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Stop the Mid-Peninsula Highway

Mayday Magazine speaks with Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment

by Mayday Staff

Stop the Mid-Peninsula Highway

From Mayday Magazine


The Aerotropolis [a large business park near the Hamilton International Airport] has attracted widespread opposition in this city, and for good reason. But there is another related project in the works that is literally thousands of times the size of the short-sighted Aerotropolis: the Mid-Peninsula Highway, or the Mid-Pen.

The Mid-Pen is a proposed massive highway linking the Niagara Region to the Greater Toronto Area through the south of Hamilton. It was originally proposed by the Mike Harris government in 2002 and it recently surfaced again.

To better understand what this project is, and what its effects might be, Mayday Magazine spoke with Monte Dennis of the group Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment (COPE). COPE formed shortly after the Mid-Pen was first announced, as “just a handful of individuals with a passion for the Niagara Escarpment,” Dennis recalls. It has since grown to over 1, 000 members, and is a key part of Stop Escarpment Highways Coalition that boasts a membership of 4, 000.

The current intention is for the Mid-Pen to begin in both Fort Erie and Niagara falls, like a two-pronged fork. These prongs would converge and follow Highway 20 through Smithville and into Hamilton, then go from the end of the Lincoln Alexander Parkway past Highway 403 into Flamborough. It would then cut down through Burlington to join Highway 407, by way of what has been dubbed the Asphalt Arrow.

The Asphalt Arrow appeared on the provincial Ministry of Transportations revision of the Halton Region’s official plan as a large arrow drawn over the Escarpment near Tremain Road in Burlington, just East of the Mount Nemo Conservation Area. Stopping the Asphalt Arrow has been one of COPE’s most immediate concerns, and one that has had much success.

However, the Asphalt Arrow is only one small part of this project, and COPE considers the entire plan to be fundamentally flawed. One of their key criticisms is, as with the Aerotropolis, the use of agricultural land.


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