At a Special Council meeting held Tuesday, July 6, 2021, Town Council received the Preferred Solution proposed in the Environmental Assessment for Lakeshore Road West improvements, and directed staff to proceed to the detailed design phase, incorporating options for Council’s further consideration. Review the news release.
Council directed staff to prepare a detailed design that included:
The decision concludes the Environmental Assessment (EA) study for Lakeshore Road West improvements. A separate EA will be filed for the McCraney Creek Bridge which is in need of replacement, using information gathered from the Lakeshore Road West study.
Review the ESR report:
The town conducted an Environmental Assessment Study to assess current and future traffic needs along Lakeshore Road West and find ways to improve vehicle, cyclist, and pedestrian accessibility and safety. The study is considering a wide range of options including continuous sidewalks, multi-use paths, on-road bike lanes, separated turn lanes, improved intersection pedestrian crossings, and improvements to pavement and drainage conditions.
The EA is a draft design only. The town is looking at the best way we can design improvements to the roadway that will have minimal impact on trees and neighbouring properties. At the detailed design stage, the town will look for opportunities to further mitigate tree impacts by narrowing the sidewalk or trail, or by curving the sidewalk or trail around trees where possible.
Following approval of the EA, a more detailed design is developed and shared with the public prior to any construction.
A virtual Public Information Centre was held online from April 6 - 20 to receive public feedback on the revised design alternatives.
Town staff and our consultants met with stakeholders in late March and early April to share the design alternatives for the Lakeshore Road West improvements to gather feedback. Review the presentation. Following these meetings, some stakeholders expressed a desire to see specific criteria developed for the scenic corridor characteristics of Lakeshore Road. A staff report was presented to Council in August requesting the completion of the Lakeshore Road West EA study be delayed until early 2020 so that a Scenic Corridors Study could be completed.
Accordingly, the study team reviewed the technically preferred design concept against the themes and considerations identified in the Scenic Corridors Study to ensure that the identified themes are incorporated in the revised alternative design options for the Lakeshore study area. The preferred revised alternative design option for the Lakeshore Road segments was presented to at a stakeholders' meeting held on March 16, 2021.
At the Planning and Development Council meeting, staff recommended extending the study timelines to further engage with residents and stakeholders prior to bringing revised Lakeshore Road EA recommendations forward to council in early 2019. Review the staff report on the August 7 Planning and Development Council agenda, item 7.
The town held a public meeting to gather further community feedback on the draft plan and discuss any issues or concerns residents had, specifically regarding tree preservation, property requirements and options for a centre turn lane. Feedback received will be considered in the final planning and design phase, prior to being presented to Council in 2019. Review the public meeting presentation. Review the public meeting feedback summary.
An open house was held to share the preliminary preferred alternatives for Lakeshore Road West improvements, discuss next steps and gather public input.
An open house was held to provide an opportunity for residents and interested stakeholders to learn about and provide input and comments on the preliminary investigations, the need for improvements and the assessment of planning alternatives.
As well as public information sessions, extensive stakeholder and technical agency engagement has been conducted throughout the study.
The town's Livable Oakville Plan and Active Transportation Master Plan both identified the need for improvements along Lakeshore Road West between Mississaga Street and Dorval Drive to meet the town's growth demands to 2031 and provide safe and accessible travel options for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
Lakeshore Road requires upgrading to meet today’s standards and use. The improvements proposed are to maintain a streetscape typical of the existing roadway while improving safety and accessibility of pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit users of all ages including people with disabilities. The improvements align with the Scenic Corridors Study completed in February 2020.
Improvements are necessary to address long stretches of the area that have no sidewalks, where pedestrians and cyclists are obligated to use the gravel shoulder on the road. This is especially dangerous in the winter time when there is piled-up snow, or for pedestrians who use a mobility aid such as a walker or wheelchair, or a parent with small children. As well, there are currently limited intersections or crosswalks to assist pedestrians crossing the road.
The Environmental Assessment (EA) identifies the problem we want to solve and the opportunity we want to address. In the case of the Lakeshore Road West study area, there are multiple areas of concern and multiple opportunities for improvement: mobility, safety, accessibility, pavement quality and life, and stormwater management.
It is not enough to just to say that we are recommending certain types of infrastructure be built. We need to do some level of design work in order to show that it is feasible to build the recommended improvements.
