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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 March 8th, 2005, 11:59 AM   #61
Froster
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Definately the 401.

I am sure that the Santa Monica Freeways is damn close, but I have seen the 401 listed as the NA's busiest many times. I'm not saying that in any "mine's bigger" sense, in fact I think its a shame that toronto is like that. The reality is that it is only that bad because of piss-poor planning by Metro and the MTO that resulted in the construction of new highways in Toronto being virtually stopped. Now, the shit has hit the fan, and people are choosing to move, or change employers rather than having to fight traffic on the 401. If you look at the plans for the original Metro highway system developed in the 60s, Toronto would have been full of alternate routes other than the 401. It was a longstanding plan to have an Eglinton Expressway to aleviate the traffic trouble on the 401 between the 427 and 400, and also to complete the Gardiner parallel to the CN tracks and Kingston Rd. until it met up with the 401 again.

So I think the 401 is the busiest, but I'm not very happy that it is. I wish we could say it was LA's hands-down, but unfortunately Toronto highways are so poorly planned that we have a road busier than a city 10 million people bigger!
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Old March 8th, 2005, 06:19 PM   #62
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^ Trust me more freeways is not the answer. Look at LA they have possibly the most extensive freeway system in the world and still have some of the worst traffic in the world. If anything we should be thankful Toronto doesnt have tons of highways running through/ruining the city. Traffic on the 401 can get bad but generally speaking it does pretty well.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 11:16 PM   #63
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Dr Joe, I agree that highways arent everything, but there is a direct benefit for Toronto to have a more developed highway system. With the volume of commercial truck traffic that relies on the 401, the current gridlock is definately slowing trasport and costing the city business. For example, if a company wants to develop a just-in-time delivery system, they must currently locate their warehouse/factory in such a way that their trucks can avoid traffic on the DVP, 401, or whatever. In terms of commuter traffic, expanding the subway, and GO system could be beneficial, but nothing will replace the truck, and commuter traffic will not drop (regardless of public transit)- but its growth could slow. Eitherway, traffic jams cost the Toronto economy money, and the city and the province definately need to spend money on highways as well as transit if they hope to recapture some of this lost business opportunity.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 12:53 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froster
Definately the 401.

I am sure that the Santa Monica Freeways is damn close, but I have seen the 401 listed as the NA's busiest many times. I'm not saying that in any "mine's bigger" sense, in fact I think its a shame that toronto is like that. The reality is that it is only that bad because of piss-poor planning by Metro and the MTO that resulted in the construction of new highways in Toronto being virtually stopped. Now, the shit has hit the fan, and people are choosing to move, or change employers rather than having to fight traffic on the 401. If you look at the plans for the original Metro highway system developed in the 60s, Toronto would have been full of alternate routes other than the 401. It was a longstanding plan to have an Eglinton Expressway to aleviate the traffic trouble on the 401 between the 427 and 400, and also to complete the Gardiner parallel to the CN tracks and Kingston Rd. until it met up with the 401 again.

So I think the 401 is the busiest, but I'm not very happy that it is. I wish we could say it was LA's hands-down, but unfortunately Toronto highways are so poorly planned that we have a road busier than a city 10 million people bigger!
I think the biggest problem is that all the traffic that's passing through the Toronto area should be forced to take the toll highway that runs north and parallel of the 401. If the trucks don't have a pickup or delivery within the metro area, they need to keep off the 401.
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Old March 9th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #65
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Nick in Atlanta,

I dont know if forcing truck traffic on the 407 would be a good thing for the city, since the 407 runs outside of the city itself, through the suburbs. If truck traffic was forced onto it, it would emphasize economic development of the suburbs, and leave toronto without decent access to transportation. I know that you specified that trucks with deliveries in the city would be allowed on other highways, but if a company is looking to locate their business, they are going to choose to locate near that 407 truck bypass.

Further, the 407 is very much a commuter highway, so forcing truck traffic onto it would just move the existing problems with the 401 a couple kilometres north, and deprive toronto of economic opportunity.

