www.gta-west.com/ www.gta-west.com/images/6...-FINAL.JPG from the KW Record Province looks at ways out of Guelph DEIRDRE HEALEY 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 development occurs." 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 highway. 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."