UPDATED – March 21, 2014
For years, residents of Willowdale have been frustrated by traffic delays on southbound Yonge Street caused by the backup of cars trying to turn east onto Highway 401. As previously reported, a major solution is at hand – provided that we get cooperation from the Provincial Government.
Several years ago, I initiated an independent study which identified the need to create a flyover ramp, or some other method, to move cars efficiently from southbound Yonge onto the eastbound highway. Since then, a technical study has identified several possible solutions, and more studies are underway to identify the best one.
Solving the area’s traffic problems should be the highest priority for your elected representatives. To this end, I have obtained the city’s 50% share of the cost of completing all the necessary studies and have set aside funds in the capital budget to cover half the cost of constructing the preferred solution, as soon as it is identified. This money was secured in the City of Toronto budget approved in January. If there are no delays in the fair share needed from the Province, construction could begin as early as 2016.
I am extremely concerned, however, that provincial bureaucrats do not share the city’s – or Willowdale residents’ – sense of urgency to get this work done. They have suggested that Yonge Street congestion is not their problem because it is not a provincial road. But any solution to this problem requires a new route across provincial lands, connecting to a provincial highway. Common sense demands – and you should too – that provincial representatives are ready to do their part to relieve the gridlock that effects our economy and our personal lives.
Recently I had the opportunity to meet with presidents of a number of local ratepayer organizations who share my strong interest in seeing an improved interchange at Yonge Street and Highway 401. If this issue is important to you, and you want to help me Stop the Delays, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ORIGINAL POST – December 15, 2013
Relief from traffic congestion in the Yonge/401 area may soon be at hand if the Provincial government comes through with funding to match what the City is committing to the project. In a breakthrough announcement for Willowdale residents, I have been able to secure the City of Toronto’s share of the entire cost of this project through to completion.
Work is currently underway to identify which of six proposed solutions will work best. That should be finished well before the end of 2014 so that we can move directly into the design and construction phase.
But the entire project may not happen if the Province doesn’t come up with its half of the funding – first to complete the studies, and then to complete construction.
As anyone who drives south on Yonge St. will know, traffic attempting to turn east onto Highway 401 spills out of the turn lane and blocks a lane of southbound traffic – all the way back to Sheppard Avenue at some parts of the day.
Imagine how much time this congestion costs us, time that could be spent at work or enjoying time at home. We now know that a solution exists. In an earlier newsletter I urged you to hold all of the politicians you elect accountable for fixing the problem as soon as possible. That’s still my strong suggestion.