Traffic study underway on proposed housing site in Gore Bay

GORE BAY – A representative of Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services (OAHS) says a traffic study is about to be conducted in regard to a proposed 40-unit apartment-type structure in the town.

“We’re excited that this study will be carried out,” stated Sarah McBain, communications specialist with OAHS, when contacted by The Expositor last week. She pointed out the assessment should be complete by the end of this year. Once all studies required by the town are completed, OAHS will be able to proceed with the planning stage for the project. 

Jaime Garcia of CIMA+ (the project’s architect), in a letter dated September 30 to the town and also to Cathy Connor, program delivery manager for OAHS, on the scope of work for a traffic study, wrote, “The following characteristics of the development site will be considered for the preparation of the requested studies: municipal address, zoning residential multiple, 40 affordable housing units (three storey building). It is assumed that access will be located along Water Street approximately 165 metres south of the intersection with East Street.” 

“CIMA+ will prepare a traffic study following the discussion sustained with the Manitoulin Planning Board (MPB) and Gore Bay representatives,” wrote Mr. Garcia. “Based on those discussions it is our understanding that no other road authority, including the Ministry of Transportation, will be considered as a reviewer agency, and as such, no other material will be prepared aside of a traffic study for submission to the town of Gore Bay.”

“To this purpose it is assumed that the following information will be provided by OAHS: location plan of the subject property, property description, developer contact information, design drawings identifying the proposed access(es) to the site, project number and type of residential units,” continued Mr. Garcia. “Based on the aforementioned information and after confirmation with the Town of Gore Bay regarding the scope of the traffic operations assessment, CIMA+ will complete the following tasks: an in-office review of the design drawings to confirm the adequacy of the location of the proposed access (i.e., to avoid potential conflicts with through traffic), determination of projected traffic volumes generated by the site based on the recommendations of the ITE Trip Generation Manual and information provided by OAHS, determination of the potential effects of projected traffic at the proposed access as well as the following locations. Our proposed approach considers that historical traffic volumes and turning movements at those locations may be provided by the Town of Gore Bay or by OAHS (including) the yield-controlled intersection of Water Street and Bay Street; the stop-controlled intersection of Bay Street (minor road) and Agnes Street; the stop-controlled intersection of Water Street and Main Street (minor road) and the stop-controlled intersection of Main Street (minor road) and Meredith Street. Recommendation of mitigation measures to be considered as part of the proposed development.”

“The results of the aforementioned activities will be summarized in the form of a traffic study report for submission to the Town of Gore Bay to support the rezoning of the subject land to multiple family residential (conducted by others),” wrote Mr. Garcia.

Ms. McBain also told The Expositor that Tulloch Engineering will be helping in the studies being carried out on behalf of OAHS.

“This is the proposal for the traffic study being forwarded to council,” said Gore Bay Mayor Dan Osborne at a Gore Bay council meeting last week. “Does anyone have any questions or thoughts at this time.”

Councillor Jack Clark asked if the town has received any information yet on other studies they are requiring of OAHS for consideration by council for the housing project. 

Mayor Osborne told council that as of this point the town has not received any information on studies having been completed. 

Council accepted the information from AOHS that the traffic study is to be carried out.  

“We accepted this as information,” Mayor Osborne told The Expositor after the council meeting. He pointed out OAHS “is required to have several studies done for our review. So far we haven’t seen anything yet.”

As was reported previously, council for the Town of Gore Bay gave its approval to amend a zoning bylaw toward the development of a proposed 40-unit apartment-type structure in the town (with conditions), in consideration of the many concerns by residents of Hall Street. The considerations include studies on mitigation to flooding, conservation at Bickell’s Creek, an environmental study to be carried out, approval of the building design, water-sewer capacity and a traffic study. All have to be in place and council has to be satisfied with the information provided for the project to move forward.