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No ease in traffic congestion for now

Transportation Master Plan

Council will not decide on the future of the Transportation Master Plan, which looks at improving the city’s roads and transportation networks over the next 15 years, until after the summer recess.

By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express

Oshawa’s ability to reduce traffic congestion has been stymied for now.

The approval of a document that will govern Oshawa’s decision making regarding transportation was tabled on June 29 for councillors to gain a better understanding of its impact in the years to come.

“I think it’s extraordinarily important…I think that it is our responsibility to have a better understanding of this,” said Councillor Nancy Diamond.

The 109-page Integrated Transportation Master Plan (ITMP) and the associated Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP) looks to improve Oshawa’s roads and alternative transportation networks over the next 15 years.

The plans received some discussion at the committee level, but Diamond claims the financial side of things has not yet been fully considered.

“We need to be looking at the money at the beginning,” she said.

Over the course of the ITMP $90.48 million would be required to implement the full-scale changes, which would equate to $11.31 million a year. For the ATMP, $27 million would be needed or $1.3 million a year.

However, if change is not made, predictions show congestion could cost the city $245 million by 2031.

Diamond suggested the report receive input from the finance committee before it is taken to final approval.

The plans were deferred to September when council returns from its summer recess.

Councillors John Aker and Doug Sanders were opposed to the deferral.