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Halton-Peel Freeway (MTO/Region of Peel, Proposal)

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Paolo

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so this halton / peel freeway, to me this sounds like it will replace the current provincial highway 7 in georgetown and brampton? or they will build a complete new highway just to the north of it where some farm land exists? thats kinda out of the way, no one really lives there why build a highway to no where?
 

unimaginative2

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I agree, Brampton is basically a city of 500,000 with the highway and transit infrastructure of a city of 200,000 and plans for 800,000... It really needs to slow down population growth dramatically if you ask me. 3 GO stations aren't going to serve a city of 800,000 either, that's just ridiculous, no matter how good the service is. The portion of Brampton's population that works Downtown Toronto is relatively small too. Probably most of the new residents that would live in West Brampton would work in Meadowvale, Airport Corporate Centre, Milton and the new employment around the 401. For the development in Gore/Springdale, most people would work in Vaughan, ACC and other employment around Pearson and Bramalea. Brampton is the GTA municipality with the most blue collar workers, so not that many people will commute to DT Toronto (relatively easy to connect with transit). Brampton also has fewer jobs than workers, unlike Mississauga, Markham and Vaughan, so a lot of residents have to commute to other suburbs/outer Toronto for work.
Your West Brampton point is particularly interesting. This suggests that regional rail service on the Orangeville rail line could actually be quite useful through Western Brampton directly down to Meadowvale and, ideally, MCC. I agree that three regional rail stations will not cut it for a city this size.

Paolo, I'm not 100% sure what you mean, but this is a north-south highway along the western edge of Brampton. It may eventually connect to a future east-west highway on the northern edge of Brampton.
 

unimaginative2

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Here's the relevant map concerning the route study area for the GTA west corridor: http://www.gta-west.com/pdf/6-11-12/5%20-%20Preliminary_Route_Planning_LARGE_June52012%2011X17.pdf

The proposed corridor would run both North and East of Brampton connecting to the 401-407 interchange.
Thanks for posting that map. Looking at it, I really can't see how the GTA West segment is a project that we need to build. The 407 already serves the role of bypassing the 401 and handling trips from Brampton to York Region, and it's not very congested. The GTA West highway skirts the edge of the greenbelt, exactly where we don't want to be encouraging development. That project just doesn't make sense to me.
 

Platform 27

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Here's the relevant map concerning the route study area for the GTA west corridor: http://www.gta-west.com/pdf/6-11-12/5%20-%20Preliminary_Route_Planning_LARGE_June52012%2011X17.pdf

The proposed corridor would run both North and East of Brampton connecting to the 401-407 interchange.
There's a bit of a muddled tale how two separate highway proposals have been stitched together, so I think it's natural there's some confusion. As I understand it, here's a recap of the history on this over the past few years:

The province's initial assumption was that the GTA West corridor (separate project, has its own thread here) would run east-west across the top of Brampton and Georgetown, punch through the escarpment, and head on for the north side of Guelph and potentially onwards to Kitchener.

With that in the background, Halton and Peel launched a joint study on what would be a north-south highway that would potentially connect with the GTA West route in a 'T', primarily as a means of servicing new sprawly subdivisions Brampton is planning for its west side. Although it doesn't sound like the province was really thinking much about it at the time, the hope on the part of Halton and Peel appears to have been that once the study was done they could hand the prelim work over to the province and they'd happily run with it as a new provincially-funded 400 out of the goodness of their hearts. If that didn't pan out, the idea of building it themselves a la the Linc in Hamilton seems to have been Plan 'B'.

What wasn't foreseen was that that partway through the province's study it concluded that the westernmost end of GTA West to Guelph was unjustifiable for the next few decades. The province redirected its planning for a crescent-shaped highway that would arc back to the 401. After a bit of futzing about with various unpopular options that swooped in through northwest Milton, GTA West seems to now be all-but-confirmed as landing on an alignment that overlaps the Halton-Peel corridor and basically replaces it.

The province seems to really be focused on designing the GTA West as a fast, uncongested route intended to first and foremost keep freight moving, while the Halton-Peel study seemed to assume a conventional local-traffic-friendly expressway that would support residential demand and let them zone for strips of office parks (sorry, "premium employment lands") along it. As they move further into design and start contemplating questions like how frequent the interchanges are spaced and whether development will be anticipated to hug it on both sides we might see some tension between those two goals.

