407 ETR: do­ing some­thing right

Richmond Hill Post - - Local Politics - Gila Mar­tow MPP of Thornhill

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.

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