If you support this fine plan, email Paul Sutherland and show him your support!

Don Valley Parkway Proposal - Why A Study Is Needed

“As the GTA develops and millions of people are coming here, we need to have access to the downtown core that will ensure its long-term growth…If cars can’t get into the city, if it becomes so frustrating, if it becomes such a rat race…then they’ll simply go elsewhere. We’re seeing that now.” Paul Sutherland, Toronto Star, March 13/01

In early October my proposal to study the idea of adding new tolled lanes to the Don Valley Parkway will be debated at Council. In addition to maintaining six public north and south lanes on the DVP, the study will look at adding up to two additional lanes, in both directions, from Sheppard to the downtown core.

Traffic congestion in Toronto has reached gridlock proportions. People are angry and fed up. More than 7.5 million people are destined to live in the Greater Toronto Area by 2030. Toronto will likely be home to 1 million more people. The Sheppard Subway took 18 years to come to fruition! At this rate, it could take approximately 100 years to build the transit system network that this City requires (and where will the political will and money will come from?). Don Valley Parkway is the only north/south public highway entering and exiting Toronto.

I strongly believe that the City of Toronto should adopt my motion which calls for a private consortium to explore, at their own cost, the feasibility of constructing additional tolled lanes on the DVP, while maintaining the existing non-tolled lanes.

In a perfect world we would choose to have no air pollution and choose to preserve every bit of greenspace possible. However, we must deal with realities, while trying to preserve and benefit our environment to the best of our abilities. Toronto is the economic centre for all of Canada and as such, we must take a balanced approach to our transportation problems.

My motion for the DVP proposal includes important environmental initiatives such as:

Hydro One released a study showing that 65% of air pollution in Toronto comes up from the Ohio valley! 17% of our pollution is generated from coal-burning plants. The final 17% of our pollution is made up of everything else, including automobile emissions. Cars are not as evil as some would have you believe. We are on the brink of exciting breakthroughs and developments in terms of hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles. Studies show that by 2010 most of us will begin driving vehicles that are more environmentally friendly.

In Ontario the automotive industry represents almost $100 billion annually for our economy, and more than 500,000 of our jobs are directly linked to the auto industry! Government policy should create incentives to help the industry produce pollution free vehicles. That’s exactly what my DVP proposal does - it creates incentives that could help the environment.

An American study showed that if a new express lane is created, 84% of the traffic on neighbouring congested roads will utilize the new express lane, thus freeing up the neighbouring arterial roads. Traffic and TTC bus flow would improve on Don Mills, Leslie, Bayview, Sheppard, Finch and Victoria Park.

The feasibility study that I want conducted may recommend other options, such as adding more lanes without tolling them or widening the DVP from Sheppard to the mid-town area only (and not widen it in the downtown core)

My DVP proposal should help alleviate some of the traffic congestion and resulting road rage that we all experience. Additional tolled lanes would be an option for people who choose to use them. Motorists not wishing to pay a toll would still be able to drive on the existing free lanes of the DVP. It is likely that many motorists using the tolled lanes would be from the “905” area. The DVP proposal for tolled lanes would provide the City of Toronto with a much-needed source of revenue that could be directed towards increasing bus frequency and improving the environment.

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