The City of Brampton has interactive maps where you can access the zoning maps, maps of registered businesses, all kinds of information. One of the features you can review is traffic counts. The counts are represents by coloured lines, with long lines representing High Traffic Volumes, short lines representing Low Traffic Volumes. Now, where do you suppose the drivers in our city are driving?
The data may surprise you. Four Corners is, at best, an average area for traffic volume. The reality is, traffic that drives North of Steeles is not any more than the volume of traffic on West Drive or Chinguacousy Road. In fact, the difference between car volume south of Steeles on Main is almost double what it is North of Main, according to the most recent counts done in 2013. In other words, once people get to Brampton, they are travelling east or West, not North. One wonders why then, so much of our energies are devoted to adding yet one more mass transit service to Four Corners. It’s certainly not based on vehicular traffic.
Clearly, to get North of Queen, people undoubtedly use the 410. Meaning that the City has failed to keep up with the demand to move people in the northern half of our city. Whereas traffic patterns over time south of Queen Street have fallen from 2007 counts in the majority of traffic points that I reviewed (meaning transit is effectively getting people out of cars), north of Queen tells the opposite story for the data points I looked at.
When one considers that the 410 handles three times the volume of traffic compared to Main Street North of Charolais, a traffic flow story starts to emerge: drivers are coming north from Mississauga and the GTA, and they use the 410 to get to Bovaird and Sandalwood Parkway before venturing east or west from there.
The question becomes: when we are making transit decision in this city, what are we trying to accomplish? Because clearly, the people living north of Bovaird are substantially underserviced by Transit. The move toward transit we are seeing along and south of the Queen Street corridor is not being replicated to the North.
As we evaluate alternative routes to the LRT to Four Corners, we really need to ask ourselves why? Why are we spending this much money for this particular stretch of road when it is not, empirically, handling as much traffic as other parts of the City? What is the obsession with the Four Corners when it comes to transit? It has National Rail, Regional Rail, Regional Bus, City Rapid Transit and City Local Transit, on top of taxis. Why can’t we turn our focus to Bovaird and Sandalwood, which are bearing the load of our failure to ensure that transit is capable of getting residents where they need and want to go?
I will leave some the raw data below for you to ponder.
Hurontario / Main Street South of Steeles
Hurontario South of Steeles 2013 traffic count 40,750
Hurontario South of Ray Lawson 2013 traffic count 34,810
Hurontario / Main Street North of Steeles
Main North of Charolais 2013 traffic count 26,680 cars per day average
Main North of Clarence 2013 traffic count 20,690 cars per day average
410 and Queen 2007 – 60,669
410 and Bovaird 2007 – 61,760
Sandalwood West of Heartlake Road – 2013 – 38 710
Sandalwood between 410 and Dixie – 2014 – 34,690
McLaughlin Road (Alternative LRT Option)
@ South of Queen – 2013 – 28,000 (More than Main Street)
@ North of Steeles – 2013 – 24,940 (More than Main Street north of Clarence)
Kennedy Road (Alternate LRT Option)
No data between Steeles and Bovaird.
North of Knightsbrige – 2014 -23,070 (More than Main Street north of Clarence)