A number of SCU members attended the Elgin Greenway Project public open house on March 19th. We had an opportunity to network with other community members as well as city staff. A number of maps were displayed with comments from brainstorming sessions held earlier in the day that included a number of community partners, business owners, city staff and the design consultants. Maps and comment forms were also available to fill in at the session.
While the SCU was not at the table during the sessions, we did have an opportunity to speak with Jason Ferrigan, Senior Planner with the City.
The city’s part of the Greenway runs from Larch Street to the Nelson Street bridge. It will connect to a similar linear park which will be constructed and funded by the new School of Architecture.
While the City’s portion of the project is still unfunded, it is nevertheless looking at finalizing a construction design by September 2013, and depending on finding appropriate funding, starting construction at that point. What was presented at this open house were very preliminary drawings and environmental data. At this point, there are no cross-street designs showing how the sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure and road will be implemented.
In discussions with Jason, he indicated that if the SCU wishes to submit written comments, the City would need to receive them in early April. There will also be other public input sessions as the design progresses.
The project will be the number one item on our next general meeting on April 7th. We will be asking members at that meeting and through electronic media to suggest implementation strategies for the cycling component of the project.
Elgin Street is classed as a secondary artery and will likely remain so. Preliminary discussions indicates that the design engineers are looking at establishing a bi-directional path on the side that abuts the train yards. This suggests that the City is looking at the Greenway as a linear park rather than a transportation cycling route. In fact, Jason commented that some cyclists will in all probability continue to cycle on the street rather than using the path. The amount of space that will be available for the project (which includes road, sidewalks, paths and landscaping) is only 26 meters.
Items that we should discuss about this proposed configuration include:
- validity of design (bi-directional vs uni-directional on both sides of the street)
- integration with the proposed cycling networks (BAP and SMAP)
- cross-street design
- intersection design
- parking implications (should it be prohibited on that side?)
- bike parking structures and placing
- multi-purpose path vs dedicated bike/pedestrian paths
- integration with the underpass to Riverside
- integration with the Nelson Street bridge
- traffic calming measures
- transit stops and shelters
- sound barriers?
We may wish to also comment on design items that don’t necessarily relate to cycling. For example:
- street furniture
- green spaces
- Greenway “identity” i.e. entries and exits
- wifi (this was suggested)
- other items that you want to put on the list
Hope to see you at our next meeting!