Wonderland Road Widening


A letter from Dr. Gabor Sass
(published with permission)

I am very dismayed that the city is planning to widen Wonderland Road to 6 lanes. This project goes against not only all of the policies of the London Plan but also against all of the evidence from around the world which says that road widenings don't solve traffic woes. They actually make them worse and decrease the quality of life for the people living along these gargantuan roadways. 

Or are those active transport, public transport, and density friendly policies of the London Plan just window dressing? Does London want to firmly retain its solid reputation as the city of cars and suburban sprawl? Road widening to 6 lanes; 60% of all new build as low density sprawl gobbling up precious prime ag. land; 80-90% of Federal gas tax money spent to repave roads and bridges! Is this what sustainability means in this city? Moving cars more efficiently through the city's streets. 

And I understand most residents, many staff, probably half of council will be behind this plan. Little support for BRT or LRT but there is money for a 6 lane highway through the city. With a sprinkling of separated bike lanes as a side dish, to keep the greenies happy.

I am also very disappointed that the consultation process is not about what would Londoners want done about the Wonderland corridor, but here, city staff have already made up their minds, this is what we are doing, now we just want your stamp of approval. Whatever happened to the new style of consultation that John Fleming brought in for the Rethink and urban agriculture strategy processes? Let the public develop the different options and then together with consultant help we can collectively pick the best option. 

Roads with 6 lanes of traffic and unending sprawl is not the type of city I want to help bring about. On the other hand this is: 

More than half of the world's population already lives in cities, and another 2.5 billion people are projected to move to urban areas by 2050. The way we build new cities will be at the heart of so much that matters, from climate change to economic vitality to our very well-being and sense of connectedness. Peter Calthorpe is already at work ...

Hiring Peter Calthorpe and his team might do this city a dose of good.

Dr. Gabor Sass
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
The Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Western University

For further thoughts on Wonderland Road, see comments from London Cycle Link’s Executive Director Daniel Hall here.

Molly MiksaComment