Fromm for Mayor: Transportation Expert James Alcock Unveils A Plan to Fight Traffic Gridlock
PORT CREDIT, October, 20. Fat Canada Geese waddled and honked on the rainy law above a meeting room at the Port Credit Yacht Club tonight as transportation expert James Alcock outlined the transportation plan to fight traffic gridlock he had drafted for Paul Fromm’s Mississauga mayoralty campaign.
Polls show that traffic gridlock is the major issue on voters’ minds as they head to municipal elections in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) on October 27. The causes of traffic gridlock are very simple, Mr. Alcock said. “The GTA had 3-million people in 1971. The population has swelled to 6-million and the roads infrastructure has remained almost the same. The result: traffic gridlock.”
The planners in the 1950s and 1960s built ahead of the population growth. they built subways for the downtown population who favoured public transit and expressways and highways for the expanding suburbs which preferred cars.
Things changed in the 1970s as ideologues replaced the practical planners of the ’50s and ’60s. A radical U.S. immigrant, Jane Jacobs who followed her draft dodging son to Toronto, hated cars. “She wanted to get people out of cars.” Sadly, her ideas continue to influence many planners. Toronto’s plan changes every few years, as the political tides change. There are debates and studies and little gets done but the gridlock grows worse.
“Let’s get the GTA moving again. Politicians must stop dictating to people and let them decide whether they want to use roads or subways,” Mr. Alcock said.
His plans for Toronto include extending the Gardiner Expressway via the hydro right of way through Scarborough to the 401. Many Toronto roads, like Rathburn die suddenly at a creek or river and then continue on the other side. He would eliminate road hogging streetcars and extend subways. Hydro right of ways could be used to built much needed new roads within the city.
Specifically, for Mississauga, Mr. Alcock nixed an LRT (an electrified vehicle on a dedicated lane running right down the middle of a road) planned to run down Hurontario from Brampton to the Lakeshore. “Traffic is west to east toward Toronto, not north-south,” he scoffed. “The LRT, slated to cost over $1-billion, is very slow (about 17 km per hour) and will take out needed lanes from one of the city’s major north-south thoroughfares. “Express buses would be faster and take up less space.”
“Lights should be synchronized on green on major thoroughfares to speed up rather than slow down traffic flow,” he added. “The Bloor subway should be extended along existing rail lines to Square One.” Currently, two north-south Go Train lines, one to Kitchener, the other to Milton only operate during rush hour (south in the morning, north in the afterrnoon.) “They should run in both directions all day long, at least every half hour,” he explained.
Candidate Paul Fromm spoke of the necessity of lobbying the Federal Government for a five-year moratorium on all immigration. “This moratorium is not just to ease the gridlock problems in the GTA and Vancouver. Immigration is the major source of growth in both areas. Another 70,000 people are predicted to flood in Mississauga and Peel in the next four years. Will gridlock be any better with 70,000 more people?” he asked.