Studies needed before possible Connecting Link...
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Nov 03, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Studies needed before possible Connecting Link changes

Stratford Gazette

Jeff Heuchert

Two studies costing approximately $35,000 total are needed if the city hopes to makes changes that would alter the flow of traffic on Huron and Ontario streets, both of which are Connecting Links controlled by the province.

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, the Public Works subcommittee passed a recommendation to council that the studies be considered during the 2015 budget deliberations.

Any changes to a Connecting Link road would need to be approved by the Ministry of Transportation, advised Ed Dujlovic, Stratford's director of Infrastructure and Development Services. And, more importantly, he noted, the city has to be able to justify to the government any proposed alterations.

There are ongoing concerns about pedestrian safety on Huron due to the speed and aggressiveness of motorists.  The city previously decided to consolidate two crossings on the busy west-end road into one, and to double up on the number of crossing guards at Huron and Huntingdon Avenue.

The subcommittee has additionally discussed different pedestrian crossing options for Huron Street, but Dujlovic said the city has been advised by a traffic consultant that a study is warranted before going to the province.

Similarly, a study by a traffic consultant to determine the impacts on the movement of vehicles would be needed before attempting to proceed with adding an advanced green on the left-turn lane from Erie Street onto Ontario, another change that the subcommittee has discussed.

Staff investigated two different proposed Connecting Link modifications as well, including reducing the speed limit on Huron Street to 40 km/h and installing a pedestrian crossing on Ontario Street between Downie and Waterloo.  But Dujlovic noted the MTO would not approve either, particularly a crossing on Ontario since there are already three controlled intersections in close proximity to one another.

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