Improving the Yonge/401 interchange has been identified as the single most important solution to traffic gridlock in the Yonge St. & Sheppard Ave. area. This congestion, a result of high-rise development, is recognized as necessary by the city and province.
One city councillor is fed up with provincial stonewalling on this issue.
Councillor John Filion has launched a website documenting the history of the Yonge/401 Interchange and includes a petition Toronto residents are being asked to sign as a way to move this problem to resolution.
For more than ten years residents have suffered while the city and province fail to move forward on this agreed-upon initiative. During the 2014 provincial election, MPP David Zimmer identified a new Yonge/401 Interchange as a priority to helping address area gridlock.
A provincial recommendation on how to proceed, promised for March 2015, did not materialize or has not been made public. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is now requesting yet another traffic study.
In response to this request, Councillor John Filion recently updated constituents; “The Provincial Transportation staff don’t care about congestion on Yonge Street because it’s not their road. Although they won’t say it directly in public, they want to keep the situation the way it is because it helps contain traffic entry onto their road – the 401. No matter how many studies are done, the Provincial bureaucrats keep stalling by requiring another one.”
MPP David Zimmer (Willowdale) responded to a Toronto Condo News request for an update on the Yonge/401 Interchange initiative; “As the provincial representative of Willowdale I remain committed to finding solutions in regards to alleviating gridlock at the Yonge 401 eastbound interchange, and ensuring that the transportation needs of the residents of Willowdale are at the priority of this process. Our government has made considerable progress on this issue with the completion of a Functional Planning Study and a Feasibility Study in conjunction with the City of Toronto. At this juncture we are moving forward with a Comprehensive Analysis that will provide a broadened scope of potential alternatives that may be pursued under an Environmental Assessment and Preliminary Design Study. I continue to actively pursue this issue with the Minister of Transportation, Stephen Del Duca, and Premier Wynne. I also continue to champion the importance of finding a permanent solution on this issue with my fellow MPPs.”
The city requires provincial support and funding to fix this problem because Highway 401 is a provincial road.