Why Ontario dealers want Ford’s questionable Highway 413 project to continue


Research shows more highways don’t reduce congestion, they bring more cars

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The premier of Ontario is aiming for re-election next year on, among other things, more roads. Highways everywhere, because Ontario needs more roadways. He ignores the criticisms of which surveys revealed the billions that would go to those deeply linked to the provincial Conservative party; the controversial environmental impact on some of the province’s most important wetlands, farmlands and waterways; as well as the people who live in the areas that will be crushed in its quest to dominate the asphalt.

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“The highways are congested everywhere. It doesn’t matter what the 400 series highway you take, whether it’s the 401, which looks like a parking lot, or the 403 and so on, ”he said. [in this TorStar publication ]. “We need more people to get from point A to point B much faster than they can. [sic] spend time with their families and we can move goods from point A to point B.

Although the federal government put the brakes on to conduct an environmental assessment before the province could fall asleep on the Highway 413 project, Ford urged the court to go there (or, “shovel in the ground” , for being as familiar as Doug) is hardly surprising. “Eight of Ontario’s most powerful real estate developers own thousands of acres of prime real estate near the proposed route of the controversial Highway 413, according to a National Observer / Torstar survey. Four of the developers are linked to the Progressive Conservative government of Doug Ford through party officials and former Conservative politicians now acting as registered lobbyists, ”de the article .

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  1. Highway 413: For people, or just for some?

    Highway 413: For people, or just for some?

  2. (Not so) Open Road: ON Extension of Highway 427 remains unused due to legal battles

    (Not so) Open Road: ON Extension of Highway 427 remains unused due to legal battles

Another favorite project he’s put jets on is the Bradford Bypass, a 16.2-kilometer section that would link highways 400 and 404. While the province touts the “much faster mode” that drivers can take advantage of by using the proposed route, they conveniently left out the tidy that bulldozers would destroy homes north of Toronto. What would be saved? A golf course. Why is this interesting? Because it “belongs in co-ownership to the father of Progressive Conservative MP Stan Cho, who in June became Associate Minister of Transport.” Read more here . For a prime minister who ran on a transparency platform, his proposed road calculation (as numerous , numerous other projects) is a murky and murky mess.

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Doug Ford’s government has failed on so many things – the minimum wage hike he found so odious in 2018? It’s conveniently back now because it’s “for the people (who are about to vote)” – what else can we believe? It’s common for every new government to whine and whine about the mess left by the outgoing party, but Ford even lied about it. Declaring he had ended up with the sack of a $ 15 billion deficit from the outgoing Liberals, the province’s financial watchdog has it’s half that . This has happened many times, and it is difficult to separate fact from fiction when it comes to permanently and irreparably destroying parts of our province with more and more highways.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford on July 26, 2021.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford on July 26, 2021. Photo by Jean Levac /Citizen of Ottawa

The biggest problem, however, is one that this government is ignoring (hard to believe) or unwilling to recognize: you can’t get out of traffic congestion. The concept is called induced demand, which is used by economists when the increased supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more, ”explains Wired . A to study through Matthew Turner from the University of Toronto and Gilles Duranton from the University of Pennsylvania found something that has held true over decades and decades: “[n]New roads will create new drivers, which will keep the traffic intensity the same.

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This is of course the reason why an organization like the Trillium Automotive Dealers Association (TADA) is pushing for the Ford government to build more roads. Despite a pandemic that has wiped out the auto industry with global shortages and idling factories, they fully agree with the following recommendations, as stated in Automotive News Canada:

  1. Construction of Highway 413, spanning Highway 400 to the Highway 401/407 interchange in Milton to relieve traffic congestion on Highway 401, one of the busiest highways in North America, and link five 400 series highways.
  2. Construction of the Mid-Peninsula Highway, connecting Hamilton to the Peace Bridge border crossing in Fort Erie. QEW is approaching full capacity based on a 2017 Niagara Region Transportation Master Plan.
  3. Twinning of the Peace Bridge border crossing in Fort Erie.
  4. Extension of Highway 406 from Niagara to Port Colborne.

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Why wouldn’t they be? We know from this long-term study that new roads create new drivers, who in turn will buy many more cars. More cars and more drivers, even as the world is on fire.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford at the unveiling of a new border sign titled
Ontario Premier Doug Ford at the unveiling of a new border sign titled “Open for Business” in November 2018. Government of Ontario Photo

If the COVID pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we should be prepared to become much more nimble in our approach to challenges, especially those that can pivot and change. Why are we moving forward with old answers to current problems? The congestion is real; building more roads will not solve this. Why do we ignore what has happened in the past two years, and why are we not innovative instead of thinking? The workplace is forever changed , and much of the congestion on these roads comes from commuters. Many have shifted from public transit to private cars as the pandemic has progressed, but in the long run those costs will prove to be onerous for many.

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Consider the argument that many workers, after almost two years, will want to continue working from home. Not all of them, but a lot – or at least on a hybrid model. Every change we make to the equation has a direct impact on the congestion on our roads. If employers become inflexible, they will lose key employees. People have found that they can accomplish a lot more by not sitting in traffic for two hours a day. John Michael McGrath reflects on the changing of the guard in this TVO column . “ [A] According to a survey conducted for Future Forum 75 percent of executives want to return to the office three or more days a week, while only 34 percent of their employees do. Only 17 percent of workers want to return to work entirely in the office, while 44 percent of their bosses do. These numbers indicate a major change in the way we work. Why do we have all this technology, if not to have a better quality of life?

The short-term gain is the re-election of people who have demonstrated where their allegiances lie – and that is not with us. The long-term permanent loss concerns the parts of Ontario that have been deemed worthy of protection for a reason: we will never get them back, and the gains from their loss will dissipate like smoke.

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