Victoria Avenue Construction Project

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Project Goals

  • Prepare a tender-ready package for Victoria Avenue from McNaughton Avenue to Thames Street; main attributes include:
    • Sewer Separation
    • Providing a dedicated storm sewer with private services
    • Watermain replacement
    • Road resurfacing
  • Incorporate Council Strategic Directions and address public concerns under the same project to achieve optimal cost savings:
    • Council’s 2018 - 2022 Term Priorities under ‘Health’ which is to Health - Expand trails and active transportation to promote physical and a healthy lifestyle and ‘Growth’ which is to improve transportation, public transit and active transportation options.
    • Fulfill Chatham-Kent’s Cycling master plan and to Improve accessibility where feasible
    • Address excessive speeding, stop sign compliance and improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles
    • Optimize traffic flow
    • Resolve drainage issues
  • Maintain the existing heritage, culture, trees and overall characteristics of Victoria Avenue.
  • To have the entire project complete and tender (shovel) ready in the event that any potential federal or provincial funding becomes available.


Next Steps from PIC #1-Current Work

The following will be incorporated into the project design to be reviewed at PIC #2 (pending any alternative direction proposed by Council):

  • Continue with the main attributes of the project
  • Include a 1.5m wide ‘in-road’ bike lane along both sides of Victoria from McNaughton Ave. to Thames St.
  • This will result in a loss of boulevard of 1.2m per side for a total of 2.4m.
  • Leave the existing sidewalks in their current location with no proposed works at this time
  • Widen Victoria Ave. at the McNaughton Ave. and Grand Ave. intersections to allow for left turn lanes.
  • Continue with the decorative streetlights along Victoria north of Amelia.


Reports available upon request (not AODA compliant):

  • Victoria Ave. Traffic Impact Study (TIS)
  • Victoria Ave. Arborist Report


Frequency Asked Questions

Q: How trees may be impacted by a wider street into the boulevard to accommodate bike lanes?

A: As discussed during open Council on Monday, May 25 and as identified in the Victoria Ave. Infrastructure Renewal information report to Council: two (2) smaller trees on the east side of Victoria between Forest Street and Selkirk Street will be impacted by the proposed road widening to accommodate the bike lanes.


Q: Whether traffic will increase with new left turn lane options?

A: Cannot predict this. The proposed left turn lanes will greatly improve the flow of traffic and service levels at both the McNaughton Ave. and Grand Ave. intersections.


Q: What costs an alternative advance green light option would look like to reduce spend and space impacts?

A: Costs for advanced green light options at the McNaughton Ave. and Grand Ave. intersections were not investigated as this option was not considered for the following reason.


Q: An advance green is typically only used on the major roadway (Grand Avenue and McNaughton Avenue) where there is significant left turn traffic volume in one direction. An advance left turn on the minor roadway (Victoria Avenue) will add delay time to the major roads which is not desirable. Also, an advance left turn can only used in one direction on a roadway. Therefore, the opposite direction will also experience increased delays. Left turn lanes will increase capacity and reduce delays without affecting operations on major roadway.

A: An advance green used on a one lane approach cannot be actuated by vehicle detection. There is no way for the traffic signal to know if the stopped vehicle is going to turn left or go straight so the advance green must always turn on with a vehicle present. This also causes unnecessary delay times at the intersection. The alternative is to remove the advance green completely during specific time periods with traffic signal controller programming.


Q: Whether hydro lines are being moved underground and what, if any, associated hook up costs may be pass along to homeowners?

A: Aerial hydro lines going to underground, north of Amelia, will be considered during the detailed design phase in the coming months. Any and all costs associated with these works are still being determined in consultation with Entegrus.


Q: What other traffic calming solutions may come from this new direction?

A: The Municipality will be presenting to Council in the coming months a proposed Traffic Calming Policy for approval. This policy will outline a process and available options for the public and administration to follow pertaining to traffic calming. The proposed road narrowing to 3.0m is a highly recommended form of traffic calming.


Q: What new safety risks may be introduced by narrowing each traffic lane to 3 m width alongside new bike lanes?

A: The proposed road narrowing to 3.0m and installation of new 1.5m bike lanes will improve safety for all along Victoria. As mentioned above, the road narrowing to 3.0m (which is an acceptable width in accordance with the Ontario Geometric Design Manual for Highways) will provide vehicular traffic calming and the new 1.5m wide bike lanes will provide safe and sufficient space for cyclists where this space never existed before along Victoria.


