Smith - Nov 27, 2002 - Burlington Post
more routes may not mean fewer critics of the proposed mid-peninsula
highway from Niagara.
alternatives besides the Hwy. 407 connection will be considered
during the upcoming environmental assessment, the province announced
a small sense, it's a step in the right direction," said David
Eckersley of Citizens Opposed to Paving the Expressway. "But
none of the three routes gets them off the hook environmentally."
connections for the mid-peninsula highway include Hwy. 407 near
Walker's Line, Hwy. 401 west of Milton and the Niagara Escarpment,
and Hwy. 403 near Hamilton.
highway information session will be held tomorrow (Thursday) at
the Burlington Holiday Inn from 3-9 p.m., with presentations at
questioned the province's commitment to the non-Hwy. 407 connections,
noting they were previously studied and rejected.
may have just been done because of public pressure and, at the end
of the day, they'll go back to where they started," he said.
Hwy. 403 to 12 lanes to link up with the new highway would require
widening the escarpment cut near Hamilton Mountain and bridges between
Cootes Paradise and Burlington Bay, said Eckersley.
other alternative involves looping the new highway around Hamilton
and sending it up through Peter's Corner's (Hwys. 5 and 8) in Flamborough
to Hwy. 401, west of the escarpment.
avoids having another cut in the escarpment, but there are implications
for traffic on Hwy. 401," said Eckersley. "And there are
tons of significant wetlands it would go through."
bound for the Greater Toronto Area won't take this road, he believes.
"The route to Hwy. 401 will be so far out of the way, we don't
know if many will use it.".
believes other transportation alternatives should be considered
instead of a new road.
steaming ahead despite the fact they haven't conclusively proven
we need the highway in the first place," said Eckersley.
Burlington's MPP says municipalities acknowledge the need for a
new highway to remove traffic from the QEW.
a need to move goods and services," said Cam Jackson. "Regional
chairs and mayors are supporting the mid-peninsula highway."
stressed the highway's environmental planning process is just starting.
"It will be 8-10 years before there's a shovel in the ground."
said the Hwy. 401 route alternative will have a wider study area
because it doesn't cut through the escarpment.
environmental assessment will consider sensitive areas, he said.
"There are very high standards."
said the Hwy. 401 connection could serve commercial nodes planned
in Kitchener and nearby communities, plus long-range perimeter highway
plans. "It's an opportunity to move heavy commercial traffic
from the QEW."
for the Hwy. 403 alternative, Jackson said the lane expansion may
be a small one. "We have to look at this issue anyway,"
he said. "The status quo on Hwy. 403 is not viable over the
said the provincial government added the highway route options based
on public meetings. He said there was also unanimity from MPPs to
consider alternative sites.
noted the provincial government has committed $10 billion to rapid
transit and is investing significantly in GO Transit and highway
of transit alternative
a Burlington councillor said it was promised that a transit alternative
would be provided.
transit-friendly alternative should've been presented," said
John Taylor. "Both the mayor (Rob MacIsaac) and myself have
been saying that."
said the Hwy. 403 linkup option "will have an unacceptable
impact on the Niagara Escarpment, Cootes Paradise and cemeteries
in the area."
executive director of the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment is
glad there's more than one highway route, but feels non-highway
options must be examined.
the key issue is the Hwy. 407 connection is by no means off the
table," said Jason Thorne. "People in Burlington need
to be wary of looking at this too positively."
process so far has been about one thing and one thing only, building
a new superhighway," noted Raymond Dartsch of Transportation
2000. "The government needs to add and integrate to the process,
like expanding GO Train and VIA Rail services and ferry service."