Keeping Halton moving by investing in infrastructure

To meet the needs of a growing population, Halton Region has continued to deliver a roads capital improvement program which invests, on average, more than $120 million every year towards ongoing or new construction projects. In 2013, Halton committed $289 million to Regional roads, an increase from $50 million in 2006. Not only is investing in infrastructure important to our residents, it also attracts businesses to our region which helps keep our economy strong.

Join me at Halton’s first Regional, dual-lane roundabout on Tremaine Road in Milton as I discuss the importance of investing in our transportation infrastructure.

By continuing to plan for today and tomorrow, Halton Region will make sure our transportation infrastructure meets the needs of our community, while protecting the environment, today and in the future. I’m proud that our investment is helping keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Great Planning = A Great Place to Live

Halton residents have one of the highest standards of living in Canada and a large part of why Halton is such a great place to live is because of the significant effort Regional Council dedicates to planning for a safe, healthy community.

As you can tell by the construction across the Region, transportation and infrastructure are key priorities for Halton residents and Regional Council, as identified in The Citizens’ Priorities- Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan. Over the next 10 years, Halton Region expects to spend more than $2 billion on water and wastewater infrastructure. These investments will help reduce your commute time, expand your water supply, and ensure the health of all residents and our natural environment through our infrastructure improvement program.

Halton’s Transportation Master Plan, a 20-year, $2.4 billion capital investment plan will support growth in the Region to 2031 and ensure that transportation improvements are in place to meet demand. By the end of 2016, the Regional road network across Halton will have grown to 1,087 kilometres of lanes. In addition, 217 kilometres of shared or dedicated on-road bike lanes and off-road multi-use pathways will have been provided as part of the Region’s Active Transportation Master Plan.

Construction is a critical component of supporting the water service, wastewater collection and transportation needs of our growing community. Over the next three years (to 2016), whether you’re impacted by the $430 million Regional investment in road improvements in the Town of Milton and Town of Halton Hills or the $300 million investment in road improvements to the Dundas Street corridor in Oakville and Burlington, we appreciate your patience as we continue to implement the plans that support our great communities.

Through sound fiscal management, Halton Region has delivered quality programs and services for residents while maintaining an average zero per cent tax increase for the past seven years. I’m proud to say that this is one of the best records in all of Canada.

For details on construction projects on what’s happening now and what’s planned for the Region’s busiest construction areas, visit www.halton.ca/construction to sign up for our e-newsletter.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Transit in the 905 – Interview on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning

This morning I was interviewed about transit on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning. Listen to the podcast.

You can also read the transcript of the live Q&A session that followed the taping.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Tell us what you want to know about infrastructure

Halton residents consider infrastructure planning and construction to be key priorities for the Region. Building a Better Halton, our long-term infrastructure plan will support the growth across the region to the year 2031, with a total investment of approximately $3 billion.

In 2010, a series of focus groups was conducted to investigate what residents wanted to know about infrastructure planning and construction, and how they wished to be informed. That research led to the development of a communications strategy to engage and inform residents, business owners and commuters about the construction projects taking place across the region and our plans for future infrastructure maintenance and growth.

Our specially-branded communications efforts for the Building a Better Halton programBBH Logo have included highly-visible roadside signs for construction work, timely correspondence with affected residents and business owners, dedicated online resources (www.halton.ca/construction), print advertising and media relations.

We have recently developed new ways to increase awareness and understanding of the Region’s long-term infrastructure plan such as the interactive mapping tool for construction projects that we are now testing on our website and dedicated e-newsletters for key construction areas, currently Dundas Street in Burlington and Oakville, and Steeles Avenue in Milton and Halton Hills.

Construction affects all of us – on major roadways and local streets, in our newest as well as our most established communities. Halton Region has been working hard to keep you informed about our construction projects and the related impact on roads and neighbourhoods. Now it’s time to tell us what you think about our efforts.

Later this month, we’ll be issuing our next MVP (My View Point) survey to evaluate how effective we’ve been and identify areas where we can improve. If you’d like to be a part of the survey panel, please register by January 20, 2013 at www.halton.ca/MVP.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Building a Better Halton by Investing in Transportation

Did you know that Halton Region, working with all levels of government and guided by a Transportation Master Plan, provides a safe, well-managed transportation network that includes 305 km of Regional roads, 88 bridges and 208 traffic signals? This network supports our vibrant local economy and the needs of residents and businesses.

