City scraps plan for one-way traffic on West Broadway streets  

THE city has scratched an idea to make two major West Broadway streets into one-way roads as it prepares to begin construction of a bike path in the area next year.

In an email sent Tuesday to area residents, the city says it decided to keep vehicular traffic in both directions on Westminster Avenue, Balmoral Street, and Granite Way, from Langside Street to Osborne Street. Residents, parents of children at Balmoral Hall School, and members of the Granite Curling Club opposed one-way traffic.

“You told us the project design balances the safety and needs of all road users in some ways, but that you were very concerned with some aspects — particularly one-way streets and their potential to increase traffic and decrease safety along some residential streets,” the email says.

The city says it has decided to build a two-way protected bike lane on the east side of Balmoral Street and Young Street, instead of a bike path on either side of the street. However, to fit it in with vehicular traffic, it will reduce the width of the bike lane to 1.5 metres from 1.8 metres, and require the removal of six loading stalls on Westminster in front of Balmoral Hall. The design includes the addition of stop signs on Balmoral Street at Granite Way and the loss of 15 parking spaces on Granite Way.

The city said it expects to have a detailed design contract by the end of the summer, with construction expected to begin next year.

But, because of low traffic volume connected with the shutdown of nonessential businesses for weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19, the city has decided to hold off on the final design of the rest of the planned bike path along Westminster, from Langside Street to Chestnut Street in Wolseley, until September.