Champion - Nov. 22, 2002
Nov 22, 2002
Town of Milton isn't convinced the Mid-Peninsula Highway is the
answer to traffic woes along the Q.E.W.
Instead, there should be a stronger focus on rail transit, the Milton
administration and planning committee heard Monday night.
To that end, the committee endorsed a motion to advise Premier Ernie
Eves that the Town is supportive of a comprehensive transportation
plan for the Greater Toronto Area/Golden Horseshoe, but not necessarily
the Mid-Peninsula Highway.
The motion is in stark contrast to a request from the Ministry of
Transportation (MTO) for municipalities to select a preferred end
connection for the proposed highway.
"It's a little premature to go off half-cocked and really not
knowing exactly what some of the preferences are," Mayor Gord
Krantz told The Champion, adding he believes the highway is needed
as part of a comprehensive plan, but is unsure which connection
would best work.
"When they (Province) do the environmental assessment stuff,
that's when I will take a position and I'm sure Milton council will
take a position on either endorsing or opposing it (route) depending
on how it affects Milton."
The MTO is currently developing a terms of reference to conduct
an environmental assessment (EA) for the construction of the Mid-Peninsula
Highway. The highway is proposed to connect Niagara to Hamilton,
before swinging east to connect to Hwy. 6, Hwy. 401 or Hwy. 407.
The MTO has asked the Town to respond to the options presented,
indicating its preference. However, Town staff felt that to be inappropriate
at this time, calling the process to-date 'bias, flawed and inconsistent'
because it doesn't address all environmental concerns.
"Staff has indicated that it is not prepared to bring forward
an ultimate recommendation for committee's consideration because
of the many unresolved issues relating to the process and its timing,"
a report presented to the committee states.
"Alternatively, staff is recommending that they be directed
to continue to monitor the EA process and report back to council
at an appropriate time."
To date, several municipalities along the proposed route have raised
concerns about the need for such a highway, as well as the impact
it would have on environmental features such as the Niagara Escarpment
-- to which it would run parallel.
Councillor Brian Penman added to the list of unresolved concerns,
asking Town staff to investigate the Province's intended management
of the highway.
Should the roadway be operated as a toll road, it's imperative the
Town receive a portion of taxes derived from its use, he said.
Milton council hasn't addressed the committee's motion at this time,
but is expected to do so Monday.