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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #1441
rick1016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
Ontario's policy is to post french signs wherever a municipality is comprised of 5% or 5,000 francophone residents (whichever is greater).

10 years ago now, when the eastern reaches of the QEW was transferred to the City of Toronto becoming the Gardiner Expressway, the City of Toronto went out of its way to "green-out" any french on the former provincial highway signs. I have always found that approach to be somewhat spiteful to the albeit few Francophones living within the City of Toronto.
That clears it up for me actually. I was wondering why some areas have mostly English while others are bilingual.

By francophone do they mean French only or just French as a native language?
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Old March 26th, 2010, 04:53 AM   #1442
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Thunder Bay:











I took these photo's almost 4 years ago. As a Canadian, Thunder Bay is a unique place. It is more than 5 hours from any other city of any size, and though Thunder Bay only has 115,000 you can find virtually everything there just because it is so remote.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 09:08 AM   #1443
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Nice shots. The first two, the second and fourth especially, look like part of the TCH to me. Am I right?
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Old March 27th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #1444
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Well Thunder Bay IS in the middle of nowhere. Closest towns are like Winnipeg to the west and S.St. Marie to the southeast. It's isolated, so it has to fend for itself.

Getting back on topic, Thunder Bay doesn't need a freeway bypass or anything because pretty much everyone passing by wants to access the city for something, be it gas, hotels, shopping, etc. This is good for the city's economy and tourism.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 08:22 AM   #1445
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^ the first two images are Highway 61 on route to Minnesota. The final three are the TCH (Highway 11/17).
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Old March 28th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #1446
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Duluth, MN is about 3-4 hours southwest of Thunder Bay, too.

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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:01 AM   #1447
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those were the first pics ive ever seen of TB & im really surprised with the topography

edit: that 1st pic reminds me of driving into a southwestern US town...
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Old March 30th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #1448
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The Gatineau Region of Quebec:











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Old March 31st, 2010, 07:36 AM   #1449
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Here's a neat overview of Highway 407: Canada's only electronic toll highway.

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Old March 31st, 2010, 06:26 PM   #1450
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Ottawa Highways:











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Old April 1st, 2010, 04:29 AM   #1451
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
The Gatineau Region of Quebec:

...
Roundabout, nice!
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Old April 1st, 2010, 06:15 PM   #1452
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Quebec Highway 148 is a neat highway through western Gatineau. It follows an alignment that was originally intended for Autoroute 50, and for whatever reason it was built as a surface street instead. There are three roundabout's in close succession that link 148 to the surrounding community. It has been my experience that the province of Quebec has poor quality roads, however some of the Gatineau area highways were really impressive to me.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 05:16 AM   #1453
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HOV lane design in Ontario

Note the paved shoulder and the stripped buffer zone. The appearance of these lanes is very different compared to elsewhere in Canada and the United States.



-If you drive a vehicle with a "Green" Ontario license plate you can drive in HOV lanes with no occupants.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:36 PM   #1454
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haljackey View Post
HOV lane design in Ontario

Note the paved shoulder and the stripped buffer zone. The appearance of these lanes is very different compared to elsewhere in Canada and the United States.



-If you drive a vehicle with a "Green" Ontario license plate you can drive in HOV lanes with no occupants.
whats the reason for such a puffer zone? i dont get the context. its not an emgergency line. so ist only for cars with a green plate? you should pay more for a green plate so you can use the puffer zone?
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:58 PM   #1455
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It's a HOV lane, designed for vehicles with 3 persons or more on board. It is quite popular in some areas of North America to promote carpooling.
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Old April 7th, 2010, 12:31 AM   #1456
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What is the difference between green and blue freeway signs in Canada/Ontario?
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Old April 7th, 2010, 01:33 AM   #1457
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Mabuse View Post
whats the reason for such a puffer zone? i dont get the context. its not an emgergency line. so ist only for cars with a green plate? you should pay more for a green plate so you can use the puffer zone?
The buffer zone is to separate the traffic in the HOV lane from the rest of traffic. Ideally, traffic is not supposed to cross the buffer lane unless you are in a transition zone which is signed overhead and the buffer turns into dashed lines. Here cars can enter and exit the HOV lanes to access exits, etc. A lot of drivers simply pass in and out of the lane whenever they like unless there happens to be a police car enforcing the lanes (appropriate number of passengers, proper lane changes, speeding - drivers will speed in these lanes when there's no traffic in the other lanes: it is the left-most lane!)

The Green Plates I believe are for those vehicles which meet a certain environmental standard. More and more businesses are also allocating preferential parking for vehicles with Green Plates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norsko View Post
What is the difference between green and blue freeway signs in Canada/Ontario?
Green signs in Ontario are used on all Provincial highways. In the case of the 401 here (and also on the 427 and the portion of the Gardiner Expressway which was formerly part of the QEW) the green signs are for the express (or through) lanes. Blue signs are used on the privately-run 407 ETR and on the collector (or local) lanes. The collector lanes have access to all exits along the highway while the express lanes only have direct access to other highways. Transfer lanes exists between the two roughly every three exits (3km) as seen to the right of the photo.

That set particular transfer lanes is known locally as "the Basketweave" as there is a similar set of transfer lanes in the other direction which is hard to make out in the photo on the left. So called due to the over-and-under transfer lanes. Most other transfers are at grade.
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Old April 7th, 2010, 06:06 PM   #1458
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Mabuse View Post
whats the reason for such a puffer zone? i dont get the context. its not an emgergency line. so ist only for cars with a green plate? you should pay more for a green plate so you can use the puffer zone?
You need to wait for a break in the buffer zone in order to get in and out of the HOV lane.

