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Sepulis advocates decreasing number of lanes in Aberfoyle - after bypass constructed

by Mike Robinson

ABERFOYLE - A Puslinch councillor would like to make Aberfoyle more pedestrian friendly.

For councillor John Sepulis, that includes reducing the number of lanes on Brock Road, which runs through both Aberfoyle and Morriston.

On Dec. 19 council endorsed a motion to consider the lane reduction in the future, following the proposed construction of the Morriston bypass.

Sepulis noted current plans for the reconstruction of Brock Road through Aberfoyle retain the four lane cross-section.

However, Sepulis noted the environmental assessment for Brock Road was completed by Wellington County prior to approval of the Morriston bypass.

“It is highly desirable to revitalize Aberfoyle into a pedestrian friendly hamlet with commercial and retail enterprises once the Morriston bypass has been completed,” Sepulis stated.

He recommended Puslinch request Wellington County prepare a report to consider reconfiguring the four lane cross-section to an alternative layout, such as two lanes of traffic with parking in order to create a pedestrian-friendly environment.

This would encourage the revitalization of Aberfoyle and could be implemented once the Morriston bypass is in place, said Sepulis.

He also recommended reconfiguring the planned roundabout to one with a single lane and that truck traffic be prohibited between 7pm and 7am.

Sepulis further asked that a copy of the resolution be forwarded to Wellington County for response and to the City of Guelph for information.

Councillor Jessica Goyda said this is a “great resolution.”

Regarding the resolution, Sepulis stated the idea is not to ask for the change now, but to be prepared once the Morriston bypass is completed.

To those who contend this approach cannot be taken, Sepulis pointed to the community of Waterdown, which has already done it - Dundas Street was reduced from four lanes to two lanes plus a central turning lane, leaving parking spaces on one side of the road.

“They’ve done it on a busy street,” he said, adding this approach could work in Aberfoyle as well.

Sepulis said the idea was to have the planning in place now, so it could be implemented when the bypass is complete.

Councillor Ken Roth said he would not want to see any change before then. “I believe this is the busiest road in the township,” he said.

Roth wondered whether Puslinch might be a bit early in this request.

Councillor Matthew Bulmer said, “I think councillor Sepulis is right on the mark here.”

Bulmer added he too has an interest in Aberfoyle becoming a walkable pedestrian community in the future.

“The Highway 6 bypass has the potential to change this, but it could also change nothing because of the amount of development in the area being proposed,” he said, adding it does not hurt to ask about this now.

“The concern is, that if we wait too long, the four lane roads will lead to a two-lane roundabout - which are a concern to some residents,” he said. “The road is going to remain the same width - it’s all about where we would paint the lines.”

Mayor James Seeley asked whether the township has any control over truck traffic on this road.

Don Creed, director of public works, said restrictions would have to come from Wellington County as Brock Road is a county road.

Seeley agreed that “asking early is imperative.”

With road tenders for the reconstruction of Brock Road coming shortly, Seeley suggested the township may not be able to change the overall width of the road.

Sepulis said after the bypass is constructed, there might be a willingness to reduce the roundabout from two lanes to a single lane.

The motion carried.

January 11, 2019

 
 

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