opinions mixed over location, need for proposed route
Smith- Nov 8, 2002 - Burlington Post
proposed mid-peninsula highway is already drawing heavy traffic
of opinions and collisions of viewpoints.
aired many concerns Wednesday at a Burlington workshop about the
proposed road from Niagara Region to the Hamilton-Halton area.
was hosted by the Ministry of Transportation, which will recommend
next month which routes will be considered in the next study phase.
include connecting the new route with Hwy. 407 near Walker's Line,
Hwy. 403 in Hamilton, Hwy. 401 east or west of Milton and Hwy. 6
in the Flamborough area.
where and whether the mid-peninsula highway should be built were
hot topics at the workshop. Politicians, plus citizen, environmental,
transportation and business organizations participated in the discussion.
Escarpment Commission member suggested challenging the assumption
this area will attract 2.5 million more residents.
spiralling into growth, growth, growth at all costs and we need
to challenge this," said Marion Plaunt. "We need to let
the Smart Growth analysis go forward and look at the challenges
and what are the givens."
a ministry planning manager said the highway project will parallel
Smart Growth studies.
heard concerns the process is moving too slowly and that it's moving
too fast," said Fred Leech. "But the process is such that
Smart Growth will be done before the road moves ahead."
urged that other transportation modes like rail and public transit
be upgraded and questioned building the new highway. The route will
be detrimental to the environment and air quality, they argued.
will damage a sensitive biosphere (the Niagara Escarpment),"
said Brendan Kelly of COPE (Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment).
"I don't understand how building a huge truck corridor that
empties onto Hwy. 407 solves congestion problems."
involving transportation across Ontario is needed, he said, adding
that improving transit is important. "We have to re-think the
North American mindset emphasizing the car."
area's transportation issues involve looking at tourism and moving
border goods in Niagara and commuter travel in the GTA, said a transportation
is not just a roads plan, it's a significant multi-modal strategy,"
said Doug Allingham of Totten, Sims, Hubicki. "Originally,
we started in Hamilton and Niagara Region, but gradually as we understand
the system, we're developing a model that includes the entire Greater
highway expansions, transit opportunities, rail and ferry service
have been examined, he said. "We've looked extensively at moving
people and the issues related to goods movement."
noted local transit usage is low and major increases will be required
to meet future transportation requirements.
warned of major growth in the GTA and Niagara, plus general growth
in population, employment, trade and tourism. He said the highway
itself would not bring new growth, but Burlington councillor Carol
D'Amelio and others disagreed.
questioned whether agricultural lands could be protected if the
road goes through those areas.
set our urban/rural boundary and it has been protected until now,"
she said. "But a highway will increase pressures from development
Taylor said the ministry should pay more attention to Burlington/Halton
concerns involving the proposed highway.
were brought late into this process, but a year later there is no
recognition of our issues," noted the Ward 3 Burlington councillor.
"All the analysis deals with Hamilton and Niagara."
said Burlington/Halton issues were addressed by the ministry revisiting
other mid-peninsula connections beside Hwy. 407.
politicians are opposing the Hwy. 407 connection and want other
alternatives included in the upcoming phase -- the environmental
assessment terms of reference.
MPP said he has been making those views clear to the transportation
minister and his other provincial government colleagues.
route that goes through Burlington through the Niagara Escarpment
is not well thought out," said Cam Jackson. "We can't
lose sight of the fact that we are already at capacity at the QEW
he believes Burlington and Halton councillors acknowledge a mid
peninsula corridor is needed to move goods and services. "There's
not a single council saying we don't need a highway."
believes the new highway might be linked to Hwy. 401 with less disruption
to the escarpment.
mayor said mid peninsula highway discussions have identified some
the highway proposal will encourage urban sprawl and the traffic
impact on Burlington hasn't been considered, said Rob MacIsaac.
Growth plans being developed for the area shouldn't be abandoned
in this case, he said.
overall growth strategy for central Ontario needs to be respected
and enhanced in terms of the mid peninsula corridor," said