New Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has repeatedly stressed the importance of reducing gridlock, welcome news to a Toronto region increasingly paralyzed by congestion. One day after a Throne Speech in which her government pledged serious infrastructure spending, newly minted Transportation Minister Glen Murray sat down with The Globe and Mail to discuss transit, road tolls and the fate of the Gardiner Expressway...
What do you think should be done with the Gardiner Expressway?
A few years after the Embarcadero elevated freeway collapsed in San Francisco, property values were up a couple of hundred per cent. It was such an ugly dysfunctional piece of infrastructure that it depressed the value of property and the livability of the city. Now there’s a greenway – it looks like the Champs Élysées – which carries almost as much traffic.
John Norquist, who was the mayor of Milwaukee, said, if I take our expressway down, what would that mean as far as the tax base downtown? He wrote a wonderful book about the experience called The Wealth of Cities, which I highly recommend. I have a copy of it in my office, so I may send it to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and see what he thinks of it.