Survey reinforces support for retaining an elevated eastern Gardiner Expressway

Two-thirds of CAA SCO members choose hybrid as their preferred option

THORNHILL, ON, June 10, 2015 /CNW/ - A new survey of CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) members shows considerable support for retaining the elevated eastern Gardiner Expressway ahead of today's vote at Toronto City Council.

In a survey conducted between June 1st and June 7th, 67 per cent of CAA SCO members surveyed supported the hybrid model that retains an elevated eastern Gardiner Expressway over removing the 1.7 km portion and replacing it with a surface level road.

"When presented with the two options that Councillors will be debating today, our members have sent a clear message," said Elliott Silverstein, manager government relations, CAA SCO. "CAA members in the City of Toronto, and across the GTA, want a connected highway network that includes an elevated eastern Gardiner Expressway."

Independent research released last month undertaken by the University of Toronto's Centre for Intelligent Transportation Systems and commissioned by the Gardiner Coalition shows the morning commute times for drivers will increase by up to 10 minutes. The research also indicates there would be a ripple effect which would force commuters onto already congested routes such as the Don Valley Parkway and Richmond Street if the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway is removed. 

Studies by both the U of T and City of Toronto have estimated the dollar amount due to delays would total approximately $37 million per year. Meanwhile, according to the C.D. Howe Institute, gridlock in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is already costing the region up to $11 billion annually.

"Infrastructure continues to be a key issue for CAA members. Our region is in need of more infrastructure to support the growth we have been experiencing and are expecting.  Whether it is strengthening our road network, expanding our transit systems, or expanding cycling options, CAA wants to ensure our transportation infrastructure is safe, connected and effective. Removing the Gardiner has the potential to impact all road users well beyond the study area," Silverstein added.

Research results are based on a quantitative online survey of CAA SCO members which was deployed to members in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area via the CAA South Central Ontario Members Matter™ online panel June 1st to 7th 2015 with 1,896 completes.

As a leader and advocate for road safety and mobility, CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club which represents the interests of 2 million members. For over a century, CAA has collaborated with communities, police services and governments to help keep drivers and their families safe while travelling on our roads.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

For further information: Silvana Aceto, Media and PR Consultant, CAA SCO, sace@caasco.ca, Office: (905) 771-3194, Cell: (416) 209-4930 or Jeff LeMoine, Communications Consultant, CAA SCO jlem@caasco.ca, Office: (905) 771-4709, Cell: (416) 254-0641.

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