Toronto, ON – The Ministry of Transportation announcement to place the GTA West Highway project on hold is welcome news. Investing in a redundant mega-highway over much needed transit is out of step with the Ontario government’s commitment to tackle climate change and create livable cities.
The proposed route of the GTA West Highway – also known as Highway 413 – cuts through local farms, forests and rivers, as well as a portion of the Greenbelt. If built, it would encourage more car use, enable further sprawl and contribute to traffic congestion in the GTHA that damages the economy, our health and quality of life. Because of its high risks, the citizen and community movement to stop the 413 is growing. Transportation Minister Del Duca is doing the right thing by taking a second look at the need for this highway.
In order to make a meaningful dent on carbon emissions, the province’s future transportation infrastructure investments, including public transit and roads, needs to be aligned with key employment and urban growth centres. Another highway on the fringe of the GTHA would add to Ontario’s emissions, and is inconsistent with sustainable growth. Investing the estimated $4 billion cost for this highway in public transit will get more people moving across the region and is the healthier choice for the environment.
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