On The Road With Hope And Crosby
This journey into movie nostalgia is prompted by a quote by Dave Wake of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation in the Star today. You’ve seen Dave at Council when the DRIC reps come to town to make a presentation to Council. He is quite quiet, low-key and even-mannered, speaking in a hushed voice even when he puts the boots to a Councillor as he did last time around. He tries very hard, like the good public servant that he is, to waffle, never say anything that can pin him down, and defer to his political masters.
So imagine my surprise when I read his comment in the Star: “Our study removed the CASO corridor from consideration for our purposes," Wake said. "The connecting road will be in the Huron Church Road and Talbot Road corridor.” Imagine “will be” instead of some less definitive term. No ifs, ands or buts.
The consultants, Cansult, put the knife into the Schwartz Horseshoe Road for the Feds and now Wake is finishing off the job if anyone thought otherwise for the Province. And Eddie finally knows better too that is why Sam will be asked to do his CODA study ie how to design the road chosen by the Senior Levels.
This is an important task too. We are not going to get a bridge built here for a very long time with traffic falling. The NO ACTION case is gaining momentum on the other side. Accordingly, trucks can continue to go on Huron Church Road for the next 20 years or can go on a route that takes them away from that street.
So here is what I would suggest as a Plan of Action:
- Accept as a given that the road to the border is the Talbot Road/Huron Church corridor. It is after all the Schwartz #4 route and one the city proposed years ago in the WALTS Study.
- Council has to force the Feds and Province to pay for it under the Border Infrastructure Fund (There is about $220 million left for Windsor in BIF and Dwight has a half a billion more too remember) since it is an improvement to an existing crossing
- Recognize that the missing link to the bridge has to be constructed since the border does have to work after all.
- The agreement must say that it is a MUNICIPAL road (although the Senior Levels have to pay to maintain it since it is really for trucks and has no benefit for the City).
- Since it is MUNICIPAL, Sam can do the CODA work and engineer it
- The design has to be realistic and practical and have few negative impacts on the Sandwich community: eg cantilevered roads, some tunnelling, parkettes etc
- The road can be designed such that it can be made to go to a new bridge crossing wherever that may be positioned in the future ie at Prospect or Brock or in-between or even a Twinned Bridge.
It solves Windsor's road problems since it means we take trucks off of community roads and out of neighbourhoods and focuses our attention on local needs for once.
Traffic volumes are still decreasing! I heard that the Americans have studies that say there is no need for a crossing until after 2020, way longer than DRIC projected! Why spend money if there is no need to do so when we have other more pressing demands like roads and sewers and doctors.
Perhaps, if we are fortunate, just like Bing and Bob, we might wind up on “The Road to Utopia”