48 Lanes for 401
Certainly, that would be about the right number today, if we wanted an efficient system.
Obviously, we don’t; we are still at 16 lanes across the City of Toronto. Traffic moves at a snail’s pace. This is the busiest highway in North America. Originally built in the 1960’s, it was constructed as a highway, a system designed to move people at relatively high speeds. At, least that was the plan.
By the late 1960’ws the 401 carried 106,850 vehicles daily, and by 2008 the traffic count was 442,900, or roughly four times that initial number. I was rather surprised to see the comparative number in 2016 at 405, 500. I suppose people have just found other routes. The 407 would have had an impact.
So, what happens? Instead of travelling at 60 mph, now traffic crawls along at 6 mph. Quite a difference! No longer do we have an efficient traffic system but now largely a parking lot that edges along slowly across the City.
If growth took place at a rate that would provide the 1960’s level of service, we would have to have 48 lanes today.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker