FAQ: Cycling plan phase I: Link through 401 corridor

Phase I of the cycling network includes three projects. This post describes the planned route through the 401 corridor for both the Brock Trail and cycling network, completing the Trail’s north-south linkage.

The other two projects are the Laurier Blvd protected bike lanes, and the upgrades of King St W and Cty Rd 2, described in other posts.

There are only two viable alternatives for active mobility routes through the 401 corridor – the VIA Rail underpass, and the Ormond St underpass, both included in the Official Plan’s active transportation network.

One is the VIA Rail underpass running north-south just west of Ormond St.  Negotiations are underway with VIA Rail to share their right of way, assuming safety and cost issues can be addressed.  When completed, a new Brock Trail segment could potentially include a pedestrian crossover on Parkedale at the St. Lawrence College road, a trail segment from there between the Police and Trillium properties to the north VIA Rail tunnel portal, a security-fenced trail segment through the tunnel, and a short trail segment linking the south tunnel portal to the existing trail at the end of Brookview Cres.  It may be several years before an agreement and plans are worked out.

The second alternative planned in the shorter term would use segments along Parkedale, Ormond and Central to connect the existing trail at Parkedale and Buells Creek, to the existing trail at Central beside Westminster School.  This is shown in the picture below.

Planned route through 401 corridor
Planned route through 401 corridor

Planned features of the above-pictured route:

  • North side of Parkedale from existing trail at Buells Creek, to the Ormond intersection: widen existing sidewalk (within constraints) and overlay with asphalt as multi-use trail.
  • Ormond from Parkedale to Bramshot, under 401: widen existing sidewalk (within constraints) on west side and overlay with asphalt as multi-use trail.
  • Intersection of Ormond and Bramshot: signalized PXO (pedestrian crossover) similar to the one on King St W at Rivers Ave.
  • Ormond from Bramshot to Central: widen and repave existing path on esat side as multi-use trail.
  • Central from Ormond to existing trailhead beside Westminster School: widen existing sidewalk (within constraints) on south side and overlay with asphalt as multi-use trail.

It’s noted that should the VIA Rail 401 route become available, it will not serve neighbourhoods east of the VIA Rail tracks, between the 401 corridor and Front Street, as the Ormond route would. As well, the reconfigured segment of Central becomes the initial piece of an eventual Central/Reynolds east-west midtown spine route as shown in the Official Plan, Schedule 5.

This is a joint project of the Brock Trail and cycling advisory committee that also includes a new segment of the Brock Trail from Laurier to Centennial.

Funding will be partially provided by the city (1/3), an OMCIP grant (application submitted – no word back yet) for 1/3, and a combination of in-kind, grants and donations for the remaining 1/3.

Detailed planning has not started yet.

When this link and the Laurier protected bike lane is completed, residents across all neighbourhoods will have a family-friendly off-road route all the way to downtown and the waterfront.

Author: Alan Medcalf

Alan is a post-corporate, volunteer, community builder living in Brockville, Ontario. He seeks to create sustainable lifestyle advantage for the community by creating opportunities for more people to choose to walk and to ride bikes. He promotes the health, social, environmental and economic benefits of active mobility.