Let's have a rail corridor

We are writing in support of an alternative to the proposed mid-peninsula highway -- namely rail transit.

The 130-kilometre, $1.2 billion highway is planned to connect Fort Erie and Burlington. In its wake, hundreds of acres of forest, agricultural land, and wetlands will be destroyed. Guaranteed to follow are subdivisions, strip malls, and big-box retail stores.

Another highway will also boost the traffic death toll and be yet another source of pollution. This is the antithesis of the "smart growth" plan currently touted by the Ontario government.

Ontario's current highway system is a frustrating, gridlocked, fiscal disaster and the agent of urban sprawl and congestion. It must be scaled back, not expanded.

Southern Ontario, particularly the Niagara peninsula, is one of the most densely populated parts of Canada, and ideally suited to a comprehensive public transit system, including a passenger rail line.

As taxpayers, we insist that the Ontario government explore a full range of options, such as abandoning the highway plan in favour of a rail corridor. Citizens must urge Queen's Park to advance plans for expanded public transit in the Niagara peninsula.

-- Nancy Smith Lea, Ben Smith Lea,

Toronto.

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