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Old February 26th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #2041
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I was under the impression Virginia is running a budget surplus?
As it turns out, that's actually true - the last time I heard a word about the budget was last spring. The state government apparently waited til I was in college and properly insulated from local TV news before they did anything about the budget. http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/19/news...plus/index.htm
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Old February 27th, 2011, 06:49 AM   #2042
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YouTube, we ticket, police warn drivers; 2,500 tags issued during cellphone, iPod blitz
Noel Grzetic and Leslie Ferenc
24 February 2011
The Toronto Star

Toronto motorists are driving themselves to distraction.

They're paying less attention to the road because they're too busy yakking on cellphones, scanning their iPads, watching videos or checking the latest gossip on Facebook - multitasking as they manoeuvre through dense city traffic.

But law breakers can't stay under the radar forever.

Last week, police launched "Last Call: What ever you have to say can wait" to crack down on distracted driving. Charges jumped 65 per cent compared to a similar seven-day blitz last year. Police handed out more than 2,500 tickets during the campaign which ended Sunday. Last year, 1,556 were issued.

What could be worse?

Talking on the phone is bad enough. "It's like speeding. Everyone does it figuring they won't get caught," said Shwetank Bharati, 30, who's been "hands free" long before the legislation was introduced. His ride is a stick and he couldn't juggle holding a phone and shifting gears at the same time. Texting is a bigger no-no.

"It means you have to take your eyes off everything," he said, adding a friend was involved in an accident last year while answering a text as he drove onto a ramp to Highway 401. He didn't notice traffic had stopped before it was too late and rammed into the car in front of him.

Why are drivers snubbing the law?

"When people don't get caught, they get more brazen," Sgt. Tim Burrows of Toronto Traffic Services said, adding risk-takers figure they won't be spotted and what can it hurt to quickly answer a call. It's a bad habit that can be very dangerous, he cautioned.

Burrows figures there's another reason for the huge increase in charges. Last year's blitz was launched just weeks after the new legislation kicked in and on the heels of a three-month public awareness campaign. That ensured the new rules were fresh in the minds of drivers who were extra careful and compliant, said Burrows.

"It was very difficult to find anyone doing it (using handheld devices) while driving," he recalled of last year's campaign.

Motorists may have let down their guard this year, but police won't, said Burrows, noting more than 1,700 charges were laid in the year since the legislation came into effect. Officers will continue to be vigilant.

Here's what else the blitz yielded:

122 careless driving charges, a 114 per cent increase over last year. Offenders stand to lose six demerit points.

2,226 tickets issued to drivers caught using cellphones, a 67 per cent increase over 2010. The fine is $155.

102 charges - up 21 per cent over 2010 - against drivers nabbed using hand-held entertainment devices such as iPods and other MP3 players.

114 charges against motorists using a laptop, iPad or other display screen visible while driving.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 11:38 PM   #2043
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Highway 8 widening in Kitchener, Ontario.



(Photo taken by Waterlooinvestor)

When complete, Highway 8 will double from width from 4 to 8 lanes and feature a full T-interchange with Highway 401. (Currently only Highway 401 eastbound is accessible, drivers must exit onto King Street to access Highway 401 westbound.)
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 05:55 AM   #2044
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Was sent this video... crazy how the Canada's entire population can be crammed into one metropolis known as Tokyo.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCWf9_V5Cz8

I know it isn't exactly on-topic, but if you've got 15 mins to kill, crank it up to 1080p and watch an endless skyline whiz past an endless highway.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 06:03 AM   #2045
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YouTube, we ticket, police warn drivers
I saw that and thought they meant that police would start issuing tickets based on bad driving in a Youtube video...
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Old March 8th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #2046
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The barriers along the new HWY 1 expansion look worse than these temporary ones in Maryland... Let alone the brand new one. When BC builds any of its highways to the standards of the new ICC give me a call.

image hosted on flickr


Picture taken by Cirrus over at SSP
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Old March 9th, 2011, 04:07 AM   #2047
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Highway 401/4 cloverleaf SW of London

Highway 401 at Highway 4 from the air:
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Old March 9th, 2011, 05:37 AM   #2048
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Gah I hate that interchange. I use it at least once a month and I often go from WB 401 to SB 4.