Council question came in (through several Councillors) regarding boulevard parking spaces on Victoria between Thames St. and Grand Ave.

Q: Will my parking space, which is my only means of parking for my property between the road and existing sidewalk, be reinstated following the installation of the in-road bike lanes along Victoria?


A: We have confirmed that the existing road width for Victoria from Thames St. to Grand Ave. is approx. 7.5m total. The proposal that was approved by Council was to include 1.5m wide bike lanes within the road from McNaughton all the way to Thames St. As confirmed during open Council discussion, the plan is to also reduce the vehicular road lanes to 3.0m each direction as well.

Therefore, the proposed total road width throughout the entire length of Victoria (McNaughton to Thames) will be 9.0m resulting in a road widening of approx. 1.5m at this location or 0.75m (2.5ft) of widening per side.

To answer the question, yes this will impact the existing boulevard parking along this stretch of road but we plan to work with our consultant during the detailed design phase in the coming months to address this concern. An option may be to shift the sidewalk only at these locations to accommodate parking but this will be confirmed and presented at the next PIC planned for September/October this year.

--end--

During the May 25, 2020 open Council session, Administration was asked what the standard width of a bus is and if this will present any safety concerns for cyclists with the proposed road narrowing of Victoria Ave. to 3.0m running adjacent to bike lanes.

Vehicle Widths

In accordance with Ontario Regulations:

  • O. Reg. 413/05: VEHICLE WEIGHTS AND DIMENSIONS - FOR SAFE, PRODUCTIVE AND INFRASTRUCTURE-FRIENDLY VEHICLES
  • O. Reg. 167/12: VEHICLE WEIGHTS AND DIMENSIONS - FOR SAFE, PRODUCTIVE AND INFRASTRUCTURE-FRIENDLY VEHICLES
  • DESIGNATED BUS OR RECREATIONAL VEHICLE 1 — STANDARD BUS OR COMPARABLE RECREATIONAL VEHICLE (this incorporates school buses), and
  • DESIGNATED BUS OR RECREATIONAL VEHICLE 2 — INTER-CITY BUS OR COMPARABLE RECREATIONAL VEHICLE


The maximum vehicle width specification is 2.6m.

In addition to this research, Engineering confirmed with our CKTransit service provider, who also manages school bus operations, that the width of all busses is 2.6m, and from mirror to mirror is 113 inches or 2.87m.

In summary, IES have no concerns with the proposed 3.0m width of each lane as noted in the RTC.


Question from Council (B. McGregor)

Q: What is the current width of the boulevards from sidewalk to road?

A: The range is approx. 5.2m to 5.6m on average. And just a reminder, the existing road is approx. 6.6m wide and we are proposing a new total of 9.0m wide with the bike lanes. Therefore an additional 2.4m (of widening) which is 1.2m per side.


There have been a number of questions related to sidewalk conversion to bike lanes and resulting AODA compliance that are clarify below.

  • Convert one of the sidewalks to “bike-only” traffic, and leave the other side for pedestrian-only traffic.
    • Current sidewalks are 1.0m in width. In accordance with Book 18 from the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM enclosed below), a sidewalk must be a minimum of 3.0M wide for two way bicycle traffic. 1.8m is the minimum width for one way bicycle traffic.
    • A 3.0m wide bike lane, replacing an existing 1.0m wide sidewalk will have a significant impact on trees. The number of trees impacted is TBD at this time and will require further study. This is one of reasons IES recommended moving the sidewalks from their current location in the location noted in the initial design.
  • AODA Compliance
    • The current sidewalks at 1.0m do not meet 2020 AODA regulations, but meet the former regulations at the time they were constructed. The minimum width for 2020 AODA compliance is 1.5m. If the sidewalks are left untouched, AODA upgrades are not required.
    • To convert an existing sidewalk to accommodate cycling and pedestrians will require a minimum width of 3.3m in accordance with the OTM as well as the AODA Standards.
      • This proposal as noted above will also have a much greater impact on trees

Ontario Traffic Manual Support Notes

  • Section 4.4.1 (Table 4.7, page 115) of Ontario Traffic Manual Book 18 (Cycling Facilities) provides the following width requirements:

Section 4.4.1 notes that “an in boulevard facility can be constructed with the bicycle path distinct from the sidewalk or as a single facility shared by cyclists and pedestrians”

  • This graphic, also from OTM Book 18 Section 4.4.1, illustrates what the standards are:


