Michael Speaks out No.2

Well, here goes “Blog No. 2”. I am speaking out on transportation and in particular the traffic congestion which reins supreme in the GTA from Labour Day until the last day of school in June.

If you live or work in the GTA you know it’s Summer when you can leave the suburbs at 7:45 a.m. and arrive to your destination in downtown Toronto a mere 30 minutes later. If only this Summertime phenomenon lasted the whole year long. I’m old enough to remember when the term ‘rush hour’ meant just that – one hour of heavy traffic in the morning and one hour in the late afternoon. Now the ‘rush hour’ lasts at least 2 to 3 hours in the morning, and in the afternoon.

It doesn’t have to be this way, but it is in large part because of a lack of planning, political will and long term strategic funding.

Traffic congestion has become so bad that it now threatens the GTA’s prosperity. To remedy the current situation local, regional and provincial governments need to act to establish a comprehensive GTA-wide Transportation and Transit Master Plan, overhaul and streamline the Environmental Assessment process and commit the necessary funds to implement a comprehensive GTA-wide Transportation and Transit Master Plan.

In the current economic climate it may seem unthinkable to invest hundreds of millions, even billions on dollars on road and transit infrastructure, but this is precisely what needs to be done to alleviate traffic congestion. Investing in transportation and transit infrastructure will create jobs and increase our competitiveness. Our collective goal should be to ensure that the GTA maintains its reputation as a world class destination and preferred location within which to ‘live and work’.

That’s it for now and remember…the only way you may succeed is if you try” (Yoda).

I invite you to keep your eyes open for Blog No.3 when I will be speaking out on the “Ontario Municipal Board”.

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