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York Region Transit–what do you want?

Monday April 12 4PM-8PM York Region Transit (YRT) will be in the Council Chambers waiting to hear from you.  This is your chance to talk face to face to tell the planners what kind of bus service you want to see.  And, if you have any feedback about the current service, that is also welcomed.  I will be asking them what YRT is doing to prepare for the expansion of GO train service (i.e. all day train service both ways.)  I will be saying that YRT needs to be providing a service that will allow people to access the train service without parking at the GO train station.  I will be asking for plans to allow people across the Township to connect with the VIVA bus service on Yonge.  It will be more effective if I am not the only one communicating this.  Please drop in and have your say!

Protect the Corridor: request on GTA West

On 2/22 Council agenda there is a Staff report recommending that we request the Province to resume and complete the environmental assessment on the GTA West Corridor.   (Recall that it was suspended in mid December by Minister Del Duca.) This is  consistent with the Council decision 8/24/15 to support the Corridor with some caveats.   I do not support building this new highway as I am skeptical of it being a solution to the stated problem (congestion) and I believe there are better alternatives which will have less impact on critical natural heritage features.  But, even so,  I am supportive of asking the Province to complete the EA so that there is definition of the corridor and that the latter be protected.

It is important to think long term, very long term, when talking about highways.  As no one’s forecasts about traffic volume and technology is very accurate, and government policies change, it is a good (more…)

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…)