Urban sprawl means commuters crawl. More roads don’t solve the problem; they make it worse. Gridlock means more air pollution and more GHG emissions. A transition to efficient light rail transit and coordinated buses will take cars off our roads, breaking the cycle of an increasing number of cars on increasingly-crowded roads to make our cities more livable.
We must build our way out of the problem of clogged roads and smog-choked cities, not by building more roads and bridges and more distant suburbs, but by building ‘smart growth’ infrastructure. Excellent public transit and efficient housing in high-density nodes along existing transit corridors will make cities more livable and people-friendly. The federal government must take the lead in funding the ‘greening’ of Canada’s cities (see Section 1.14 Infrastructure and Communities for more on federal-municipal relations.)
Green Party MPs will:
- Increase federal funding for pedestrian, cycle, and car-sharing infrastructure in towns and cities;
- Increase existing funding to stimulate a massive re-investment in public transportation infrastructure in all Canadian towns and cities to make it convenient, safe, comfortable, and affordable;
- Make employer-provided transit passes tax-free by exempting them from taxable benefit status, to encourage workers and businesses to use public transport, and provide financial support to provinces that provide free public transit passes to people living below the poverty line;
- Oppose funding for highway and bridge expansions that encourage urban sprawl, increase private vehicle use and truck transport of goods, and consequently increase GHG emissions;
- Ensure federal infrastructure funding does not go to expanding highways and roads, but is rather spent on more efficient light rail systems. Current infrastructure, such as the Trans-Canada highway, must be maintained at a safe standard.