Monday, January 10, 2005

Ring Fixation Risks Provincial Support

Brampton and Vaughan vie for a Highway 427 extension to service their industries. In the Niagara and Guelph/Kitchener regions, concerted lobbying has brought new 400-series roads to the planning stage. Sarnia quietly promotes a major upgrade of Highway 40; what is good for the Chatham and Wallaceburg areas must be "great" for Sarnia. New crossings at Bufallo, Sarnia and Windsor spell carnage through south London; yet, the city opts out of any region-based initiative and snubs benefits of a 403 westward extension. Unlike an expressway ring, it gives 400-series outlets to Richmond and Adelaide and other major roads shared by London and Middlesex.

Albert Einstein said, "Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them." London is not an island and should not be obsessed with drawing a ring around itself. Fom the get-go, promotion of an in-city-out-of-city expressway ring begged regional and provincial players.
The whole area needs population growth to produce the critical mass enabling London status as a regional cultural, educational and medical center. Only broad public agitation overcomes political denial of competitive yet collaborative regionalism.

Across the Southwest we need a strong movement to push for integrated transportation and economic growth planning. Incumbents have the choice of accepting such reality now -or facing rebuff down the road.
In London Free Press & South London Reporter in spring of 2002

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