Thanks for a modification in the NE quadrant (lower right in the photograph) I can use the straight off-ramp and turn left at the intersection rather than the loop ramp which is not just extremely tight, but has weaving issues too since it's a cloverleaf.

Pic of what I mean:


Downright dangerous design, especially for heavy trucks which head south to a Ford assembly plant just down the road and the city of St. Thomas.

I can't wait until they fix this interchange, but I doubt it will happen until the interchange with Wonderland Road is built.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #2049
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Cloverleafs like that are outdated. Nowadays any cloverleaf should have a C/D lane to avoid weaving issues.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 02:28 PM   #2050
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It is a relic for sure.

The contracts for the construction of the stretch of Highway 401 between Hwy 4 at London, and Hwy 2 east of Woodstock, were let in 1952. This stretch of highway included six cloverleafs at:
- Highway 4,
- Wellington Road
- (Highbury Avenue and its cloverleaf wasn't built until 1963)
- Highway 73
- Highway 19
- Highway 59
- Highway 2 east of Woodstock

The cloverleaf at Highway 4 is the only cloverleaf interchange listed abouve to have not been reconstructed.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 07:38 PM   #2051
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It is a relic for sure.

- (Highbury Avenue and its cloverleaf wasn't built until 1963)

The cloverleaf at Highway 4 is the only cloverleaf interchange listed abouve to have not been reconstructed.
Problem was that the cloverleaf at Highbury Avenue was a full highway-to-highway interchange while the others were just arterials or country roads.

When this cloverleaf had two of it's loop ramps dug up, it was essentially converted to a parclo A-4. This allowed Highway 401 to widen to 6 lanes (the weave lane became a mainline lane) but made Highbury turn into an expressway because traffic lights had to be installed on it at the new intersections.

This killed all hopes for Highbury's design as it was envisioned to become a full freeway. Provincial downloading (Highbury was designated as King's Highway 126) killed this even further.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 11:01 PM   #2052
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Here's a video I took showing the Highway 4/401 interchange last summer.

It's about 30 seconds in. The Highbury interchange that I discussed in my post above is about 2:45 in.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdYyO8Bzpko

I say just convert it to a diamond for now. That gets rid of the weaving and sharp curves.
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Last edited by Haljackey; March 9th, 2011 at 11:08 PM.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 01:28 AM   #2053
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Problem was that the cloverleaf at Highbury Avenue was a full highway-to-highway interchange while the others were just arterials or country roads.

When this cloverleaf had two of it's loop ramps dug up, it was essentially converted to a parclo A-4. This allowed Highway 401 to widen to 6 lanes (the weave lane became a mainline lane) but made Highbury turn into an expressway because traffic lights had to be installed on it at the new intersections
That was the case for most of the rational for all other cloverleaf conversions between along Highway 401 between London and Woodstock, but not for Highbury. The Highbury bridge is newer than the other bridges at former cloverleaf interchanges and is much longer. So much so that a collector lane could have been constructed which would have allowed a cloverleaf to have remained at Highway 401. The biggest problem with Highbury had more to do with weaving situations on the Highbury Avenue bridge itself. Since Highbury was transferred to the City of London by that time, my guess is they didn't want to pony up the doe for a new overpass.

Take a look at the video you shot and observe how the on-ramp from the loop ramp enters the mainline lanes after the Highbury overpass and you'll see what I mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haljackey View Post
This killed all hopes for Highbury's design as it was envisioned to become a full freeway. Provincial downloading (Highbury was designated as King's Highway 126) killed this even further.
The killing of London's freeway network were really what killed the need for Highbury. Believe it or not, all plans north of the Thames River bridge were always to be constructed by the City of London.