I really think that building a highway system that provides alternatives is the best idea. Every highway doesnt need to dump onto the 401 as the major east-west corridor through the city. This reliance on the401 as the lynchpin of the system is what makes it so bad, and an unwillingness among politicians to consider the idea of construction of alternative routes is only going to make it worse.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 05:00 PM   #66
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Definately the 401

Its pretty dangerous aswell! Trucks zoom in everytime, be it in the afternoons or evenings!
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Old March 10th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Froster
I dont know if forcing truck traffic on the 407 would be a good thing for the city, since the 407 runs outside of the city itself, through the suburbs. If truck traffic was forced onto it, it would emphasize economic development of the suburbs, and leave toronto without decent access to transportation. I know that you specified that trucks with deliveries in the city would be allowed on other highways, but if a company is looking to locate their business, they are going to choose to locate near that 407 truck bypass.

Further, the 407 is very much a commuter highway, so forcing truck traffic onto it would just move the existing problems with the 401 a couple kilometres north, and deprive toronto of economic opportunity.

I really think that building a highway system that provides alternatives is the best idea. Every highway doesnt need to dump onto the 401 as the major east-west corridor through the city. This reliance on the401 as the lynchpin of the system is what makes it so bad, and an unwillingness among politicians to consider the idea of construction of alternative routes is only going to make it worse.
Well, if you don't like the 407 as an alternative to the 401, where and what do you think would be a good alternative east-west corridor through the city?
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Old March 10th, 2005, 05:52 PM   #68
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"North York City Centre is halfway between Sheppard/Yonge and Finch/Yonge. It doesn't border the 401, but is about 2 miles north of it."


I think you are confusing the subway station with that name, with the whole downtownish area called "North York City Centre"...which does indeed run from the 401 to Finch. 2 miles?????? Finch isn't even 2 miles from the 401.







"I think the biggest problem is that all the traffic that's passing through the Toronto area should be forced to take the toll highway that runs north and parallel of the 401. "


Incorrect again...the 401's primary function is an inter-regional, inter-provincial, international connecting route....not a commuter highway for getting across town. It's the annoying commuters that are wrecking the purpose of the highway...not the other way around. But then again, coming from an area that knows nothing but suburban sprawl, I'm not surprised by your attitude.






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Old March 10th, 2005, 06:04 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB
Incorrect again...the 401's primary function is an inter-regional, inter-provincial, international connecting route....not a commuter highway for getting across town. It's the annoying commuters that are wrecking the purpose of the highway...not the other way around. But then again, coming from an area that knows nothing but suburban sprawl, I'm not surprised by your attitude.

KGB
That isn't true. Though the 401 was origninally designed to be a freeway bypass of Toronto, its purpose changed greatly in the 1960s when the collector lanes (aka local lanes) were added. The thought was (and really still is) that local traffic should use the collectors, and through traffic should use the express. Highway 401 just has too much of both kinds of traffic, and of course this is because both Toronto's mass transit, and freeway networks are underbuilt.

Also, a common misconception, Highway 407 was designed as both a commuter freeway and a bypass, not one nor the other.

Cheers!
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Old March 10th, 2005, 06:14 PM   #70
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Bullshit...the 401 was built to connect southern Ontario with the USA and Quebec...and the highly populated area between them...obviously including Toronto. The movement of goods and travelers between these areas are hampered by the profusion of commuters travelling within Toronto and it's immediate suburbs. Toronto's mass transit is not underbuilt...the suburbs are.





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Old March 10th, 2005, 06:58 PM   #71
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There is no bullshit about it. The 401 as a whole is designed for distance traveling. However, it was also designed with a strong local component in mind, particularly in Toronto. In Toronto, the core-distributer setup IS designed to accomdate local traffic. Also this is why Highway 401 has an interchange with virually every major north-south arterial in Toronto, and why Highway 401 signage in Toronto doesn't use control cities.

As for Transit, I will agree that within the city limits, transit is better then the suburbs, however, there are some serious defficencies in transit in Toronto, particularly the subway network. Compare Toronto's network, to the smaller Montreal, and I would say its almost embarrasing.

Cheers!
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Old March 10th, 2005, 07:18 PM   #72
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Of course the 401 interacts with the city of Toronto and it's suburbs...why wouldn't it...it's the largest urban area on the damned thing, and therefore the hub of activity for travelers and goods it was designed for. But do you think they would have put it where it is if they had imagined it would be used as a cross town commuter route as much as it is? It's a multi purpose route for sure, but it's the commuter usage that has exceeded it's capacity, and brought it's usefullness down.







