Improve the King's Highway System

This page is dedicated to those who want to see improvements to Ontario's 400 series hiways, including the QEW. This isn't an earth shattering page, but nevertheless it's important. If you have any ideas to add to this page, please e-mail me.


Ideal #1 - Fix the traffic flow!

Ideal #2 - Realistic speed limits!

Idea #3 - OPP Emergency Signs

Idea #4 - Eliminate French Hiway Signs

Idea #5 - Eliminate Disappearing Right Lanes

Idea #6 - Improve Dangerous sections of the 401

Then Do Something! Go here to find out how to make change!

Other Users have written to us with their ideas

Idea #1

Add the following sign to all multi-lane highways, at regular (2-3km) intervals.

Keep Right Except to Pass

It will be amazing how many people actually will pull over and move when they see this sign. One of the major problems on the highways is people zigging and zagging to get around "left lane hogs". It will be good to get some order back on the roads, and this sign is a cheap way to make it work.

Note that the following sign is NOT what should be put up.
It is a negative sign, and most people don't want to be associated with being "slower". This especially pertains to "left lane hogs", as they feel that going 100kmh in the fast lane is not going "slow".

Slower traffic keep right

Idea #2

Let's recognize that the following sign just doesn't make any sense on rural portions of the 401. I advocate that we up the limit to 120km/h. It does make sense to keep it at 100 in the urban areas, but once outside the urban areas, it should definitely be 120 or 125km/h.

100km/h sign

If you agree with this common sense approach, please feel free to make the changes happen by following the directions below.

Idea #3 - OPP Emergency Signs

I'd like to see signs indicating *677, or *OPP, for emergency use, posted on ALL the Ontario roadways. I myself have used the number and get very good results. You may know that if a caller uses this number in the Metro area, he will often get the Metro dispatch as well. Instead of wasting money on French signs, we could use some of these.

Idea #4 - Eliminate French Hiway Signs

I have an idea for you to save money on highway and construction signage: stop posting French signs. This is insane, considering only 4% of Metro residents are French. As you’d agree, Italian is used more in Metro. I realize that Ontario is officially bilingual, but only Metro seems to have the French signs. Other Ontario municipalities don’t have French signs, even on Ontario roads (Hamilton seems to be an exception).

Since you don’t mind controversy, please order the Ministry to stop posting French signs immediately - they’re a safety hazard too: · they’re too hard to read (since motorists will try and read all signs) · too many signs in succession (English/French) cause a long-term distraction to motorists · since the signs are not even posted province wide, eliminate them everywhere!

Idea #5 - Eliminate Disappearing Right Lanes

Another major highway safety issue is disappearing right lanes. If any lane should appear/disappear, it should always be the passing lane/left lane. All too often a right lane appears/disappears, causing motorists to squat in the middle or left lane, causing poor traffic flow. As you know, I am a proponent of the left lane as passing lane, except in major centers or during periods of congestion.

Idea #6 - Improve Dangerous sections of the 401

There are many, many dangerous sections of the 401, especially across Metro, that need signing or improving. Many are left lane exits that definitely should not exist. Many are suicide transfers. These are areas that one transfers out of the express, into the collectors, and off to the exit. The spacing is just enough for an experienced driver -- but that's the problem, our drivers don't know how to merge properly, making them suicide transfers. We need to create overhead signs in the collectors warning of the transfer zones, as I would call them, since it would cost too much to recreate them.

A specific dangerous zone is the section of the w/b 401 collector exit to Allen Rd. This is a left-exit ramp, and as such is very dangerous, since cars zig/zag over to this ramp and often are going below the speed limit. This causes great confusion to passing lane motorists. Since left lane exits should be eliminated anyway, in the meantime large caution signs should be erected. Check the accident logs: this location is a high accident zone.

Make the changes happen!

If you'd like to see this change, please fax the Honorable David Turnbull, Minister of Transportation. His fax # is 416-325-9038. To do so quickly and conveniently, simply print this page to your fax modem. The more copies of this David gets, the better! You can make a difference!

Recently, former Minister Al Palladini wrote the Canada Protest Page a letter, telling us why he didn't believe the above suggestions made any sense. One would think that a car dealership owner would know a great deal about traffic flow, especially since his dealership is on Canada's 2nd busiest highway (the 400). What is it about the pink palace that messes up these guys' logic?

A letter on the topic from a user who read this

Date sent: Tue, 02 Jul 1996 22:10:27 -0700 From: Don Gordon <> Organization: NET User To: Subject: Re: Improve the King's highway


I drive the 403/401 every day. Here are some ideas that you are free to add to your list.

1. Build More Roads

A simple solution to many problems. The 407 aside (who will be able to afford it?), Ontario has invested little in the construction of new roads in the GTA in the last 15 years. I am of the understanding that less than 50% of the taxes collected annually thru licenses, permits, gas taxes, etc. is re-invested in Ontario's highway infrastructure. The money is allocated to budgets for Health, Education, and Social Assistance. Noble causes, but I want more roads.

2. Road Construction - Penalty Clauses

When tenders are issued for road construction, make it clear that the order will be awarded to the contractor who provides best delivery as well as best price. Time is of the essence. Construction delays on the 401(e.g., Dixon/Martingrove) are unexplainable and intolerable. Put penalty clauses in contracts to ensure timely completion of work.

Why did it take 16 months of guaranteed traffic delays to widen the 403 Credit River overpass by one lane? (The lane is now a shoulder - you can't even drive on it!)

Why do construction workers go home at 4:00 pm in the summer and sit on their asses all winter because they can't work outdoors? Run two shifts!

Why do you see as few as 6-7 men working for months on end on a specific stretch of road? Can 30 or 40 men do the job faster?

3. Restricted Access to 400 Series Roads

It is a fact that on-ramps and merges bring the 401 to an absolute standstill. As an example, when travelling on the 401 eastbound from Mississauga to North York, traffic will be stopped where the 427 merges, where the 409 merges, and where the 401 exits to the 400. After 30-40 minutes of driving with my brakes on, I find myself going 120kmph as soon as I pass the last obstacle. The same is true westbound. This happens every single day. Why?

Restrict access to the 401 by installing a concrete median that will force merging traffic to remain in the inside lane until they have picked up the same speed as the rest of traffic. Stop people from crossing over double lines and lane jumping so that they can make it over to the express lane. I love waiting in line as I watch these interlopers cut in front of everything in site while bringing all lanes to a dead stop.

4. Go after aggressive drivers with a vengeance

Courteous drivers improve traffic flow. Hand out STEEP fines for drivers who:

- drive too slow in the express lane. - who drive 140 kmph when traffic is only going 100 kmph - who continuously (and carelessly)change lanes to pick up a few car spaces during rush hour. - who use on-ramps to pass 5-6 cars before having to cut back in again with no concern that eveyone has to stop to let them back in. - who don't want to wait in line but would rather rush to the front and try and cut in on a group of drivers who have been patiently waiting in the proper lane.

Thanks for listening, Frustrated Driver

Last updated December 18, 1999

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