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Re: Letter to the editor, Bypass will reduce travel time, emissions, July 13, 2022.
In this letter, it was stated that adding another bypass would reduce 30 minutes of travel time. That completely contradicts studies that have been done on highways and congestion. Take a look at the research paper The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US cities.
In this paper, it was concluded that increasing roads don't actually reduce the traffic strain. Instead, when we increase the supply of roads, more people will start to drive, thus inducing more traffic.
If we are talking about the environmental costs, this would in general be a bad idea. We are not only introducing more vehicles to our already strained transportation system, which means increasing exhaust emissions. Construction of this highway will incur quite a significant cost in carbon emissions with all the asphalt and concrete that must be poured to complete this project. Then, afterwards, we have to include the cost of additional road maintenance that will be needed to keep this road in shape.
This project will also promote the increasing urban sprawl, which will only promote more vehicle use as low-density neighborhoods do not typically provide walking distance access to necessities such as groceries. Low-density neighbourhoods also present a logistical nightmare for transit as there are too few people to support bus routes.
These findings imply that the way we try to mitigate congestion are essentially fruitless. We need to think of more innovative ways to handle traffic congestion instead of just pushing for more asphalt. I trust that Ontarians can come up with more creative solutions.
Ian Carson, Newmarket