Interchange Improvements at the Queen Elizabeth Way and Glendale Avenue

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1 Welcome to the Public Information Centre for the Interchange Improvements at the Queen Elizabeth Way and Glendale Avenue Class Environmental Assessment and Preliminary Design Study G.W.P April 25, 2018 Please Sign In Here If you have any accessibility requirements in order to participate in this project, please contact one of the Project Team members.

2 Purpose of Public Information Centre The purpose of this Public Information Centre (PIC) is to present and receive feedback on: Study Area, Purpose and Scope Class EA Process for Group 'B' Projects Overview of Traffic / Interchange Issues Overview of Existing Land Use and Environmental Conditions Identification of Interchange Improvement Alternatives Diverging Diamond Interchange - Benefits Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) Schematic, Motorist & Pedestrian Example, How it Works DDI MTO Base Case and Benefits DDI Plus Regional Roundabout Enhancement at Glendale Avenue / York Road Intersection DDI Plus Regional Airport Road Connection Enhancement Alternative Comparison Next Steps Project Schedule Your input on each of these and other study issues is important to us!

3 QEW Interchange Improvements at Glendale Avenue Study Area, Purpose and Scope The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has retained AECOM Canada Ltd. to undertake a Preliminary Design and Class Environmental Assessment Study for improvements to the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) / Glendale Avenue interchange (G.W.P ). The Study is located in the Town of Niagara-on-theLake, Regional Municipality of Niagara. This Study is developing a preliminary design for: Replacement of the Glendale Avenue Bridge over the QEW, required in the short term due to its age and condition Improvements to the interchange: Operational, geometric, and safety features A relocated Ontario Travel Information Centre and new commuter parking lot Partnership with the Region and the Town for potential enhancements to address operational deficiencies at the Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection

4 QEW Interchange Improvements at Glendale Avenue Class EA Process for Group B Projects This Study is following the approved planning process for a Group B project under the MTO Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000). One Public Information Centre (PIC) is being held for the Study to provide interested parties with the opportunity to discuss it and provide input to the Project Team. A Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) will be prepared and made available for public review at the completion of the Study.

5 Overview of Traffic / Interchange Issues The 5-year average collision rate on the QEW within the Study Area was below the provincial average collision rate. Over the 5-year period between 2011 and 2015, there were 179 collisions recorded on the QEW within the study area. Traffic queues within the interchange and adjacent municipal road intersections are a concern as documented in the graphic on the following display board. These include: Queuing on QEW Niagara Bound exit ramps to Glendale Avenue (north and south) Left turn queue on Glendale Avenue to QEW Toronto Bound Left turn queue on Glendale Avenue to York Road (westbound) Queuing on Glendale Avenue and Taylor Road which impacts the intersection operations of Taylor Road / Glendale Avenue due to commercial development during peak periods

6 Overview of Traffic / Interchange Issues Most critical

7 QEW Interchange Improvements at Glendale Avenue Overview of Existing Land Use and Environmental Conditions This interchange is a key highway access point to the Niagara-on-the-Lake tourist area, community of Virgil, Niagara District Airport, and eastern St. Catharines. Significant retail, hospitality, food and fuel services and college land uses abut the interchange. These include: Outlet Collection at Niagara (mall) White Oaks Resort & Spa; Garden Hilton Inn; Staybridge Suites; Holiday Inn Express Tim Hortons, Wendy s, Mr. Sub, Esso Niagara College Forested areas in the NE and SE interchange quadrants, and abutting Homer Escarpment Life Area of Natural and Scientific Interest Several nearby watercourses Source: Town of Niagara on the Lake Official Plan, July 17, 2017

8 Alternatives: Key Considerations Evaluation Factors and Criteria Alternative A Modified Parclo A4 Highway Criteria Traffic Criteria Highest number of interchange ramps Most property required Highest impact to users during construction Safety: highest number of conflict points Interchange ramp terminal operates at a very good level of service Potential driver confusion associated with supplemental signing required from Glendale NB to QEW EB Accommodation for cyclists and pedestrians less desirable Environmental Criteria Highest impact to forested areas Cost Criteria Highest cost Page 8

9 Alternatives: Key Considerations Evaluation Factors and Criteria Alternative B Modified Parclo A3 with Roundabouts Highway Criteria Moderate number of interchange ramps Moderate property required Moderate impact to users during construction Traffic Criteria Safety: moderate number of conflict points Interchange ramp terminal operates at a very good level of service Potential driver confusion associated with supplemental signing required from Glendale NB to QEW EB Most challenging for cyclists and pedestrians Environmental Criteria Moderate impact to forested areas Cost Criteria Moderate cost Page 9

10 Alternatives: Key Considerations Evaluation Factors and Criteria Alternative C Diverging Diamond Interchange PREFERRED ALTERNATIVE Highway Criteria Lowest number of ramps Least property required Least impact to users during construction Traffic Criteria Safety: lowest number of vehicle conflict points Interchange ramp terminal operates at best level of service No supplementary signing to QEW EB required Cyclists and pedestrians wellaccommodated Environmental Criteria Lowest impact to forested areas Cost Criteria Lowest Cost Page 10

11 Diverging Diamond Interchange - Benefits The recommended interchange configuration is a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), an innovative design that addresses a number of the operational concerns at this location. Interchange Concerns Addressed: Eliminates left-turn queueing and conflict points for Glendale Avenue northbound to QEW Toronto bound movements. Improves interchange ramp operations. Provides excellent opportunity for a gateway to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Maintains good interchange spacing on the QEW between Glendale Avenue and Highway 405. Fewest impacts to road users during construction. Cyclists and Pedestrians Better Accommodated: Accommodates safe passage of cyclist and pedestrian traffic through the interchange, consistent with the Region s Transportation Master Plan. Site for Ontario Travel Information Centre (OTIC) and Carpool Lot Provided: Accommodates the relocation of the OTIC on a direct route to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Minimal Property Impacts to Nearby Land Uses: Negligible footprint impact to nearby businesses and services. Forested Areas Protected: Minimal intrusion into nearby forests and natural areas.

