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Old August 31st, 2014, 03:24 PM   #2941
John Maynard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
In order to dispel the rumour that the 407 isn't busy:

Nice! I hope we would have one day the same roads like that one in Europe ! At least in the main megalopolis, where terms like "busy" and "traffic jams" have unfortunately all their significance.
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Old August 31st, 2014, 04:03 PM   #2942
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Tuktoyaktuk road may shift tourism dollars north from Inuvik

When the 137-km Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway is completed in about four years, it will be the only public road to the Arctic Ocean in North America. (The Dalton Highway in Alaska gets close but the last section is part of the privately owned Prudhoe Bay oil facility.)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/...uvik-1.2741121

The Dalton Highway is slightly farther north, but apparently you cannot access the Arctic Ocean from it. The North Cape in Norway is even slightly farther north at 71 N.
I've read that there are organized van tours from the end of the Dalton highway to the Arctic coast. Self-driving there is not allowed since the Prudhoe Bay oil field is a private area.

Back to Canada, you can already reach Tuktoyaktuk by car, but only in winter, when they open an ice road over the Mackenzie river.
Both the Dalton and the Dempster highways are among the most remote roads in the Earth, since they cross absolutely nothing for hundreds of kilometers. Yet, some North American tourists drive there for the sake of it, like some Europeans drive to North Cape.
However, in term of population density and road network, Lapland looks like the Ruhr region when compared to American arctic.
While in Europe the Gulf Stream allows climate to be reltively mild also in the far north (the sea never freeze at North Cape or Murmansk, around 70°N!), North America is much colder at the same latitude. New York it's at the same latitude of Naples, Montreal it's at the same latitude of Milan but the're much colder. In Ontario and Québec, the area north of the 50°N (like Prague, Bruxelles or London) is mostly unpopulated and road-less. Only 100k people live in the three Canadian territories and Nunavut has absolutely no roads!
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old August 31st, 2014, 06:01 PM   #2943
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The Canadian Shield is also a factor: latitude aside, the land in northern Ontario and northern Quebec is no use for farming. Farther west where that's not the case, Alberta and Saskatchewan are relatively settled up to 55 North or so, even though they're frigid in the winter. Edmonton's a major city....
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Old September 1st, 2014, 03:50 AM   #2944
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The Canadian Shield is also a factor: latitude aside, the land in northern Ontario and northern Quebec is no use for farming. Farther west where that's not the case, Alberta and Saskatchewan are relatively settled up to 55 North or so, even though they're frigid in the winter. Edmonton's a major city....
There are some fertile pockets in the Canadian Shield, but Hudson Bay has such a cooling effect on Central Canada, that most of the fertile pockets aren't commercially viable.
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Old September 1st, 2014, 05:08 AM   #2945
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It's weird since so much attention in Canada is given to restricting urban development (making the cost of housing extremely high for such size country) to favor farmlands and such (e.g. Quebec agricultural zoning, Ontario "green belt" laws) when so much land is useless as farm and can then be used for limitless suburbs Especially north of Montreal like in the Laurentians or north of Barrie... but of course trying to develop all that is somewhat communistically idealistic and not practical.
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Old September 1st, 2014, 12:23 PM   #2946
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They don't want to spoil their country with US-style suburbanization. This model of development is highly inefficient because it requires a lot of public money to build roads, cycleways, sidewalks, utility lines to serve all the detached houses. It creates more roads that need to be maintained (and cleared from snow, considering it's Canada). It's less efficient also for people, since it increases car-dependency, thus more money spent on fuel. Needless to say, this model is also environmentally unsustainable, since it results in more air pollution and land consumption.
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In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.

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Old September 1st, 2014, 06:03 PM   #2947
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I'm not sure if it is so much, looking at how taxation and public spending is in typical Canadian city for example

Just looking at my detached house in my suburban area, the road is a thin asphalt maybe 6-7m wide with a ditch on either side and no sidewalks. In denser areas they need gutter system, thicker roadbed for the higher traffic, for sure much wider road, etc. You need freeway in suburban areas (but they haven't built it yet here), but a typical 6 lane freeway in suburban area is relatively cheap (few overpasses, road on the ground) while a freeway in dense area tends to need to be made in a tunnel or on a viaduct and that is hugely expensive and difficult to maintain.
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Old September 1st, 2014, 07:10 PM   #2948
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Yes but if your suburb is 1/4 as dense as a city, you need 4x the infrastructure to serve the same amount of people. 4x the sewers, 4x the roads, 4x the hydro lines, etc. It looks cheaper at first but really isn't.
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 05:43 PM   #2949
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
There are some fertile pockets in the Canadian Shield, but Hudson Bay has such a cooling effect on Central Canada, that most of the fertile pockets aren't commercially viable.
Hadn't thought of that. I remember reading years ago about the Shield. But is the area around Edmonton less frigid than, say, Sudbury?
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Old September 2nd, 2014, 05:46 PM   #2950
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Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
It's weird since so much attention in Canada is given to restricting urban development (making the cost of housing extremely high for such size country) to favor farmlands and such (e.g. Quebec agricultural zoning, Ontario "green belt" laws) when so much land is useless as farm and can then be used for limitless suburbs Especially north of Montreal like in the Laurentians or north of Barrie... but of course trying to develop all that is somewhat communistically idealistic and not practical.
What would these limitless suburbs north of Barrie be limitless suburbs of? Unless you moved Toronto....
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Old September 3rd, 2014, 01:05 AM   #2951
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Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
Yes but if your suburb is 1/4 as dense as a city, you need 4x the infrastructure to serve the same amount of people. 4x the sewers, 4x the roads, 4x the hydro lines, etc. It looks cheaper at first but really isn't.
It's true, but I am wondering about the, let's say, unit cost for the kind of design needed

