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mistersg1

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I am a roadgeek by nature, I know that is often in contention with many ideals of people on the site, but basically, I'm quite aware of the history of Ontario's freeways. To begin, I will exclusively use the word "freeway" to describe a road that has at least two lanes in each direction, is separated by a divider of some sort, grade separated, and access is only available via interchanges. The road is therefore free flowing, hence the name freeway.

What does this mean for the future of the Gardiner?

Although the province has taken over the Gardiner, and Ford has insisted on it never being a toll road, we should remember that governments do change. Ironically, I do think it's somewhat easier to implement tolls or remove it now that it is under provincial jurisdiction. Remember that the City couldn't implement tolls on the Gardiner before without the province, but this makes it quite easy for the province to implement tolls. Also factor in the situation involving public toll roads collected by a private company. 407ETR does not own Hwy 407 east of Brock Road, but they are to my knowledge responsible for the tolling of it. Theoretically, this makes it seem like the Government of Ontario could easily roll out a tolling scheme quite easily by simply installing a few "big brother gantries". Remember how we understand how a parliamentary system works, especially when one party holds a majority government, they can essentially do what they want.

Now looking to the future of the elevated section of the Gardiner. It's assumed that the hybrid option will continue, but this does open up the door to other possibilities. The MTO is inheriting an old structure that is in rough shape, nothing on the MTO's freeways looks anything as dilapidated as the elevated section of the Gardiner. Assuming the hybrid option is built with a brand new shiny structure around Cherry Street, what does this mean for the rest of the structure? The MTO would possibly consider a replacement option for the entire elevated section west of there, I don't know how much it would cost to seriously fix the existing Gardiner structure in place.

Will these roads eventually be upgraded to current MTO standards?

The Gardiner Expressway especially, much more than the DVP is the only real urban freeway that the MTO oversees. While Hwy 403 in Hamilton, Hwy 8 (King Street Bypass) in KW, and Hwy 417 in Ottawa are downtown freeways in different respects to access, none of them have the same feel as the Gardiner, the idea of trying to squeeze a freeway road into a very tight space is something not seen on MTO roads. Will the infamous ramp from Jameson Avenue to Gardiner Westbound be corrected at all? I think we all know that ramp is outright dangerous, there's also something to consider as well with traffic operations but I'll put that in a later point.

Yes, the Gardiner between Hwy 427 and Lake Shore Blvd was originally part of the QEW before 1997. While most likely they will upgrade the crash barriers to current standards, will the MTO get rid of the dedicated North and South ramps to Islington? For decades now, the MTO has been strongly against cloverleaf style weaving, which exists at Islington (where the auxiliary lane between the Islington NB entrance and Islington SB exit is extremely short). This same kind of scenario exists on the DVP at Don Mills as well as Lawrence. Will the MTO reconfigure these interchanges?

How will the MTO's control of the roads factor into traffic operations?

While the QEW has a few ramp metered onramps in the Toronto bound direction during AM rush, the Gardiner takes this one step further and has outright time based ramp closures. As discussed earlier, Jameson onto Gardiner WB has a very dangerous merging scenario, I presume this along with a potential backup in queue is why that ramp is closed during PM rush. This also creates an interesting effect for traffic already downtown wanting to get out of the city. With that access forbidden, this means during PM rush that the Gardiner does not have any onramps between Spadina and the Humber River, as a result this incentivizes drivers headed out of the city who are downtown to attempt to reach the Gardiner at all costs rather than take regular city streets or Lake Shore Blvd. Even with a newly constructed ramp from Jameson to the Gardiner, would the MTO continue this closure as it's a closure seen nowhere else?

I think it's also pretty much assumed that the City of Toronto's RESCU system will be consolidated into the MTO's COMPASS System, again for the user, this is overall a net positive. As DMSs (Dynamic Message Signs) would presumably report incidents on the DVP and Gardiner, and show travel times to reach points accessible via those routes. As it stands currently, the MTO's DMSs on Hwy 427 SB will report incidents or travel time on points west on QEW Hamilton, but never tell any information about the time to reach downtown from that point.

Also, the travel time approach used on the DMSs on Gardiner EB are done very well, they show the travel time it will take to reach Yonge Street taking a certain route (The DMS beyond Grand Avenue shows Time to Yonge via Gardiner or Lake Shore). This is great because it shows how bad one option can be compared to the other, rather than having to gamble on whichever route to take. The MTO again does this nowhere else, but it would be nice if they continued this, but I don't think it will be possible. Lake Shore Blvd would most likely be controlled and monitored by the City of Toronto's RESCU office.

Will there be a change to route nomenclature?

