A resident’s comments.
To all members of Council. Thank you very much for your attention and discussion last evening concerning the traffic, bike lanes, parking and pedestrian access on Downey Road. We appreciated that you understand our concerns and look forward to a satisfactory resolution to all the issues raised last evening.
And a special thank you to Leanne Piper for putting forward the motion to defer. And thank you to Bob Bell for his considered assessment of the situation and Karl Wettstein and Todd Dennis, our Ward 6 councillors who listened to our concerns and provided valuable advice.
One thing we would like to make abundantly clear is that we are not against a comprehensive bike lane plan for the City of Guelph. We simply believe that the present situation on Downey Road leaves a great deal to be desired when it comes to the potential conflict between pedestrians, bicycles and excessive traffic and speed on Downey Road.
I know that you all heard that one of our potential solutions was to close Downey Road south of Teal once Laird Road was extended to Downey Road. We think that it is important to realize the benefits of closing Downey Road.
The first benefit is that once folks travelling North and South to access locations outside Guelph start using the Laird Road interchange to access Downey Road South there will be a major reduction in the number of vehicles idling at the lights at Downey Road and the Hanlon. This makes a greener City. And we all want that! The next benefit is that the City will be in a position to downgrade Downey Road to a local collector and the traffic flow will decrease to an acceptable level that will make cycling and walking a safe, green method of transportation. The next benefit is that the pedestrian accesses across and along Downey will be much more conducive to encouraging local residents to walk from place to place in the neighbourhood. A greener pastime! The next benefit is that the whole area becomes a safer community for our children, adults and visitors. There is no downside.
We fervently hope that the City will not consider the implementation of “refuge islands” as a solution to traffic issues in this area. Forcing pedestrians to cower in the middle of speeding traffic is not a solution to excessive traffic volume traveling at excessive speed. Walking is a green means of transportation and can be done year round. We hope that our neighbourhood will be a pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood as well as a bicycle-friendly neighbourhood.
As an interesting thought, one of the big issues raised by the local community when discussing the closing of Downey Road is that our local community will no longer have a quick access South out of the community. However when one thinks about the logistics of using the Downey Road/Hanlon intersection to access the Hanlon and proceed south to Laird Road the time difference is minimal. And in discussion with neighbours they concur that for the number of times folks in our neighbourhood actually go South on Downey it is really not a great inconvenience.
No one likes change. But we also know that folks accept change. What we are looking for is a way to change the traffic patterns in this area of the City such that the final design enhances the community and creates a safe, green community for all the residents.DJ
A resident’s acknowledgement.
D and I want to thank all of you for the consideration given to all the presentations last evening at the council meeting. We’re glad that further study will be undertaken and we hope that a solution is found for all of our concerns. DC
Last night, Council unanimously voted to approve an update to the City’s 2007 Water Supply Master Plan. This update forecasts and makes plans for water use and access to a safe and sustainable water supply for our growing community—residential, industrial and commercial—over the next 25 years.
The Water Supply Master Plan update process involved extensive public consultation, input from a Community Liaison Community, and feedback from agency representatives and local municipalities. The update process also included a 30–day review period during which interested parties were invited to provide comments and ask questions.
Conservation and demand management remain the key options for meeting our current and future water supply needs, with new groundwater supplies from existing, offline wells, test wells and new wells inside the city limits also helping to meet future needs. Other recommendations and options include improvements to the water planning and approval process, a by-law to restrict new private groundwater supply wells within the City limits, and a possible far future treatment plant for a surface water supply from Guelph Lake.
To review the Council–approved Water Supply Master Plan update, please visit guelph.ca/water and follow the Water Supply Master Plan link.
In a joint announcement, the City of Guelph and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1189 are letting the public know they will be meeting this week with regards to the current lockout of Guelph Transit’s union employees.
“We believe there is a way to end this lockout and get Guelph Transit running again soon,” said the City’s Chief Administrative Officer Ann Pappert. “We are hoping to see a reasonable and affordable counter-offer presented by the ATU Local 1189 executive that clearly represents the objectives of their membership.”
“We want to be working and serving our community,” said ATU Local 1189 President Andrew Cleary. “Any step that can help us move towards that goal is one we’re willing to consider.”
During this period of negotiations, the City and ATU Local 1189 will not be commenting to the media.
As you may recall, on June 18, City staff met with 35 residents to listen to their concerns about traffic issues in the Kortright Hills/Downey road area.
Since then, we’ve also heard from several residents who support installing bike lanes on Downey Road, and we expect there will be delegations advocating several different options for Downey Road during Monday’s Council meeting.
Attached you’ll find a copy of the City’s letter response to the people who participated in the neighbourhood tour, and a table documenting each of the concerns expressed that day, along with the City’s response. In short:
· Guelph Police Services understand there are trouble spots in the neighbourhood, and will enforce speeding, truck traffic laws.
· The City is contacting tenants in the Hanlon Creek Business Park and reminding them to use approved truck routes The City is considering additional pedestrian crossings that could reduce speeding and improve walkability in the area (to be considered as part of the capital budget process)
· MTO plans to eliminate the connection between Downey/Kortright and the northern section of the Hanlon Expressway to encourage greater use of the Laird interchange and reduce cut-through traffic on Downey Road. Timing of this work is not known, and is outside the control of the City of Guelph.
· Downey is a critical part of Guelph’s transportation network – a network that’s connected to regional and provincial transportation systems. The road provides an essential connection between Guelph and other communities.
City staff believe it is appropriate to implement the Council-approved Cycling Master Plan, and have Downey Road function like other arterial roads across the city; providing safe, efficient travel for motorists, cyclist and pedestrians.
Of course we welcome input and feedback from the community and City Council. We will promote opportunities to participate in the capital budget process and notify residents of any proposed changes.
Letter_Downey Road Neighbourhood Visit