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Guelph Mercury Article - "Turn traffic around on Wilson Street"

Date Posted: Monday, February 27, 2017

"Turn traffic around, Wilson Street"

Guelph Mercury Article written by Doug Hallett.

Published on Monday Feb 27 2017

Wilson Street

The preferred alternative of an environmental assessment study is to reverse the traffic flow so that this section of Wilson would become one-way southbound from Northumberland, exiting onto Gordon.


An environmental assessment study has concluded that the best way to deal with increased traffic to a parkade planned for the Wilson Street Parking Lot is to reverse the direction of traffic on a section of Wilson.

Currently, traffic flows one-way along Wilson from Gordon Street to Northumberland Street, which is on the north edge of the parking lot.

The preferred alternative, out of five options studied, is to reverse the traffic flow so that this section of Wilson would become one-way southbound from Northumberland, exiting onto Gordon. The current two-way section of Wilson, between Northumberland and Macdonell streets, would remain two-way under the preferred scenario, says a city staff report.

The study also looked at the possibilities of making Wilson one-way southbound or one-way northbound for its entire length, or making it two-way for its entire length, or leaving things as they are now.

The purpose of the study was to “employ a screening process to select the preferred traffic flow direction for Wilson Street that would minimize and mitigate the transportation impacts of the additional traffic generated by the new parkade and any environmental, cultural and socio-economic impacts,” says the report, which was released in February.

Reconstruction of Wilson Street, including replacement of underground utilities and upgrading of the road surface, is being done in two stages with an estimated total price of $1.8 million.

The section between Gordon and Northumberland was done last year, with temporary asphalt pavement installed for the time being.

The section from Northumberland to Macdonell is to be reconstructed this year, likely from May to August. A disruption of parking on this section, estimated to last a week, started Feb. 23 to allow a contractor to gauge depths of existing utility infrastructure in preparation for the reconstruction.

The city, which hasn’t built a parkade downtown since the early 1980s, is projected to need 1,500 new parking spaces by 2031 to meet its aims for a large growth in population and jobs downtown. A parkade on the Wilson Street parking lot across from city hall is the first new one set to be built, as called for in a downtown parking master plan completed in 2015.

However, the Wilson parkade project has faced delays, with initial submissions to build the structure all coming in significantly over budget last year. As a result, city hall cancelled that Request for Proposals and issued a revised RFP Jan. 27, 2017.

Among other things, the revised RFP sets the number of car parking spaces at between 300 and 350, with capacity to be included for more storeys to be added in the future as needed. One of the cost reductions in the revised RFP is a reduction in the parkade’s bicycle storage capacity, from 60 bikes down to 40

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