If you like a little fight, you might really love a Sprawl Brawl. The event, held on February 18th in Toronto by Environmental Defence, is a lively discussion that questions: What’s the cure for gridlock in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)?
With much discussion about the cost of sprawl, how to deal with congestion, and how growth will affect the environment and public transit, it’s a welcome relief (and entertaining evening) to see a panel go head to head about their views on these subjects.
It’s also a great forum to discuss how gridlock affects the Greenbelt, especially the proposed GTA West Highway, or “the 413.” The province is currently reviewing the need for the four-lane road that would have curved west and then south from the 400 at King Vaughn Road and then meet the 407 and 401 roughly at Winston Churchill Blvd.
This highway would pave right over protected Greenbelt lands and adjacent farmland and natural areas. We have already lost some 350 acres of farmland each day over the past decade alone, and this highway would continue that trend. It would also destroy countless natural treasures that clean our water and filter our air.
In her last book, Spadina Expressway slayer Jane Jacobs reminds us that “Not TV or illegal drugs but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of communities.” It’s clear we have to address this “destroyer,” and the Sprawl Brawl provides the opportunity hear from a panel of experts on how we can reduce traffic congestion and the risks of the GTA West Highway. If you want in on the fight, get in while you can.