First public information and consultation

21 Aug 2020

A number of preliminary design alternatives have been designed for Union Street East. All of the alternatives have focused on improving the active transportation experience on Union Street, following the applicable regulations including the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), the City’s Transportation Master Plan and other applicable City policies, and other guiding documents.

Design alternatives overview

Two primary design alternatives have been developed for Union Street:

Alternative 1 – new cycling infrastructure, detailed in three sub-alternatives

Alternative 2 – pedestrian-focused

Alternative 1 includes sidewalks and one-way cycle tracks between King Street and Bowman Street, with three possible sub-alternatives for the area between Bowman Street and Moore Avenue. Cycle tracks are separate lanes for bicycles that are next to the road and separated from motor vehicle traffic, with features to clearly identify the area designated for cycling and not motor vehicle traffic.

Including cycle tracks in Alternative 1 requires a wider road, and will have a greater impact on existing trees and some properties. For this design, the city needs to acquire land from some properties, as shown on the plans. (Additional details regarding the property acquisition process is available in the Property Acquisition document in our Project Library.)

Alternative 2 has been developed as a “pedestrian-focused” corridor, with wider sidewalks and boulevards. There are no dedicated cycling lanes as part of this design, and as a result, nearby properties will be less impacted compared to Alternative 1. Instead, cyclists would be directed to a yet-to-be determined parallel route, to be identified in the coming update to the city’s Transportation Master Plan.

Both alternatives include the following:

  • Relocating existing overhead hydro poles to new boulevard space.
  • Eliminating some existing left-turn lanes in order to provide more available space for pedestrian and cycling facilities. Alternative 1 requires the removal of the existing left-turn lanes at Bowman Street, Herbert Street, and Mary Street. Alternative 2 would remove the existing left-turn lanes at Bowman Street and Mary Street while maintaining the left-turn lane at Herbert Street. (Additional information regarding removal of the existing left-turn lanes is available in the Background document in our Project Library.)
  • A new secondary route for the Spurline Trail, allowing trail users the option to cross at the signalized intersection at Moore Avenue or continue using the existing crossing with the refuge island.


The various options are described in greater detail below, and in our project presentation video. Technical drawings for each alternative are available in the Project Library. If you require an alternate format to access the designs for review, please contact a member of the project team.




Alternative 1 – new cycling infrastructure

This alternative features one-way cycle tracks on both sides of Union Street from Mary Street to Bowman Street, along with 1.5 metre wide sidewalks and increased boulevard space. The cycle tracks would be similar to those already in place on King Street through Uptown Waterloo, and on Columbia Street, west of Fischer-Hallman Road.

The city is not proposing to extend the cycle tracks south of Mary Street in any version of this alternative. Property requirements, the location of existing buildings, the alignment of the intersection of Union Street and King Street, and a lack of connectivity to existing cycling facilities were all considerations in this decision.

Between Bowman Street and Moore Street, there is additional roadway space which allows for multiple options:

Alternative 1A – cycle tracks with sidewalks from Mary Street to Bowman Avenue, and multi-use trails from Bowman Street to Moore Avenue (begins at 4:00 in the presentation video)

As part of Alternative 1A, new multi-use trails are proposed on each side of Union Street between Bowman Street and Moore Avenue to provide direct connections to neighbouring properties on Union Street, Lucan Avenue and Bowman Street.

Graphic showing a two-lane road, with separated cycle tracks, grass boulevard and sidewalk on either side.Cycle tracks with sidewalks, Mary Street to Bowman Street


Graphic showing a two-lane road, with grass boulevard and multi-use two-directional trail on either side.Multi-use trail, Bowman Avenue to Moore Avenue


Alternative 1B – cycle tracks with sidewalks from Mary Street to Moore Avenue (begins at 5:28 in the presentation video)

Alternative 1B would simply continue the cycle tracks proposed between Mary Street and Bowman Street all the way to Moore Avenue.

Graphic showing a two-lane road, with separated cycle tracks, grass boulevard and sidewalk on either side.Cycle tracks with sidewalks, Bowman Street to Moore Avenue

Alternative 1C – cycle tracks with sidewalks and boulevard cycle tracks from Bowman Street to Moore Avenue (begins at 6:03 in the presentation video)

Alternative 1C includes boulevard cycle tracks that are set back further from the road and sidewalks. The boulevard cycle tracks continue to Moore Avenue on the east side of Union Street, and to the Spurline Trail connection on the west side.

Graphic showing a two-lane road, with grass boulevard, cycle track, another grass boulevard and sidewalk on either side.Boulevard cycle tracks, Bowman Street to Moore Avenue


Alternative 2 – Pedestrian-focused

Alternative 2 (begins at 6:38 in the presentation video) focuses on improving the pedestrian experience on Union Street. Wider 1.8 metre sidewalks are proposed for the entire length, rather than the 1.5 metre sidewalks in all options for Alternative 1. This wider sidewalk allows for two wheelchairs or strollers to pass side-by-side, and are well set back from the roadway by wide grassed boulevards. This design includes a new pedestrian refuge island at Herbert Street, while maintaining the existing left-turn lane.

As this option does not feature dedicated cycling lanes on Union Street, cyclists would be directed to a yet-to-be determined parallel route, to be identified in the coming update to the city’s Transportation Master Plan.

Graphic showing a two-lane road, with grass boulevard and extra wide sidewalk on either side.Boulevard and wide sidewalk, Mary Street to Moore Avenue

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