E.g. suburban hydro line - wooden poles, dense urban environment - buried tubes

Or especially in Toronto context, Downtown Relief Line on the subway (and any subway construction really) plus replacing the Gardiner Expressway vs just building extra Hwy 407's all over the place.
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Old September 5th, 2014, 03:25 AM   #2952
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A collectors-express system with 18 lanes has roughly the same capacity as a subway and costs roughly the same per km, if a little less. Probably more once you include feeder road upgrades. The 407 cost roughly $4.5 billion to get it to the point that it is at today in construction costs, which is enough to buy roughly 15km of subway lines. a well used 15km subway line can carry many more people than the 407 ever will. (The Yonge line in Toronto is almost exactly 15km long and carries well over 500,000 people a day)


Cities, especially super high density ones, tend to be much more efficient even with higher construction costs as everything is so close together. Less heating costs, less energy costs for travel, less costs for long distance infrastructure, etc.

Last edited by Innsertnamehere; September 5th, 2014 at 03:30 AM.
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Old September 5th, 2014, 04:37 AM   #2953
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Another factor contributing to the suburbs in Canadian cities being more compact than those in the USA is the cost of burying utilities. In the prairies especially, water, sewer, etc. must be deeply buried to get below the frost line (over 2m in some places). This increases development and maintenance costs (more digging).

WRT the Shield, it's easy for someone from overseas, who has never driven across it, to underestimate just how much of a barrier it is between east and west. It's the world's oldest, hardest rock. Look at the amount of drilling and blasting required on the hwy 400 extension to Sudbury, or the bypass (only 2 lanes) around Kenora. It's a deceptive landscape - all one sees form an airplane window are lakes and forests. Of course it would be nice to have 4 lanes across Northern Ontario. But it's not cost-effective. What I would like to see are 4 lanes in the sections where there is no alternate route eg. Manitoba border to the 11/71 split east of Kenora, and from the 11/17 split west of Thunder Bay to the 11/17 split at Nipigon. This is happening, but slowly.
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Old September 9th, 2014, 07:37 PM   #2954
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Here's some pictures from a couple weeks ago of the southern terminus of Highway 406 in Welland, Ontario. These pictures are taken approaching from the east, and then heading north.

Approaching the traffic circle for Highway 406 from Highway 140, after going under the Welland Canal.





The traffic circle, unique in that an expressway ends like this.



Heading northbound after the traffic circle. The Expressway lanes at the southern terminus are ready to go.



Construction at Woodlawn Road, where the last interchange is being built.



The interchange at Merritt Road is almost complete.

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Old September 9th, 2014, 07:52 PM   #2955
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That roundabout was constructed rather recently in 2012-2013 if I'm not mistaken. How common is overhead signage at roundabouts?
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Old September 10th, 2014, 06:13 AM   #2956
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You're right, it's really new. It might be from late 2013. I drove through this area in 2012 and 2013 and I would've taken pictures of the traffic circle then if it was done, so I am pretty sure it was completed in the past year.

I don't know if I've ever seen overhead signage for a traffic circle. But, an expressway ending in a traffic circle is supposedly unique in Canada, and I don't think there's any instance of an Interstate ending in a traffic circle here in the US.
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Old September 11th, 2014, 12:48 AM   #2957
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There is another roundabout with overhead signage at end of expwy in Ontario, it's part of the 401 / hwy 3 / EC Row work in Windsor

They also built a roundabout recently in Quebec at the end of Autoroute 640 (Oka area).
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Old September 11th, 2014, 12:57 AM   #2958
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About half of the roundabouts that have been constructed on provincial highways have overhead signs.

This is typical ground mounted signage:



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Old September 11th, 2014, 01:01 AM   #2959
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Am I the only one who drives in Ontario and wonders seeing sign like that with "sideroad" that is crossing at 90*? I keep expecting it only on the side
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Old September 11th, 2014, 02:56 AM   #2960
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Agreed, Sideroad definitely seems to be a distinctly Ontarian thing.
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