Finally, there's no money set aside for anything yet, and some in Brampton would really like the north-south leg ASAP to move forward with expansion, so you could maybe see a situation where the municipalities clamour hard to phase the GTA West project with the bit they really want coming first, or maybe even make rumblings about fronting the money to get it started themselves.
 

unimaginative2

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Thanks for that great recap, Platform 27.

I guess the segment of the GTA West from Georgetown to Guelph was likely killed by the environmental impact of the escarpment crossing. I don't really get the argument about the need for a fast, uncongested freight route. We already have one: highway 407. The only reason that many trucks stay on the 401 is that they don't want to pay the toll. Assuming that this new highway will be tolled as well--and it should be--I don't think very many trucks would benefit. The Halton-Peel expressway might have some justification, though I'd certainly rather spend the money on regional rail!
 

dunkalunk

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It appears so. I was never a fan of that stretch of proposed freeway as there is a perfectly good rail corridor that currently operates "dark" with barely any service that could just as well be better utilized by electrified passenger rail.
 
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unimaginative2

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Widening the 401 is a lot easier than building a new escarpment crossing, which would face massive environmental opposition and everyone up to UNESCO would have something to say. With the greenbelt in place, I don't really think that much widening is needed between Milton and Cambridge. It may slow down slightly in rush hour, but it's far from unmanageable. I'd much rather see the money spent on improved rail service and new GO service to Cambridge.
 

Transportfan

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I belive the EA notes that as an alternate, they are going to widen the 401 instead.
Stupid idea. How much can you widen a rural freeway? Their should be an alternative route, even if just for better access to Georgetown and north Brampton. As for the escarpment, there should be a suitable gap where a new highway could cross it, as the 401 does.
 

Wrenkin

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Stupid idea. How much can you widen a rural freeway? Their should be an alternative route, even if just for better access to Georgetown and north Brampton. As for the escarpment, there should be a suitable gap where a new highway could cross it, as the 401 does.
The 401 gets up to about 18 lanes in the city. If the area is so rural, what's stopping it from getting wider? Also, you may have picked up re the UNESCO reference that it's not just about finding a literal gap in the escarpment.
 

gweed123

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Widening the 401 is a lot easier than building a new escarpment crossing, which would face massive environmental opposition and everyone up to UNESCO would have something to say. With the greenbelt in place, I don't really think that much widening is needed between Milton and Cambridge. It may slow down slightly in rush hour, but it's far from unmanageable. I'd much rather see the money spent on improved rail service and new GO service to Cambridge.
But there are some places along the Escarpment where the "natural beauty" has been pretty ravaged already though. There's a pretty significant quarry just south of Acton, and another even bigger one just northwest of Milton. If a new cut is to be built anywhere, I think it should be immediately adjacent to one of those two spots.

Yes, there will still be an environmental impact associated with it, but is there really that much difference between building a new highway next to a quarry and widening an existing highway into adjacent farm/wood lands? Both can really just be seen as enlargements of existing man-made obstructions in the natural landscape.
 

waterloowarrior

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The cut in the Escarpment called the "Dufferin Gap" in the quarry northwest of Milton was actually one of the major reasons the Niagara Escarpment Plan came to being... although there have been many approved in the Escarpment, two major quarry applications were recently denied so the tide may be turning. There is a major difference - quarries can be rehabilitated to natural areas. Many conservation areas are former pits/quarries, so is part of the Royal Botanical Gardens.
 

DHLawrence85

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Widening the 401 is a lot easier than building a new escarpment crossing, which would face massive environmental opposition and everyone up to UNESCO would have something to say. With the greenbelt in place, I don't really think that much widening is needed between Milton and Cambridge. It may slow down slightly in rush hour, but it's far from unmanageable. I'd much rather see the money spent on improved rail service and new GO service to Cambridge.
It can get congested around Hespeler Road in evening rush hour, but in the morning there are no real problems until you get to James Snow. Reviving passenger rail to Cambridge is long overdue.
 
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