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Keep calm and check out these traffic calming ideas for Newmarket's Lorne Avenue

Major road reconstruction a first of its kind to use variety of traffic calming measures along road's entire length
USED 20190706 construction sign kc
A familiar sight in Newmarket. Kim Champion/NewmarketToday

Lorne Avenue in Newmarket’s downtown is getting a complete redo and could be reconstructed as a sort of showpiece that uses various traffic calming measures along its entire length.

“This way, the town can implement traffic calming techniques specifically suited for Lorne Avenue and then monitor the results,” town officials say on its website.

The idea would likely be a first in York Region, and possibly in all of Ontario or Canada. 

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Here are some examples of what is being considered in an effort to improve safety, reduce speeds, and prevent crashes on the north-south roadway:

  • Imbedded sensors for continuous traffic volume counts
  • Curb extensions at intersections to reduce crossing distances for pedestrians and improve visibility for drivers
  • Elevated sections of road, known as speed tables, and elevated intersections
  • Highly visual, highlighted intersections with different coloured approaches on all four sides, instead of a turning circle or roundabout
  • Narrowing of the road using pinch points at various locations, possibly combined with low impact development to infiltrate and clean drainage water
  • Work with Stuart Scott Public School and the York Region District School Board to find ways to ease traffic congestion caused at drop-off and pick-up times

The public is invited to an information meeting to learn more and offer feedback on the town’s road reconstruction and traffic calming demonstration project on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Municipal Office, 395 Mulock Dr., in the Cane A and B Room.

Residents will have an opportunity to view draft plans and offer comments. 

In April 2019, the town hosted a public meeting to get residents’ views and concerns before starting any of the Lorne Avenue reconstruction design work.

Newmarket residents were divided on the possibility of adding a turning circle, or roundabout, at the Lorne Avenue and Queen Street intersection. The town subsequently abandoned that idea altogether.

“Some residents were in favour of a turning circle, but many were opposed because of the perceived difficulty for pedestrians, especially children, to safely cross the road at the turning circle,” town staff said at the time.

“Whatever traffic calming methods we do end up using will be based on a technical analysis of each traffic calming method and its applicability to Lorne Avenue. This could include constraints based on space, grading, drainage or other factors,” staff said.

For more information, visit here.


Kim Champion

About the Author: Kim Champion

Kim Champion is a veteran journalist and editor who covers Newmarket and issues that impact York Region.
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