USE YOUR VOICE! Visit - CALL - Write Letters Member of Provincial Parliament Vijay Thanigasalam: 416-283-8448 City Councillor Jennifer McKelvie: 416-338-3771
Photo: Metrolinx Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on Mulock Dr. & Yonge St. Newmarket, through a commercial area. No project of this kind has been constructed in Canada through a residential area.
TAKE ACTION: DO NOT LET METROLINX DESTROY OUR COMMUNITY METROLINX BUS RAPID TRANSIT PLAN - ELLESMERE CORRIDOR UPDATE ( Article from Summer 2020 Villager News ) By Douglas Phillips Since our last article on the Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit Project in the June/July 2020 edition of The Villager, there appears to have been little progress on this project, except Metrolinx’s affirmation that the project is proceeding, as stated in their July 2020 Metrolinx Newsletter. They state that due to COVID-19, meetings have been delayed and will be virtual events in the Fall. The Highland Creek Community Association has again requested a public meeting when safe to do so, but again Metrolinx has refused; they will only host online conferences. Technical Studies Underway According to the Metrolinx newsletter, technical studies underway include: Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, Fluvial Geomorphology, Natural Environment, Noise and Vibration, Traffic and Active Transportation, Socio-Economic and Land Use, and Stormwater and Hydraulics. Are Ontario taxpayers getting value for their money, and why are promised studies still not complete? Metrolinx Bus Shelter and Bus Route For the Highland Creek community to better understand Metrolinx’s plans for the Ellesmere Corridor, we recently visited their project in Newmarket. This express route is 2.4 kilometres in length and runs from Davis Drive south down Yonge Street. It then converges into regular four-lane traffic to Aurora. After many years of construction, this project has just been completed. This is similar to what we can expect in our community. The bus shelter is a standard Metrolinx design, and has been used on other Metrolinx projects. The transit system is operated by the York Regional Transit System called VIVA and operates in a commercial area. No Metrolinx bus lanes were constructed through the residential part of the Town of Aurora. It should be noted that no other Metrolinx project is on a residential route – the Ellesmere Corridor is the only planned one in Canada. The Ellesmere corridor from Kingston Road to Military Trail spans 2.85 Kilometres. Air Quality We noted that the VIVA diesel buseswere very noisy, the same as the PULSE buses running in our community. This brings us to the subject of air quality. “Air quality has significant impacts on public health, the environment and economy. Air pollution contributes to illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, asthma, lung disease, and lung cancer … Exposure to air pollution in Ontario results in increased hospitalizations, as well as 6,700 premature deaths, every year” (Per The Office of the Auditor General of Ontario — An Overview of Environmental Issues — 2019 Report). Apart from the TTC buses, Metrolinx will still run their regular buses but also plan to run buses every 5 minutes during the rush hours, 6:30 to 9:30a.m., and 3:00 to 7:30p.m., then up to every 2 minutes based on demand. The air quality and pollution should be of grave concern to all the residents of Highland Creek, and especially those residing along the Ellesmere corridor, as well as those with preexisting health conditions. Hazards It is essential that there be NO physical barriers to impede the fire engines and ambulances along the Ellesmere corridor. Minutes saved could mean the difference between life and death. “Pinch Point” Metrolinx has not given any update on how they will deal with the Kingston Road onto Ellesmere “pinch point”. Boulevards Metrolinx has already made it quite clear that they own all the Ellesmere corridor boulevards, including where all our mature trees grow. They will take away all the residents’ extra parking spaces. Will people have to find alternative accommodation? This could be a real hardship for many, and residents need to know a timeline for this project. They cannot be left hanging for years, such as was the case in Hamilton. Studies need to be completed and decisions made. Take action! Call or write to your Government Representatives. Do not let Metrolinx destroy our community.