Final report on two-way conversion of four Oshawa streets headed to 2023 capital budget

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Published June 8, 2022 at 2:34 pm

A four-pack of one-way streets in or at the edge of Oshawa’s downtown are set to be converted to two-way thoroughfares, likely next year.

The final report on the conversions of Albert and Celina streets, which begin (Celina) or end (Albert) downtown, and Brock St. E and Colborne Street – located just at the northern edge of the downtown, were approved by the Development Services Committee Monday.

Council approval is expected June 20, with the conversion to be included in the 2023 capital budget.

Oshawa Council has been considering changing the streets over for about eight years – the city’s main streets (King/Bond and Simcoe/Centre) running through Oshawa’s core were also considered at that time – and in February 2021 the City retained the services of CIMA+ to undertake the One-Way to Two-Way Conversion Feasibility Study for Albert Street and Celina Street.

In March 2021 the scope of work for CIMA+ was increased to include the investigation and analysis of the conversion of Brock Street and Colborne Street to two-way traffic operations

(Both Albert and Celina are considered collector roads while Brock and Colborne are strictly residential streets.)

Public information sessions were held in October and this past April and the final CIMA+ report was delivered to committee in May.

Ward 4 Councillor Derek Giberson, whose ward includes downtown, noted that the streets started out as two-way but were changed years ago to accommodate shift changes at General Motors in the days when GM affected everyday life in the Motor City.

“They caused significant harm to neighbourhoods,” he said. “This is an opportunity for this council to right that wrong.”

CIMA+ looked at three alternatives in the study: #1 is Do Nothing, #2 is Covert to Two-Way (with road widening) and Option #3 is Convert to Two-Way (no widening).

Each alternative for the four one-way corridors were analyzed against a set of criteria such as future traffic operations, cyclist and pedestrian safety, environmental effects, etc. The alternatives were then evaluated against one another and assigned a score based on a scoring system and their respective benefits to the surrounding environments.

With little room for widening, the final recommendation was for Option #2, with widening of Albert and Celina a long-range solution when appropriate land purchases can be made,

Costs for the work are expected to be $700,000 for Albert and Celina and $200,000 for Brock and Colborne, with an additional $5.5 million pencilled in for the long term or ultimate condition on Albert and Celina. This cost estimate assumes removal and replacement of existing curbs and boulevards, assumes a reconstruction of the existing roadways, and includes high-level utility estimates for relocated hydro poles.

Interim measures for Albert/Celina have bike lanes painted in the middle of the road. Long-range plans call for a future widening of the right-of-way to 20 metres and include 3.5 metre traffic lanes, on-street bike lanes and on-street parking

Brock and Colborne will require only modifications to pavement markings, corner curb radii, on-street parking, and traffic control.

The overall results of the study showed that the conversion of one-way streets to two-way streets will result in positive impacts in the neighbourhood.

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