I strongly oppose the renaming of Highway 7. I think it is not necessary to spend the money on renaming the street. There is basically nothing wrong with it, in fact the existing street name is just fine. Why does York Region need to change it anyway? Why waste taxpayers’ money? People are not complaining about Highway 7, it is not a major issue with the residents or businesses to change the name.
York Region should spend time better to fix other problems like traffic instead of changing a part of Highway 7 name. It is renaming only the part that runs through York Region, not the entire highway.
Also the majority of people recognize Highway 7, just like 401 or Yonge Street. Yonge Street also runs through many communities but none of the communities have decided to change the name of Yonge Street even through it starts in Toronto.
In the last proposed name change back on Feb. 2012, the majority of surveyed residents did not like to change the name of Highway 7 because it may cause confusion for users of the roadway and general concerns about the necessity to rename the road. The change may cause confusion for emergency units or travellers and the affected residents and businesses will need to change the mailing address information, printed envelopes and letterhead.
The report said that Highway 7 is no longer compatible with the new vision for the corridor and this is one of the main reasons for the name change. Highway 7 is becoming more urbanized but even if Highway 7 is renamed, many people will still refer to it as Highway 7. The name change for a section of the roadway may be more confusing, such as 16th Avenue which has two different names, Carville Road and Rutherford Road, but it is the same stretch of road, Highway 7 is a unique road name because everyone knows where it is and there is no other similarly named roadway. It may not be exciting or reflect the new urbanization of the area, but everyone will know where it is.
York Region is making the rapid transit line on Highway 7 with new stations and shelters. The shelters look great, like a piece of art, but does it do the job to keep the sun, rain, wind or snow away from pedestrians? NO.
It is very dangerous to walk halfway across Highway 7 to the bus stop. It will be added danger for pedestrians who will jay walk across Highway 7 especially when they just get off the bus or chase after the bus. We can see it at the GO train station on McCowan just north of 7. Many residents do not walk across McCowan at the traffic light; they just walk across McCowan along the track. IT is also the same in downtown Toronto. Many pedestrians just cross in the middle of the road when they get off the streetcar, not just at the light.
Instead of spending time and resources on renaming Highway 7, maybe we should focus more on the safety and protection of the transit riders and improving the transit system.