Tue, 13 Sep 2016
The town is inviting residents to vote for a traditional, contemporary or classic style of furnishings— streetlights, benches, bike rings and bollards — for downtown as part of the Lakeshore Road East Reconstruction and Streetscape Project.
Voting started this past Saturday at the Downtown Oakville Farmers’ Market and continues for the next two weeks on the Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project page or in person at:
Each of the three styles (traditional, contemporary or classic) is designed to complement the downtown heritage district. The photos on display at the events and posted online give a sense of each style, but do not necessarily represent the final furniture pieces that will be selected. Once a style is determined, the next step will be to choose the individual furniture pieces that work best for downtown Oakville. This will be part of the next round of public consultation happening later this year.
“Streetscape furniture and benches serve to reflect the character of a community,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton. “This is your chance to tell us how we should best showcase the character of our historic downtown. We want public input to help us move forward with a vibrant Lakeshore Road that shows the best of Oakville’s history and livability.”
Following extensive public consultation through the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study (DTS) a contemporary style was chosen in 2015, over traditional and classic, to complement the historic buildings in the streetscape yet remain a reflection of the current time. However, when specific contemporary furniture pieces were presented to the public this past March and June there was significant concern and opposition about the style choice. Desire to maximize a flexible (curbless) design of the Lakeshore Road East configuration was also discussed at these meetings as a topic for consideration.
On July 25, 2016, Town Council passed a motion directing staff to recommence a public engagement process to gather more feedback. The motion also called on staff to develop options for a flexible (curbless) street. Staff is expected to report back on both items in early 2017. In the meantime, staff will move forward with incorporating the garbage/recycling stations as well as the granite pavers and curbs into the streetscape design as presented to the public this past March and June.
The Downtown Oakville Heritage Conservation District (DOHCD) Plan identified the current mixture of designs, materials and colours in downtown as visually cluttered. The DOHCD Plan identified the opportunity for a new design of street furnishings, allowing for contemporary improvements, so long as it is cohesive, supports the pedestrian environment and does not compete with the historic material of the district.
With Lakeshore Road East (Navy Street to Allan Street) coming to the end of its lifespan and needing a major reconstruction, the town undertook extensive research and public consultation to identify broader opportunities to improve traffic, beautify streets and improve pedestrian/cycle ways in the downtown. In October 2015, Council approved the Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project as part of the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study (DTS) study.
For more information visit th Lakeshore Reconstruction Project page.