Land without the appropriate transportation links is impossible to access for the development we require. New areas will need significant capital based on our challenging topography. No single solution, no single financial source, and no single entity will be able to meet such needs.
We already feel the stress on our roads today when construction meant to significantly improve flow on provincial highways like 63, 69 and 881 brings our drivers through incessant bottlenecks. This must change! There are many smarter than me trying to find suitable solutions but my desire is to see a shift to allow the Municipality to manage local roads. I believe that the design and planning, the decision making, and contract oversight responsibilities, but not the financial ones, would be far better handled by experts in our region who live the impacts, daily, like everyone else. It is only a matter of time before we begin to reap the benefits of the construction efforts, and like many of you – and until then, I will take lots of deep breaths and try to leave earlier when it is unavoidable as I drive through the same traffic everyone else does from Timberlea every day.
I also believe we can do a better job to mitigate construction impacts during peak traffic times. I would propose working on a bylaw to mandate that any primary road works not reduce the number of lanes during peak traffic periods specific to our local patterns. I fully understand that conflict will be occasionally necessary, but I strongly believe that there is much that can be done to reduce the impacts of things like paving, line painting, underground services etc. with more mindful planning. Sometimes it is the simplest things that cause the most discontent, like snow clearing, potholes and road repairs. In a busy region like ours, municipal reliance on a variety of contractors means more projects than we want take too long to address. To supplement those who supplement the Municipality I will work with Council to ensure there is a cross-capable rapid response team of employees who will become the go-to crew on any variety of things that must be done quickly to reduce traffic risks and dissatisfaction.