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General Road and Highway Discussion
#41
(03-05-2015, 01:17 PM)Canard Wrote: To "improve walkability" - um, how?  And for who?  It's all houses along there.  I never see any pedestrians.  And where would they be walking to/from?  Uptown Waterloo 3 km to their house?  I doubt it...

My thoughts exactly as I was driving this stretch of the road just last weekend. Yes two way streets in general are nice, but both Bridgeport and Erb St. are such a zoning mess (single story bungalows in a four lane one way street, really?) that I'm not sure there is anything we can do to make them better. They are too far gone. Let's concentrate in parts of the city where efforts will have more visible rewards (i.e. increased heights in Uptown, rezoning of University Av. between King and Phillip, etc).
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#42
(03-05-2015, 03:01 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: both Bridgeport and Erb St. are such a zoning mess (single story bungalows in a four lane one way street, really?)

Many of those bungalows date back to at least the '40s. The roads were likely converted to one way in the 1950s, when that was the craze. It was almost certainly a case of turning a two-way residential street to a four lane one-way, rather than the other way around.

By the way, conversion of a one-way street to a two-way is not something that requires a lot of focus. It is inexpensive and quick to implement; it's not something that would sap a lot of concentration.
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#43
(03-05-2015, 03:11 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Many of those bungalows date back to at least the '40s. The roads were likely converted to one way in the 1950s, when that was the craze. It was almost certainly a case of turning a two-way residential street to a four lane one-way, rather than the other way around.

Single family bungalows on a four lane two-way street, really?

You see, my point is that the main arteries in the city should never have been zoned residential only. I include in this list King St., University Av., Erb, Bridgeport, Victoria, Westmount and Ottawa St.
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#44
I expect that Bridgeport and Erb would have been widened at some point in the past, too, but I'm not certain about that. I would guess that they were once two-lane streets with houses, and were then widened and converted to one-way traffic. I would be surprised if they originally served as main arterials.

Nevertheless, I don't think any of King Street, University Ave, Victoria, Westmount or Ottawa should be one-way streets. And the amount of traffic on Erb and Bridgeport do not justify a total of eight lanes.
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#45
(03-05-2015, 03:36 PM)MidTowner Wrote: I would be surprised if they originally served as main arterials.

And you'd be wrong. The size of the front yard easements tell the story. They were planned to be wide streets from day one.


(03-05-2015, 03:36 PM)MidTowner Wrote: Nevertheless, I don't think any of King Street, University Ave, Victoria, Westmount or Ottawa should be one-way streets. And the amount of traffic on Erb and Bridgeport do not justify a total of eight lanes.


Huh, where does that come from? I don't see anyone suggesting making those streets one way.
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#46
Living at Peppler and Bridgeport, if you compare the grocery/pharmacy/service/food options located in UpTown vs. near Bridgeport and Weber, I choose every one in UpTown over Weber, because of how unpleasant a walk or drive it is. But I'd like to have a freer sense of choice.

As for capacity, I drive rush hour on both, and three/four lanes is not needed. There are many cars, but they are fixed in the right two lanes. Heading to 85, Erb sees almost no one in the left lane, and by Weber folks are merging into solely the rightmost of three lanes. Approaching Weber, King, and Erb, Bridgeport sees this same effect.
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#47
(03-05-2015, 03:43 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: And you'd be wrong. The size of the front yard easements tell the story. They were planned to be wide streets from day one.

Oh, you're right, that's true.

Edit: Actually, thinking about it, this might not be true. I'm willing to admit if I'm wrong if anyone remembers or has a source, but I've always thought that the houses were closer to the street than would be expected from houses of this age, as if the right of way had been expanded. I'm not sure.

(03-05-2015, 03:43 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Huh, where does that come from? I don't see anyone suggesting making those streets one way.

You brought those streets up, and I'm not sure what you were suggesting. I guess you mean zoning, though we weren't talking about that. It's not because these streets are residential that they should be converted to two-way. It's because two-way is much better for walkability, and there is too much capacity here for the traffic volume. Erb and Bridgeport are terrible experiences near Weber, too, where they are predominantly commercial. What would you like to see happen to these streets? Unless the answer is "for cars to move as fast as possible," it won't happen while they remain a one-way pair too big for the traffic they carry.
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#48
(03-05-2015, 03:51 PM)MidTowner Wrote: You brought those streets up, and I'm not sure what you were suggesting. I guess you mean zoning, though we weren't talking about that. It's not because these streets are residential that they should be converted to two-way. It's because two-way is much better for walkability, and there is too much capacity here for the traffic volume. Erb and Bridgeport are terrible experiences near Weber, too, where they are predominantly commercial. What would you like to see happen to these streets? Unless the answer is "for cars to move as fast as possible," it won't happen while they remain a one-way pair too big for the traffic they carry.

Oh I agree with you that the present state is not good, and that two way streets are generally preferable.

All I'm saying is that Erb and Bridgeport are such a mess that just making them two ways won't make a noticeable difference. No one will walk on them, no one will park on them, they are thoroughfares thru and thru, regardless of one-way or two-way status.
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#49
(03-05-2015, 03:56 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Oh I agree with you that the present state is not good, and that two way streets are generally preferable.

All I'm saying is that Erb and Bridgeport are such a mess that just making them two ways won't make a noticeable difference. No one will walk on them, no one will park on them, they are thoroughfares thru and thru, regardless of one-way or two-way status.

I guess I have to concede that, east of Weber, there's going to be much chance of street life no matter the configuration. I think that their being two way would spur on redevelopment faster (not that that's in the cards any time soon anyway).

West of Weber, I think that two way conversion would really add value.
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#50
Looking at those traffic counts, it doesn't seem that Bridgeport and Erb combined are out of line with other major 4-lane arterials like University or Westmount or Victoria. I don't see why they need six lanes between them. Dropping a lane on each would have a minimal impact imo. The biggest improvement would be for cyclists - 2-way traffic would slow vehicles down and eliminating a lane would free up the other for separated bike lanes.
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