> Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit – Whitby Update LIVE – March 16, 2021 | Metrolinx Engage

Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit – Whitby Update LIVE – March 16, 2021

Archive – March 16, 2021

On March 16, 2021 Metrolinx hosted a virtual open house for Whitby residents on the Durham-Scarborough Bus Rapid Transit project. We received 72 meaningful questions and comments from the community – we were able to answer just under half of those during the live portion of the event. We are committed to answering the questions we were unable to get to during the virtual session, and will be posting answers at the bottom of this page. If you registered for the event, you will receive an e-mail once the answers are available to view.

We are committed to fostering open, consistent and transparent dialogue with the community as we work to move this important transit project forward. Metrolinx will continue to analyze refinements to the preliminary design in order to respond to recent feedback received. We want to answer your questions and work with you to make the Durham-Scarborough BRT a valued part of your community. 

If you have any comments you would like to share with the project team, please use the contact us form or e-mail us at [email protected].

To stay informed on upcoming public engagements, please subscribe to our project mailing list and Durham regional e-newsletter by e-mailing us at [email protected].

If you were unable to join us, you’ll find a video recording of the evenings presentation below.

Meet the Speakers

Photo of Mathieu Goetzke

Mathieu Goetzke

Vice President, Planning - Metrolinx

Photo of David Hopper

David Hopper

Consultant Lead, Parsons/IBI Group


Photo of Bill Holmes

Bill Holmes

General Manager, Durham Regional Transit

Photo of Lorraine Huinink

Lorraine Huinink

Director of Rapid Transit and Transit Oriented Development, Durham Region

Photo of Rajesh Khetarpal

Rajesh Khetarpal

VP Community Engagement

Comment Sort

Comments

Metrolinx's avatar

Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:03

Re York Region ...having driven along Hwy7 quite often, there is always traffic confusion.... with so many signals drivers are running red lights, etc.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:43

Thank you for your comment.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:04

Has there been a consideration of having the west bound bus go north and do the detour? Would give a larger "hub" stop and doesn't effect car traffic.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:43

Thanks to the community engagement thus far, the design has evolved from curbside dedicated transit lanes, to a full pedestrian transit mall, to a north side pedestrian mall, and now to a three-lane design with a westbound mixed traffic lane.

Metrolinx has heard the Whitby community clearly – residents want Metrolinx to maintain eastbound and westbound through traffic in the downtown core. The refined preliminary design includes three lanes of traffic, which will provide eastbound cars and buses with a dedicated lane, and westbound cars and buses with a shared lane between Perry Street and Byron Street.

This new option will:  

Maintain continuous eastbound and westbound general traffic movement on Dundas Street
Minimize neighbourhood traffic infiltration and keep school buses, trucks, large vehicles on Dundas Street
Improve pedestrian, transit, and driving access to businesses and support step free access on both sides of Dundas Street
Provide more space for streetscaping and enhance the public realm on Dundas Street
Maintain the character of Downtown Whitby
Restore all 31 on street parking spaces, through an expanded parking lot at Elm Street and Byron Street

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:04

Specific to Ajax, one westbound lane west of Church St is insufficient...even during decreased traffic during Covid, a single lane for cars is incomprehensible.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:43

Thank you for your feedback. A detailed traffic analysis has been completed to determine how the project will impact future traffic operations. The results of the traffic analysis show that one westbound lane can accommodate future traffic demand. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:04

How will this impact on access to the post office that is jut east of Brock?

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Metrolinx
May 25, 2021 - 11:52

Cars travelling eastbound will be able to access the post office at 209 Dundas Street East as they do today. The on-street parking spots located on the south side of Dundas Street will be maintained. Cars travelling westbound will have to change their travel patterns. For example, you could make a left-turn onto Hickory Street and then right onto Colborne Street and right onto Green to access the on-street parking spaces out front. Alternatively, you could make a right-turn onto Perry Street to park and then walk approximately 150 metres to Brock Street to cross at the signal to access the south side of Dundas Street.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:05

Even with 1 Eastbound lane thru downtown, traffic will backup along Dundas West.  How will gridlock be handled as drivers take shortcuts thru residential areas

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:44

Thanks to the community engagement thus far, the design has evolved from curbside dedicated transit lanes, to a full pedestrian transit mall, to a north side pedestrian mall, and now to a three-lane design with a westbound mixed traffic lane. Metrolinx will continue to work with Town staff and Council on traffic calming measures as we progress into the detailed design stage. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:05

What is the point of maintaining existing lanes outside of the Downtown if traffic must divert to local roads? Just reduce the corridor to one lane/direction? 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:44

Thanks to the community engagement thus far, the design has evolved from curbside dedicated transit lanes, to a full pedestrian transit mall, to a north side pedestrian mall, and now to a three-lane design with a westbound mixed traffic lane.