This is much of a non issue, but with the uploading, could the Gardiner and DVP be formally part of the 400 series network? A few things to note other than standards, in practice the Gardiner is but an extension of the QEW. While the 404 is a provincial extension of the DVP. In 2016, the City of Toronto added exit numbers to both routes that factor in the existence of the Gardiner and 404 alongside them. (Also, they have often put exit numbers on the turn off signs, something that's forbidden under OTM Book 6 but I always thought should be done, practically everywhere else in North America does it)

Making the DVP as part of Hwy 404 is rather simple, but would the MTO take an approach seen in Illinois and add both names to the road. For instance, the sign for the onramp at Eastern Avenue for DVP NB could read:

{404} Don Valley Parkway NORTH/NORD (MTO control means that bilingual signs will be added in Toronto)

The Gardiner however is more complicated mainly because of the issue of direction. As we all know, QEW doesn't use cardinal directions because of the horseshoe like path the route takes, thus the directions are determined by control cities. You're either going Toronto bound in one direction, and Hamilton/Niagara/Fort Erie (depending on where you are) bound in the other direction. Considering that you're already in Toronto when you get to the Gardiner, going "Toronto bound" to denote EB Gardiner wouldn't make much sense. Imagine this scenario applying to one of the EB Gardiner onramps from Lake Shore in the downtown area....QEW Toronto when you've passed the road to City Hall/Downtown is almost laughable.



This is my rant about the questions about the future of these roads going forward.
 
I am a roadgeek by nature, I know that is often in contention with many ideals of people on the site, but basically, I'm quite aware of the history of Ontario's freeways. To begin, I will exclusively use the word "freeway" to describe a road that has at least two lanes in each direction, is separated by a divider of some sort, grade separated, and access is only available via interchanges. The road is therefore free flowing, hence the name freeway.

What does this mean for the future of the Gardiner?

Not sure this needs its own thread, the Gardiner already has a thread. But I will reply here.

Although the province has taken over the Gardiner, and Ford has insisted on it never being a toll road, we should remember that governments do change. Ironically, I do think it's somewhat easier to implement tolls or remove it now that it is under provincial jurisdiction. Remember that the City couldn't implement tolls on the Gardiner before without the province, but this makes it quite easy for the province to implement tolls. Also factor in the situation involving public toll roads collected by a private company. 407ETR does not own Hwy 407 east of Brock Road, but they are to my knowledge responsible for the tolling of it. Theoretically, this makes it seem like the Government of Ontario could easily roll out a tolling scheme quite easily by simply installing a few "big brother gantries". Remember how we understand how a parliamentary system works, especially when one party holds a majority government, they can essentially do what they want.

Now looking to the future of the elevated section of the Gardiner. It's assumed that the hybrid option will continue, but this does open up the door to other possibilities. The MTO is inheriting an old structure that is in rough shape, nothing on the MTO's freeways looks anything as dilapidated as the elevated section of the Gardiner. Assuming the hybrid option is built with a brand new shiny structure around Cherry Street, what does this mean for the rest of the structure? The MTO would possibly consider a replacement option for the entire elevated section west of there, I don't know how much it would cost to seriously fix the existing Gardiner structure in place.

The City remains the manager of both freeways in 2024 and 2025 and the existing work program will continue over that time period, with the province paying the bill.

The City's work program rehabilitates almost all of the Gardiner by 2030.

Certainly I would expect the province to have a detailed look over of the program beyond 2025, but I expect any contract already signed will likely be honoured.

Will these roads eventually be upgraded to current MTO standards?

Completely? A virtual impossibility. As noted by others in the applicable thread, .............can you imagine buying up ICE condos to demolish them because they are within the 14M buffer? Seems unlikely.

.....

Yes, the Gardiner between Hwy 427 and Lake Shore Blvd was originally part of the QEW before 1997. While most likely they will upgrade the crash barriers to current standards, will the MTO get rid of the dedicated North and South ramps to Islington? For decades now, the MTO has been strongly against cloverleaf style weaving, which exists at Islington (where the auxiliary lane between the Islington NB entrance and Islington SB exit is extremely short). This same kind of scenario exists on the DVP at Don Mills as well as Lawrence. Will the MTO reconfigure these interchanges?

The City of Toronto already has plans for redeveloping the Kipling and Islington interchanges.

Its unknown at this time how that will be impacted by this deal.

How will the MTO's control of the roads factor into traffic operations?

Not yet known.
 
I assume that the DVP will gain a 404 shield while also retaining the name Don Valley Parkway. Similar to how Highway 417 in Ottawa retains its local name The Queensway. However I would assume that signage for the DVP more prominently use the name in addition to the shield, whereas signage in Ottawa often omits it (though the name is commonly used in speech).
Screenshot 2023-11-30 at 11.31.45.png


One oddity with merging the 404 and DVP is the 2km disrepancy in exit numbering. The Hwy 401/DVP/404 interchange is considered Exit 15 on the DVP, but it's considered Exit 17 on the 404. For whatever reason, the 404 seems to be numbered from the Gardiner & Jarvis interchange while the DVP is numbered from the DVP & Lakeshore intersection. I assume they would just leave this anomaly in place rather than renumbering the exits on the DVP, but who knows.
 
