York Urbanist

GTA West Corridor Study

November 21st, 2012

Before you know it, another limited access highway will be passing through King City and Caledon connecting Highway 400 to Highway 407/403/401.

This is on the heels of York Urbanist’s “Urban Places to Detest” http://yorkurbanist.com/category/urban-design/urban-places-to-detest/ where the number one detestable “urban” places in York Region is the uncrossable Highway 427. The provincial government and its transportation planners will push this study to validate yet another multi-lane highway that will further expand the realm of suburbia. In isolation from Places to Grow and intensification, this newest highway will slice through the depleting array of fertile lands that feed cities.

I take issue with the planning that follows the American model of circumferential auto routes rather than the European take on intensification.  Intensification will make people think more about the location they live vis-a-vis their place of employment. Indeed, there is a profound change in the number of work-from-home situations that would be encouraged to increase if it was not so easy to romp on the next ring of asphalt.  Such studies have the effect of freezing lands from creative change and appropriate agricultural use. The land is frozen by the speculators then hungry developers who sit on lands for 20 years, only to indulge in another rubber stamped single family group of edifices that lack clarity of place.

The hundreds of thousands of dollars (perhaps millions) spent on this study would be better spent understanding and nurturing the new urban shift.

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