Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday May 30, 2003
Mid-pen concerns deserve a response
There’s little doubt that the province has been ham-handed and insensitive in its plans for a mid-peninsula highway. While we believe the so-called “mid-pen” is needed and important to relieving serious highway congestion in the Niagara Peninsula, we have sympathy for Burlington, which prides itself on careful planning and smart growth, only to see a highway rammed through its protected rural area.
Burlington was brought into the process after Niagara region and Hamilton had been consulted, and had virtually signed off on the proposal.
Burlington has one of the most carefully managed planning and growth strategies of any municipality in Ontario. But it is likely where the mid-pen would dump its traffic load onto the QEW and highways 403 and 407. To make those connections, it would have to cross the Niagara Escarpment.
The province has identified several options to bring the eastern terminus of the mid-pen down to existing highways, including Highway 403 between Mohawk and Aberdeen/Main Street East, and Highway 6 south of Clappison’s Cut. But few people see those as anything but decoys; the smart money is on what the province calls “Option C” — crossing the escarpment in rural north Burlington.
That was made even more unpalatable to Burlington by the province setting short timelines for response to its 179-page draft terms of reference, which includes its route options. (Source: COPE)