City preparing Main Street reconstruction plans

A major roadwork project proposal that would see the traffic capacity on a part of Main Street reduced to make way for cycling lanes will be considered by the city’s transportation committee later this week.

A staff report recommends reconstructing the city road (between Echo Drive and the McIlraith Bridge) to include a “high quality cycling spine route” along much of the corridor.

The committee will consider the staff report, which summarizes environmental assessment findings, at Friday’s meeting.

Main Street requires extensive road, sewer and water work as the infrastructure now in place is at the end of its useful life, the report notes.

Five alternative designs were examined in the environmental assessment, including a preferred option that was selected in part through public input.

That design includes areas of two or three vehicle lane cross-sections, as well as a cycle track through much of the area. Vehicular traffic will be reduced due to this design, the report noted.

The cycle route “can best be accommodated within the street’s narrow (20 metre) right-of-way if implemented with a lane reduction in certain sections, from two vehicle lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, with turn lanes where required,” the report stated.

This will be supplemented with construction of the proposed light-rail transit line at Lees Station to “provide non-auto capacity and promote transit-oriented development” in Old Ottawa East, the report added, which would include “significant” infill development.

Parts of the corridor would also see widened sidewalks and more on-street parking. A roundabout at Riverdale Avenue is also being considered.

Staff expect that Riverside Drive would become busier during and after the construction, with the intersection of Riverside Drive and Industrial Avenue nearing or surpassing its traffic capacity at peak hours. Light rail, once the line opens in 2018, should alleviate some of the traffic on Main Street.

No timeline for the construction nor budget was included in the report.