We know, and you have also told us, that transportation and well maintained and planned for infrastructure, is critical to our residents and businesses and because of that we’re investing the majority of our 2011 Building a Better Halton capital program for Public Works into our transportation system. This year alone $132.6 million will be spent on road infrastructure widening and rehabilitation.

The 2011 transportation capital budget includes funding for the construction of James Snow Parkway (Regional Road 4) and a grade separation north of Steeles Avenue in Milton; the widening of Dundas Street (Regional Road 5) in Burlington and Oakville; completing the Upper Middle Road (Regional Road 38) widening in Oakville; the Regional Road 25 widening in Oakville and Milton; starting the engineering on a grade separation at the Canadian National Railway crossway at Derry Road (Regional Road 7) in Milton; rehabilitating the Stewarttown bridge on Trafalgar Road (Regional Road 3) in Halton Hills; and more transportation projects that will help Build a Better Halton.

Widening our Regional roads to reduce commute and travel times is only one part of the solution to improving transportation in Halton – by encouraging more people to carpool or take public transit, we will help reduce the number of one-driver vehicles on our roads.

For this reason, we’re proud to partner with Metrolinx on the Smart Commute Halton External Link program. This great program allows Halton companies to sign up as a Smart Commute employer External Link to help improve their staff’s commuting options. Halton residents can also connect with the Smart Commute program through the Carpool Zone External Link to find people with similar commuting options in order to find a carpooling partner.

I’m also happy that in November, Metrolinx announced the extension of the GO Transit rail service on the Georgetown line to Acton, with two morning and two evening trains to Acton scheduled to begin by the end of this year.

To further encourage public transit and alternatives to single-driver vehicles on our roads, Halton is also working with the Town of Oakville and City of Burlington to investigate the feasibility of Bus Rapid Transit lanes on Dundas Street (Regional Road 5) in Burlington and Oakville and Trafalgar Road (Regional Road 3) in Oakville.

We’re making a significant commitment to infrastructure because it’s the right decision for Halton. Improving your quality of life – whether it’s helping to reduce commute times or providing you with clean, safe drinking water – is a top priority. I’d like to thank all our residents and businesses for their patience during construction as we work to Build a Better Halton and encourage you to learn more about the planning and construction of our infrastructure projects from our website at www.halton.ca/construction.

Working together, we can ensure that Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Building a Better Halton through our Transportation Master Plan

For the last year, staff have been consulting with residents and stakeholders to develop Halton Region’s Transportation Master Plan – The Road to Change. This plan will provide the strategies and tools needed to safely and cost-effectively meet the Region’s transportation needs to the year 2031.

This week, we were pleased to offer Public Information Centres in Milton and Halton Hills outlining details of The Road to Change. Two more sessions are scheduled for March 22 in Burlington and March 24 in Oakville so that you can learn more about our plan and let us know your thoughts. You can find out more details about the meetings by looking in your local paper or online at www.halton.ca/htmp.

Given the busy lives of Halton’s residents and businesses, we also recognize that some people simply are unable to make it out to one of our public meetings to let us know their thoughts – so we’re also providing online options so people can share their ideas with us at a time that works for them. You can either send us an email to transportation@halton.ca or complete the online comment form at www.halton.ca/htmp by April 8, 2011. 

Halton is responsible for all aspects of the Regional Road system, including the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance and overall management of more than $1 billion in road-related infrastructure. With more than 900 lane km of Regional Roads, 206 Regional traffic signals, and 122 bridges and large culverts, Regional transportation is an issue that’s important to all of us.

I’d like to thank those of you who have attended past meetings and the workshop on our Transportation Master Plan – The Road to Change and provided your feedback, ideas, possible opportunities and alternative solutions for developing the ideal Regional transportation network. And I’d like to encourage anyone else who has thoughts to share your ideas going forward.

At Halton, we are committed to building a better Halton, and have therefore allocated significant amounts of money towards roads and infrastructure.  This year alone, we will be investing over $130 million in transportation infrastructure projects, this is approximately triple the amount that was spent in 2006. All of Halton’s new roads are paid for by development charges, so that Halton taxpayers are not burdened with the cost of growth. 

Working together, we can ensure that Halton Region remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. For more information on The Road to Change, please visit our website at www.halton.ca/htmp.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”