Can You See Me?

After spending a fair chunk of last night tinkering with this blog’s template, I can now claim to be Triple-A Bobby Approved, meaning that my site is accessible through any browser, and meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. That puts me ahead of the Federal Government and, strangely enough, it puts me ahead of Jim Elve as well…

Letter to the Editor: New Highway Isn’t Needed

I had a letter to the editor printed in the Friday edition of the K-W Record. Strangely enough, I’ve gotten phone calls about it, by people who wanted to say that they agreed with me. Since when does that happen with a letter to the editor? Anyway, the letter is in response to a Record editorial supporting a divided highway between Kitchener and Guelph, about a kilometre north of the current Highway 7.

With respect to the Feb. 9 editorial, Highway 7 Ready For Improvement, it is the editorial staff of The Record that hasn’t considered the full situation. The $100-million proposal to replace the current Highway 7 with a new highway to the north is a flagrant waste of taxpayers’ dollars that is neither needed, nor the best option for Waterloo residents.

As a regular driver and passenger on Highway 7, I can tell you that most of the time the highway is open, traffic is slight. Only during rush hours is congestion a problem, and there is no reason why simply widening the old highway throughout wouldn’t solve the problem.

More seriously, the new highway, like old Highway 7, enters Guelph at its north end, while much of Kitchener continues to grow primarily in the south. The new highway forces drivers to double back, wasting miles of driving. Meanwhile, less than a kilometre separates the ends of Fairview Road and Kossuth Road across the Grand River. A bridge connecting these two roads would be much cheaper than the new highway, and divert thousands of Kitchener cars off old Highway 7, using an established and underused part of the regional street grid.

For many drivers, travel times would be reduced. But nobody has come forward with such a proposal.

The estimated $100 million is a ludicrous amount of money to spend on a road that is not needed, especially when cheaper and better alternatives exist. It strikes me as odd that The Record would favour such a flagrant waste of taxpayers’ dollars.

This is an old issue, discussed often before without resolution. Back in 2000, I built a web page with maps discussing this subject in more detail.

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