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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 October 22nd, 2014, 11:17 AM   #761
ChrisZwolle
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In employment terms, the 'real' central business district of Toronto is the strip of land running alongside the 401.

Toronto has a system with relatively few freeways (compared to Northeast US), but very wide ones. There is no feeder system, everything is dumped onto the massive 200,000+ vehicles per day freeways via parclos.
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Old October 22nd, 2014, 02:26 PM   #762
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I wouldn't say that, the downtown still holds 25% of employment, but yes, our road structure is different than most. The local arterial tend to be a bit more "urban" than US arterials, with strong bus service, which helps a lot with local demand and congestion. the way the city is laid out puts probably close to 30% of employment along a single roadway.

This is a typical street corner just off the 401:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.78974...xLZJv-NTrA!2e0
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Old October 22nd, 2014, 03:16 PM   #763
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
the downtown still holds 25% of employment
I've read figures in the 10% range, but perhaps it's the difference between municipal and metropolitan employment.

In the U.S., the CBD employment as a share of the metropolitan area is usually under 10%, with some notable exceptions of New York (22%), San Francisco (14%) and Washington (13%). In Phoenix, it is 1%.

http://www.demographia.com/db-cbd2000.pdf
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Old October 22nd, 2014, 06:08 PM   #764
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I wonder, what would be the AADT of the MKAD (Moscow belt)? I remember reading it is something like 250 000-300 000 at least... In any case, it is surely as busy as M30 in Madrid, and Peripherique in Paris.
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Old October 22nd, 2014, 09:37 PM   #765
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Looked it up, core employment is at roughly 17%, but "shoulder" areas of the core would probably push it above 20%. Roughly 570,000 out of 3,400,000.

Getting a bit off topic now, but Calgary probably has the highest % in north america.
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Old October 22nd, 2014, 10:20 PM   #766
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I wonder if it's possible to add extra lanes on the 401.

Something like from 18 lanes to 20+ (or even 26 lanes........similar to that Interstate 10 road in Texas, USA)

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Old October 23rd, 2014, 01:12 AM   #767
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You could probably make the 18 lane section 20 lanes (5+5+5+5), but there is no real point. the busiest portion was actually just widened to 15 lanes (4+4+4+3) a year or two ago, but is as wide as it can be currently.

The Houston highway is also 16 lanes (6+2+2+6) on the expressway portion from my understanding, its "total" lane count includes two 4 lane frontage roads.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 01:24 AM   #768
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In Toronto, there is no grade-separated connection between the NE end of 407 and anything else (401 or 115)
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 01:55 AM   #769
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This is what the Toronto Highway network looks like today. The 401 is the one that follows the lake on the right side of the image, and is the top highway exiting the image on the left. The busiest portion is between the intersection with the highway on the left that is running from the top of the image (400) and the small "connector" highway that goes off the 401 forming a sort of triangle in the middle of the image (409). The 18 lane section, the widest part of the highway, runs between the 403 (the part that turns north to the left of the "triangle"), and the 427, which is the highway that forms the left side of the "triangle".

The 407, Toronto's second "ring road", is yellow.

This is the current setup of the highway network, note the lack of the reconnection with the 401:



This is what the network will look like by the end of 2015, note how the 407 now reconnects with the 401.



and this is how it will look like in 2020, when the 407 is further extended to 115, and includes another connection to the 401:


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Old October 23rd, 2014, 03:34 AM   #770
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Sorry for the off-topic, but are they using for criteria for CBDs in that pdf file.
NYC is in the unique position of having two CBDs by default, Midtown and Lower Manhattan (or downtown) and they aren't continuous.

As for that map of the GTA growing highway network, other than Durham region there is no change. Should help growth in those areas. I guess mass transit improvements are the only solution for Toronto proper, and I believe they are starting a plan on that at the same time. The 401 is hopeless.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 05:22 AM   #771
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xusein View Post
The 401 is hopeless.
I wouldn't say that.

The fact that the the highway is being widened continuously helps alleviate some pain. Currently there are projects underway to extend the collector-express system east and west, as well as some widening on the stretch through Toronto. A reconstruction of the 400 interchange is also planned, which is a major source of congestion on the highway's busiest stretch.
-Example: an additional eastbound lane currently is being squeezed in between Allen Road and Yonge Street

A light rail line is also planned along Sheppard Avenue, a busy arterial that parallels the 401 to the north. Part that road of already has a subway underneath it.

Another possibility is to mark the leftmost express lane for HOV use only. That would not increase the 401's vehicle capacity, but its people-moving capacity instead.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 05:53 AM   #772
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Not included in that image of course is major transit expansion including what is possibly the worlds largest regional rail upgrade, large amounts of other transit projects, and a bunch of highway widening projects throughout the highway network. By 2020 over 9 million people will be living in that image, its needed.

To find my downtown employment figure I used the cities data, which includes most of downtown. The large employment nodes along the yonge subway aren't included however, and only 1 of the 4 major nodes along it is really serviceable by the 401, or any highway for that matter. access to that employment is essentially just as restricted for car access as the downtown, if not more so.

