You Can't Get There From Here: Our Car-Centric Provincial Bridges


If you want to go from Hespeler to Galt across the Franklin Street bridge or God-forbid the Hespeler Road bridge, it is taking your life in your hands if you are on a bicycle or walking.

When Minister Wynne, Minister of Transportation, was here on Saturday, I talked to her about this problem. She had just given a talk at a fund raiser and included the need to redo our provincial bridges in Ontario. Almost all of them are over 50 years old and if you remember in the summer in Quebec how a bridge collapsed, it is a serious problem.

But I took some time afterwards to talk to her about the difficulty people have crossing bridges that cross the 401. We do have one pedestrian bridge but the regular bridges are dangerous and impossible unless you are in a car.  When we were passing the building of the pedestrian bridge at Conestoga College (Joint payment by Waterloo Region, Kitchener and Cambridge) I said,

If a car centric bridge goes across a river, you can always get in a boat or swim across but if a bridge crosses the 401, if you are on a bike or on foot, you cannot cross it.

In fact pedestrians and cyclists are banned from our major highways for good safety reasons. Even getting out of your car at the side of the road, you take your life in your hands.

Minister Wynne to her credit said, yes, the staff at the MTO has a big learning curve on alternate transportation. The ministry was originally called the Ministry of Roads, so that gives you some idea where they come from.


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