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View Poll Results: Which is the busiest Freeway
401-Toronto 170 57.43%
Santa Monica Freeway-LA 96 32.43%
Southwest Freeway-Houston 14 4.73%
I-85-Atlanta 16 5.41%
Voters: 296. You may not vote on this poll

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Old April 19th, 2010, 08:01 AM   #561
Haljackey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
That 500,000 figure is probably a summer peak and not representative for the annual average daily traffic. As the 400 does not continue towards downtown Toronto, much commuter traffic enters 401 for a brief distance, and then uses one of the arterials towards downtown (or continues all the way to the Don Valley Parkway). That is why this section is also the busiest, in addition to east-west traffic, it also carries traffic that has a north-south relation.
Actually the 400 does continue south towards Downtown Toronto for a short distance. It then becomes Black Creek Drive, a city owned freeway before transforming into the arterial network.

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Originally Posted by carewser View Post
I expect that is the reason the 401 is the biggest freeway in the world.

Someone mentioned Houston because it has some incredible freeways too. Here's an example:

That's not representative at all. That was during a hurricane evacuation lol where both sides of the highway are used in the same direction.

Nonetheless, it's an epic picture!
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Old April 19th, 2010, 01:12 PM   #562
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Originally Posted by Alexriga View Post
Thatš why I love metro. Such roads are hell for nerves.
Road keep flowing when traffic engineers and cleaning crews go on strike Indeed, I've never heard of a freeway, tunnel or bridge being closed as a direct result of transportation worker's strike - sure, truckers, farmers, greenwackos block roads sometimes, but otherwise they are pretty much resilient in situations like an emergency evacuation of 2,4 million people.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 06:16 PM   #563
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I think this is the busiest section of the busiest road on earth:

image hosted on flickr


Full size here (3888 x 2592):
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2735/...1d8eeaf2_o.jpg

There are a lot of lanes here, but even more are needed to reduce congestion and improve overall traffic flow.
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Old April 19th, 2010, 06:32 PM   #564
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The downside of having a local-express setup is that one lane-closure at rush hour may quickly fill up the entire local or express roadway. Three lanes is not that much, and prone to turbulence. If you have 420,000 AADT, this generally means that there is about 105,000 AADT for every 3-lane roadway. This is incredibly high, a 6-lane section can handle up to about 150,000 AADT, which means the max capacity for a 3-lane section flowing is about 75,000 AADT.

For 420,000 AADT, the number of lanes should be around (420,000 / 2,200 / 11 = ~17) 17 or 18 lanes. This is by no means a completely free-flowing figure.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #565
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Originally Posted by Haljackey View Post
By AADT standards, this is the busiest road:



Its the 401 in Ontario, Canada. It can top 500,000 vehicles per day in some sections of Toronto during the summer months.
Well that's just excessive....
(I don't mean the traffic count; the 20 or so lanes.)
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Old April 20th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #566
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I wonder if we will ever see another freeway passing the 401 as the world's busiest. Los Angeles doesn't have this potential, but I think cities like Houston or Phoenix do. It is strongly dependent on the freeway structure. If you combine all of Long Island's 4 east-west expressways/parkways, or Westchester County's north-south expressways/parkways, you'll get into the 400,000's as well.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #567
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I wonder if we will ever see another freeway passing the 401 as the world's busiest. Los Angeles doesn't have this potential, but I think cities like Houston or Phoenix do. It is strongly dependent on the freeway structure. If you combine all of Long Island's 4 east-west expressways/parkways, or Westchester County's north-south expressways/parkways, you'll get into the 400,000's as well.
I doubt we will , Houston and Phoenix are slowly turning to Transit and Alt ways to get around.....The 401 will forever remain the busiest. A few more Gas Spikes will kill the semi rapid growth of our Freeway system & Change it to Transit. Next year we will probably see another spike You may disagree , but many Americans want more Transit......
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Old April 20th, 2010, 09:00 PM   #568
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Do you also have another tape to play?
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Old April 20th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #569
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Do you also have another tape to play?
It was in a survey a few months ago...

http://fastlane.dot.gov/2010/04/surv...n-the-mix.html
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Old April 20th, 2010, 09:22 PM   #570
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Originally Posted by Nexis View Post
I doubt we will , Houston and Phoenix are slowly turning to Transit and Alt ways to get around.....The 401 will forever remain the busiest. A few more Gas Spikes will kill the semi rapid growth of our Freeway system & Change it to Transit. Next year we will probably see another spike You may disagree , but many Americans want more Transit......
You know, I want more transit too. In theory. In metropolitan areas and in between. But I was carless from 1994, when I moved to Philadelphia, until 2008, when I joined a car-sharing service (Zipcar). Later that year, family circumstances required me to take over my father's car so I could be in North Jersey every weekend, and I have since bought that car. The freedom of driving (at least outside of rush-hour commutes, which don't affect me since I live five blocks from work) and the relatively low cost of driving (at least in this country, at least for now) are such that I never even think of taking a train. $120 round trip from Philadelphia to Washington when I could drive it for less than a tank of gas and a few tolls, do it on my own schedule and park close to where I'm going rather than have to get there from Union Station? It's no contest. And since I feel that way, I have no expectations that the mass of the American public will be ready to give up their cars any time soon. And it would be hypocritical of me to expect them to.

