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Road transfers between region and city possible for 2018

As the new year dawns, the city and the region could be discussing the transfer of ownership of certain local roads.

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

As motorists travel along the thousands of roads, streets, boulevards, courts and crescents across Durham, they likely never give a thought to who actually owns the patch of concrete their vehicle is rolling on.

It’s a topic that is more in-depth than most city and region residents would likely know and in some cases sees stretches of the same road owned by both the City of Oshawa and the Region of Durham

There are currently 27 regional roads in Oshawa, but that number may change over the next year.

Commissioner of works Susan Siopis says discussions with local municipalities regarding transferring of certain roads have been ongoing for several years.

At the latest committee of the whole meeting, Siopis named Wilson Road and Park Road as just two of the regional roads the city could assume responsibility for.

A 2014 report from City of Oshawa staff named the following regional roads as candidates for transfer from the region:

– Park Road from Bloor Street to Rossland Road

– Wilson Road from Bloor Street to Taunton Road

– Ritson Road from Bloor Street to Wentworth Street

– Winchester Road from Harmony Road to Grandview Street

– Simcoe Street from Harbour Road to Wentworth Street

– Grandview Street  from Winchester Street to Columbus Road

The report also identified Harmony Road, from Winchester to Grandview, and Columbus Road, from Harmony to Grandview, as candidates for the region to take ownership of.

As of this time, none of these recommendations have come to fruition, however, Siopis says there is a chance some transfers could happen in 2018.

When defining whether a roadway should be regional or local, Siopis says criteria such as traffic volume and connectivity to multiple communities and provincial highways are considered.

From Durham’s viewpoint, Siopis says the focus is on creating the most efficient regional road network as possible.

At the local level, municipalities may want control of a road to be able to implement options such as on-street parking.

Any transfers that may occur are not decisions that are taken lightly, Siopis notes.

“There are eight very specific criteria. Every segment (of road) is subjected to a study.”