Smith - The Burlington Post Feb. 28, 03.
Growth help keep the controversial mid peninsula highway from this area?
Mayor Rob MacIsaac said yesterday (Thursday) he's heartened by the Central
Ontario Smart Growth Panel's recent discussion paper.
premature to say the panel is opposed to the highway going through Burlington,"
said MacIsaac, who's a panel member. "But things are encouraging."
had spoken Tuesday about the discussion paper at a public meeting about
the proposed highway. The session was organized by the City of Burlington,
the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment and Citizens Opposed to Paving
the Escarpment. Ministry of Transportation officials were not involved
in this meeting.
Growth panel hasn't specifically addressed the proposed highway from
Niagara to Hamilton/Halton, MacIsaac told the Post. But it has endorsed
the concept of a trade corridor starting at the U.S. border in Niagara
that goes around the Greater Toronto Area.
panel didn't see the economic corridor feeding into Burlington,"
he said. "The highway is not viewed as an extension of Hwy. 407.
It skirts the GTA and Hamilton."
said the panel was dealing with a conceptual route and not specifically
the mid peninsula highway. "But the concept is more consistent
with a highway heading north rather than stopping in Burlington."
the panel doesn't necessarily favour having the mid peninsula route
connect with Hwy. 401 west of Milton. Hwy. 401 is one of four possible
connections for the proposed highway.
under consideration include connections with Hwy. 407 in Burlington,
Hwy. 6 in Flamborough or Hwy. 403 on Hamilton Mountain.
cited two other Smart Growth panel statements he considered encouraging
"The panel has said public transit should be the government's first
priority in terms of new infrastructure," he noted. "This
is consistent with what COPE and the city have been saying about transit
panel statement is that the Niagara Escarpment deserves the highest
level of protection.
effort to have affected municipalities ask for a comprehensive highway
planning process has ended, he said. Events have overtaken that initiative,
Local residents have demanded more time for the environment assessment
terms of reference stage, which determines how to examine the route
or its alternatives. Currently, the public has until March 17 to respond
to the draft document and until late April to reply to the formal terms
for the proposed highway were criticized by the vice-chair of COPE in
a press release.
four possible routes left on the table for consideration are all indirect.
They add between 21 and 56 kilometres to the Toronto-to-Fort Erie trip
and will probably be tolled as well," said Susan McMaster. "COPE
does not see sufficient demand for the MPH materializing to justify
its $1.2 billion cost and the environmental damage it will cause if
release stated Smart Growth principles are contravened because, if built,
the mid peninsula highway would not use existing infrastructure and
it would not minimize environmental damage, as it could cut the escarpment
and impact on hundreds of wetlands, forests, streams and wildlife habitat.
representatives have argued that expanded transit, railways and roadways
are all required to meet projected Golden Horseshoe growth of 2.5 million
people in 20 years. They've also said management of transportation systems
is needed to meet trade and transportation growth, plus increased congestion
expected for the area.