Complete Streets approach

31 Jul 2020

The City of Waterloo has approved the reconstruction of Longfellow Drive, from Shakespeare Drive to Westmount Road, with construction scheduled to start in 2021. Road reconstruction is part of our ongoing maintenance and upgrading of city streets, and designed with the next 50 years of use in mind.

As part of the reconstruction, all underground municipal infrastructure will be replaced, including sanitary sewer, storm sewer, watermain, and sanitary and water services up to the common property line. The street itself will be repaved, including a new concrete curb and sidewalk. Areas disturbed by the construction project will be restored to city standards, including driveways, and sod and tree replacement as required.

Surveyors have been on Longfellow, gathering some of the information that is needed to determine the final design for the road. As part of the city’s Complete Streets approach, both new construction and reconstruction projects must consider solutions that are safe for everyone: walkers, cyclists, transit, drivers, and people of all ages and abilities. Our transportation planners and engineers design our street network for all road users, following city policy, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), our Transportation Master Plan and other guiding documents.

The new design is still in process. The design for this streetscape must meet the minimum standards per the guiding policies, regulations and documents, which in this case includes the installation of a new sidewalk. Other design considerations include:


  • which side of the roadway, or both sides
  • minimum sidewalk width of 1.5 metres
  • preferred width and best practice of 1.8 metres; allows for 2 wheelchairs or strollers


  • minimum 1 metre width for grass (less than 1 metre and grass is challenging to grow and maintain)
  • visual separation from roadway is required per AODA
  • space for waste collection storage
  • space for snow or leaf storage
  • curb faced sidewalks (without a boulevard) are not ideal as they present issues with waste collection, snow storage and are typically an urban, industrial feature

Narrower Asphalt

  • promotes traffic calming
  • minimizes landscape impacts
  • reduces capital and operational costs

The city is working with our engineering consultant, GM BluePlan, to develop several alternatives for the road design, which will offer some choice within the features that have flexibility. Once these options have been determined, they will be presented to the public for feedback in early Fall 2020.

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