Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Trade Corridor Needs Champion

Back in Vision 96 days, council cheered the NAFTA Highway concept and asked the province to improve the 401 between London and Windsor. Then they forgot the trade corridor and launched expensive and inconclusive reports on a self-serving commuter ring.
The 1950s design of the Woodstock to London segment never anticipated a 21st Century free trade highway. Now, looking ahead 20 years, a multi-laned 401 through London will not be able to absorb projected truck volumes. Think of a clogged six-lane Wellington Road with a cloverleaf at Commissioners Rd. Relief would be provided by a NAFTA link near the north London boundary giving new outlets for north/south arterial roads such as Adelaide St., Denfield Rd, Hyde Park Rd, and Richmond St.
The city's Transportation Master Plan shows a proposed mid-block corridor paralleling Westdel Bourne (a designated 4-lane arterial) from the 402, north beyond the Thames then easterly near the city boundary to Clarke Rd. There is no evidence of a cost/benefit analysis comparing the ring with the 403 extension and west arterial alternative.
Council believes a peripheral loop avoids gridlock. The key assumptions: future generations in the west end would take a far-out northern ring to jobs in the east end ...and would tolerate their fuel taxes going to inter-city freeway expansions in more dynamic regions, while we bear full brunt of construction and maintenance of a city expressway.
Local councils resist improving London and Middlesex traffic flows while we await a modern-day Adam Beck to champion the obvious solution to Londons future traffic woes.
In South London Reporter in May 2004

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