When the Region of Peel starts to rip up Downtown Brampton to replace the water mains and sewers later this year, they won’t be putting Queen Street and Main Street back in their original condition.
Instead, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) officially approved a city plan to completely make over the downtown core. Queen and Main will be reduced from four lanes to two lanes each, sidewalks will be widened, and new separated bike lanes will be added. This project will cost $30 million, including the remediation of utility tunnels.
The new reconfiguration of downtown will remove all on-street parking, except for one accessible parking space in front of city hall on Main Street.
Officially, the city submitted the project’s environmental assessment (EA) to the MOECC in August 2017. However, the MOECC confirmed with Bramptonist that the project had received two Part II Orders, or two major complaints, that alleged issues weren’t covered in the consultation. The complaints were logged in September of 2017 by people who are unknown at this time.
The ministry says the concerns raised were:
- Inadequate consultation with downtown businesses; and,
- The impacts of removing on-street parking on downtown businesses and customers (including vehicular deliveries and senior customers)
These complaints concerned the city’s Public Works and Engineering department. The department had submitted a report to Committee of Council on January 17 requesting permission to ask the region to delay the tendering and awarding the contract until the EA received approval from the MOECC.
Otherwise, the water main work and streetscaping would have to be contracted out as two separate projects, instead of the combined work that the city wanted because it would speed up the construction process.
The report was no longer necessary because one day earlier the MOECC rejected the two complaints. MOECC is recommending the city consider adding loading zones and accessible parking as part of the project but without impacting the planned cycling infrastructure.
The Region will award the contract in the summer, and construction is expected to start in Fall 2018.
In the meantime, residents can check out a small portion of Queen Street that has been temporarily renovated to reflect the post-construction look. This is in front of the Downtown Reimagined public consultation office at 15 Queen Street West.