Wolseley to Downtown Walk Bike Project

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Wolseley Avenue, School Zone, Laura Secord School, Winter, cyclist, Praire Velo

The Wolseley to Downtown Walk Bike Project began in 2018. It set out to improve east-west travel through three sections of the neighbourhood:

  1. Wolseley Avenue and Westminster Avenue
  2. Balmoral Street
  3. Granite Way

Over the course of a few years, we developed, refined, and sought public feedback on a series of designs. In 2019, we presented what we thought was a final design for the neighbourhood as a whole. We learned what we proposed for the eastern section of the area worked for the community. What we proposed for the western section didn't.

As a result, we installed protected bike lanes on Balmoral Street and Granite Way. We also added them on Westminster Avenue from Sherbrook Street to Walnut Street.

We put work west of Walnut Street on hold.

Now, we're turning Wolseley Avenue into a 30 km/h neighbourhood greenway between Maryland Street to Raglan Road.

We need your help to make sure the greenway works for people of all ages and abilities.


The Wolseley to Downtown Walk Bike Project began in 2018. It set out to improve east-west travel through three sections of the neighbourhood:

  1. Wolseley Avenue and Westminster Avenue
  2. Balmoral Street
  3. Granite Way

Over the course of a few years, we developed, refined, and sought public feedback on a series of designs. In 2019, we presented what we thought was a final design for the neighbourhood as a whole. We learned what we proposed for the eastern section of the area worked for the community. What we proposed for the western section didn't.

As a result, we installed protected bike lanes on Balmoral Street and Granite Way. We also added them on Westminster Avenue from Sherbrook Street to Walnut Street.

We put work west of Walnut Street on hold.

Now, we're turning Wolseley Avenue into a 30 km/h neighbourhood greenway between Maryland Street to Raglan Road.

We need your help to make sure the greenway works for people of all ages and abilities.


Background

The Wolseley to Downtown Walk Bike Project began in 2018. It set out to improve east-west travel through three sections of the neighbourhood:

  1. Wolseley Avenue and Westminster Avenue
  2. Balmoral Street
  3. Granite Way

Over the course of a few years, we developed, refined, and sought public feedback on a series of designs. In 2019, we presented what we thought was a final design for the neighbourhood as a whole. in 2019. We learned what we proposed for the eastern section of the area worked for the community. What we proposed for the western section didn't. 

We heard support for reducing speed limits and some traffic calming measures (such as curb extensions and raised intersections). 

At the same time, community members were concerned about: 

  • Pedestrian and cyclist safety along congested intersections and near schools
  • The proposed shift to one-way streets
  • Removing turning abilities onto major streets
  • Losing direct routes through the neighbourhood

In 2020, we broke construction into two phases to accommodate further study needs in the west segment. 

We built protected bike lanes from Osborne Street to Walnut Street on Granite Way, Balmoral Street, Spence Street, and Westminster Avenue. We put further work west of Walnut Street on hold and went away to complete advanced traffic modelling. 

Pandemic impacts

When the pandemic began in 2020, traffic became too irregular to conduct the modelling. In the interim, we introduced some bike-friendly changes along Wolseley Avenue from Ragland Road to Maryland Street.

This initiative was part of the larger citywide enhanced summer bike routes program. It involved reducing the speed limit to 30km/h and restricting motor vehicle traffic to one block on 15 streets with high bike traffic. 

We repeated the program in the summers of 2021, 2022, and 2023. Individual routes underwent changes over the course of the program. On Wolseley Avenue, the speed limit remained 30 km/h and motor vehicles continued to be limited to one block.

We collected feedback on the routes and their efficacy in 2020, 2021, and 2022. The program was generally well-received. 

More specifically:  

  • Cyclists rated the program favourably
  • Motorists had less favourable responses mainly due to not being able to travel more than one block and challenges with pedestrians not following rules.

At the same time, we reduced the speed limit on four existing neighbourhood greenways to 30 km/h as part of a pilot to determine best practices for greenways moving forward. 

In March 2023, Council concurred in recommendations to: 

  • Make the speed reduction permanent on the four pilot greenway routes 
  • Convert a number of enhanced summer bike routes into reduced-speed neighbourhood greenways
  • Continue the enhanced summer bike route program in perpetuity on the remaining routes until such a time as the routes can be individually studied for permanent bike infrastructure 

In the report presented to Council on the future of enhanced summer bike routes, we noted that the six remaining routes would require more significant traffic diversion to reduce vehicle volumes to levels appropriate for shared use with cyclists. Wolseley was identified as a route where 30 km/h speed limits would be implemented annually for the summer months.

What happens next?

Today, a gap remains in the active transportation network between Walnut Street and Omand’s Creek.

This phase of the project will introduce a 30 km/h neighbourhood greenway on Wolseley Avenue between Raglan Road and Maryland Street. 

What we need to explore further is whether the speed limit and minor traffic calming measures do enough to create “all ages and abilities” conditions

In the 2023 report to Council, Wolseley was identified as a route where 30 km/h speed limits would be implemented annually for the summer months while we figured out the best way to permanently reduce vehicle volumes to levels appropriate for shared use with cyclists. 

Our plan is to implement the speed reduction in May as originally directed.  We will add speed tables, raised crosswalks, and curb bump-outs over the summer. We’ve also recommended Council approve a bylaw change to make the 30 km/h speed limit permanent and year-round.

This will help us further explore whether the speed limit and minor traffic calming measures do enough to create full-time all ages and abilities conditions on the route. 

Technical criteria for this includes:  

  • Traffic volume - greenway standard is below 1,000-1,500 vehicles per day
  • Vehicle speeds   - greenway standard is below 30-40km/h average speed

Ahead of installing the greenway, we want to know what success would look like to your community.

Your feedback will help us develop what we’re calling community criteria. We will use this list to measure how well the greenway meets community needs after we install it.

Once the route is implemented, we will monitor traffic and collect further feedback from the community. Traffic counts will help determine whether the route meets the technical criteria of an all-ages and abilities route; feedback will help determine whether it meets the community criteria. 

From there, we will determine whether the route is a success as-is, or if we need to make more changes. 

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
Page last updated: 21 May 2024, 02:36 PM