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The GTA West Corridor is a much-needed transit and highway link

The GTA West Corridor is a much-needed transit and highway link

The GTA has experienced considerable growth in recent years and with it we’ve seen a huge increase in traffic congestion.

The roads that move people and goods across the GTA haven’t been able to keep up with the increase of vehicles using them.

The GTA West Corridor is a proposed transportation corridor that the province has had on its radar for a long time. It would provide a much-needed link from east to west running from York Region, through Peel Region to Halton Region, and would include a transitway and a highway that would help expedite the movement of goods.

After many starts and stops, this project is once again under consideration by the province. In addition to easing traffic congestion, the corridor would give the surrounding municipalities the opportunity to move ahead with their plans for development in the area.

Without the proper infrastructure planning, traffic congestion will only get worse. The Greater Golden Horseshoe is expected to grow by 100,000 people and 80,000 jobs annually over the next 20 years, adding approximately 1.5 million more passenger and commercial vehicle trips per day in the GTA West Corridor area by 2031. Moving people and goods is a key component to our daily lives – it’s important for everyone.

The GTA West Corridor would be more than just a highway. Its central location will link urban growth centres, encourage the development of new employment and businesses and build increased economic competitiveness.

The province could design a forward-looking transit corridor that would include new and emerging technology features such as plug-in stations for electric cars, self-driving vehicles and drone delivery, along with the co-ordination of more utility services to support greater connectivity between Waterloo Region and the GTHA.

The building and land development industry strongly agrees with a transportation network like the one the GTA West Corridor would create. It would allow us to plan and build complete communities within the area, which is in line with the provincial intensification plans and would provide increased housing for the growing population.

In addition to holding up land-use planning, indecision about the corridor also impacts the economic development initiatives geared at creating a region that draws business activity. The GTA West Corridor is needed in order for Peel Region to meet provincial employment targets to 2031 and beyond. Plus, areas such as Brampton and Caledon are home to a big component of the GTA’s existing warehousing and goods distribution sector – a sector that would experience direct advantage from the corridor.

The undecided future of this project has brought government land-use planning to a halt in some affected areas. Future growth plans in the corridor are unclear and years of good work have been suspended.

The province needs to give the green light so that the opportunity to plan for the development of the GTA West Corridor is not lost and everyone involved can move forward. It’s a critical and long-overdue necessity for our infrastructure.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). He can be found on Twitter (twitter.com/bildgta), Facebook (facebook.com/bildgta) and BILD’s official online blog (bildblogs.ca).