Project Goals

  • Prepare a tender-ready package for Victoria Avenue from McNaughton Avenue to Thames Street; main attributes include:
    • Sewer Separation
    • Providing a dedicated storm sewer with private services
    • Watermain replacement
    • Road resurfacing
  • Incorporate Council Strategic Directions and address public concerns under the same project to achieve optimal cost savings:
    • Council’s 2018 - 2022 Term Priorities under ‘Health’ which is to Health - Expand trails and active transportation to promote physical and a healthy lifestyle and ‘Growth’ which is to improve transportation, public transit and active transportation options.
    • Fulfill Chatham-Kent’s Cycling master plan and to Improve accessibility where feasible
    • Address excessive speeding, stop sign compliance and improve safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles
    • Optimize traffic flow
    • Resolve drainage issues
  • Maintain the existing heritage, culture, trees and overall characteristics of Victoria Avenue.
  • To have the entire project complete and tender (shovel) ready in the event that any potential federal or provincial funding becomes available.


Next Steps from PIC #1-Current Work

The following will be incorporated into the project design to be reviewed at PIC #2 (pending any alternative direction proposed by Council):

  • Continue with the main attributes of the project
  • Include a 1.5m wide ‘in-road’ bike lane along both sides of Victoria from McNaughton Ave. to Thames St.
  • This will result in a loss of boulevard of 1.2m per side for a total of 2.4m.
  • Leave the existing sidewalks in their current location with no proposed works at this time
  • Widen Victoria Ave. at the McNaughton Ave. and Grand Ave. intersections to allow for left turn lanes.
  • Continue with the decorative streetlights along Victoria north of Amelia.


Reports available upon request (not AODA compliant):

  • Victoria Ave. Traffic Impact Study (TIS)
  • Victoria Ave. Arborist Report


Frequency Asked Questions

Q: How trees may be impacted by a wider street into the boulevard to accommodate bike lanes?

A: As discussed during open Council on Monday, May 25 and as identified in the Victoria Ave. Infrastructure Renewal information report to Council: two (2) smaller trees on the east side of Victoria between Forest Street and Selkirk Street will be impacted by the proposed road widening to accommodate the bike lanes.


Q: Whether traffic will increase with new left turn lane options?

A: Cannot predict this. The proposed left turn lanes will greatly improve the flow of traffic and service levels at both the McNaughton Ave. and Grand Ave. intersections.


Q: What costs an alternative advance green light option would look like to reduce spend and space impacts?

A: Costs for advanced green light options at the McNaughton Ave. and Grand Ave. intersections were not investigated as this option was not considered for the following reason.


Q: An advance green is typically only used on the major roadway (Grand Avenue and McNaughton Avenue) where there is significant left turn traffic volume in one direction. An advance left turn on the minor roadway (Victoria Avenue) will add delay time to the major roads which is not desirable. Also, an advance left turn can only used in one direction on a roadway. Therefore, the opposite direction will also experience increased delays. Left turn lanes will increase capacity and reduce delays without affecting operations on major roadway.

A: An advance green used on a one lane approach cannot be actuated by vehicle detection. There is no way for the traffic signal to know if the stopped vehicle is going to turn left or go straight so the advance green must always turn on with a vehicle present. This also causes unnecessary delay times at the intersection. The alternative is to remove the advance green completely during specific time periods with traffic signal controller programming.


Q: Whether hydro lines are being moved underground and what, if any, associated hook up costs may be pass along to homeowners?

A: Aerial hydro lines going to underground, north of Amelia, will be considered during the detailed design phase in the coming months. Any and all costs associated with these works are still being determined in consultation with Entegrus.


Q: What other traffic calming solutions may come from this new direction?

A: The Municipality will be presenting to Council in the coming months a proposed Traffic Calming Policy for approval. This policy will outline a process and available options for the public and administration to follow pertaining to traffic calming. The proposed road narrowing to 3.0m is a highly recommended form of traffic calming.


Q: What new safety risks may be introduced by narrowing each traffic lane to 3 m width alongside new bike lanes?

A: The proposed road narrowing to 3.0m and installation of new 1.5m bike lanes will improve safety for all along Victoria. As mentioned above, the road narrowing to 3.0m (which is an acceptable width in accordance with the Ontario Geometric Design Manual for Highways) will provide vehicular traffic calming and the new 1.5m wide bike lanes will provide safe and sufficient space for cyclists where this space never existed before along Victoria.


