OSHAWA - On Tuesday, June 5, Oshawa City Council endorsed the Oshawa Downtown Streetscape Design Vision (O.D.S.D.V.) and the first implementation of this design vision, the King Street East Pilot Streetscape Project.
City Council decided to endorse staff’s recommendation of a design option which would eliminate the majority of the parking spaces by widening the sidewalk area while retaining an area for accessible parking and drop offs generally in front of the Regent Theatre. This was a minor variation of one of the three options presented to the public. The recommendation was developed based on overwhelming support for a reduced parking option from the community, which 154 of a possible 255 identified as their preference. The area for accessible parking and drop offs was added based on comments received in the survey and at public and stakeholder meetings.
The other two options featured the use of bollards to allow for twelve flexible parking spots and six flexible parking spots.
The King Street East Pilot Streetscape Project included the proposed widening of the sidewalk on the north side of King Street East between Ontario Street and Mary Street North, which will allow for additional space for pedestrians, landscaping, outdoor patios/cafes, streetscape amenities and businesses.
Public consultation consisted of three drop in Open Houses in April, as well as a survey available on paper at Service Oshawa and online on Connect Oshawa. The project strongly resonated with the community, with:
- 30 individuals attending a Drop In Open House;
- 242 completing the survey online on Connect Oshawa; and,
- 13 completing the survey on paper.
The majority of feedback came from an Oshawa resident or business owner (91.8%), with 65.1% of those respondents noting the first three digits of their postal code in the areas closest to Downtown Oshawa.
The O.D.S.D.V was created as a guide to assist in the development of the public realm in the City of Oshawa’s downtown, with a specific focus on the Downtown Oshawa Business Improvement Area. The City will use the O.D.S.D.V. as a guiding reference document for all future capital design projects within the Downtown Oshawa Business Improvement Area boundary, where applicable. Beginning this summer, the City will also use the O.D.S.D.V. as a guiding reference document for the acquisition of replacement streetscape furnishings.
Both the King Street East Pilot Streetscape Project and the O.D.S.D.V. address goals set out in the Downtown Plan20Twenty, which included action items to create a distinct downtown that is recognizable and welcoming to residents, visitors and businesses. The Plan also included updating the downtown streetscape including light standards, benches, trash receptacles and greenery and investigating opportunities such as sidewalk widening.