12 Diverging Diamond Interchange Motorist and Pedestrian Example Source Washington DOT Source Minnesota DOT

13 Diverging Diamond Interchange Conceptual Schematic How it Works The number of conflict points is reduced to 14 from the 26 associated with conventional diamond interchanges. Diverging Diamond Interchange Conventional Diamond Interchange

14 Identification of Diverging Diamond Interchange Alternatives The recommended interchange configuration is a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), an innovative design that addresses a number of the operational concerns at this location. In addition, in partnership with the Region of Niagara and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, two potential enhancements are being considered to address operational issues at the Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection. As a result, the following three alternatives are being considered: Alternative C1: DDI MTO interchange improvement (base case) Alternative C2: DDI by MTO plus Regional enhancement that provides a roundabout at the Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection Alternative C3: DDI by MTO plus Regional enhancement that provides a direct connection to Airport Road These alternatives are presented on the following slides.

15 Alternative C1: Diverging Diamond Interchange MTO Base Case Alignment of Glendale Avenue through the interchange is shifted slightly to the east Bridge has four Glendale Avenue through lanes with a wide separate median Traffic on the bridge drives on the opposite side of the road between the ramp terminals, reducing conflict points and allowing for unrestricted turning movements Interchange includes four directional ramps Traffic signals are required Combined carpool lot and Ontario Travel Information Centre in the northwest quadrant Pedestrians and cyclists travel through a protected median

16 Alternative C2: DDI Plus Regional Roundabout Enhancement at Glendale Avenue / York Road Intersection DDI is enhanced by replacing the Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection with a two-lane roundabout Traffic performance at the Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection improves

17 Alternative C3: DDI Plus Regional Airport Road Connection Enhancement DDI is enhanced by the addition of a new Airport Road connection via a loop ramp from Glendale Avenue northbound under Glendale Avenue to a new roadway connection to the Airport Road / York Road intersection Traffic performance at the Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection improves Provides enhanced gateway opportunities to Niagara-on-the-Lake via the Airport Road connection

18 Alternatives Comparison Alternative C1: DDI MTO interchange improvement (base case). Addresses the key considerations within the interchange (interchange operations, cyclists and pedestrians, site for OTIC and carpool lot, minimal property impacts to nearby land uses, and forested areas protected). Alternative C2: DDI by MTO plus Regional enhancement that provides a roundabout at the Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection. In addition to Alternative C1, this alternative improves the traffic operations at the existing Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection through infrastructure improvements. Alternative C3: DDI by MTO plus Regional enhancement that provides an Airport Road connection. In addition to Alternative C1, Traffic performance at the Glendale Avenue / York Road intersection improves through additional route to Airport Road.

19 Next Steps Following this PIC: For MTO base case DDI Alternative C1, MTO will: Consider comments received at this PIC and potential revisions / enhancements to the conceptual design Complete the design and develop mitigation measures to minimize or avoid environmental impacts Prepare a Transportation Environmental Study Report for public and agency review For potential Region / Town enhancement Alternatives C2 and C3, Region and Town staff will: Consider comments received at this PIC and potential revisions and enhancements to Consultation Throughout (with Indigenous communities and all stakeholders property owners, members of the public, municipalities, interest groups, agencies, etc.) the conceptual designs Advise MTO if the Region / Town wish to pursue and fund one of the DDI enhancement alternatives If the Region / Town wish to pursue and fund one of the DDI enhancement alternatives, MTO, Region and Town staff will consider possible coordination of design and EA process

20 Project Schedule Schedule subject to change based on study findings and/or input received through consultation

21 Thank you for attending. Please feel free to ask questions and fill out a comment sheet. Please submit your comments by May 25, For additional study details or to be added to the project mailing list, please visit the study website at If you have any accessibility requirements in order to participate in this project, please contact one of the Project Team members. Jon Newman, P. Eng. Consultant Project Manager AECOM 300 Water Street Whitby, ON L1N 9J2 Tel.: ext Fax: Hossein Hosseini, P.Eng., M.Eng., PMP MTO Project Manager Ministry of Transportation 159 Sir William Hearst Avenue, 4th Floor Toronto, ON M3M 0B7 Tel.: Fax: Jon Newman, P. Eng. Consultant Project Manager AECOM 300 Water Street Whitby, ON L1N 9J2 Tel.: ext Fax:

22 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Comments and information regarding this study are being collected to assist the Ministry of Transportation in meeting the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. This material will be maintained on file for use during the study and may be included in project documentation. Information collected will be used in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record. You are encouraged to contact members of the Project Team if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above information.