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We're not unfairly complaining about congestion

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:27 pm
by Radar Identified
Toronto has longer commute times than Los Angeles, New York, London, Sydney, Chicago, Berlin and Paris. 80 minutes average commute.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/transpo ... study-says

OUCH. No wonder we spend so much time in traffic...

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:10 pm
by FyreStorm
Hence why I left the GTA....40 minute commute each way vs. 4 minute now...

Consider I've been here 19 years, have 10 til retirement work 182 shifts a year...

Time saving 72 X 182 X 29 = 380, 016 minutes or 6, 333hrs of driving time, plus associated fuel costs...and wear on my cars...

Thank God I got out when I did...

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:01 pm
by hwybear
since I don't live in the GTA area...phew...(I have a 6min/1.7km drive to work) what is the cause of all this?

- traffic volume?
- improper use of merge on and off at hwy speeds?
- follow too close, causing all the merge problems?
- too many licences out of bubble gum machines? (terrible drivers)

I remember the time a few years back it was congested, but all of a sudden the area with the "chevrons" appeared and traffic seemed to move effectively

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:35 pm
by Radar Identified
hwybear wrote:since I don't live in the GTA area...phew...(I have a 6min/1.7km drive to work) what is the cause of all this?
All four of what you mentioned contribute to it. Mainly, it is volume. Top reasons for that:

- GTA is the 2nd most densely populated metro area in North America
- Lack of public transit that can be used across municipal boundaries (e.g. Markham to Mississauga, Brampton to Burlington) except for GO to get people to downtown Toronto, and with many people living in one city and working in another, most are forced to drive
- Toronto City Council's idiotic "war on the car" and lack of spending controls, so money doesn't go to roads or transit
- Insufficient number of roads/highways (cancellation of freeway network in 1971)
- Not enough subways (budget cuts, cancellations)
- Replacing good roads with dedicated streetcar right-of-ways that cost three times as much as projected and destroyed the neighbourhood (St. Clair Avenue) :x :x

Due to congestion, many people work "flex hours." Some stretches of road, particularly parts of the 401, have heavier mid-day traffic volumes than traditional rush hour. We have surface streets that carry over 60 000 vehicles per day (Yonge Street, Highway 7, Hurontario, Markham Road, etc), and that doesn't include the highway network. :shock: Most of the highways carry well over 200 000+ vehicles per day, 401 carries over 400 000 on a couple of stretches.

Then we have arguably the worst drivers on the continent... but that's a different ball of wax... I just got back from Vancouver, people there complain they have bad drivers, but I could not believe how predictable, courteous and orderly Vancouver drivers were in comparison...

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:11 pm
by FiReSTaRT
I think it's a lot of development without investing in the infrastructure. I've seen new condos and townhouse communities cropping up all over the place but the only new highway that I've seen in my lifetime is the 407 and not too many people take it because of the costs.
Then there are the unreasonably low speed limits, which keep cars out on the road taking up space longer. What's the logic in having 5+ lanes and a 100kph speed limit? I was doing 110-115 on the 407 at an OPP-heavy time and EVERYBODY was passing me including tractor trailers and old ladies in minivans, while I was struggling not to fall asleep out of sheer boredom. Other countries I've driven in have 120km/h limits on divided highways even when they're only 2 lanes/direction as long as they're not in areas where pedestrians are likely to be. We're such a nanny-state it makes me sick.

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:24 am
by beleafer81
FiReSTaRT wrote:Then there are the unreasonably low speed limits, which keep cars out on the road taking up space longer. We're such a nanny-state it makes me sick.
+1

I remember a recent trip to alberta. 2 lane blacktop PSL of 110kmh. same in new brunswick. 401 should be 120kmh.

But im sure this debate has been brought up here before.

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:18 am
by FyreStorm
I don't have a problem with that...

But is it more fuel efficient / enviromentally sound?

Certainly speed limits could be raised but by designating the 401 at 110 won't people speed up to 130 vs the current 120?

The 401 moves well above 110 on most days anyway...

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:30 am
by Reflections
The 401 moves well above 110 on most days anyway...
Yeah, when it's moving....then it's 120, BRAKES, 20, 120, BRAKES.......

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:23 am
by Marquisse
It isn't more fuel efficient or environmentally friendly, that's for sure. I know this because when I began to travel extensively on the hwys in Southern Ontario, the gas prices skyrocketed and I was over a barrel because of the cost of gas.

I was also travelling mostly in the left lane, or moving to the middle when someone faster wanted to pass. I'd average about 120km/h, with people passing me on the QEW most times. 130km/h to 140km/h is not uncommon. However, I had to reduce the speed and retrain myself to coast in the far right lane. I never go over 110km/h and do that only when to pass. It's a much more relaxed way to drive and I'm not gettng annoyed unless I am in the passing lane TO pass and someone ahead is treating it as a driving lane. That infuriates most people.

