North Grenville Committee of the Whole received a delegation from consulting firm WSP last Monday regarding the Municipality’s Transportation Master Plan and Commuter Cycling Plan. Director of Public Works, Karen Dunlop, noted that the process was started two years ago as a way to establish priorities about transportation in the municipality.
“The intent behind this program was to identify, from a master planning document standpoint, where we need roads for vehicles, where we need facilities for cyclists, as well as active transportation,” she said at the meeting. “To find those gaps to give us a planning document moving forward for funding options, for efficiencies, and to assist council with budgets, also taking into consideration the official plan and growth numbers.”
The document was presented to council by WSP consultant, Kimberly Hunton, who has been with the project since the beginning. She briefed council on what had been identified as key areas to focus on in terms of transportation in the municipality from now until 2031.
After much public and stakeholder consultation, which included a survey and several meetings, WSP identified several problem areas that need North Grenville’s attention in the next 12 years. In terms of capacity of roads for travel, the focus fell mainly on County Road 43. The widening of the road (which Deputy Mayor Jim McManaman noted is used by upwards of 900 vehicles per day) is seen as a priority and should be addressed and planned for in the next five years. “County Road 43 is congested today, it has delays today, it has issues today, so bringing that one, and having it as a phase one project, is logical and makes sense,” Kimberly told council.
They also looked at the roads in North Grenville in terms of connectivity, and made some recommendations, which included upgrading Wellington Road along the Forest Creek subdivision to improve connectivity between the downtown core of Kemptville and the busy Colonnade shopping centre. Other recommendations that were made for the next five years include improvements to the Rideau/Sanders one-way couplet, to provide additional parking and cycling facilities, as well as improvements to the County Road 43 and County Road 44 intersections, especially if the widening and redevelopment of County Road 43 is stalled for any reason.
The document also makes some recommendations in terms of policy for the municipality. This included updating the sidewalk priority policy to ensure council has a way to prioritize the implementation of projects, the creation of a policy to ensure truck routes are on county and provincial roads, guidance for posted speed limits, monitoring ways decisions are made on speed changes, implementation of gateway speed signage, and updating the street calming policy and street lighting policy.
WSP also outlined a full plan for cycling routes in the municipality, with a schedule for phased in implementation. Phase one focuses on the downtown core, with phases two and three extending further into the rural areas. “We already had a North Grenville Integrated Community Trails Strategy,” Kimberly said. “We reviewed it for gaps and missing links and identified preferred commuter cycling routes.”