Metrolinx has heard the Whitby community clearly – residents want Metrolinx to maintain eastbound and westbound through traffic in the downtown core. The refined preliminary design includes three lanes of traffic, which will provide eastbound cars and buses with a dedicated lane, and westbound cars and buses with a shared lane between Perry Street and Byron Street.

This new option will:  

Maintain continuous eastbound and westbound general traffic movement on Dundas Street
Minimize neighbourhood traffic infiltration and keep school buses, trucks, large vehicles on Dundas Street
Improve pedestrian, transit, and driving access to businesses and support step free access on both sides of Dundas Street
Provide more space for streetscaping and enhance the public realm on Dundas Street
Maintain the character of Downtown Whitby
Restore all 31 on street parking spaces, through an expanded parking lot at Elm Street and Byron Street

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:05

Why couldn't through that area the buses lose the dedicated lanes? As you say there is no good solution due to the area but will still bottle neck traffic.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:45

The primary goal of the project is to create stronger connections and support an efficient and sustainable transportation network as the region grows.  The DSBRT line will make transit travel faster and more reliable, as well as increase capacity to meet the growing demand. It will allow for seamless connections with local transit networks, providing the residents of Durham Region and the City of Toronto with more flexibility and choice to get where they need to go. Thanks to the community engagement thus far, the design has evolved from curbside dedicated transit lanes, to a full pedestrian transit mall, to a north side pedestrian mall, and now to a three-lane design with a westbound mixed traffic lane. Metrolinx will continue to work with Town staff and Council on traffic calming measures as we progress into the detailed design stage. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:05

Your answer on what happens to vehicular traffic during an accident or other event focuses on continued bus flow....that's nice. Where do the CARS go?

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:45

Metrolinx has heard the Whitby community clearly – residents want Metrolinx to maintain eastbound and westbound through traffic in the downtown core. The refined preliminary design includes three lanes of traffic, which will provide eastbound cars and buses with a dedicated lane, and westbound cars and buses with a shared lane between Perry Street and Byron Street. Thus, ensuring more route flexibility capacity in the event of an unplanned road incident. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:05

It would be helpful to provide a figure showing specific improvements to nearby intersections such as Brock/Mary, Mary/Byron, Byron/Dundas.  Is this possible?

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:06

Balance the needs of the community? It effectively ignores them. How have you determined that Mary can manage this traffic? It is already backed up at rush hour

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:45

We understand that traffic infiltration is a major concern, which is why the refined preliminary design includes three lanes of traffic, which will provide eastbound cars and buses with a dedicated lane, and westbound cars and buses with a shared lane between Perry Street and Byron Street.

This new option will:  

Maintain continuous eastbound and westbound general traffic movement on Dundas Street
Minimize neighbourhood traffic infiltration and keep school buses, trucks, large vehicles on Dundas Street
Improve pedestrian, transit, and driving access to businesses and support step free access on both sides of Dundas Street
Provide more space for streetscaping and enhance the public realm on Dundas Street
Maintain the character of Downtown Whitby
Restore all 31 on street parking spaces, through an expanded parking lot at Elm Street and Byron Street We understand that motorists may choose to drive along other local roads, including Mary Street, depending on their destination.                                                                                                                              

Metrolinx will continue to work with Town staff and Council on traffic calming measures as we progress into the detailed design stage. Potential traffic calming measures could include  speed humps, traffic signals, signs, and minimizing road corner radii. We are committed to identifying strategies and working collabertively with our municipal partners  to mitigate impacts to the surrounding communities. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:06

Almost nobody cycles down Mary St. in any season. Has any study been done to see if these ideas actually make sense? 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:47

The Town of Whitby is overseeing the cycling infrastructure proposed on Mary Street. As part of the DSBRT project, dedicated cycling facilities will be provided from Raglan Street west to Ajax, and from Garden Street east to Oshawa. Due to space constraints in downtown Whitby, cycling facilities are not proposed between Raglan Street and Garden Street.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:06

Mary St. has a huge number of seniors, a day care, and century homes near the road. What is being done to make sure people are safe and homes still liveable? 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:47

We understand that traffic infiltration is a major concern, which is why the refined preliminary design includes three lanes of traffic, which will provide eastbound cars and buses with a dedicated lane, and westbound cars and buses with a shared lane between Perry Street and Byron Street.

