Over $35K to put Second St. back to four lanes: report

Line painting workers scrub out the yellow center line on Second Street East between Marlborough Ave. and McConnell Ave. on Oct. 8, 2014. The city repainted a section of the street to add bicycle lanes. (Cornwall Newswatch)

CORNWALL – The city’s traffic engineer says it would cost just over $35,000 to put Second Street East back to a four lane configuration.

In a report to the budget committee Friday, Transportation Engineer Enrique Kamm says the original cost to convert the street to add bicycle lanes cost $29,000 but it would be slightly more expensive to revert back.

Replacing lengthy solid lines will require more paint, plus giving the public notice, with a total cost of $35,500.

Kamm’s report also suggests that people may believe the commute across town is taking a lot longer because they were speeding under the previous four-lane setup.

“Vehicles that may be exceeding the roadway operating speed had the opportunity to overtake a slower vehicle. Operating speeds are typically in the 55 kph range. A single through lane may slightly slow overall operating speed,” the report states.

According to traffic counts, the engineer adds that of the 12,000-18,000 vehicles per day, only 10 per cent were using the outside lane.

Kamm also says there had been more complaints about bicycles on sidewalks and bicycle commuters have limited choices to get to their destination. “Commuter cyclists do not want to detour one or two blocks to an alternate, less direct street.”

The engineer concedes there are growing pains such as traffic backups at McConnell Avenue for vehicles turning left to go north on McConnell from Second and buses having to merge after picking up fares.

Kamm also says the time of year didn’t help. “Some drivers may be frustrated by the change – certainly change can difficult to adapt to. Compounding the issue is the time of year work was done. Being in late fall, many drivers have not had time to establish routine before winter snow has obscured line paint,” he writes.

The budget committee will receive the report on Friday but won’t take any action. A new business motion from Coun. Mark MacDonald to put Second Street back to the way it was, tabled Monday at city council, will come up at the council meeting in two weeks.

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