Tear Down the Eastern Gardiner!

I note that Mayor Tory and some City Councillors are in support of the ‘hybrid option’, keeping the Gardiner Expressway much as it is now and costing $500-700 million more than tearing it down. This means that the concept of fairness in taxation and evidence based decision making are being thrown out the window. I agree with Paul Bedford and Ken Greenberg that the most logical decision is to tear down the Eastern Gardiner and replace it with a Grand Boulevard. Mayor Tory says he is concerned with not increasing gridlock, but as Bedford and Greenberg state, “only 3 percent of all drivers accessing downtown use this portion of the expressway.” They go on to say, “only 20 percent of vehicles use the Gardiner as a downtown bypass in both directions.” This means that the Mayor is in favour of all Toronto citizens subsidizing a small minority of drivers. This is unfair. I agree with Bedford and Greenberg that the money saved by the tear down option should be used immediately to fund the “additional GO and TTC transit (waterfront LRT) planned for that corridor.” Not only that but the tax revenue from the ability to develop the waterfront will be lost if the hybrid option wins. No city in the world is building elevated expressways; most have torn theirs down already. They are moving people rather than cars via transit and better walking/cycling infrastructure. With much greater population slated for the GTA, even the hybrid option will see the Gardiner swamped. Mayor Tory’s promised prevention of gridlock has no meaning. The smart decision is to tear down the Eastern Gardiner and move on with ‘Smart Track’, GO and TTC plans. Finally, why is the Gardiner which connects the QEW and Highways 401 and 407 not a provincial highway maintained with provincial revenues?

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About Murray Lumley

Board member of Conscience Canada; Christian Peacemaker Teams Reservist; retired teacher; grandfather
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