This is the full version of the letter
to the editor printed in the Hamilton Spectator November 26, 2002
from this article that many in Hamilton are now up-in-arms about
the prospect of a major new escarpment cut and a major highway expansion
through parts of the city as a result of a route option now being
considered for the new Mid-Peninsula Highway (MPH).
outcry is remarkably similar to the one that has been going on in
Burlington, Halton, the rural areas of Hamilton, and parts of Niagara
for the last six months.
I even see that some Hamilton politicians are now concerned about
the effects the road could have; the potential route adjustment
has brought forth their concern about houses being expropriated,
pollution, noise, the health of Cootes Paradise, the preservation
of the escarpment, and the other negative consequences of building
the point of this letter is not to say, "Ha Ha, how do you
like it when it's in YOUR backyard?"
point is to say that, wherever this road ends up, if it's built,
it's going to have dreadful effects on its immediate neighbours
AND on the environment and air quality over a much wider area. This
is why some of us have been working to try to convince the Ontario
government and the MTO that it's time for Ontario's transportation
policy to move past its 1950's mindset in which a new chunk of pavement
is the answer to all problems.
paving new roads is all the MTO bureaucrats appear able to conceive
of, despite their brave talk about "multi-modal" transportation
strategies. Their only significant advancement in recent years is
to come up with the idea of charging tolls on new highways.
policy for this century would include plans for public transit,
improvements to rail, inter-modal depots at which goods may be switched
between trucks and trains efficiently, better use of existing roads
with dedicated lanes for different vehicles, and a host of other
if Hamilton's government cares to join the fight, welcome. But let's
keep in mind that the ultimate objective is to work towards an Ontario
that is more efficient, cleaner, economically strong, boasts a state-of-the-art
transportation infrastructure, and has the wisdom to preserve some
green space for future generations.
not to push an environmentally-disastrous, noisy, vastly expensive,
unnecessary, and wasteful project into somebody else's backyard.