By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
Regional councillors are joining Durham’s call to Metrolinx to get moving on its plans for Bloor Street in front of Oshawa’s GO station. However, they have also called for an addition.
In 2014, Metrolinx provided the region with $1 million to act as a placeholder for construction it wanted to take place in front of Bloor, with plans to add a second eastbound lane to help alleviate the increased traffic making its way to Highway 401 during rush hour.
However, work that was at first slated to get started in 2015 has twice been delayed, and no plans have yet been announced for 2017. Susan Siopis, the region’s work commissioner, says that Metrolinx remains in the planning stage for this project, with 60 per cent of the work completed.
At the latest meeting of committee of the whole, councillors voted in favour of calling on the provincial transit agency to get moving on its plans for Bloor. However, they are now asking for one more addition: a bike lane.
Councillor Joe Neal of Clarington brought the ammendment forward following a recommendation made to him by a member of the Durham Trail Co-ordinating Committee.
“Hopefully Metrolinx will get on this and hopefully incorporate something involving biking as well,” he said.
In reply, Siopis says that, as far as she is aware, Metrolinx has no plans for a bike lane in its design for Bloor. She adds that while the region does not have plans for bike lanes along that stretch for its redesign plans for the Bloor-Victoria-Bayly corridor, it can be looked into should council decide to do so. No such direction was given at the committee of the whole.
According to a report presented at November’s committee of the whole meeting, $82.24 million has been budgeted for the work being done on the Bayly, Victoria and Bloor corridor that stretches across the region, with construction expected to last until 2026.
In an emailed statement for a previous story, Kim Johnson, a spokesperson for Metrolinx, says that the transit agency and the region “are working together on the design for the Bloor Street West project. Stay tuned for more information.”