This new option will:  

Maintain continuous eastbound and westbound general traffic movement on Dundas Street
Minimize neighbourhood traffic infiltration and keep school buses, trucks, large vehicles on Dundas Street
Improve pedestrian, transit, and driving access to businesses and support step free access on both sides of Dundas Street
Provide more space for streetscaping and enhance the public realm on Dundas Street
Maintain the character of Downtown Whitby
Restore all 31 on street parking spaces, through an expanded parking lot at Elm Street and Byron Street We understand that motorists may choose to drive along other local roads, including Mary Street, depending on their destination.                                                                                                            

Metrolinx will continue to work with Town staff and Council on traffic calming measures as we progress into the detailed design stage. Potential traffic calming measures could include  speed humps, traffic signals, signs, and minimizing road corner radii. We are committed to identifying strategies and working collabertively with our municipal partners  to mitigate impacts to the surrounding communities. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:06

What communication has been direct to the residents on Mary Street from Brock to Euclid?

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:49

Consultation to date:                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Public Information Centre #1
80 attended our open houses
74 comments received
3 meetings with the Stakeholder and Technical Advisory Groups

Public Information Centre #2
200 attended our open houses
40 comments received
3 meetings with the Stakeholder and Technical Advisory Groups

Public Information Centre #3
3 meetings with the Stakeholder and Technical Advisory Groups
4,866 website visitors; 2,549 unique interactive map visitors; 528 views of the narrated Whitby design video
141 comments received

2021 Engagements  
2 public meetings including today’s meeting
March 16th - 122 registered for live public meeting, 58 attended and 72 questions/comments received
3 design workshops with City of Oshawa staff 
4 presentations to Oshawa Advisory Committees
+ Ongoing meetings with community organizations, business owners and stakeholders                                                                                                       Two Whitby focused blog stories on Metrolinx news                                                                                                                                                          Tent card mailer to the entire Town of Whitby                                                                                                                                                                       Promotional street signage at Dundas/Henry Streets and Dundas/Perry Streets

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:11

Has any consideration been given to make Mary St. a one way west bound street?

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:49

This has not been considered as this is outside the scope of the DSBRT project. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:11

What are the specific impacts on Mary St?  What is the projected increase in cars on the route; street widening/sidewalks/bike lanes; and impact to trees?

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Metrolinx
May 25, 2021 - 11:53

Providing an eastbound general traffic lane and a westbound mixed traffic lane will keep most of the through traffic on Dundas Street through downtown Whitby, minimizing neighborhood traffic infiltration. The added volumes predicted with the 3-Lane option are similar to the levels of traffic increase that would be seen without the DSBRT.  
by 65% eastbound in the rush hour –out of 1,250 cars in 2041:
•    800 cars stay on Dundas
•    250 cars use Regional road alternatives (such as Taunton or Rossland)
•    115 cars use collector roads (such as Burns or Bonacord)
•    85 cars use local streets (such as Dunlop or Mary) 
by 60% westbound in the rush hour –out of 800 cars in 2041:
•    500 cars stay on Dundas
•    160 cars use Regional road alternatives (such as Taunton or Rossland)
•    80 cars use collector roads (such as Burns or Bonacord)
•    60 cars use local streets (such as Mary or Dunlop) 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:22

But you're basically turning Mary Street into a dedicated lane!!!!!

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:50

We understand that traffic infiltration is a major concern, which is why the refined preliminary design includes three lanes of traffic, which will provide eastbound cars and buses with a dedicated lane, and westbound cars and buses with a shared lane between Perry Street and Byron Street.

This new option will:  

Maintain continuous eastbound and westbound general traffic movement on Dundas Street
Minimize neighbourhood traffic infiltration and keep school buses, trucks, large vehicles on Dundas Street
Improve pedestrian, transit, and driving access to businesses and support step free access on both sides of Dundas Street
Provide more space for streetscaping and enhance the public realm on Dundas Street
Maintain the character of Downtown Whitby
Restore all 31 on street parking spaces, through an expanded parking lot at Elm Street and Byron Street We understand that motorists may choose to drive along other local roads, including Mary Street, depending on their destination.                                                                                                            

Metrolinx will continue to work with Town staff and Council on traffic calming measures as we progress into the detailed design stage. Potential traffic calming measures could include  speed humps, traffic signals, signs, and minimizing road corner radii. We are committed to identifying strategies and working collabertively with our municipal partners  to mitigate impacts to the surrounding communities. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:23

Can lighted bollards be installed as a protective barrier between pedestrians on sidewalks and busses in the curb lane and center lanes used by regular traffic?