Last edited by Innsertnamehere; October 23rd, 2014 at 06:02 AM.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 06:10 AM   #773
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I know Toronto talk is all transit transit transit but I can't imagine it working to the extent it really needs to - like all the additional transport demand from today to the future being met entirely by a handful of transit projects. It seems totally impossible. There are various road plans on the margins mostly links out to the exurbs, but that crucial east-west movement across the middle has no hope...
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 06:44 AM   #774
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yea, the 401 is sort of unfixable so to speak, there is no real solution to it. The only thing you can do is direct traffic around it and try and minimize its use.

GO transit (regional transport) ridership is growing at 6% annually with service increases only keeping up with demand, once its more recent projects which include expansion beyond demand response, it will likely pick up even more. The TTC is roughly growing at the rate of population growth, 2%, but its really suffering due to a lack of investment right now (which will be changing in the future).

Transit can absolutely take a lot of demand off of highways, but don't expect rush hour to go away any time soon, or for it to even really get better. The transit projects are largely designed to make traffic stop getting worse, not make it better.


MTO is still expanding highways as needed as well, its not like they are abandoning the highway file for transit. Ontario is moving away from the north american model of 90% of transport money going to highways to a more european style ratio of roughly 50-50%.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 12:34 AM   #775
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
The transit projects are largely designed to make traffic stop getting worse, not make it better.
It's quite true - when people have the possibility, they will choose the road over transit (Who wants to be in a packed public vehicle when you can ride in your private one on an even slightly congested road). Which means that the road will pretty much always be used up to it's maximum whether it's 2 lanes wide or 20, and car amounts won't decrease. Without increasing the cost of driving, it's impossible to relieve congestion.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 05:28 AM   #776
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Not really, just make the road large enough to handle the people who want to drive, then its easy... a 2x2 lane road in most parts of Latvia for example solves the problem entirely

Toronto's problem even with its 12-lanes road is that it has too many people and not enough 12-lane roads. A lot of it is because of Toronto's shape - because it is on the lake Ontario, it isn't a normal circular shape, but a flat one with downtown on the bottom, so the suburban "depth" is double what it would be otherwise and there is no road on the south side.

I do wonder though if in the future considering strong growth of the GTA we might see some kind of Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line style highway running in the lake from Burlington to like Scarborough or Darlington... maybe in 100 years

Last edited by Kanadzie; October 25th, 2014 at 05:35 AM.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 05:35 AM   #777
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so I'm guessing with a 30x5 road widening for the 401 will make you happy?

Rural expressways in countries with low auto ownership rates are one thing, another in a city of 6 million in one of the worlds wealthiest countries.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 05:41 AM   #778
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it would be so amazing I mean, it sucks to be stuck in the traffic on it, 1st gear 2nd gear, 3rd, stop, 1st again... 30 lane hwy seems probably impractical, more roads would be a better way through it. I mean I drive into TO all the time I'm not going to drive 5 hours to Scarborough, abandon my car to be stolen on Morningside or Kingston Rd and take transit to Mississauga... and I'm too cheap to pay for the 407 (it sucks much for Quebecer as the cost is extremely high. For Albertans apparently Alberta refuses to share details with 407ETR and so it's pretty sweet deal )
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Old October 25th, 2014, 01:36 PM   #779
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Quote:
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Not really, just make the road large enough to handle the people who want to drive, then its easy...
You can do that but it seems unlogical - already in the suburban shopping districts around 401 more space is taken up by road and parking than by the actual buildings that people want to get to. Eventually you'll have roads wider than city blocks

For example the entire 18 lanes of 401 could be transformed into a train line just 2 tracks wide. The capacity would grow to as much as 3 700 000 people per day and it free up about 230 feet of land on the sides of the tracks for offices, shops, schools, housing, parking.

But that's never gonna happen, because

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
I mean I drive into TO all the time I'm not going to drive 5 hours to Scarborough, abandon my car to be stolen on Morningside or Kingston Rd and take transit to Mississauga...
this is the problem with transit and suburbs. The building density is too low to have convenient and frequent transit routes. So people will need a car anyways to get to the transit. And they will probably drive it to their destination - not some Park&Ride kind of stuff.

I myself live in the suburbs. There are two infrequent (one every 16-30 mins) bus routes. One doesn't go to the city center which increases the ticket costs by 60% and the other was recently made even slower than it used to be by creating a special bus way (with 30 kph speed limit).

So, if I was old enough to drive a car, I would. And using any park&ride would be slower than sitting in congestion so I'd drive to the very city center.
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Old October 25th, 2014, 09:47 PM   #780
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
so I'm guessing with a 30x5 road widening for the 401 will make you happy?
150 Lanes? HOLY S**T HAHA (maybe in 200 years......but by then we might flying cars or teleportation)

Anyhow, I think a more realistic and more feasible approach for the current era:
For the 401 roadway:
-increase lane count to at least 20 lanes on widest (if they can do more than 26 lanes and surpass I-5 in Texas USA, then go for it. If they want 30 lanes, then they can do that as well............since Canada has smaller total population yet bigger land area compared to USA.)

In short, if USA can do it, so can Canada

then followed by:
-improvements in the train transportation sector (which is already being done)

I think that works well. You have both road and rail covered
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