Oakville starting anew on plans for Lakeshore Rd. improvements
Published March 29, 2023 at 4:32 pm
It’s back to the drawing board for the Town of Oakville on plans to improve Lakeshore Rd.
Redesigning the part of the busy road between Mississauga St. and Dorval Dr. has been in the town’s plans since the Livable Oakville Plan and Active Transportation Master Plan identified a need for improvements in 2009.
Twice before the town has tried to come up with a plan to make improvements to the road’s drainage, sidewalks, bridges and cycling infrastructure.
“Just to be clear, at this point in time we have no preferred design for Lakeshore Rd. for Mississauga to Dorval,” Phillip Kelly, manager of design and construction, told Town Council at a meeting on Monday (March 27). “So, we’re starting from a clean state.
“Where multiple design alternatives will be developed and through the design process the alternatives will be narrowed down through multiple rounds of public engagement and with input from council at each stage with a goal to arrive at a final design at the end.”
In 2016, the town initiated the Class Environment Assessment on Lakeshore Rd. W. to access current and future traffic needs to improve vehicle, cycle, and pedestrian movement and safety.
Two years later a Draft Environmental Study Report was presented to council where staff was directed to present an option reflecting no continuous centre left turn lane, no loss of trees and no expropriation of property.
In 2019, council directed that a Scenic Corridor Study be completed, and the Class EA study scope be amended to incorporate the findings.
The Lakeshore Rd. W Environment Study was concluded and the technical design received by Council in July of 201.
The passed motion outlined that the detailed design include options to limit tree loss, to limit the taking of private property and to provide a multi-use trail in blocks 2, 3 and 4 of the project area (between East St. and Dorval Dr.).
Also included was an analysis of the climate change impacts, opportunity for further public consultation and additional investigation of drainage options to maintain a rural profile.
Preliminary designs, said Kelly, should be completed and ready for council approval later this year.
In-person and virtual meetings along with surveys will be used to reach out and get feedback from the wider community.
Public stakeholders who will engage in talks include local residents, road users, Halton Environmental Network, local school boards, St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, Oakville Cycling, Bronte Village BIA, The Oakville Historical Society and Indigenous groups.
After additional rounds of public engagement and consultation, the full project design should be completed by 2025.
“The (process) is aimed to be inclusive and clear to help build confidence among stakeholders and to let them know their participation will have a meaningful impact on decision making and the outcomes of the design,” said Kelly. “Starting consultation early and continuous throughout the project will be critical to obtaining public input, to obtaining public feedback, explaining the decision making and maximizing consensus and support.
“While all import and feedback will be considered throughout the detailed design and development, the final design will be a balance of competing interests and engineering requirements.”
Chris Bradbrook, a resident near Coronation Park, made it clear that the input of local residents must be listened to before any design is completed.
Something he says hasn’t happened.
“The input of the majority of residents has been consistently ignored,” said Bradbrook at the meeting.
Ward 2 Regional and Town Councillor Cathy Duddeck said while she appreciated the idea of door hangers being distributed through the area, she says more is needed to make sure local residents are award of their opportunities to provide feedback.
“The one thing that I did see and gave me concern, and I appreciate the door hangers and other ways to communicate, especially when it comes to the Lakeshore Rd. residents, can we have that mailed to them,” Duddeck asked. “I know that Councillor (Ray) Chisholm and I sent individual letters prior to us having a meeting at Sir John Colborne (Recreation Centre) way back when and that had a considerable impact in terms of raising the issue for them.
“I’m just a little concerned with people who travel or whatever and given the fact that we might be dealing with things that directly impact their properties fronting on to Lakeshore would be appreciated.”
Chisholm likes the idea of starting over.
“I like the idea of the clean state and starting this because it’s a very sensitive all through Mississauga St. right down to Dorval Dr.”
He agreed with Duddeck concerns over reaching residents in the area.
“We have an older population and mailouts are important to the residents,” he said. “May I suggest we go out further of the requirement under the planning act, because it does impact west Oakville in a lot of ways. So, I think that’s very important.
“I know it takes more on your plate, but it is required because it is such a large project.”inhalton's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising