Community Workshop: QEW Evans Avenue to Cawthra Road

A Community Workshop was held at the Lakeview Golf Course (Grand Hall) at 1190 Dixie Road, Mississauga on Dec. 8, 2012.

I had the good fortune to attend the event, which was scheduled from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. The event followed the schedule closely, which I found impressive.

The meeting was cordial, which I found inspiring. David Juliusson told me about this meeting. Otherwise I would not have attended. I was pleased that a representative from MPP Laurel Broten’s office was there, and that other area officials were also represented.

There were many people from the immediate neighbourhood in Mississauga where the work is under way. They had the opportunity to offer feedback. There were also people from Toronto. Some of the key messages that stayed with me included the following:

    • It’s important to take into account the needs of elderly residents who are not on the Internet; they benefit from Canada Post information mail outs sent to their homes.
    • Please take into account the planning that is under way elsewhere, so that there is coordination of planning.
    • The question of the footprint affected by the configuration options is clearly a matter of concern to property owners who will be affected; the better informed they are, and the sooner they know what is on the horizon, the better they will be able to respond; no one likes to live with uncertainty.
    • The noise levels from elevated roadways are a source of concern; please address these concerns.
    • Don’t focus solely on travel by car. There are many people who like to walk and bike, including those of us over 60 years old, when the opportunity is available; please make such opportunities available as outcomes of the planning process.
    • There are initiative under way concerned with walkability, bike riding, the health benefits of exercise, and the value of public transit; please take those initiatives into account.
    • What the study refers to as the Ogden Ave. Pedestrian Bridge is, as I understand, known as the Bailey Bridge. John Walmark of Mississauga spoke of this; he sat next to me at this meeting. This footbridge is an important way for residents to walk between the the neighbourhoods bisected by the QEW.
    • I was delighted to learn that John Walmark is a friend of Dave Cook, whose books about Applewood Acres are a tremendously valuable record of the history of that community.
    • I learned after the meeting that one of Dave Cook’s books, Apple blossoms and satellite dishes: Celebrating the golden jubilee of Applewood Acres (2004), features extensive information about the Bailey Bridge, which I’ve highlighted in a separate blog post.
    • The money is in place for the Trail to proceed under the Etobicoke Creek Bridge (the one at the QEW), but MTO needs to provide the go-ahead. David Juliusson did some extensive networking at this meeting in the hope of getting information to get the go-ahead into place. I look forward to learning from him of what he learns regarding the next steps in this process.
    • A bridge south of the QEW linking Mississauga with the Etobicoke Creek Trail in Etobicoke would be of tremendous benefit.
    • Heather Templeton from  McCormick Rankin (MRC) presented the key information about the study including the planning options regarding how to proceed with design of the Dixie Road-QEW intersection and the Etobicoke Creek overpass. She was also the facilitator at the table where I sat. I was impressed with her overview and with her role as facilitator.
    • I was similarly impressed with Dawn McKinnon’s work in keeping members of the public such as myself informed during the time frame leading up to this community meeting.
    • All of the facilitators did a great job at gathering information at their respective tables and in sharing it withe the plenary group.
    • The person who chaired the event did a great job.

The purpose of the meeting was to present and discuss the following:

    • Study purpose, scope, and key milestones
    • Key study and community issues
    • Study alternatives

You can find background about the project here.

Study overview

From the above-noted link, here’s the overview of the study discussed at this community meeting:

The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) is Ontario’s first intercity divided highway, dating back to the 1930s, and the study area is within one of the oldest sections of the QEW. The QEW is a critical element in the provincial highway network and is one of Ontario’s most important transportation facilities in terms of trade, commuter, and tourist traffic. The QEW plays a critical role in supporting Ontario’s economic linkage with the U.S. and accommodating goods movement needs within the GTA.

From Evans Avenue to Cawthra Road, the QEW is a six-lane divided highway with a narrow median and shoulders. The QEW is closely flanked by the North and South Service Roads that are discontinuous at the City of Mississauga/City of Toronto border (Etobicoke Creek). The existing partial interchanges at Dixie Road and The West Mall are unconventional and closely spaced. Also, the existing Dixie Road Interchange on and off ramps begin and terminate at the service roads and the local residential road network.

The QEW, already severely congested during peak periods, has the potential to become even more significant to the transportation system in the future, as it evolves to accommodate the growing needs of transit, goods movement, demand management policies, and the surrounding communities. The existing closely spaced partial interchanges result in safety and operational issues and the Etobicoke Creek Bridge (almost 80 years old) and the Dixie Road Bridge (almost 60 years old) are in need of repair.

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has retained McCormick Rankin (MRC), a member of MMM Group Limited, to initiate a Preliminary Design and Class Environmental Assessment Study to identify improvements to approximately 3.5 km of the QEW from Evans Avenue to Cawthra Road, within the City of Mississauga and the City of Toronto.

The study will identify rehabilitation, safety and operational needs, develop and evaluate alternatives, and recommend transportation improvements within the study limits. Potential improvements may include:

      • Rehabilitation/replacement of bridges;
      • Interchange improvements; and
      • QEW safety and operational improvements.

The website for this study is easy to navigate and provides useful information. Click on the link in the previous sentence to access the website.

On my own website, links are in a green colour. Does the green stand out clearly on your monitor? This is a topic I often think about. In the event you have trouble seeing the links at the Preserved Stories website, please let me know.

Queen Elizabeth Way

The name of the roadway brings to mind British imperial history, discussed at this blog post and this one. Dave Cook has noted that the highway was named for Queen Elizabeth, wife of King George VI. I would note in passing that the movie about King George VI, The King’s Speech, has played a key role in public education efforts in recent years on behalf of people who stutter. The movie The King’s Speech won the top awards at the 2011 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Colin Firth.

 

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