Aside from it being a much more relaxed ride, I have saved 7-10% on EACH tank of gas. I was lucky to get 390km to my 50L tank, and I have reached 450km driving slower (the average per tank now is about 415-420km per tank). I have to say that in the past 2 years my driving has changed considerably, forced by economics, and reaffirmed by the savings and serenity of driving. I'm less stressed because people riding up my arse in any lane but the left can kiss my bumper, my car is not being run into the ground, I'm saving money, and I'm not putting myself at risk for charges.

I'm not in favour of increased limits altogether, but I think it would be reasonable to increase the passing lane to 120km/h max, but would also like to see the left-lane bandits targetted much more, as I find they are also culprits in traffic jams. It just infuriates me when you've got some moron in the left lane with nobody in front of him, he's doing 100-110km/h and is straddling traffic to the right. It's essentially a moving road block, and they really should have the fines increased.

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:28 pm
by Radar Identified
FyreStorm wrote:certainly speed limits could be raised but by designating the 401 at 110 won't people speed up to 130 vs the current 120?
According to a study from Saskatchewan, where they raised the limit from 100 to 110, the answer is no. There was a slight increase in average speed, but it wasn't by much. What seemed to happen is the "high-milers" stayed at the same speed but the slow drivers sped up. Collisions and fatalities dropped on the highways when they raised the limit (possibly due to more orderly flow of traffic).
Marquisse wrote: I'm not gettng annoyed unless I am in the passing lane TO pass and someone ahead is treating it as a driving lane. That infuriates most people.
No argument there.
Marquisse wrote:It's essentially a moving road block, and they really should have the fines increased.
I guess if they wanted to enforce the letter of the law... it seems like that kind of driving is driving in a manner that is preventing another vehicle from passing... let's see... where have I heard that description before... oh yeah... STUNT DRIVING!

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:29 pm
by FiReSTaRT
For starters, cars are a lot more fuel efficient than they were when the limits were originally placed. You wouldn't even feel a difference in fuel economy between 100 and 120.
Then, how much fuel are we wasting due to increased congestion caused by keeping the cars out there longer? That can be compounded pretty badly.
Finally, that's a band-aid that doesn't address the real issues. Switching to biofuels would give our agriculture a MAJOR boost and diesel powerplants are the most fuel efficient alternative out there. Every major car manufacturer has small diesel engine options on just about every model (I've driven a Ford Escort and a Chevy D-Max with diesel engines) but they still refuse to bring them to our market. That will do a lot more for our fuel economy than lowering the speed limits even to 80 (assuming it wouldn't cause even more congestion).

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:15 pm
by Marquisse
For starters, cars are a lot more fuel efficient than they were when the limits were originally placed. You wouldn't even feel a difference in fuel economy between 100 and 120
.

In my experience, this couldn't be more untrue. My average was 120km/h. My average now is 100 km/h, and I never hit empty before 415km (average is about 415-420km but I have hit 440-450km) on my tank whereas when I was driving at 120km (I travel within the Hamilton/Toronto corridor daily - the QEW/403/427) I would get the gas light at 390km, at minimum. So, at minimum, I am getting an extra 25km out of my tank. At most, 50-60km. This is a huge deal for me because it adds an additional one-way trip to my tank most weeks.

Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:50 pm
by FyreStorm
Car are more efficient at 100 km/h then they were 20 years ago, but the ratio is the same, you still get much worse mileage at 120 than you do at 100. You just get better at 120 today than you did 20 years ago.

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:46 pm
by JohnnyKickass
Cities get all bunged up because there's no flow in the design. 2 way streets everywhere and an intersection in spitting distance of the next intersection and the option to turn in any direction at every intersection. Then the highways have an on-ramp every half kilometer so you get people merging on and slowing everything down just so they can exit a few yards further down the road.

Then of course people have a shortest-distance mentality so they'll wait for 3 minutes to turn left at an intersection instead of just going right and around the block or something. No one ever goes a bit past their destination and circles back even if it saves them time and stops blocking up everyone else.

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:05 pm
by viper1
My 2 cents

A 1998 Buick will go 750 km on a tank at 140 kph and 600 km at 100 kph

!5 liter saving.

I think the on ramp problems are from new drivers who think the yellow/black speed signs are the limit.(so they speed up to 60 on the ramp and find highway speed after they enter it).

My KPL test was done with a 3800 v6 engine that had 400,000 km's on it

Cheers all
Viper1