TORONTO – Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) has written a letter to Ontario’s Ministry of Environment supporting the provincial government’s proposed regulation to streamline the environmental assessment process for the Greater Toronto Area West Transportation Corridor project.
“Without the proposed streamlining of the process it would be the year 2023 or beyond before the preliminary design study for the corridor is completed,” a CUR release summarizing the centre’s submission to the government stated. “It is simply taking too long to bring critical infrastructure improvements such as roads, transit, sewers and water to completion, or to ensure serviced sites in built-up urban and greenfield areas are available to meet the demands of new residents and businesses.”
Metrolinx’s 2041 Regional Transportation Plan for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area predicts that even with all its recommended transit improvements the number of trips by car in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area will increase by 4.4 million daily trips during the peak rush hour by 2041 compared to 2011. Improved 400-series highways like the GTA West stated.
CUR director David Amborski and CUR senior research fellow Frank Clayton co-signed the letter, stating, “It is mindboggling to realize that 12 years have passed since the terms of reference for the GTA West Corridor environmental assessment were set, and that a decade has passed since the Transportation Development Strategy identified the need for improved road capacity in the western GTA beyond optimizing the existing transportation network, widening existing highways and approving Metrolinx’s proposed transit expansion projects.”
Streamlining the approval process would eliminate duplication while maintaining environmental protection, CUR said.