As part of the Uniform Developments condo proposal for Roosevelt Avenue, the City/Councillor negotiated some “community benefits”. This consists of $200,000 worth of traffic calming and streetscaping to be paid for by Uniform.
Here is an overview of the changes to Roosevelt (top street in pic) and Winston (lower street in pic) (transitway trench is running up the right side of the pic):
Double click on the picture to enlarge it.
The south end of Roosevelt Avenue, to the left in the above pic, where it meets Richmond Road, gets redesigned to be more pedestrian friendly. Midway along the block are some traffic calming chicanes, or bulbouts that are slightly offset, forcing vehicles to wiggle a bit as they travel the street. These slow traffic speeds and enhance the pedestrian experience.
The north end of the street, to the right in the above pic, is more of a mixed blessing. Now, it just sorts of peters out, turning from paved street onto potholed dirt service lane — as shown in the google image below — between the Fendor plant and the transitway cut. I presume this is part of the public right of way that has, over time, been appropriated for Fendor’s exclusive use, and is not part of the condo property. The Fendor plant is the large trapezoid shaped building in the centre of the Google image, with minor industrial buildings extending to the right beyond the parking lot that would otherwise be the north end of Winston Street. Note that the same linear park alignment east and west is landscaped with trees and a grassy swale, only the Fendor space remains of the former industrial lands that used to abut the CPR tracks that is now the transitway:
The proposed revisions to Roosevelt avenue at its north end are to add a turning circle to the dead end. The main entrance to the new condo tower is shown at the very corner of their property, meeting the street right at the edge of the landscaped linear corridor along the transitway cut. In the drawing below, this ped entrance to the building is the thin rectangle boardwalk extending right from the turning circle and coloured gray.
It is definitely an improvement to have the current Fendor parking and service lane landscaped along the cut, but I do question the intrusion of a traffic turning circle into the linear corridor. It’s sole function is to facilitate car drop offs to the front door of the new condo. (Residents coming via car use the ramp that runs off to the right just before the circle).
I suspect that this turning circle could be resdesigned to be something much less intrusive into the linear parkland. A T-shaped end to facilitate 3-point turns might take up much less space. Is it only me that sees several attempts at traffic calming being contradicted by the provision of traffic circle on what would otherwise be green parkland?
And why, for that matter, is the public park corridor being turned into what is essentially a private drop off zone for the condo — shouldn’t the developer, Uniform, be providing that necessary front entrance drop off zone on his own lands, you know, a front driveway? (he does this for the other tower, as shown in drawings below) It seems from a casual amateur inspection of the drawing above that a private circular driveway could have started right at the south edge of the property (rearranging the down ramp a little bit to improve the angle), cut in towards the building, and then back out to the dead end of Roosevelt, with only the tiniest bit of intrusion onto the parkland.
The other N-S street accessing the property is Winston. It current dead-ends just short of the Fendor plant. To the south, it dead ends at Richmond, as shown here:
It’s one of those curious street arrangements from prior traffic calming. At one time, Winston met Richmond at a T-intersection. The Richmond sidewalk has been extended across the now dead-ended street. Note only one sidewalk, on the west (right) side of Winston. From what I can make out from the handout drawing (at the top of this post) the space between these buildings will be landscaped.
The north end of Winston, where it dead ends at Fendor, but which will someday extend into the condo site, is another matter:
Once again, the street (public? or private?) extends into the parkland greenspace to facilitate the front entrance to the second condo tower. The far stub end of the Winston extension seems to be for parking cars. This time the turning circle is on the condo property, and the street itself is quite narrow. There appear to be decorative bands of brick crossing the street, which will enhance the pedestrian experience, and the new neighborhood link to the bike path along the corridor.
I don’t know if the $200,000 being collected from Uniform for streetscaping includes this northward extension of Winston Street, which appears to be on private land now and which may stay private land. The streetscaping at the north end of Winston is of great benefit to the condo builder and should be built as part of his normal marketing efforts.
The street running off to the right in the pic is Wilmot Avenue, which will get traffic going to and from the condo to Churchill Avenue off to the east (right). It apparently does not get any streetscaping improvements. Have they been naughty?
Overall, the negotiated streetscaping with the developer does deliver some community benefits directly to the affected neighbours. It also seems to have significantly benefited the developer with the extension of car traffic onto what should be public parkland.