Transportation

Province Considers Belt-Loosening to Address Obesity

By RTH Staff
Published June 11, 2010

A story in this week's Inside Halton reports that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is considering widening Hwy 401 by two or three lanes in each direction through Halton Region to alleviate traffic congestion.

Because we know that works.

Live and don't learn, that's the MTO.

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By J Morse (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2010 at 13:23:23

The opposite is necessary. Personal vehicle use needs to be DIScouraged. Aren't we humans supposed to be getting smarter?

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By UrbanRenaissance (registered) | Posted June 11, 2010 at 13:41:21

Aren't we humans supposed to be getting smarter?

Politicans seem to be dragging the average down...

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2010 at 15:00:54

Personal vehicle use needs to be DIScouraged.

Eep. I'm a bike ridin', train takin', semi-urban livin', LRT lovin, fan of alternate transport. But even to me, those sound like fightin' words. I can't imagine the hackles they raise amidst the far-flug suburbanites.

Is discouraging the use of personal vehicles just another way of saying "encouraging the use of mass transit"? Or do you think that the stick is of more use than the carrot?

Comment edited by moylek on 2010-06-11 14:01:54

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By frank (registered) | Posted June 11, 2010 at 15:04:07

Kenneth you got it right... optics can win(or lose) a fight!

Comment edited by frank on 2010-06-11 14:04:49

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By J Morse (anonymous) | Posted June 11, 2010 at 16:21:23

Why does this have to be framed as a confrontation?

I drive, walk, bike, and love transit, but find driving far too easy. Furthermore, car use may have been a choice, but now for most it's a dependence. Most of us are not fortunate enough to have jobs that allow us to choose alternatives easily. Now, because car use is so deeply built into our culture, many who can choose would still drive.

Jumping alone into a ready vehicle and driving long distances every day needs to become difficult.

It's not either the stick or carrot approach, it's both. This is our current transportation funding model. It's just that the harmful mode is being actively encouraged, while the non-destructive alternatives receive too little support.

The most important shifts in human activity probably won't just happen by themselves. It requires regulation. I hate to say it, but we (or those we elect) aren't always mature enough to make wise decisions. Look at the reductions in smoking, drunk driving, and billions of plastic bags. These are positive results of the stick, as you put it, being put to good use.

Bring on the free market will fix everything arse-hole comments! hehe

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By valour (registered) - website | Posted June 11, 2010 at 23:24:19

You forgot to mention this from the article:

However, the expansion from Regional Road 25 to Trafalgar Road might not be reserved for cars. The MTO is also considering the addition of bus bypass shoulders and/or high-occupancy vehicle lanes, more commuter parking lots and accommodations for bike lanes across the highway.

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By J Morse (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2010 at 07:50:12

@ valour:

the suggestion that there "might" be special lanes, etc. demonstrates upside down priorities. If the plan was to 'add a bus lane' instead of 'lanes that might be bus lanes' it would be a welcome reversal of priorities.

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By valour (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2010 at 13:41:27

Very true J Morse, but if you read the article, the transit lanes, bike paths AND the widening of the 401 are ALL apparently "considerations" right now.

The area is the fastest growing area in the GTA http://www.milton.ca/, and they need roads, highways and public transit. They are apparently "considering the options" which INCLUDES the addition of bus bypass shoulders and/or high-occupancy vehicle lanes, more commuter parking lots and accommodations for bike lanes across the highway.

I am not saying we should pave the world and turn everything into huge parking lots. And I am not saying that we shouldn't be concerned with a 12 lane super highway tearing through what was only fairly recently productive farmland. I am just saying that by reading through the headline and the posts that follow it, you are getting a very skewed version of the actual article.

What would the responses to the post be if it read as follows.

Province considers new transportation model for future GTA commuters.

A story in this week's Inside Halton reports that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is considering a new transportation model for future GTA commuters. The proposed transportation plan includes the addition of bus bypass shoulders and/or high-occupancy vehicle lanes, more commuter parking lots, accommodations for bike lanes across the highway as well as expanded GO service. These ideas are being considered are in addition to the proposed widening of Hwy 401 by two or three lanes in each direction through Halton Region to alleviate traffic congestion.

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By J Morse (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2010 at 17:00:47

The phrasing is important, but the details more so. Your suggested article would suit me far better if "in addition to" was replaced with "instead of". Then it would be closer to a new transportation model, rather than one with some minimal compromises.

The problems we have will expand as long as the same (or similar) solutions are always applied. The regions growth is being supported by methods that have proven to be mistakes. What did Einstein say was the definition of insanity?

More lanes = more cars. We need to question WHY this is 'needed'. What would happen if car use wasn't expected when we grow our communities. Surely people got by before the automobile.

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By A Smith (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2010 at 17:03:44

Business invest based on profits. If an item is in high demand, they will build more, just as long as it costs less to build then they can sell it for. If toll operators could make a profit creating more lanes for people to use, they would do that as well, so why is the government giving away road use for free? They don't give away beer, or internet, or even water, but roads must be free? Why?

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By J Morse (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2010 at 17:49:56

This is a rare occasion when we agree A Smith. As much as I would be affected, tolls are the way to go.

Our roads are mostly free to use, but they obviously cost very much. Not just capital to build and maintain, but also the environmental and health risks, all paid for taxpayers who may never use them. It's time for those using and profiting from our investment to pay the true cost of our road system. This may not be a magical solution, but it's a big step in the right direction.

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By adam2 (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2010 at 23:50:06

Right now, go-train commuters rationale goes as follows - driving takes just as long (or longer) than taking the go-train. But soon it will be "oooh, I can take the new and improved highway and get to work 20 minutes faster!"

Build the extra lanes and they'll fill up with cars.

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By frank (registered) | Posted June 14, 2010 at 08:10:20

I don't believe the "stick" or the "carrot" is right on their own. It would be a combination of the two that promotes a smooth change from one thought process to the other...

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted June 14, 2010 at 11:00:31

I understand the importance of personal vehicles and have posted about my belief the car is essential for our current economy. BUT we have enough roads and should not be building more lanes on already congested roadways. Drive past Kitchener on the 401 at ~5PM. The traffic congestion getting OUT of KW/Cambridge is ridiculous. If we take the "add more lanes" approach in Halton, it won't be long before the Kitchener to Halton stretch is widened and then the London to Kitchener stretch, etc, etc, etc… This province needs to begin addressing the future of transportation. More roads allowing for more cars is not the way. We need a Southern Ontario mass transit strategy and we can't even get a GTA mass transit strategy (at least not one that isn't at constant risk of having its budget slashed). If you could get on a train in KW or Hamilton, Pickering or wherever along the 401, every half hour (or even hour) for 18 hours a day to get to Toronto we wouldn't need more roads.

We have enough roads, we have enough cars… It is time for some real solutions. Start by getting trains running on a regular all day schedule on the lines we have… this should have been done decades ago. Then eventually, TRUE multi-regional transit is going to have to happen, better now than later (These things never go down in price). This is where the billions of dollars of bail out money should have gone, this is where a hefty portion of the billions of dollars of stimulus money should have gone. Instead we dumped money into the poorest performers of an out-dated industry and (from the stimulus spending posters I have seen) roads for their product.

For shame.

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