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Centre Wellington seeks public input on future of St. David Street

The street is scheduled for a full reconstruction but staff are looking into the public desire for wider sidewalks or bike lanes
Changes suggested to St. David Street include bike lanes and wider sidewalks but that could come at the expense of the highly used on-street parking spaces.

FERGUS – The Township of Centre Wellington is seeking public input on design concepts for St. David Street in downtown Fergus.

Colin Baker, managing director of infrastructure, said at a Monday meeting that a stretch of St. David Street, from St. Andrew Street to Edinburgh Avenue, is scheduled for a full reconstruction in 2023. 

He explained the town will be leveraging the province’s connecting links funding, which can cover up to 90 per cent of costs to repair a municipal road that connects two ends of a highway, in this case Highway 6. 

Beyond that, Baker said the township is taking that opportunity to look at how the road is designed to better meet the needs of the public and complete streets policy from the township’s transportation master plan. 

This could include widening sidewalks, streetscape visual improvements, reduction in parking spaces, bike lanes or any combination of these.

“What we’re really looking at is what the future vision for this road is,” Baker said at the meeting.

Council was presented four options for information purposes ahead of the public engagement period.

The first option is to match the existing design which would maintain 14 highly used on-street parking spots, maintain the same traffic flow but not improve active transportation or the visual appeal. 

The second option would increase the sidewalk width which would provide a better visual look with new trees and lighting and increase vehicle width but all parking spots would be removed. 

Option three would keep on-street parking between St. Andrew and St. Patrick and then widen the sidewalk north of these streets bringing the benefits of both. 

Option four suggests separated cycling lanes from St. Andrew to Hill Street and an unseparated bike lane for the rest of the stretch. This would mean a reduction to four parking spaces and vehicle lane width. 

Adam Gilmore, manager of engineering, said option four is in-line with their complete streets policy and cycling lanes are justified given the average daily traffic volumes. 

Gilmore said, as noted in other municipalities, narrower lanes can have a traffic calming effect. 

Baker explained the next steps are to get these concepts out for public input through advisory committees, a landing page on connectCW, advertising and meetings with the Ministry of Transportation. 

They will then take the feedback and come to council with a recommendation at a later date. 

Keegan Kozolanka

About the Author: Keegan Kozolanka

Keegan Kozolanka is a general assignment reporter for EloraFergusToday, covering Wellington County. Keegan has been working with Village Media for more than two years and helped launch EloraFergusToday in 2021.
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