GrowthOn the BusesTraffic Management

Province announces new big highway to Kitchener.

This week, the Province of Ontario announced plans to build a new 4 lane highway between Guelph and Kitchener.

“Better roads will improve safety, create jobs, encourage economic growth and keep this community strong.” says Transportation Minster Donna Cansfield.

What of all the talk about improved public transit? I thought we were trying to reduce the number of single driver vehicles on the road. Will this encourage more people to drive a car to Kitchener?

City of Guelph Councillor Mike Salisbury had this to say about the provincial announcement:

“Ironically, while the Ontario government is committed to supporting improved transit system to run through the urban cores of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo… the more than 21,000 commuters who travel daily between Kitchener and Guelph will be encouraged to drive their cars.

The reduction of personal vehicle use for commuting is not only a local or regional issue…it is a global issue. Effective, efficient and affordable public transportation is one of the easiest and most effective tools we have to improve this serious problem. Improved transit services within the Tri-cities area and to the Greater Toronto Area (including more frequent service, access to a range of destinations, and reduced travel times) would not only increase ridership and improve highway congestion, it is a key ingredient in an improved quality of life and hence an improvement in our competitive advantage and ability to attract investment and businesses.

Regional planning studies conducted over the last few years have clearly stated that continuing with road expansions alone is not a realistic or affordable option to manage growth. Instead, aggressive efforts need to be made to pursue land use and transportation policies that will promote public transit, reurbanization and greater transportation choice.

Rapid Transit is identified in the new Provincial Places to Grow Growth Plan, as one of the key catalysts to support downtown core revitalization and control urban sprawl in the Region. The city of Guelph must continue to promote and lobby the provincial government for an effective inter-regional transit system linking the entire Tri-Cities Region to the Greater Toronto Area, the City of Brantford and the City of Hamilton.”

0 thoughts on “Province announces new big highway to Kitchener.

  1. This really seems like a an idea who’s time has long passed. Who will be able to afford the gas by the time this road is completed?

    The Region of Waterloo is currently holding public workshops on a proposed Rapid Transit System for the area. Surely this is a far wiser strategy that more tarmac. I would like our council to push back to the Province and encourage them to get their heads out of the sand.

    “The Region of Waterloo’s proposed Rapid Transit Initiative will link the employment, residential and commercial areas of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, provide enhanced transit throughout the Region, and help us boost our Region’s economy, competitiveness and prosperity over the next 30 years.”

    More on Waterloo Regions initiative can be found at http://transitea.region.waterloo.on.ca/.

  2. I have commuted to Waterloo from Guelph for the past five years, mostly using Highway 7. The route is consistently busy, but consistently rolls along. I can’t think of a time when I’ve been late for work based on a back-up on this stretch. An improved transit link is a much better use of taxpayers dollars. Anyone reading this who does the same commute should consider using carpoolzone, an online ride matching tool. Through this resource, I have saved countless dollars and emissions from carpooling, and met over 25 great people, with only a couple of “duds” who were easy to cast off.
    No need for a highway expansion here – let’s instead put more bums in fewer cars and on well-scheduled transit.

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