407 ETR: doing something right
I was 15 minutes early for my tour of the 407 ETR highway headquarters near Highway 427 and Steeles this week. Though it was a significant distance from the Thornhill office, I was able to arrive quickly thanks to the toll road. According to the 407 ETR, Thornhillers are more likely than any other GTA demographic to have a transponder. Although none of us enjoys the monthly bill, most agree that the savings in time, gas and frustration are worth the expense.
It was interesting to witness all of the efforts taken by the 407 ETR to provide quality road supervision and maintenance. Although removal of debris and snow are of primary concern, new electronic billboards provide real-time traffic information to drivers on connecting arterials. The management team recognizes that there are costs associated with delays and are therefore always looking for ways to improve.
To help keep traffic moving quickly following a major collision, they recently teamed up with the OPP to use drones for the collection of field data — and the results speak for themselves. Preliminary findings suggest that what used to be a twoto-three-hour process can be reduced to 20 minutes with the new technology.
There’s no reason we can’t put similar measures in place to keep our other provincial highways moving quickly. That’s why I will be presenting my private member’s bill, improvement of Highway Incident Management Act, later this month. It aims to have the government take a serious look at how we manage incidents on our public highways.
With gridlock getting worse every year, it’s time for action. We can’t expect the rest of the GTA to wait for its own 407 ETR.