Green plates come with energy efficient vehicles, you don't need to pay any extra for the plates (but the cars are generally more expensive).

Example of a break in the buffer zone:


Transition from buffer zone to transition zone:
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Old April 15th, 2010, 04:11 AM   #1459
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Highway Widenings in Ontario

Here are some widenings to consider for Ontario's major highways

What I mean by these:
-Short term- needs to happen now/very soon
-Mid term- needs to happen soon
-Long term- needs to happen eventually
-Collector/express system- minimum 12 lane cross-section with 4 carriageways

Projects go from west to east, or south to north.


400
- Minimum 8 lanes with HOV lanes from the 401 to the edge of the Golden Horseshoe (long term)

401
- 4-6 lanes from future junction of Windsor-Essex Parkway (new boarder crossing route) to Windsor city limits (short term)
- 4-6 lanes from Windsor to London (long term)
- 4-6 lanes from Highway 4 to Highway 402 (short term)
- 6-8 lanes from Highway 402 to Highway 403 (mid term)
- 6-8 lanes from Highway 8 to Highway 407 with HOV lanes (mid term)
- 6-10 lanes from Highway 407 to Mississauga Road (mid term)
- Collector/express system from Mississauga Road to Highway 410 (short to mid term)
- Various lane additions/reconfigurations throughout Toronto and possibly HOV lanes (short to long term)
- Collector/express system from Brock Road to Whitby, narrowing to 10 lanes in Oshawa and narrowing to 8 lanes at Oshawa city limits and possibly HOV lanes (mid to long term)
- 6-8 lanes from Oshawa to Highway 115 (mid term)
- 4-6 lanes from Toronto Road to Highway 416 (mid to long term)

402
- 4-6 lanes from Bluewater Bridge to Sarnia city Limits (mid term)
- 4-6 lanes from Longwoods Road to Highway 401 (long term)

403
- 4-6 lanes from Highway 6 to Highway 407/QEW (mid term)
- HOV lanes extension from Highway 407 to QEW (long term)

404
- HOV lanes extension from Highway 407 to Aurora or Newmarket (mid term)

405
- No widenings needed

406
- 2-4 lanes from Canboro Road to Highway 27/Main Street (long term)

407
- Eventual widening to 8 lanes from Highway 403 to Highway 401 (long term)
- Eventual widening to 10 lanes and possibly HOV lanes from Highway 401 to Highway 404 (long term)
- Eventual widening to 8 lanes from Highway 404 to Brock Road (long term)

409
- No widenings needed

410
- 7-10 lanes from Highway 401 to Highway 407. HOV lanes from Highway 403 should be extended to the 410 past the 407 (mid term).
- 4-6 lanes from Bovaird Drive to Highway 10 (long term)

416
- 4-6 lanes from Highway 417 to Ottawa City Limits (mid term)

417
- 4-6 lanes from Highway 7 to Highway 416 (short term)
- 6-8 lanes with HOV lanes from Highway 416 to Highway 174 (short term)
- 4-6 lanes from Highway 174 to Quebec Boarder (long term)

420
- No widenings needed

427
- Various lane additions/reconfigurations and add HOV lanes from QEW/Gardiner Expressway to Highway 401 (short to long term)
- Add/convert HOV lanes between Highway 401 and 407 (mid term)

QEW
- 6-8 Lanes with HOV lanes from Highway 427/Gardiner Expressway to Highway 403/407 (long term)
- 6-8 lanes with HOV lanes between Highway 403/407 and Highway 406 (short term)
- 4-6 lanes possibly with HOV lanes from Highway 406 to Garden City Skyway (short to mid term)
- 4-6 lanes from Highway 405 to Peace Bridge (mid to long term)


Other Routes (in alphabetical order)
- Conestoga Parkway: 8 lanes in K/W area possibly with HOV lanes (mid to long term)
- Don Valley Parkway: add/convert HOV lanes between Gardiner Expressway and Highway 401 (mid term)
- E. C. Row Expressway: 2-4 lanes from Howard Avenue to Dominion Boulevard (short term)
- Gardiner Expressway: Add/convert HOV lanes from QEW to Don Valley Parkway (mid term)
- Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway: 4-6 lanes from Highway 403 to Red Hill Valley Parkway (long term)
- Veteran's Memorial Parkway: 2-4 lanes from Oxford Street to Huron Street (short term)

These do not include/factor in future routes or extensions. When these go in, road widenings will occur accordingly.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 04:59 PM   #1460
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^ Very thorough list.

I have just a few observations about what I am seeing currently.

I really don't like the fact that the QEW through Halton Region is only seeing one additional HOV lane per direction added. Given the complexity of the construction that is ongoing, I think the cross-section should have been widened to 8+2. That doesn't really fall in line with the province's TDM objectives, but I think the general taxpayer would be better served with an additional general purpose lane in each direction.

The MTO has launched a study for the widening of the 401 between Cambridge and Guelph which suggests that an express-collector system could be constructed between the GTA West corridor and Highway 6-North. I think this is the wrong approach too. GTA west should tie into Guelph and ideally the new Highway 7 that is planned between K/W and Guelph. IF, and I say IF, the MTO/Ontario Government was smart, GTA west will not have a lot of interchanges. This will facilitate through movements well, and would not encourage sprawl through Wellington County.

Finally, somebody had better start thinking about another east-west corridor (or two) in York Region. All east-west transportation movements across Southern Ontario must pass through the narrow tract between Lake Ontario and Lake Simcoe. Without some sound planning and foresight, this entire corridor could be gobbled up with residential subdivisions in the not to distant future.
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