Spec Letter: Parkway Study Needed

By Ted Mitchell
Published November 20, 2007

Re: Red Hill Valley Parkway

Red Hill is built and we must move on. If we want to move on in a positive direction, we have to be able to learn from the past.

It is important that positive claims about the expressway are monitored. Improvements in net economic development, municipal taxes, road congestion and air quality helped sell this project and need to be verified.

Based on the experience of similar expressways in other cities, I have reservations. There is plenty of evidence that expanding lane capacity to reduce congestion simply does not work beyond a couple of years.

If there are failures to live up to these claims, they cannot be blamed on construction delays from road opponents, but rather on flawed thinking about the project itself.

It is not credible to claim what would have worked a decade ago no longer applies today. We were sold the impression of progress and now is the time to start measuring whether we made a smart purchase.

(Published as a letter to the editor in the November 20, 2007 issue of the Hamilton Spectator.)

Ted Mitchell is a Hamilton resident, emergency physician and sometimes agitator who recently completed a BEng at McMaster University. He is fascinated by aspects of our culture that are harmful, but avoid serious public discussion.


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By Valleyman (anonymous) | Posted November 20, 2007 at 15:59:47

Then what?

What if they don't? (They won't).

Do we go oops and try again?


The time for study is over. That was never listened before it was built and it won't be listened to now or ever. We need to actually work to find ways to mitigate the fall out and put real plans into actions as well as forbid anything like this again.

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By Frank (registered) | Posted November 22, 2007 at 12:31:10

Valleyman, the time for study will be once the RHCE is completed. Building something under the impression that it will help and then not actually finding out if it does is irresponsible. If it doesn't, then other municipalities can use this as an example. You're crying over spilled milk. Lick it up, move on! I've used the RHCE and even tho it cuts 5 mins off my trip, I get to travel at a steady speed rather than starting and stopping (higher emission output). Since you're so against it, you should be forbidden from using it as a matter of principle.

What real plans are you talking about? Do you have any? Or are u just yapping? Forbid what? Building another highway? It's not necessary, all the ring roads are completed.

As many of you know, until all the ramps are completed down by the QEW, it won't actually reach it's full potential. I've noticed a drastic drop in traffic on Highway 20 already during rush hours. It's great. What would actually be really interesting is to have an average daily vehicle count on the 403 and highway 20 prior to the RHCE being built and compare that to an average daily vehicle count on the RHCE, 20 and the 403 to see if vehicle trips have increased significantly.

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