Saturday, August 4, 2007

Liberals Continue to Expand Highways

I read in the Ottawa Sun this morning that Dalton McGuinty wants us to spend $104 million on expanding highway 174 to four lanes from two from Orleans to Rockland.

…the premier said the widening would go a long way to improving access to the road and will make the Queensway safer and less congested. McGuinty is also investing almost $50 million to widen Hwy. 417 from two to four lanes from the Queensway to west of Jinkinson Rd. and widening the Queensway from four to eight lanes from Hwy. 416 to Eagleson Rd.

Yesterday’s announcement comes four days after Conservative Leader John Tory was in town and criticized McGuinty for not doing enough to relieve traffic congestion in Ottawa.

I find it so curious that the Liberals and Conservatives like to proclaim how green they are yet they continue to promote 1950’s style thinking that encourages an ever expanding road network.

It is clear that you cannot build your way out of congestion. This has been documented time and time again. No where is the adage more true that “if you build it, they will come” than with highway expansion.

We know that we must begin to plan for the post carbon era as we are confronted with dwindling oil and gas reserves. We know that individual automobile transportation is the least efficient way to move people. Yet, in the face of this reality, all of the other political parties continue to promote highway expansion.

If we want a world class efficient transportation infrastructure, we need to stop investing in highway expansion that is designed to move automobiles, and refocus our efforts on mass transit that is designed to move people where they want to go, when they want to go there.

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