from the KW Record
Province looks at ways out of Guelph
GUELPH (Feb 9, 2007)
Guelph commuters could someday have a new route to Toronto.
The province has cracked open a project to improve transportation
between northeast Guelph and Toronto.
The Ministry of Transportation announced its plans -- known as the GTA
west corridor -- to examine the stretch of land from Highway 6 in
Guelph to Highway 400 with the aim of finding alternative ways to move
more people and goods across the area.
About 12 municipalities were informed of the ministry's plans in
January 2006. Only now has the project started to move forward. The
result could be another 400 series highway, a rail system or an
expansion of current highways.
But Will MacKenzie, a ministry spokesperson, said it will be at least
another two years before any actual recommendations are made.
MacKenzie said the project is one of three in southern Ontario looking
at transportation needs over the next 25 to 30 years.
"If the study determines a new highway will be needed, we would have
to work with the municipalities to have that land protected from
development. You have to have the plans in place before the
Rajan Philips, the City of Guelph's transportation planning engineer,
said the northeast part of Guelph is an area of anticipated future
growth. Philips, who sits on the municipal advisory group for the
project, said he would something done to decrease the truck traffic
passing through Guelph.
Others favour a rail system since the corridor is within a protected
area of green space and farmland. Guelph. Coun. Lise Burcher argues
that rail would prevent the urban sprawl that comes with a 400 series
Harry Cummings, a University of Guelph professor of rural planning and
development, said all other modes of transit should be looked at
before building another highway.
"Making use of existing infrastructure is efficient, less damaging and
requires less consumption of land."