Smith - Jan. 8, 2003 - THE BURLINGTON POST
has not 'tolled' yet for the proposed mid-peninsula highway.
of the road from Niagara to the Hamilton-Halton area say documents show
a toll highway is planned. But the ministry of transportation says the
information is from the earlier needs assessment stage, when both toll
and non-toll scenarios were being examined.
Opposed to Paving the Escarpment say they're against the highway regardless
of whether it's a toll road.
residents are already upset about Hwy. 407 toll rate increases and they
don't think the mid-peninsula highway is necessary, said COPE's vice-chair.
think it will have tolls on it and they won't give the government carte
blanche to build it," said Dave Eckersley. He said if a mid-peninsula
toll highway is built, it will likely be connected to the other toll
route, Hwy. 407.
route would run from Niagara to Hamilton's airport at Mount Hope. It
would then extend to one of three possible connections. Alternatives
being considered include a linkup with Hwy. 407 in Burlington. This
route would continue to Peter's Corners (Hwys. 5 and 8), loop north
of Waterdown and head down the Niagara Escarpment to connect with Hwy.
407 near Walker's Line.
noted the ministry initially rejected the two other proposed connections
-- Hwy. 401 west of Milton and Hwy. 403 in Hamilton. "They added
them again to quiet some of the protests," he said.
said both toll and non-toll scenarios were examined only for the Hwy.
407 connection. He believes this further indicates the ministry favours
a Hwy. 407 linkup for the mid-peninsula highway. "They were only
going to do all the math on the one they were going to build."
said building another toll route will create a two-tier road system,
with toll highways serving "the rich guys." He said ministry
documents also indicate private partners are being sought to produce
revenue for the proposed highway. This can only be done through tolls,
of planning for a mid-peninsula toll highway is found in ministry needs
assessment and technical summary documents, say COPE officials.
cost estimate noted that "...fully electronic tolling technology
has been assumed (as per Hwy. 407)." Toll rate policies and their
revenue impacts were part of critical issues in the ministry's needs
assessment demand forecast. There were ministry references to "...identifying
the impacts of tolls on the demand for the mid-peninsula corridor and
on the QEW" and "Identify an optimal tolling strategy."
documents also mention confirming the route's financial feasibility
as a toll facility, plus assisting ownership and partnership opportunities
for the mid-peninsula corridor.
spokesperson said when determining traffic levels for the proposed highway,
both toll and non-toll environments were examined.
fact that we looked at and generated these scenarios does not imply
the proposed highway will be tolled," said Bob Nichols. "That
remains something for the government to look at at a future date."
toll and non-toll information provides the ministry with a better understanding
of what traffic levels could be on the highway, he said.
said both toll and non-toll options are still being considered. As for
only doing both scenarios for the Hwy. 407 connection, Nichols noted
existing highways were not to be tolled, when the needs assessment was
phase of planning for the proposed highway involves determining terms
of reference for the environment assessment. The Ministry of Environment
is expected to rule on this by March.
the Hwy. 407 linkup, other alternatives involve connecting with an expanded
Hwy. 403 on Hamilton Mountain or a route through Peter's Corners and
Flamborough to link up with Hwy. 401. The latter connection would be
made west of Milton and would avoid a cut through the escarpment.
Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.