Gentleman, Start Your Engines: Gridlock To Grow in GTA
If you think that traffic on Toronto’s
construction zones streets and highways is a mess now, just wait until 2031. According to a new report, in 25 years the situation on GTA roads will make today’s gridlock look like a pony ride on Centre Island.
The report, commissioned by the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, says that by that time it’s estimated there will be another 100,000 cars on the road in the city of Toronto alone, and 50,000 more commuters on the TTC during the morning rush hour. In the absence of long-term planning across the entire GTA, the net effect will be a disastrous reduction in economic competitiveness and living standards for much of the region.
Particularly hard-hit will be the city of Toronto, which lead report author Richard Soberman says “ can probably kiss its aspirations for employment growth goodbye” as businesses move out to the 905 and beyond to avoid transportation headaches. However, even suburbs such as Mississauga and Brampton are already experiencing traffic, transport, and associated environmental issues that are estimated to cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
The report notes that while the population of the GTA has increased by about 33 percent since 1992, provincial spending on transportation has declined by about 24 percent since then.
Specific recommendations made by the report include:
• Making the first order of business for the new Greater Toronto Transit Authority the creation of a long-term integrated transit plan for the entire region;
• Keeping politicians out of the GTTA so that decisions can be made based on long-term planning rather than short-term political considerations;
• Giving the GTTA control over large parts of federal and provincial funding to ensure that they have the ability to act on their plans;
• Declaring public transit an essential service, and prohibiting strikes and lockouts;
For the full news release, go here.