As for Highway 4, it doesn't function too badly as a cloverleaf as of right now. Eventually it will have to change, but from my experience, traffic volumes on the 401 are still low enough that the interchange isn't yet a problem.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 01:14 AM   #2054
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Highbury Avenue

One of the facts that i don't think is emphasized enough regarding London's proposed freeway network is just how early it was planned, and construction was started.

Highbury Avenue opened the same year that Highway 403 through Hamilton started, before the completion of Highway 403 through Burlington.

Highbury Avenue was constructed before Ottawa had a freeway, long before K/W got its freeway (1971). Longer still before Windsor got its freeway (1980).

Highbury Avenue got off of the ground really, really early compared to most freeways in similar urban centres across the province.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 07:23 AM   #2055
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Highbury Avenue was constructed before Ottawa had a freeway, long before K/W got its freeway (1971). Longer still before Windsor got its freeway (1980).
Do you have a source for this or any other facts you mentioned about Highbury Avenue? These references would certainly help it's Wikipedia article!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highbury_Avenue


---------------------------------------------------------------------


The Highway 407 extension was finalized yesterday. It will extend the tollway to Highway 35/115 by 2020. However, this section will be tolled by the province, not a private company like the rest of the toll road.

Here's the map. Phase 1 is to be done by 2015, phase 2 by 2020.


The entire extension was planned to be fully complete by 2013, but the Ontario government had to push this project back due to financial problems/deficits. After the 2008 recession, it was announced that the highway would only be built to Simcoe Street by 2017, the rest at a later date. This wasn't good enough for the local governments and residents and they pushed the provincial government to get it done sooner. Eventually, this compromise was reached.
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Last edited by Haljackey; March 11th, 2011 at 07:43 AM.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #2056
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Do you have a source for this or any other facts you mentioned about Highbury Avenue? These references would certainly help it's Wikipedia article!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highbury_Avenue
Of course all of the facts are verifyable, I wouldn't just make them up. Western's Library has a good collection of DHO Annual Reports that can verify the completion of Highway 126, and some of the chronological events I got from a book in Toronto published by the MTC in the 80s called "Highway 407 - A NEW WAY TO GO".

Neat find with the map, by the way.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 03:27 AM   #2057
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Of course all of the facts are verifyable, I wouldn't just make them up.
Of course I know you didn't make them up, just wanted to know where you found this info from. I'll have to check Weldon sometime... I practically live there during exam time.

--------------------------------

Here's a neat fictional sign made by a friend of mine noting the start of a collector/express system in London.



The system would start at the Highway 402 junction and end east of the Veterans Memorial Parkway (VMP) interchange.

Could it happen? Yes, there's enough right of way and several overpasses are aging and due for replacement in the coming years. Will it happen? I doubt it unless traffic volumes significantly increase, the city grows like crazy around the highway and the province has money to burn.

A similar system has been envisioned in Kitchener-Waterloo between Highway 8 and Townline Road.
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Old March 17th, 2011, 04:30 AM   #2058
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I would love to see more collector lanes built in Ontario, but they won't be coming to Kitchener anytime soon. I've seen the preliminary design for the eventual 10-laning of Highway 401 between Highway 8 and east of Highway 24. No big surprises other than they are realigning the curve just west of the Speed Rive a bit. It's a shame, so much traffic gets on the 401 at Highway 8 only to get off at Highway 24, that stretch of highway would be an excellent candidate.

Some Highway 401 I shot tonight:


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Last edited by sonysnob; March 17th, 2011 at 05:24 AM. Reason: added pictures
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Old March 17th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #2059
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Awesome pics!
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Old March 17th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #2060
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Awesome pics!
I concur, nice shots!

Looks like the snow is gone in Toronto. Jealous!
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