Committee updates Right of Way Patio By-law to improve accessibility

 This week, the City’s Transportation Committee approved an amendment to the Right of Way Patio By-law, which requires patios that encroach on the City’s road allowance to have barrier-free access and to leave a clear pathway for pedestrians that is at least two metres wide.


With respect to existing patios on sidewalks that are narrower than two metres, or where City infrastructure limits expanding the pedestrian clearway, the by-law would allow some flexibility. The City would also commit $50,000 to move some of that infrastructure, including signs and benches, where possible, to increase the clearway for pedestrians.


The City is encouraging patio owners to comply with the by-law when the summer patio season begins on April 1, 2018. However, existing patio owners would have until October 31, 2018 to submit applications, with plans for compliant patios, for next summer’s patio season. Patios operating during the winter season would need to comply with the by-law by November 1, 2018. All patios would have to comply with the by-law by April 1, 2019.


The Committee also received the City’s plan for this year’s parking-related projects. The to-do list includes an update of the Municipal Parking Management Strategy, which involves a governance review and creating a strategy for bicycle parking. Following stakeholder consultation, staff expect to complete the update in 2019.


Other projects for the year include installing a parking guidance system at the Gloucester Street Garage, adding bicycle parking and studying downtown parking issues and supply.


The Ministry of Transportation provided an update on the replacement of the Highway 417 Nicholas Street underpass and the Highway 417 CPR/O-Train bridge. The Ministry presented its recommended plans and the expected traffic impacts.


Items approved at Transportation Committee will go to City Council on Wednesday, March 28.