HOT Lanes and 407 ETR “Democratize Road Space”?


September 2015, Transport Futures held a forum on HOT Lanes. HOT Lanes were lumped in with other travel options like Uber, walking, cycling, public transit ect… HOT Lanes were promoted as merely another option to travel. John Howe, from Cole Engineering, recommended that political champions are needed to ensure that the new HOT Lanes are a success. The most shocking thing was that he directed our politicians, our leaders, to sell “we the people” on HOT Lanes. I am disturbed by this. Not only is the private sector telling our leaders what is best for “we the people”, they are telling our leaders how to sell us on a scheme we don’t want. Mr. Howe went on to say that HOT Lanes should be promoted in the context of larger issues related to electric/automated vehicles, fiscal disruption, changing personal mobility choices and democratization of road space.

“Democratizing” road space? I can see people refer to this scheme as gouging commuters, but democratizing road space? What a farce!

To democratize something means to make something democratic. If something is democratic it means it is of or for the people. How on earth is this scheme of or for the people? There isn’t anyone I know that believes 407 ETR is of or for the people. They don’t think HOT Lanes are either. The consensus is that it’s a cash grab for the private sector. People feel our leaders are being bought off and that is why they are promoting this scheme.

This scheme penalizes commuters that have to use their vehicles to get to work. There is absolutely nothing democratic about this scheme at all. It’s not even capitalism because a true free enterprise wouldn’t need our politicians to sell their product.

The more I see this traffic management option pushed as the preferred method to fund and manage new road infrastructure projects, the more I question what really is the Province’s policy goals to support such a scheme?

HOT Lanes use the same traffic management scheme as 407 ETR, in that tolls are raised to lower traffic volumes on the managed lanes. There are other details to HOT Lanes, but the gist of it is the same. Private interest controls our road space.

I think the spin doctors behind this scheme have to rethink how they are going to sell this to the public because the minute they start calling this scheme “democratizing” road space, they will become a laughing stock.

Do you still think this highway is a better preferred option to travel on? Well I would say fools and their money are easily parted.

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One Response to “HOT Lanes and 407 ETR “Democratize Road Space”?”

  1. Roger Graham says:

    I propose a new tax for Private sector companies that “own” toll highways on our land. “Temporary” of course, proceeds shared equally and directly (not filtered through crooked Gov. Offices) by every Tax payer.
    This tax we can up at anytime and any late payments should be subject to extreme interest.
    Annually if there is any unpaid balance by the 407, their license to operate on our land will not be renewed. Owners of the 407 will be harassed relentlessly until they submit.
    All 407 property will held as be collateral and subject to repossession by the people. At this point the current owners can F@#% Off back to where they came from.

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