Not 'us against them':
Port mayor listens to concerns about Mid-Pen highway

Tribune (Welland) -Thu 05 Dec 2002 - Byline: Dave Johnson

PORT COLBORNE - Concerns raised by groups over a proposed highway through
Niagara into Burlington can be addressed, says Mayor Vance Badawey.

"I want to see the project go ahead, but it's my duty as mayor and regional
councillor to work with the people and their concerns. I agree with some of
the concerns that are being raised," says Badawey.

The Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment (COPE), based in the
Hamilton-Burlington area, has started to attract members in Niagara.

Badawey keeps in contact with the head of COPE, Dave Eckersley, through
e-mail and by phone to discuss the group's concerns.

"I've spoken with a number of individuals in Burlington and here in the
region at different workshops and meetings on the highway."

The mayor doesn't believe there is a "line being drawn in the sand" over
the issues The whole process, including environmental assessments, will
mitigate any concerns.

"It's not 'us against them'."

One concern at the western end of the proposed highway, is construction on
top of, or close to, the Niagara Escarpment, an environmentally sensitive
area.

Paving over farmland, traffic flows and diminishing the air quality are
other concerns.

"I can sympathize with Burlington on traffic flows; it has Highways 401,
403, 407 and the QEW flowing into it."

Badawey says the Ministry of Transportation has been asked to look at
widening the swath for the environmental assessment in the western end, to
keep the highway away from the escarpment and to ease the traffic flows
around Burlington.

The mayor says he tried to explain to COPE a mid-peninsula corridor would
not necessarily mean an increase in traffic through the area.

"We're trying to spread out traffic. If we can make traffic flow better, it
would be more environmentally sound."



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