I assume that the DVP will gain a 404 shield while also retaining the name Don Valley Parkway. Similar to how Highway 417 in Ottawa retains its local name The Queensway. However I would assume that signage for the DVP more prominently use the name in addition to the shield, whereas signage in Ottawa often omits it (though the name is commonly used in speech).
View attachment 523869

One oddity with merging the 404 and DVP is the 2km disrepancy in exit numbering. The Hwy 401/DVP/404 interchange is considered Exit 15 on the DVP, but it's considered Exit 17 on the 404. For whatever reason, the 404 seems to be numbered from the Gardiner & Jarvis interchange while the DVP is numbered from the DVP & Lakeshore intersection. I assume they would just leave this anomaly in place rather than renumbering the exits on the DVP, but who knows.
Not sure if you know, but on a related note, in the case of the systems interchanges where provincial freeway meets municipal freeeway as in DVP/404/401, FGG/QEW/427, and 401/Allen

Who actually is responsible for the ramps in the interchanges? I’m particularly interested in the 401/Allen interchange as the ramps there always seemed “unusual” to me.
 
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I assume that the DVP will gain a 404 shield while also retaining the name Don Valley Parkway. Similar to how Highway 417 in Ottawa retains its local name The Queensway. However I would assume that signage for the DVP more prominently use the name in addition to the shield, whereas signage in Ottawa often omits it (though the name is commonly used in speech).
View attachment 523869

One oddity with merging the 404 and DVP is the 2km disrepancy in exit numbering. The Hwy 401/DVP/404 interchange is considered Exit 15 on the DVP, but it's considered Exit 17 on the 404. For whatever reason, the 404 seems to be numbered from the Gardiner & Jarvis interchange while the DVP is numbered from the DVP & Lakeshore intersection. I assume they would just leave this anomaly in place rather than renumbering the exits on the DVP, but who knows.
I suppose the MTO could also extend the "DVP" moniker to the rest of the 404 as well. Less likely though.
 
I expect there will be proposals to widen the DVP and perhaps add HOV lanes eventually (though I believe it's been ruled out in the short term).
 
The Gardiner however is more complicated mainly because of the issue of direction. As we all know, QEW doesn't use cardinal directions because of the horseshoe like path the route takes, thus the directions are determined by control cities. You're either going Toronto bound in one direction, and Hamilton/Niagara/Fort Erie (depending on where you are) bound in the other direction. Considering that you're already in Toronto when you get to the Gardiner, going "Toronto bound" to denote EB Gardiner wouldn't make much sense. Imagine this scenario applying to one of the EB Gardiner onramps from Lake Shore in the downtown area....QEW Toronto when you've passed the road to City Hall/Downtown is almost laughable.

I mean a suggestion such as QEW Etobicoke for the westbound from the York/Bay/Yonge exit and QEW East York east of it could work even if Toronto doesn't really acknowledge their own boroughs at all anymore,

So I guess QEW Hamilton and QEW Newmarket it is despite being dead center in the downtown core and having the rest of Toronto to go through...
 
Who actually is responsible for the ramps in the interchanges? I’m particularly interested in the 401/Allen interchange as the ramps there always seemed “unusual” to me.
Going on some really old memory but the province typically owns the ramps but, more specifically, each interchange (each section of highway actually) has a detailed map that will show this. Typically, there will be a visible pavement break where construction/maintenance by the adjoining jurisdictions met.

The province and its entities need this for engineering, title, maintenance, enforcement, etc. In the OPP back in the day, each cruiser had a 'keypoint book' with the sections of all highway policed by a given detachment. Now, I suspect it is digital.
 
The Gardiner however is more complicated mainly because of the issue of direction. As we all know, QEW doesn't use cardinal directions because of the horseshoe like path the route takes, thus the directions are determined by control cities. You're either going Toronto bound in one direction, and Hamilton/Niagara/Fort Erie (depending on where you are) bound in the other direction. Considering that you're already in Toronto when you get to the Gardiner, going "Toronto bound" to denote EB Gardiner wouldn't make much sense. Imagine this scenario applying to one of the EB Gardiner onramps from Lake Shore in the downtown area....QEW Toronto when you've passed the road to City Hall/Downtown is almost laughable.
The final "control city" listed on the QEW at the 427 interchange is "Toronto (Downtown)". I think that's totally fine to just sign until downtown. Perhaps once you get downtown it could switch to "404 via QEW". Westbound within Toronto could be QEW Mississauga. No one would be confused by those.
 
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The final "control city" listed on the QEW at the 427 interchange is "Toronto (Downtown)". I think that's totally fine to just sign until downtown. Perhaps once you get downtown it could switch to "404 via QEW". Westbound within Toronto could be QEW Mississauga. No one would be confused by those.
It does this at the QEW/403 split as well. "QEW Toronto (Downtown)" and "401 via 403 Toronto" are the signs, which helps your case of "404 via QEW" a lot more.

"QEW Mississauga/Hamilton" is personally a better fit if only once again they still don't want to put the boroughs such as Etobicoke and East York as destinations.
 
I don't think I've ever seen Mississauga (the city, not the street) listed as a destination on any highway signs, but maybe I'm just blanking on it at the moment.
 
I don't think I've ever seen Mississauga (the city, not the street) listed as a destination on any highway signs, but maybe I'm just blanking on it at the moment.
There is actually a sign that states Mississauga as a destination. Its at when the 410 begins, when going southbound you will see the sign…

1701758386854.png
 

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