The following measures for traffic congestion in Bradford can be implemented immediately for little cost:
- Elimination of street parking and left turns along highlighted portion of Bridge St and Holland St. W.
- Traffic signal with advanced Left Turn on Bridge St. for northbound traffic
Longer Term Solutions
To address (local) out-of-the-way travel problems:
- Connect Ravenshoe Road to Line 13
– or –
- Resurrect MTO’s previously substantially EA approved, 1984 Highway 89 Extension, (2 lane highway to Ravenshoe Road).
Long time residents of the area tell us that there used to be a bridge over the Holland River at Ravenshoe Rd. This bridge was totally destroyed by Hurricane Hazel and never replaced thus causing the current out-of-the-way travel problem.
The connection of Ravenshoe Rd to Line 13 is the least environmentally intrusive solution. It essentially crosses land that has been reclaimed for a number of years. When the 1997 EAS was done, the Ministry of Natural Resources pressed MTO to choose river crossings which had been previously disturbed.
The sections of Ravenshoe Rd. from Leslie St. to the river and Line 13 or 12, from the river to Yonge St., would need to be upgraded to arterial road specifications (similar to Ravenshoe Rd. from Leslie St. to Woodbine Ave.)
Road allowances would need to be protected to permit upgrading to 4 lane arterial road status if at some time in the future this became necessary.
The following map shows MTO’s final preferred route for the previously, substantially EA approved, Highway 89 Extension EAS (1984). The decision for a 4 lane highway was a policy decision. At no time, either then or now, has there been sufficient demand for this level of highway. MTO is counting on induced demand to justify this policy decision. MTO refused to consider this route in their 1997 Bradford Bypass EA Study for reason that it was not a 4 lane controlled access highway. MTO further acknowledged that the Highway 89 proposal was less environmentally invasive than the proposed Bradford Bypass. MTO’s 1997 EAS stated that, in 1984, the Minister withdrew the Highway 89 EA Approval in response to public opposition over the environmental impact of the highway. The Minister also committed to not cross this marsh again.
A great deal has changed since 1984, surely this commitment is no longer binding!
To address Bradford’s center of town congestion:
- Connect Queensville Sideroad, via Bathurst St. and Hochreiter Road with 8th line in Bradford.
Hochreiter Rd. is currently a closed road allowance owned by the landowners on either side of it. This road allowance would have to be reopened (acquired from the landowners) and widened to permit an ultimate 4 lane arterial road, if that later became necessary. Connection from the bridge to Bradford’s 8th Line would require a short section of new road.
All of these alternative routes conform to MTO’s stated preference to separate long distance travel from local traffic. The Bradford Bypass will combine this traffic.
Advantages of these proposed alternative routes include:
- Out-of-the-way travel between Barrie and Keswick / Brechin will be minimized. (Increased travel time caused by a 2-lane highway or regional road will be offset by the elimination of 12 km of out-of-the-way travel necessary to utilize the Bradford Bypass).
- Dramatically decreased impact on the provincially significant Keswick Marsh – i.e. addition of two 2-lane bridges over the Holland River / Holland Marsh in Bradford instead of two, large, 4-lane bridges crossing the east and west branches of the Holland River.
- Costs: Elimination of five interchanges and 4 overpasses over all north/south roads between Hwy 400 and Hwy 404 together with an, as yet unknown, number of concrete columns supporting the freeway over the Holland River (east branch) portion of the Holland Marsh.
- 16.2 Km of 4-lane paved freeway corridor avoided. The proposed solutions require a relatively short two-lane arterial roadway to connect Hochreiter Road with Bradford’s 8th line. The Hwy 89 route will require a relatively short new 2-lane arterial road connecting Ravenshoe Road to Line 13 or line 12 and an upgrade of either of these Lines to arterial road status to Yonge St.
- Substantially reduced carbon impact with respect to both construction and subsequent vehicle usage.
The Bradford Bypass project consultants should be required to conduct and publish travel studies for both the Bradford Bypass and these alternative route options.
These studies should include:
- Comparisons of estimated travel times for typical trips,
- Comparisons of costs for each of the alternatives,
- Carbon emissions for both construction and anticipated daily traffic volumes,
- The cost of the Bradford Bypass versus the best alternative route or routes
- The incremental cost / benefit of the Bradford Bypass versus the selected alternative(s)