Top reasons why building Highway 413 is a very bad idea
Highway 413 has been back in the news lately, and for one very important, and very concerning reason. Premier Ford finally relented and cancelled plans to open the Greenbelt to…
“The trucking industry and the driving public would benefit from less gridlock on the 401 and all of us will be richer - financially and environmentally - if Highway 413 is not built and Highway 407 is used properly.
- Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental defence
The redundant Highway 413 would be a four-to-six lane controlled-access highway that connects the existing 401 and the 407 ETR interchange at the Halton-Peel boundary to Highway 400 near Vaughan.
Eunomia Research and Consulting conducted research into alternative methods of reducing 401 congestion without the environmental impacts of building Highway 413. Their findings confirm that the alternative approach of subsidizing the toll for trucks on the 407 would address the key aim of reducing congestion on the 401 while eliminating the risk of negative environmental impacts.
Moving trucks to Highway 407 saves money, saves the Greenbelt from being paved, and reduces traffic for improved journey times.
Moving trucks to the 407 will cost $6B+ less than building Hwy 413
Moving trucks to the 407 will protect 400 acres of Greenbelt & 2000 acres of prime farmland
Improve journey times for truckers by approx. 80 mins
Reduce congestion on Hwy 401 by 12-21,000 trucks/day
The 407 ETR is divided into four zones, each of which is subject to a varying toll. The toll for truckers is as much as $1.87 per km during peak hours, in peak directions, and at peak locations. This additional cost deters commercial use because shippers and receivers are not willing to pay the price, despite the associated time savings that would come from avoiding the congested 401.
The study examines the solution of making the 407 more accessible for truckers by subsidizing the toll. This is an approach that is anticipated to:
The construction of Highway 413 is a divisive issue. The Ontario government proposes that it will reduce travel times, reduce congestion, and create jobs. However, opponents highlight the environmental harm associated with its construction, the available alternative transportation solutions, and the potential to reallocate the multi billion dollar 413 construction and operation budget to other projects.
Considering the arguments for and against Highway 413, from a financial, practical, and environmental perspective, the solution is clear: subsidizing the toll on the 407 ETR is a preferable approach to constructing Highway 413. The solution will achieve the same goal of improving journey times for truckers and alleviating congestion on the 401, all while avoiding the very real negative financial and environmental impacts of the proposed Highway 413.
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Commissioned and edited by ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE, with input from Transport Action Ontario. Based on original research by Lucy Eggleston, Kate Briggs, and Gavin Bailey, Eunomia Research and Consulting.
© Copyright October 2023 by ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE CANADA. Permission is granted to the public to reproduce or disseminate this report, in part, or in whole, free of charge, in any format or medium without requiring specific permission. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE CANADA.