Council question came in (through several Councillors) regarding boulevard parking spaces on Victoria between Thames St. and Grand Ave.

Q: Will my parking space, which is my only means of parking for my property between the road and existing sidewalk, be reinstated following the installation of the in-road bike lanes along Victoria?


A: We have confirmed that the existing road width for Victoria from Thames St. to Grand Ave. is approx. 7.5m total. The proposal that was approved by Council was to include 1.5m wide bike lanes within the road from McNaughton all the way to Thames St. As confirmed during open Council discussion, the plan is to also reduce the vehicular road lanes to 3.0m each direction as well.

Therefore, the proposed total road width throughout the entire length of Victoria (McNaughton to Thames) will be 9.0m resulting in a road widening of approx. 1.5m at this location or 0.75m (2.5ft) of widening per side.

To answer the question, yes this will impact the existing boulevard parking along this stretch of road but we plan to work with our consultant during the detailed design phase in the coming months to address this concern. An option may be to shift the sidewalk only at these locations to accommodate parking but this will be confirmed and presented at the next PIC planned for September/October this year.

--end--

During the May 25, 2020 open Council session, Administration was asked what the standard width of a bus is and if this will present any safety concerns for cyclists with the proposed road narrowing of Victoria Ave. to 3.0m running adjacent to bike lanes.

Vehicle Widths

In accordance with Ontario Regulations:

  • O. Reg. 413/05: VEHICLE WEIGHTS AND DIMENSIONS - FOR SAFE, PRODUCTIVE AND INFRASTRUCTURE-FRIENDLY VEHICLES
  • O. Reg. 167/12: VEHICLE WEIGHTS AND DIMENSIONS - FOR SAFE, PRODUCTIVE AND INFRASTRUCTURE-FRIENDLY VEHICLES
  • DESIGNATED BUS OR RECREATIONAL VEHICLE 1 — STANDARD BUS OR COMPARABLE RECREATIONAL VEHICLE (this incorporates school buses), and
  • DESIGNATED BUS OR RECREATIONAL VEHICLE 2 — INTER-CITY BUS OR COMPARABLE RECREATIONAL VEHICLE


The maximum vehicle width specification is 2.6m.

In addition to this research, Engineering confirmed with our CKTransit service provider, who also manages school bus operations, that the width of all busses is 2.6m, and from mirror to mirror is 113 inches or 2.87m.

In summary, IES have no concerns with the proposed 3.0m width of each lane as noted in the RTC.


Question from Council (B. McGregor)

Q: What is the current width of the boulevards from sidewalk to road?

A: The range is approx. 5.2m to 5.6m on average. And just a reminder, the existing road is approx. 6.6m wide and we are proposing a new total of 9.0m wide with the bike lanes. Therefore an additional 2.4m (of widening) which is 1.2m per side.


There have been a number of questions related to sidewalk conversion to bike lanes and resulting AODA compliance that are clarify below.

  • Convert one of the sidewalks to “bike-only” traffic, and leave the other side for pedestrian-only traffic.
    • Current sidewalks are 1.0m in width. In accordance with Book 18 from the Ontario Traffic Manual (OTM enclosed below), a sidewalk must be a minimum of 3.0M wide for two way bicycle traffic. 1.8m is the minimum width for one way bicycle traffic.
    • A 3.0m wide bike lane, replacing an existing 1.0m wide sidewalk will have a significant impact on trees. The number of trees impacted is TBD at this time and will require further study. This is one of reasons IES recommended moving the sidewalks from their current location in the location noted in the initial design.
  • AODA Compliance
    • The current sidewalks at 1.0m do not meet 2020 AODA regulations, but meet the former regulations at the time they were constructed. The minimum width for 2020 AODA compliance is 1.5m. If the sidewalks are left untouched, AODA upgrades are not required.
    • To convert an existing sidewalk to accommodate cycling and pedestrians will require a minimum width of 3.3m in accordance with the OTM as well as the AODA Standards.
      • This proposal as noted above will also have a much greater impact on trees

Ontario Traffic Manual Support Notes

  • Section 4.4.1 (Table 4.7, page 115) of Ontario Traffic Manual Book 18 (Cycling Facilities) provides the following width requirements:

Section 4.4.1 notes that “an in boulevard facility can be constructed with the bicycle path distinct from the sidewalk or as a single facility shared by cyclists and pedestrians”

  • This graphic, also from OTM Book 18 Section 4.4.1, illustrates what the standards are: