March 23, 2016 · 0 Comments
It is regrettable that King council voted to urge the provincial government to continue the Environmental Assessment process concerning the proposed GTA West highway corridor. This was despite the fact that the Province seems to be re-evaluating its options by ceasing action on this project for the foreseeable future.
All indications are that the postponement will lead to the cancellation of the highway. The worry is that council’s actions will re-activate pressure to one day build this road, the need for which has never been proven. Completing an Environmental Assessment prior to a Needs Assessment is akin to “putting the cart before the horse.”
Many people, within and outside of King Township, are opposed to this highway for the simple reason that it will result in the destruction of ecologically sensitive green space while enabling construction that represents out of date thinking encouraging sprawl.
By voting as they did council in essence is saying that it is okay to build this highway as long as it is south of the King-Vaughan boundary. This from a group of people who consider themselves “green.”
With a conservative price tag of $4 billion, this highway, if built, would need to be constructed on an east-west route that is not close to an existing east-west highway as all indications are that it would be a toll road.
King Township is a scant 12 kilometres from its northern boundary at Highway 9 to its southern boundary just south of the King Road.
In the event the present GTA West corridor is lost to future development, it is unlikely that the government would move the GTA West highway further north into King. It would adversely affect the protected Oak Ridges Moraine and be so close to Highway 9 as to render it even more redundant.
I appreciate the fact that council wishes to alleviate the traffic on the King Road but the construction of a toll road a few kilometres south of King is not the answer. It will drive more traffic into King, not less.