Re: Region can't afford to stop highway projects: Partington

Re: Region can't afford to stop highway projects: Partington
December 3, 2003 edition.

I find some of Peter Partington's statements supporting the continued push
for the construction of the Mid Peninsula Highway (MPH) perplexing.

Mr. Partington states that Ontario and Niagara can't afford to put a halt
on highway projects. In regards to the MPH, the more pressing question is
can we afford to go forward with this flawed, poorly planned highway?

Furthermore, can we afford the increased health care costs resulting from
airborne particulate matter? Can we afford the tolls? Does the
questionable usage of a toll road substantiate the expense we as taxpayers
will incur? What are the costs municipalities will incur to service the
highway and how will these impact local taxes? Beyond the murky
references proffered to date, what is the anticipated economic return and
who will benefit? How will a road, intended to whisk traffic past Niagara
to the Greater Toronto area, benefit the Niagara region?

Before emphatically stating that the highway must be built, these and
other burning questions need to be answered.

Mr. Partington also states that better public transit and expanding
Ontario's highway network do not have to be exclusive initiatives." I
agree, they should not be considered in isolation and this has been one of
the biggest concerns for those opposed to the MPH . The highway was
conceptualized in isolation with no consideration to the actual needs of
Southern Ontario nor alternate methods of resolving our transportation

Finally, to support the need to build the MPH, Mr. Partington states that
"we have to have a system for what we are now, a society dependent on
moving goods and people with trucks and cars." Thirty years ago, we were
not a society so dependent on trucks and automobiles. Furthermore, the
MPH is supposedly the answer to addressing transportation needs for a
thirty-year horizon. It is not an immediate solution.

Now is not the time to stagnate in our thought process. We need vision
for Niagara and Southern Ontario as a whole. The time is right to think
about the future - not remain entrenched in our current habits.

Susan McMaster
Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment

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