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More Pavement in King

At March 7 Council York Region presented an update of their Transportation Plan.  You can see here their presentation.   Recommendations are scheduled to be made to York Region Council in June 2016; at that time I believe budget requirements and timelines are identified.  Map on page 17 of 21 shows road projects;  if implemented there is going to be a lot of new pavement across the Region and in King!  Given all the talk about reducing our carbon foot print and greenhouse gases it is somewhat shocking to see these plans to keep the growing traffic moving. To be fair, I need to acknowledge that the Plan also shows a rural bus connection and there are proposals for additional commuter parking lots.  I look forward to hear how King Staff assesses these plans in terms of impact on King.  I will let you know when their report is available.

Of particular concern to me are the road projects in King:  4 lane widening projects on Weston Road south of King Road, King Road west to beyond Hwy 27 and Dufferin south of 15th Sideroad.  The report also shows  15th Sideroad connecting to Hwy 400. The latter is particularly concerning given proximity to the shallow wells in Kingscross and the natural heritage features in the area.

York Region Transportation Plan

At March 7 Council York Region will review the York Region Master Transportation Plan.  As King is very much impacted by regional roads I am very much looking forward to it.  The Region hosted an open house event in December which some King residents attended; from them I have heard about a couple projects of interest to King, including one involving the 15th SDRD.  This presentation is not presenting projects approved; but rather proposals to take to Regional Council in June.

At the following Council meeting (i.e. 3/21), there will be a Staff Report which will address projects and issues identified n the 3/7 presentation. And at the 3/21 meeting deputations from public will be received.

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.”