New traffic signals to be in operation soon along Upper James St.

This post, from November 8, has information on new traffic signals that will soon be in operation along the northern portion of Upper James Street.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

If you’ve found yourself traveling along the northern portion of Upper James heading to the Claremont Access, you’ve surely noticed crews installing new traffic signals. These new signals are part of a larger plan towards making Upper James more pedestrian friendly.

For more details, please continue reading below…

Back in 2016, Council passed a motion to review the Upper James Street corridor with the intent of providing recommendations to make it more pedestrian friendly without impacting traffic flow. The initial phase focused on the area between the Claremont Access and Fennell Avenue.

Since that time, several traffic signal additions and enhancements have been implemented along the mentioned focus area, which have made the corridor more pedestrian friendly, including pedestrian crossing lights at Brantdale Avenue as well as at Churchill Avenue.

More recently, and after extensive consultation with area residents, the City formulated a report titled Making Upper James Street More Pedestrian Friendly.

The report indicates that to preserve the flow of traffic, which counts over 20,000 cars per day, would create operational and safety issues as the lights would be too close together. As a result, it was recommended that the two pedestrian crosswalks should be decommissioned and relocate both the Brantdale and Duff/Churchill Ave. crosswalks.

The relocation has a direct effect on walking routes for Sts. Peter and Paul and Queensdale schools, including a new crossing guard location, as well as what will happen to the Brantdale red light camera and the future installation of planters along the corridor.

Upper James Street at Churchill Avenue/Duff Street relocated to Upper James Street at Queensdale Avenue

Queensdale Avenue has HSR transit stops on both sides of Upper James Street and also provides convenient access to Queensdale Public School, making it a logical spot for a full use traffic signal.

According to the City’s report, since the 2016 traffic signal activation of Upper James Street at Inverness Avenue, the existing pedestrian signal at Churchill Avenue/ Duff Street has seen declining pedestrian crossings as more pedestrians utilize the crossings at Inverness Avenue.

Pedestrian signal at Duff St. & Upper James St. to be decommissioned.

Located only 100 metres apart from each other, it is believed that a pedestrian crossing for Queensdale School would be more beneficial at Queensdale Avenue than at the existing Churchill Avenue/ Duff Street pedestrian signal. 77% of respondents to the community surveys agreed with this notion.

According to the document, relocation will require the removal of two parking meters on the southeast side of Queensdale Avenue, adjacent to 543 Upper James Street, and the removal of parking on the north west side of Queensdale Avenue adjacent to 538 Upper James Street. A new crossing guard is also recommended at Inverness Avenue as a result of the signal removal at Churchill/Duff Street.

Upper James Street and Brantdale Avenue relocated to Upper James Street and
Brucedale Avenue

Like the new traffic signal at Queensdale, Brucedale Avenue has HSR transit stops on both sides of Upper James Street and would be the most suitable location to install an additional traffic signal based on current pedestrian and vehicular volumes.

The above recommendation to install a new traffic signal at Queensdale Avenue would result in the existing Brantdale Avenue signal being only 100 metres away. As such, it would be more beneficial to decommission the traffic signal at Brantdale Avenue and relocate the traffic signal to Brucedale Avenue.

Brantdale Ave. at Upper James St. traffic signal

The Brantdale Avenue traffic signal was installed in 1971 and the traffic signal infrastructure will need to be reconstructed in the near future. It is expected that much of the traffic currently utilizing Brantdale Avenue will divert to one of the proposed new traffic signals located at Brucedale Avenue or at Queensdale Avenue. The red light camera, which has been located at the Brantdale/Upper James intersection will be removed and relocated to a new location as determined through the Red Light Camera program.

With the new traffic light installations in place, the City is now waiting on connection to electrical services. It is anticipated that the new signal at the Upper James and Queensdale intersection will be activated first near the end of November and existing signal at Upper James and Duff St. will be de-activated on the same day.

The new signal at Upper James and Brucedale Ave. will proceed for activation approximately 2 weeks after the activation of signal at Queensdale and the existing signal at Brandale will be removed at the same time.

The cost of the commissioning and decommissioning of the traffic installations and other improvements will cost $500,000.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.