Queen Street and Main Street in the Village of Alton, in the Town of Caledon, ON serves two distinctly different purposes.
For locals and tourists, Main Street and Queen Street serve as the main thoroughfares in a picturesque, historic village. Lined with shops, restaurants, schools, churches, bed and breakfasts, spas and other small businesses; their sidewalks are filled with pedestrians at peak times. For trucks and others passing through, it is a Regional Road that is the fastest way to get to other larger Towns and Cities; and is a primary trucking route. Thus, competing uses provide a challenge in road design.
This situation is not unique, but rather reflective of the typical road configuration in many parts of Ontario, and in Canada in general. The challenge presents itself to ensure pedestrian safety for towns in which their main thoroughfare also serves as a brief slowdown in what is otherwise a high-speed connector road. It has been demonstrated in similar scenarios that reducing regulatory speed limits does not achieve the desired level of speed reduction. Providing supplementary traffic calming features, such as splitter islands, narrowed lane widths, and streetscaping has been used effectively to further lower average speeds and improve pedestrian safety.
Alton is one village that was identified by the Region of Peel as target for traffic calming improvements. At the same time, it was also identified in the Township of Caledon as one of the targets of the “Six Villages Community Improvement Plan”, a revitalization strategy to provide improvements in streetscaping, pedestrian connectivity, signage and other beautification in target villages.
Through extensive design collaboration, stakeholder consultation, community outreach and project delivery, R.V. Anderson and the Region of Peel developed unique streetscaping features that achieved the dual purpose of beautification with traffic calming. The most challenging project constraints included working within a narrow, 15 to 20-meter-wide right of way without acquiring property; environmental impacts; heritage buildings and geometric design considerations.
The project includes a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Schedule B), bridge replacement in a Provincially Significant Wetland; vegetated face retaining walls; traffic calming islands with plantings and a gateway feature; decorative streetlighting and pedestrian lighting; new lay-by parking; decorative concrete; and rest areas.
The first construction phase is scheduled to be completed in Spring of 2019. The second phase will commence in the Spring of 2019 and will be completed in December of 2019.