto Star article discussing the declining health of Lake Simcoe, and on-going threats that will likely harm it further.........

Objections are raised to population growth mandates in the area......

And...to the Bradford bypass.


Behind the paywall:


From the article:

View attachment 312091
If they want the bypass cancelled that's fine and all, but it wont reduce the volume of traffic that passes through Bradford everyday, and It will only increase and bog up Bradford, that's not very healthy for its residents.
 

lenaitch

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If the goal was to simply alleviate traffic pressure on downtown Bradford they could do that by enhancing the existing road network with possibly a new link or two to fill in gaps. This is a route connecting two 400-series highways. If it isn't initially one itself it soon will be.
 

north-of-anything

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Is the Bradford Bypass proposal overbuilding? Possibly. But cancelling it outright would further strangle Bradford's downtown. Holland Street in older parts of town is incredibly hostile for pedestrians, making redevelopment and economic activity in the downtown unpalatable. Pressure on the town to grow is immense, and the safest way to accommodate those pressures right now is through sprawling further and further from downtown and the GO station.

Highway 11 is the only way east from the Bradford area, and will be the fastest route to the 400 for thousands of new residents of East Gwillimbury. Right now there IS no alternative that doesn't involve crossing the Holland River.
 

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