"As for Transit, I will agree that within the city limits, transit is better then the suburbs"

Just a slight understatement eh? LOL








"Compare Toronto's network, to the smaller Montreal, and I would say its almost embarrasing."

I wouldn't knock Montreal's subways...but compared to Toronto, it simply lacks the direct nodal developments of Toronto's and isn't even in the same league in terms of multi-modal connectivity with the surface routes. On top of it, it's considerably less cost-efficient.






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Old March 10th, 2005, 09:51 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB
Of course the 401 interacts with the city of Toronto and it's suburbs...why wouldn't it...it's the largest urban area on the damned thing, and therefore the hub of activity for travelers and goods it was designed for. But do you think they would have put it where it is if they had imagined it would be used as a cross town commuter route as much as it is? It's a multi purpose route for sure, but it's the commuter usage that has exceeded it's capacity, and brought it's usefullness down.
The 401 as well as the 427 were desgined as bypass roads across the top of the city. That is for certain, but bypass does not necessarily mean intercity traffic. The purpose of the freeways were to create routes for travelers (both local and distance travelers) away from the congested city routes in urban Toronto. If these freeways were intended as only for distance type traffic, then the hwys would have been constructed with far fewer interchanges.

Cheers!
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Old April 10th, 2005, 11:44 AM   #74
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Compared to American cities, Toronto does not have an adequate freeway system. This would certainly explain how a city of 6 million can boast the busiest freeway in North America when there are many much larger centers seemingly more likely to claim the title.
KGB has a point when he says that it's not so much that the 401 is overbuilt but rather that the suburbs are underbuilt.
Don't forget that up until recently, the urban model has indeed been to build the highways to allow for residential development. Now, the focus is changing to the other way around. Let the density warrant the freeway instead of the "if you build it they will come" philosophy. In the new scheme, Toronto is still ripe for a couple more freeways but in areas that are already considered to be high-density. Better would be to extend the subway system but until sprawl slows drastically it's tough to justify the cost.

Anyway, if indeed the 401 is the busiest in N. America (as I've seen it listed countless times) I'm sure that there are plenty of US interstates that come close.
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Old April 10th, 2005, 09:10 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _tictac_
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/tra...ms/401main.htm
401: 350,000 vehicles on an average day.

http://www.cahighways.org/stats3.html#Busiest
I-10: 363,000

I voted for the Santa Monica Fwy
As some pointed out, those numbers are old and the site was last modified in November 2002.

The highest AADT I have found so far for the 401, was near 410 000.

Last edited by JARdan; April 10th, 2005 at 09:17 PM.
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Old April 10th, 2005, 11:48 PM   #76
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Here are the official 401 numbers from 2002.

http://www.ronenhouse.com/__85256B7C...002%20AADT.pdf
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Old April 11th, 2005, 12:13 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick in Atlanta
Definitely I-35 in Atlanta. It's so fast you can't even see it.
Yes, the I-35 in Atlanta... wow, it's so busy it's almost fictional....
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Old April 11th, 2005, 12:21 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratosphere 2020

Nevertherless Atlanta has some impressive traffic jam images
Is that a picture of the I-35? lol
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Old April 11th, 2005, 12:21 AM   #79
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Acoording to this google site im looking on...

The busiest road in the USA is the San Diego Freeway...has a peak hour volume of 25500 vehicles!


But the busiest motorway in the world is the M25 in England...with 270,000 vehicles a day driving on it!
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Old April 11th, 2005, 12:33 AM   #80
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I don't know about the bussiest, although I'm inclined to believe the statistics that have been posted on this website, but the 401 is definetly the coolest looking freeway in the world, IMO.

Generally speaking, I think that the US Interstate system is probably the busiest "motorway/freeway" system as a whole in the world. Although I have not stats to back up that claim. It is probably at least the most extensive. Even in rural areas it is busier than rural areas of other country's that I have been to with motorways/highways. I don't think Interstates are necissarily the root cause of bad development, and ignoring increasing demand for them may just be playing denial. I think that the addition of new Interstates/highways is a good thing, as long as the development around them changes to also allow for alternatives like busses, subways, commuter trains, etc... in other words denser development off the exits, as opposed to the spread out "sprawl" that we are used too. Interstates in and of themselves are not bad, though.
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