Currently Browsing: Roads & Traffic

GTA West Project Suspension

Ministry of Transport (MOT) has announced that it is suspending the environmental assessment (EA) for Hwy 413 (GTA West Corridor.)  In the announcement MOT states that it is not a decision to cancel the new highway but that it is being reviewed.  Everyone is reading the tea leaves, including me; and given my lack of enthusiasm for the project I am of course seeing the “suspension” as an indicator that the arguments against the wisdom of this new highway have finally registered.  Having said that I recognize that a lengthy suspension of the EA and/or an outright cancellation does create a host of new issues in YR.  Knowing where the future Hwy is going to intersect with Hwy 400 has been identified as an important data point for York Region as it assesses alternative options for a east/west corridor.  And decisions about that could provide the answer to the long sought need of a King Road by-pass.

Here is link to the full announcement; below is the critical paragraph.  If I were to re-write the paragraph below I would use words/phrases indicating that the proposed new highway was old technology which would drive up green house gas emissions without solving the problem.

“Having the right transportation network in place that builds on our climate change commitments, our ability to embrace new and emerging technologies and the sharing economy, will help us plan for a flexible transportation system that adapts to our quickly changing landscape and positions our province for success for generations to come.”

GTA West Corridor

August 24 Council agenda includes a Staff report including recommendations as to King’s feedback to the Ministry of Transport on the GTA West Corridor, specifically the eastern portion of the Corridor which is in vicinity of King.  Except for the possibility of this corridor being a bypass  for King Road there is nothing about this project which is positive nor is the analysis adequate. There are alternatives which have not been adequately investigated as is required by the Greenbelt Plan infrastructure policies;  the full cost of the project has been significantly underestimated as expropriation of high cost land has not been included; and finally the environmental impact is too great.  I think the Staff’s report is pretty good in terms of effectively looking after King’s interests except that we should be challenging the need for an interchange at Pine Valley/7th concession:  if the corridor is to be built the interchanges should be limited to the two urban growth centres i.e. Bolton and Vaughan City Centre.

I have deliberately said there is the “possibility” that the Corridor will be a bypass for King Road as the (more…)

Speed Feedback to Drivers on Kingscross Drive

As reviewed in Staff report before Council July 6th the traffic in Kingscross is moving too fast.  Recent monitoring shows that 85th percentile speed is 78 km/hr which is well beyond the posted limit of 40 km/hr.  Traffic speed and potential methods for slowing it down has been subject of several Council meetings and at least one public information meeting over the last 2 years.  Each time, there has been lack of agreement/acceptance of the need and lack of agreement/acceptance of the most commonly proposed method, namely speed humps.  As the latest data collected was by a monitor not visible to drivers it reinforces to me that there is a problem on Kingscross Drive.  I am very keen to execute the proposal of the radar speed board signs given the trial conducted on Kingscross which showed that the 85th percentile speed dropped from 78 to 51 km/hr.  In addition to the data I know from my own behavior and talking to people that such a sign does modify behavior.  I do have some questions of Staff, (more…)

July 6 Council: reports of interest to my readers

There are several items on the agenda for July 6th Council  which will be of interest to Ward 5 and others. The agenda has just been posted and I have not had time to read the reports yet but I want to alert my readers to the agenda and some of the items.  To read them click here for the agenda; scroll down and when you see subjects of interest click on it to read the report.  Items of interest include:  cell phone tower on 18th SDRD east of 400;traffic calming on Kingscross Drive; draft Council resolution regarding amendments to the election act.  Also as indicated on the agenda there will be report regarding relocating the Township offices but at time of writing the report is not yet posted.

16th SDRD Resurfacing

Council agenda on June 22 includes a report covering an award of business for the resurfacing of 16th SDRD from Jane to Dufferin.  For those who travel on this road regularly this project is long overdue.  The $379,000 project is included in the 2015 Budget.

GTA West–public meeting

A series of meetings are being held as part of stage 2 of the Environmental Assessment for the new GTA west corridor.  To my readers I apologize for my last minute post about these meetings (the one focussing on the eastern end of the corridor i.e. just south of King is on Thursday, June 18) but even if you don’t attend you can still submit comments.  Of interest, here is the recently released map with the confirmed limits of the Focused Analysis Area.

As I have posted earlier I do not like the plan, as presented:  it is dominantly another new road, it cuts through valuable natural heritage and agricultural lands, the analysis and plan for the traffic spilling off the new corridor (either onto congested 400) or into King at the interchanges is not robust.

King Road Traffic in King City

June 8th Council heard a presentation by York Region Traffic Services about King City traffic, specifically on King Road.  As I indicated in earlier post, both Councillor Mortelliti and myself have had a couple meetings with YR to express our concerns about volume and speed of traffic in King City; as a result of those meetings traffic was monitored and some changes are recommended.  Most significant is the recommendation to be made to YR Council to reduce speed between Warren Rd to Dufferin from 70 to 60 km.  And, a flasher will be installed in the school zone which will function during active school hours.

I am disappointed that a reduction in speed between cemetery to Keele (currently 50) is not being recommended.  Recent speed monitoring indicates that average speed is 60 which is within the “band” of anticipated speed given that speed limit is 50.  Per YR usual operating guidelines/policies this zone,which is considered a “transition zone,” would usually have a speed limit of 60; but based on feedback from earlier meetings this is not being proposed.  I anticipate that as the developments on King Road are actually built (i.e. residential around Museum, Magna, occupation of former Holy Name school)  this zone will no longer be transitional.

King Road Traffic

A common concern (and often a complaint) is the traffic on King Road in King City:  the volume and the speed.  Hence I believe that a report at Council on Monday June 8 will interest many people.  At the meeting there will be a deputation by the York Region Manager of Corridor Control & Safety, Roads & Traffic Operations.  It will be an opportunity to understand the Region’s strategy for managing the traffic given the growth, the commuter traffic, the existence of schools on King Road and our desire to make King City a walkable community.  There will be an opportunity for the public to make comments.

Both Councillor Mortelliti and myself have met informally with the Manager a couple times to review what we are hearing from constituents and what we want to see; as we talked we realized that it would be valuable for the public to hear what we were learning about how the Region approaches this; at same time, YR was interested to hear what we were saying.  As indicated in the Staff Report, this meeting/event is not the end point of the effort to improve the situation; Council will likely be giving direction to Staff after hearing the deputation and hearing from the public.

Transportation Master Plan

Council provided direction to Staff about the Transportation Master Plan presented at last meeting.  As there were a couple issues  (either not enough clarity or lack of agreement) the Plan was not approved; at Council on June 8th some revisions are being presented There is more clarity on what it means when  a road is identified as a collector road; rather than being a “flag” of more traffic to come it is really a much needed indicator of the need for that road to be given priority for winter maintenance, the need to consider sidewalks & bike lanes for it, the need to assess traffic calming. Staff is specifically recommending the uploading of 2 roads to Region and are seeking Council agreement to initiate discussions.  As discussed at the 5/28 Council meeting, approving this strategy is critical to enable good financial planning (short and long term capital budgets) land and very importantly to include approving costs in our new development charges.

Transportation Master Plan

As I indicated earlier, the Transportation Masterplan is on the agenda for May 25.  Here is the very brief report which essentially identifies next steps and how insights from the work done to date will be used in planning for capital budget, the Development Charge by-law; in addition it identifies discussions with York Region for uploading roads.  To read the masterplan please click here.  For those interested in this initiative I urge you to attend Council in time to hear the presentation from the consultant.  I anticipate that the presentation will be shortly after 6 PM.