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:50

At Metrolinx safety is our top priority. The most recent three-lane preliminary design would improve safety for pedestrians on Dundas Street by upgrading the sidewalks and improving accessibility into the local businesses. Outside the downtown, the project will upgrade sidewalks and crosswalks to be accessible, create raised and barrier protected platforms at stops for transit users, and for drivers by protecting left-turns at signalized intersections. Details for the design of the new sidewalks, such as lighting, benches, planters, bollards or other infrastructure will be examined as the project moves forward. We thank you for your suggestion. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:23

Could you explain how you are planning on improving safety along the route? I've seen nothing in the plans that clearly explain any plan.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:50

At Metrolinx safety is our top priority. The most recent three-lane preliminary design would improve safety for pedestrians on Dundas Street by upgrading the sidewalks and improving accessibility into the local businesses. Outside the downtown, the project will upgrade sidewalks and crosswalks to be accessible, create raised and barrier protected platforms at stops for transit users, and for drivers by protecting left-turns at signalized intersections. Details for the design of the new sidewalks, such as lighting, benches, planters, bollards or other infrastructure will be examined as the project moves forward. We thank you for your suggestion. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:23

Can you share the data about the safety of U turns in York? I've seen more accidents after the change then there was before.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:51

The DSBRT project will help to improve safety along the corridor by restricting U-turns and left-turns to signalized intersections. Left-turns and U-turn movements would be completed during a fully-protected phase, which is proven to reduce the frequency and severity of left-turn collisions. Please find the vivaNext safety statistics from the York Region Rapid Transit Corporation on page 21 here.

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Metrolinx's avatar
May 20, 2021 - 15:23

In light of the changes as a result of covid and more people working from home and expected to post covid will another usage study be undertaken?

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:51

Over the last year, public health restrictions in response to COVID-19 have had a large impact on travel patterns. While there is uncertainty surrounding the “new normal”, we know that the use of private cars for all trips is not sustainable or viable as Durham Region will continue to grow, and we need to find solutions to move more people more efficiently. The underlying economic value of moving people between locations still holds true.  Some of those reasons for travelling will undoubtedly change due to COVID-19 through practices such as increased remote working.  However, people will still travel albeit for different reasons and at different times.  Investments such as DSBRT are needed now more than ever because the travel patterns of the future will be two-way all-day, and much less about commuter peaks in the mornings and evenings.  

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Metrolinx's avatar
May 20, 2021 - 15:24

What is the ridership projection that supports this project based on? 
Where is the (assumed) influx of need coming from? 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:52

The project considers current and future ridership levels. The Initial Business Case completed in 2018 demonstrated the economic benefits of investing in transit priority along this corridor. Ridership on the existing PULSE route has exceeded initial projections by more than 50%. The service carried more than 3 million passengers in 2019.  Running more frequent transit service in dedicated bus lanes is expected to double ridership levels.  In Downtown Whitby, about 900 people got on and off the bus stops between Annes Street and Garden Street every day (pre-COVID, 2018). Through Downtown Whitby, about 5,400 people ride the bus every weekday. 

Future ridership is determined based on forecasts of population and employment along the corridor, based on land use and provincial and regional growth policies. There are many areas along the corridor that are identified for high-growth in the future, including Whitby, Downtown Oshawa, and Downtown Pickering.  

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May 20, 2021 - 15:24

How does the DBRT actual construction mesh with all the construction expected with the Official Whitby  intensification plans on Dundas? 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:52

A socio-economic study has been completed to determine the project's potential impacts and to propose appropriate mitigation measures. As part of the study, the relevant provincial, regional and local policies were reviewed. The project is consistent with the Town of Whitby Official Plan and plans for growth along Dundas Street and we continuously work with our municipal and regional partners to ensure alignment. 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:28

Will the DRT On Demand Specialized Buses be allowed to transfer passengers at the DSBRT stations?

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:52

The project team is working closely with DRT to confirm how passengers will transfer to and from specialized buses at DSBRT stops, with the goal of minimizing the transfer distance.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:28

Everyone I know is working from home in Whitby.....

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:52

Over the last year, public health restrictions in response to COVID-19 have had a large impact on travel patterns. While there is uncertainty surrounding the “new normal”, we know that the use of private cars for all trips is not sustainable or viable as Durham Region will continue to grow, and we need to find solutions to move more people more efficiently. 