We need to have the right level of design before the EA is filed. Detailed enough that people can see what we are proposing. Detailed enough that we can prepare a reasonable cost estimate and mitigation plan. Detailed enough that people can see what the impacts and benefits are. To do a detailed design before the EA is finalized is jumping the gun. Detailed design and construction-ready drawings come later. We need to know there is support for the plan before completing the detailed design.
We want residents to be able to visualize what we are proposing and how it benefits or impacts them. We’ve been able to use the town’s GIS data for our tree inventory to identify at a high level which trees might be impacted by the recommended design. Winding a sidewalk or multi-use trail around trees or identifying exactly where they can be narrowed will be done at the design stage.
The improvements proposed are to maintain a streetscape typical of the existing roadway while improving safety and satisfying the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and transit users of all ages including people with disabilities. The improvements are required to address:
Improvements will be made with a focus on the following:
Some tree removals will be necessary to accommodate sidewalks and bike lanes with minimal need for impacts to private land. The town will look at the best way we can design improvements to the roadway that will have minimal impact on trees and neighbouring properties, such as curving sidewalks around trees
Tree removals are not final at this point. The Environmental Study Report (ESR) includes preliminary design drawings that indicate potential tree removals required to accommodate the proposed improvements to the road cross-section. Many of the trees identified for potential removal are trees that are less than 20 cm dbh (diametre at breast height) and those that are already marked for removal due to safety issues or ill health.
Wherever possible, the existing trees located along the Lakeshore Road corridor will be preserved. Where tree removals are required, these trees will be replaced following the Town of Oakville’s Tree Protection During Construction Procedure and associated town by-laws.
The town considers its municipally owned urban forest as green infrastructure. For every square metre of canopy (or leaf area) that is removed from town property or from town road rights-of-way, sufficient trees will be replanted to replace the lost canopy. The town shall ensure that appropriate space for tree protection and tree planting within road rights-of-way are included in the design of new roads and road improvements.
The following specific problems and opportunities are addressed by including curbs and gutters:
McCraney Creek Bridge:
The McCraney Creek bridge requires replacement due to poor condition and flooding potential. This is noted as a priority. The new structure will accommodate two lanes of traffic, on-road bike lanes, a sidewalk (north side) and a multi-use trial (south side). Pedestrian protection will also be provided by incorporating a pedestrian separation barrier wall or railing.
Bronte Creek Bridge:
The existing Bronte Creek bridge requires no structural changes. It will be modified with a new pavement marking plan to accommodate the new cross-section. Pedestrian protection will also be provided by incorporating a pedestrian separation barrier wall or railing.
Fourteen Mile Creek Bridge:
The existing Fourteen Mile Creek bridge requires no structural changes. The bridge deck will be modified with new pavement markings to accommodate the new cross-section. During the detailed design phase, staff will explore opportunities to retrofit the structure with pedestrian barrier walls (subject to feasibility).
The proposed designs are shown in Appendix C of the May 22 staff report, item 2.
The online Public Information Centre (April 6-20) has now concluded.
The Class EA study team has reviewed all of the comments received so far and incorporated them into the Environmental Study Report (ESR), as required. A Notice of Completion will be issued once the ESR is finalized, and it will be made available online for review for a minimum 30-day review period. The ESR will be presented to Council on July 6, 2021, to be approved before the final design stage.
Study area drawing Mississaga to Bronte (pdf)
Study area drawing Jones to Livno Common (pdf)
Study area drawing Solingate to Third (pdf)
Study area drawing Old Lakeshore to Woodhaven (pdf)
Study area drawing Woodhaven to Wolfdale (pdf)
Study area drawing Willowridge to Westdale (pdf)
Study area drawing Fourth to Birch (pdf)
Study area drawing Paliser to Garden (pdf)
In August, 2019, the Lakeshore Road study was paused while the town completed a Scenic Corridor study to further examine the study area to identify and evaluate the roadway and street scape elements that contribute to its scenic value.
The Scenic Corridors study was completed in February 2020 and identifies four themes that support and define the characteristics and qualities of the scenic corridor:
The study team is reviewing the revised design concepts for Lakeshore Road West to ensure these elements are incorporated into the final technically preferred design.
Have your say! If you have any questions or comments, would like to be added to the study mailing list, or would like further information on the study, please contact:
Syed Rizvi, M.Sc., P.Eng.,
Transportation Engineer, Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3981
Bob Felker, B.E.S., M.C.I.P., R.P.P.,
Senior Environmental Planner,
Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions