Why is the Heritage Heights Community Plan incompatible within the Highway 413 Corridor?
Over the next three decades, the population of the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) is expected to reach nearly 15 million people. Our infrastructure needs to keep up with that rapid population growth, and without a real plan, gridlocked traffic and commute times on our existing highways will only get worse.
Highway 413 will be a controlled access 400-series highway with an adjacent transitway facility. By 2031, modelling shows that 300,000 vehicles will use the highway each day. The corridor must meet the provincial standards for design and operating capacity, access, interchange design and separation. These standards apply to all of Ontario’s 400-series highways and are in place to provide a transportation network that is safe, accessible and supports the movement of goods and people.
The City of Brampton’s Heritage Heights Community Plan is located within the Highway 413 Route Planning Study Area in northwest Brampton, from Mayfield Road to the Credit River valley, and from Winston Churchill Boulevard to Mississauga Road. The Community Plan proposes the area as a prime location for a new town centre.
The City of Brampton’s proposed Heritage Heights boulevard concept cannot safely accommodate the travel demands which will be met by Highway 413. These are travel demands that are driven in part by the tremendous population and employment growth the City of Brampton is going to experience in the coming decades – while that growth is something to be celebrated, it also requires a controlled access highway in the region to help accommodate the associated transportation demand. Without a controlled access highway operating at high speed, travel in the City of Brampton will become even more congested than it is today.
As such, the boulevard design of the Heritage Heights Community Plan is not compatible with the functional and operational needs established for the Highway 413 transportation corridor. The Heritage Heights boulevard would have to operate at much lower speeds (reduction of 100km/h on the highway to 50km/h on the Heritage Heights boulevard) out of necessity for public safety and access. The boulevard would also require stoplights at intersections to connect to the pedestrian-focused community design. This conflicts with the high-speed operations and controlled access design of the Highway 413 corridor.
In addition, putting stoplights in the middle of a new 400-series highway would reduce the purpose and benefit of the new corridor to move people and goods safely and efficiently across Halton, Peel and York Regions.
To some extent, that would be similar to traffic issues within the Windsor-Detroit corridor. After decades of having a bottleneck on the Huron Church Road in Windsor, worsened by stoplights between Highways 401 and I-75 in the US, MTO has built a new 400-series link to make travel faster and easier within this freeway-to-freeway corridor.
The Highway 413 Project Team and the Ministry of Transportation will continue working closely with the City of Brampton’s land and transportation planning staff to discuss mutual objectives and next steps for the future of the area.