The underlying economic value of moving people between locations still holds true.  Some of those reasons for travelling will undoubtedly change due to COVID-19 through practices such as increased remote working.  However, people will still travel albeit for different reasons and at different times.  Investments such as DSBRT are needed now more than ever because the travel patterns of the future will be two-way all-day, and much less about commuter peaks in the mornings and evenings.  

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:28

Many north south DRT links continue to be extremely unsuccessful as they are often 20-30 between buses. Will investments also be made in n/s service in Durham? 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:53

Once the DSBRT service is implemented, it will be operated primarily by DRT. As such, some existing DRT routes may be changed to provide more efficient service, including more effective north/south connections. In the meantime, if you have suggestions on how to improve DRT service, please feel free to fill out the customer comment form here: https://forms.durhamregiontransit.com/Customer-Service/Customer-Comment-...

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May 20, 2021 - 15:29

How come no one takes into consideration about those of us who actually live in the affected area

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:54

Metrolinx will continue to consult with the community, stakeholders, elected officials and municipal and regional partners to fine tune the three-lane preliminary design option.  Once funding is secured and Metrolinx moves into the detailed design phase, there will be more opportunities for the community to provide feedback.

Looking ahead, Metrolinx will establish Community Liaison Committees that will meet regularly throughout the lifecycle of the project and will include stakeholders such as local residents, business associations and other important organizations along the corridor to provide Metrolinx and its successful constructor with feedback on matters such as traffic calming measures, business supports, mitigation strategies for construction and noise disruption to ensure that it reflects and meets the need of the community.

To keep informed on upcoming public engagements, please subscribe to the Metrolinx Durham regional e-newsletter here, and to the project mailing list by e-mailing the team at [email protected]. For more information on the DSBRT project and previous public engagements, please visit Metrolinx Engage.  

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May 20, 2021 - 15:29

In the future could we have a valid agenda? If the plan was for David to have 20 minutes that alone over runs the 15 minutes allotted for the update.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:54

We apologize that the presentation took more time than anticipated. We extended the question and answer period to make up for the lost time. We value your time and participation so we will strive to adhere to the agenda for future public meetings.

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May 20, 2021 - 15:41

I live in a directly impacted area and have never received any information.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:55

We want to ensure that everyone who has an interest in the DSBRT project has the opportunity to have their voice heard. To address this, we recently distributed an information tent card to the entire municipality, created a new blog post and installed signage and Perry Street and Dundas Street and Henry Street and Dundas Street to promote the May 20, 2021 virtual engagement.  

To keep informed on upcoming public engagements, please subscribe to the Metrolinx Durham regional e-newsletter here, and to the project mailing list by e-mailing the team at [email protected]. For more information on the DSBRT project and previous public engagements, please visit Metrolinx Engage.  

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May 20, 2021 - 15:41

So you are guaranteeing an uptick in sales in the affected area?  And any of us that are nervous is unfounded.  All the business on King are thriving?

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:55

One of the goals of the project is to improve walkability in Downtown Whitby. As part of the design in Downtown Whitby, sidewalks will be widened to increase the size of the public realm. With larger sidewalks, businesses will be able to place patios and displays outside their stores to attract customers. The widened pedestrian realm will also provide more space for streetscaping and pedestrian amenities, which will help make it a destination and attract more people. The widened sidewalks will also improve accessibility. 

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Metrolinx's avatar
May 20, 2021 - 15:42

Commuters just want to go home. We are tired. Why do we think this will increase pedestrian traffic? 

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:56

One of the goals of the project is to improve walkability in Downtown Whitby. As part of the design in Downtown Whitby, sidewalks will be widened to increase the size of the public realm. With larger sidewalks, businesses will be able to place patios and displays outside their stores to attract customers. The widened pedestrian realm will also provide more space for streetscaping and pedestrian amenities, which will help make it a destination and attract more people. The widened sidewalks will also improve accessibility. 

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Metrolinx's avatar
May 20, 2021 - 15:42

So with all of these events Lorraine suggested could occur on the sidewalks, how do cars get there and where do they park? This isn't Toronto.

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Metrolinx
May 20, 2021 - 15:56

We understand that parking is important to businesses in Downtown Whitby. The design requires 31 parking spots to be removed from Dundas Street, west of Brock Street. We proposed to replace those 31 spots by expanding the off-street municipal parking lot near the intersection of Elm Street and Byron Street. The off-street lot expansion would provide three fully accessible parking spaces, plus a loading zone on Byron Street near Dundas Street. 

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