But let me emphasize that daily commuters to dense downtowns are a whole different story. It would be in our country's, our world's, interest to encourage as many people as possible to commute by transit (or on foot, of by bike....), which requires providing the necessary facilities.

That said, after seeing that picture of the 401, the Schuylkill Expressway feels quaint.

Last edited by Penn's Woods; April 20th, 2010 at 09:39 PM.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 09:25 PM   #571
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If it's all right to post a link to an article in French, this appeared today on the website of the Brussels paper "La Libre Belgique" :

http://www.lalibre.be/actu/belgique/...-imposent.html

The gist is that Brussels came out as number one on a list of the 60 European cities that suffer the most from traffic congestion, according to a survey conducted by Tom Tom. No information on the rest of the ranking; maybe someone's interested in finding it.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #572
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The method has been questioned... Brussels is bad, but worse than London? Brussels does have an excessive amount of commuters due to the language issues (Dutch speakers live outside Brussels, but work in the city) and the number of international institutions in the city.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 10:41 PM   #573
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The downside of having a local-express setup is that one lane-closure at rush hour may quickly fill up the entire local or express roadway. Three lanes is not that much, and prone to turbulence. If you have 420,000 AADT, this generally means that there is about 105,000 AADT for every 3-lane roadway. This is incredibly high, a 6-lane section can handle up to about 150,000 AADT, which means the max capacity for a 3-lane section flowing is about 75,000 AADT.

For 420,000 AADT, the number of lanes should be around (420,000 / 2,200 / 11 = ~17) 17 or 18 lanes. This is by no means a completely free-flowing figure.
Chris, to be clear on the math: so theorethically the new marginal tietê with it's 22 lanes has a limit of 510,000 AADT.

Is that it ?

JP

Last edited by J.Paulo; April 22nd, 2010 at 05:58 PM.
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Old April 20th, 2010, 10:55 PM   #574
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Depends if those 22 lanes are for a longer distance or only for a brief section. It also depends if the local lanes of the Marginal Tietê are built to high standards. Substandard interchanges and exits reduce capacity, and the Marginal Tietê has quite some low-speed right-in, right-out exits.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 09:49 PM   #575
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It has 20 lanes now for all it's distance and on most of it - i guess 80% - it has 22 lanes.

The 6 outer lanes have for sure substandards interchanges, but they are seggregated from the other lanes now.

In fact, each way of marginal tietê now has 3 different sections seggregated from each other, the first has a 90 km/h limit, the intermediate has a 80 km/h limit and the outer one - know as "via local" - has a 70 km/h limit with those substandards exits and entrances.

JP
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Old April 24th, 2010, 02:20 AM   #576
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Haljackey, you never told us what road was that you posted nor did your link explain.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 02:42 AM   #577
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People expect busy roads in rush hour. If your city has congestion during the off peak times such as noon lunch hour or the 2pm to 3pm time slot, or even on a Sunday, then I would say that your city has a congestion problem. Most medium to large cities in America do not have a real problem with debilitating congestion except in the peak commute times and maybe on holidays. If you need to get somewhere fast during the workday, you will be able to without a problem barring construction and other special events. Most of the congestion in America is caused by outdated infrastructure and the lack of driving skills. No matter how many lanes are built, human error will always be the x-factor. There is no way to predict accidents.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 06:10 PM   #578
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carewser View Post
Haljackey, you never told us what road was that you posted nor did your link explain.
Uh... I think everyone here is posting about the same route for the most part.

Wikipedia (of all places) actually has a good article about it if you want an explanation.

However, there are no official sources that state the 401 as the busiest road on earth. They do, however, consider it to be North America's busiest highway as well as one of the world's busiest.

Last edited by Haljackey; April 24th, 2010 at 06:48 PM.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #579
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However, there are no official sources that state the 401 as the busiest road on earth. They do, however, consider it to be North America's busiest highway as well as one of the world's busiest.
I've been looking up AADT volumes for years and I haven't seen any road being busier than the 401. Besides that, I also haven't seen any freeways that have this potential, because you need like 18 lanes, which very few freeways outside North America have.

It's safe to say the 401 is the busiest, followed by the I-405 near Seal Beach, California, and then several freeways in greater Los Angeles, followed by I-45 and US 59 in Houston.

In general, freeways that carry more than 300,000 vehicles per day are very rare. To my knowledge, there is only one in Europe (M-30 Madrid, 312,000 AADT) and one in South America (Marginal Tietê, São Paulo). Other freeways noted for being notoriously busy (MKAD, M25, A4 Paris etc) simply do not have the lane count for a 300,000 + traffic volume.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #580
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Still, my point remains. There are no sources to my knowledge that state the 401, or any other route, the busiest road/highway in the world.

Perhaps you could create such a source to put an end to the debate once and for all.
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