June 10, 2009
Media Release

Master Plan update reflects commitment to sustainability

Transportation Master Plan circulated for final public review
NEWMARKET …quot; York Regional Council has approved the release of the draft update to the Region’s Transportation Master Plan for public review.  The Master Plan update represents a bold and innovative approach to sustainable transportation planning.  It was developed with extensive input from stakeholders, partners and residents through a collaborative public consultation process.
“The Regional Municipality of York is addressing our future infrastructure needs in an innovative and sustainable manner that reflects our residents’ views,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “We strongly support a responsible and accountable approach that includes a fiscal impact analysis and consultations with residents and stakeholders throughout the entire three-year Master planning process.”
During the Transportation Master Plan update discussions, residents and stakeholders suggested that the master plan should be sustainable, bold and innovative in addressing traffic congestion and the continuing rapid growth in York Region.  Initiatives to encourage carpooling, the use of public transit and alternative modes of travel such as walking and cycling to work were regarded as necessary to take cars off the roads, reduce car emissions, improve air quality and encourage active and healthy lifestyles.
“The Master Plans reflect York Region’s commitment to sustainable development and our Sustainability Strategy,” said Town of Markham Regional Councillor Tony Wong, Chair of York Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “We want our communities to be healthy, environmentally protected and economically competitive so that our children and grandchildren can enjoy a high quality of life.”
The provincial growth plan forecasts York Region's population to reach 1.5 million people by 2031.  Adding 500,000 people in two decades is comparable to adding the combined population of our two largest cities, Markham and Vaughan.  To successfully implement the growth plan, York Region will add 336,000 jobs to reach almost 800,000 jobs by 2031, plus add 234,000 households to our existing 276,000 households.
“Our growing communities and the diversity of our transportation needs require comprehensive solutions,” said Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville Mayor Wayne Emmerson, Chair of York Region’s Transportation and Works Committee.  “While developing rapid transit options, we must ensure our roads and highways provide York Region with a competitive transportation network that moves people and goods efficiently.”
The estimated cost to implement the needed transportation infrastructure to 2031 is $18.2 billion, with the following breakdown:
• $14.7 billion for Transit
• $3.5 billion for Roads
“Anticipating the costs of growth is a necessary and responsible approach,” added Chairman Fisch.  “York Region will work with the Federal and Provincial governments and agencies such as Metrolinx to ensure that continuous and necessary infrastructure investments are made in the Region over the next 25 years.”
Regional Council authorized staff to circulate the draft report for a minimum 30-day public review period.  Comments received by September 30, 2009 will be considered and incorporated into the final report presented to Regional Council for approval in the fall of 2009.  The Master Plan update will support a Regional Official Plan update to be submitted to Regional Council for approval by the end of the year.
The draft master plan is available on the York Region website at www.york.ca 
To obtain more information about the master plan update, please call York Region’s Planning and Development Services Department at 1-877-464-9675, Ext. 1550, or send your request via email to masterplan@york.ca
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications Specialist, York Region
                                           Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
                                           Cell:  905 251-6413  Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca
Backgrounder:  Master Plan draft reports reflect three rounds of public input
Maps:  York Region 2031 Road Network
 York Region 2031 Transit Network
These maps are available upon request in larger file sizes that are appropriate for print purposes.

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