Phase I of the cycling network includes three projects. This post describes the planned upgrades to King St W and County Road 2, running west from Rivers Ave to Grants Creek.
The other two projects are the Laurier Blvd protected bike lanes, and the planned route through the 401 corridor, described in other posts.
King St W and County Rd 2, between Grants Creek in the west and Rivers Ave (at St. Lawrence Park), follow a road corridor originally laid out for the 401. The road is four lanes wide yet only needs to be two lanes wide, based on traffic counts and projections from the Counties.
This road is also prone to high rates of speed and poses safety challenges to pedestrians walking and attempting to cross. At a public hearing held by the City for proposed development on the former Phillips Cable plant lands, many residents cited problems with safety when driving, walking and cycling, primarily due to traffic speed. Traffic calming measures were called for.
The recently opened section of
the Brock Trail between Church/Cedar and King/Rivers (at St. Lawrence Park) included a signalized pedestrian crossover, giving priority to people crossing the road. That was the first traffic calming and safety measure introduced.
The City is planning to repave King St W from Rivers Ave west to the City limits near the Brockville Country Club. When the lane markings are painted on the new pavement, the road will be reconfigured from four lanes to two motorized lanes – one in each direction – plus a centre left-turn lane, plus a dedicated bike lane on each side.
The Counties have agreed to extend this treatment along County Road 2 west from the City limits to Grants Creek where the median starts, where it will revert to the current four lanes. Moving the speed transition zones is under consideration. Where the speed is signed at 80 km/h, the “bike lanes” will not be dedicated and signed, but will be “paved shoulders” per MTO convention.
The combination of PXO, bike lanes, visual road narrowing, and elimination of one motorized lane in each direction will serve to calm traffic. The bike lanes will provide a buffer between the motorized traffic and the sidewalk along the north side of King St W, and those cycling will have lane guidance separated from the motorized lane.
This 2 km stretch of road is also part of the Ontario Waterfront Trail, a route traveled by 3,000 or more cycle tourists each season, as well as local residents cycling to/from rural routes and destinations.
At Rivers Ave, those cycling can continue along King St or choose quieter routes along the Brock Trail, or turning on Rivers and following the Ontario Waterfront Trail route signs.