By Nick Grover, Ottawa Citizen Op-Ed
During a press conference in Ottawa this morning, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford focused on his plan to “help” commuters by widening a five-kilometre stretch of Highway 417 from six lanes to eight because this is, clearly, the defining election issue for Ottawa voters. Reviving this plan, originally drafted in 2016, is puzzling since construction of the city’s LRT Line 2 is now underway on that exact stretch.
But there’s a more fundamental problem with highway expansion: it doesn’t work. We’ve known for decades that widening roads doesn’t reduce congestion. New space attracts more drivers and before long roads are once again packed.