Dublin Street closing at rail crossing

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The railway crossing at Dublin Street no longer meets Transport Canada regulations based on updates made to the Railway Safety Act. The City is working with Metrolinx, the owner of the rail line, to close the railway crossing at Dublin Street to make sure that people walking, cycling and driving through the area are safe. In addition to the closure, neighbouring streets will see the following changes:

  • Kent Street will be one-way westbound between Dublin Street and Glasgow Street on the north and south side of the railway tracks
  • Kent Street will be one-way westbound between Northumberland Street and Dublin Street north of the railway tracks
  • Northumberland Street will be one-way southbound south of the pedestrian bridge over Norfolk Street to Kent Street
  • The four stop signs at railway crossing will be removed and replaced with two stop signs on Dublin Street north and south of the closed railway crossing for drivers to stop before turning onto Kent Street

The closure and these changes will happen July 6, 2020.

The closure is required due to federal regulation so there is no opportunity to consult on the closure itself.

City staff held meetings with both the local schools—Central Public School and St. John Bosco Catholic High School—to discuss impacts of the closure and any opportunities to mitigate them. Notices were also delivered to properties bounded by Waterloo Avenue to south, Glasgow Street to the west, Norfolk Street to the east and Paisley Street to the north in March 2020.

A neighbourhood meeting was originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at city hall to allow residents to ask questions of clarification about the closure and traffic changes. Based on advice from Guelph’s Medical Officer of Health regarding COVID-19, the City cancelled the meeting. In the absence of an in-person meeting, an online forum is available for community members to ask questions or provide comments about the rail crossing closure and related traffic changes.

Have a question or comment about these changes? Read the information report and the Kent Street Traffic Study in the documents tab at the right of the page. Post your question or comment below and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

The railway crossing at Dublin Street no longer meets Transport Canada regulations based on updates made to the Railway Safety Act. The City is working with Metrolinx, the owner of the rail line, to close the railway crossing at Dublin Street to make sure that people walking, cycling and driving through the area are safe. In addition to the closure, neighbouring streets will see the following changes:

  • Kent Street will be one-way westbound between Dublin Street and Glasgow Street on the north and south side of the railway tracks
  • Kent Street will be one-way westbound between Northumberland Street and Dublin Street north of the railway tracks
  • Northumberland Street will be one-way southbound south of the pedestrian bridge over Norfolk Street to Kent Street
  • The four stop signs at railway crossing will be removed and replaced with two stop signs on Dublin Street north and south of the closed railway crossing for drivers to stop before turning onto Kent Street

The closure and these changes will happen July 6, 2020.

The closure is required due to federal regulation so there is no opportunity to consult on the closure itself.

City staff held meetings with both the local schools—Central Public School and St. John Bosco Catholic High School—to discuss impacts of the closure and any opportunities to mitigate them. Notices were also delivered to properties bounded by Waterloo Avenue to south, Glasgow Street to the west, Norfolk Street to the east and Paisley Street to the north in March 2020.

A neighbourhood meeting was originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at city hall to allow residents to ask questions of clarification about the closure and traffic changes. Based on advice from Guelph’s Medical Officer of Health regarding COVID-19, the City cancelled the meeting. In the absence of an in-person meeting, an online forum is available for community members to ask questions or provide comments about the rail crossing closure and related traffic changes.

Have a question or comment about these changes? Read the information report and the Kent Street Traffic Study in the documents tab at the right of the page. Post your question or comment below and we’ll reply as soon as possible.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    Public transit - GO Train use has had a 90% reduction in ridership . Commuters are working from home . Pre COvid Horizons dramatically differ from Post COVid realities. Time to adjust to the present Horizon. The demand for trains is not there .People do not want to return to public transit. (fewer commuters.and 20 % unemployed) Different from metrolinx executive full business case of November 2018*

    Diane asked 5 months ago

    The closure of Dublin Street at the railway is a Railway Safety Act requirement and is not related to the frequency of trains along the corridor. 

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    This is a massive change to a community. The city needs to show respect and sensitivity. It is time to slow down and take the time to listen to residents who have legitimate concerns. Their ways of being will be impactied by this change. I do not beleive the rhetoric the city is using to rationalize that consultation is unncessary and can be skipped.

    frequent visitor asked 5 months ago

    We agree that this is a big change, especially for people living in the area. Where we were able to use community feedback to improve changes, we did. The road closure is federally mandated through the Railway Safety Act and isn’t something that public opinion can influence, so we were unable to engage on that matter. However, proposed changes to traffic and parking on Kent and Northumberland Streets were changed based on community feedback.

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    The following question was asked by Ian Digby in the comments section. "I ask that the City make a meaningful effort to consider how a pedestrian crossing could be maintained at this location.2. Kent Street direction change doesn't make sense. What is the reason for this proposal? What is the problem you are trying to solve? 3. The consultation process has been inadequate. We were told in March that a public meeting would be held but this was understandably cancelled due to the pandemic. Now in mid-June we have received a letter that the changes are occurring in three weeks. How are we to give meaningful consultation if the decision has already been made?"

    5 months ago

    The City is working with Metrolinx to study options to re-instate a pedestrian/cyclist crossing at or near Dublin Street and this process is ongoing. City Transportation staff will complete studies after the closure to study how people are moving.  Community engagement will occur as part of the future study that considers pedestrian crossings.

    The traffic flow changes are not required as a part of the Railway Safety Act, they are required based on recommendations of Metrolinx’s Traffic Impact Study (TIS).  The TIS determined that one-way operation of certain roadways would be required. This is primarily based on the anticipated increase in traffic volume and narrow road width. The traffic flow changes also ensure that on-street parking can remain in areas where the City knows on-street parking is highly valued.

    The closure is required due to federal regulation so there is no opportunity to consult the community. City staff held meetings with both the local schools—Central Public School and St. John Bosco Catholic High School—before the information report was released to discuss impacts of the closure and any opportunities to mitigate them. The City also delivered notices to properties bounded by Waterloo Avenue to south, Glasgow Street to the west, Norfolk Street to the east and Paisley Street to the north. A neighbourhood meeting was originally scheduled for March 25 at city hall to allow residents to ask questions of clarification about the closure and traffic changes.  Based on advice from Guelph’s Medical Officer of Health regarding COVID-19, the City cancelled the meeting. In the absence of an in-person meeting, this online forum is available for community members to ask questions or provide comments about the rail crossing closure and related traffic changes.

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    The following question was asked by kathrynfolkl in the comments section. "are the changes to traffic direction also mandated by the Act? If not, please remove them from the plan. Public consultation has not fed into this change and neighbourhood residents do not support the change. Please also consider whether there is a solution to continue pedestrian access over the railway crossing as this is the route taken by many students walking to Central school."

    5 months ago

    The traffic flow changes are not required as a part of the Railway Safety Act, they are required based on recommendations of Metrolinx’s Traffic Impact Study (TIS).  The TIS determined that one-way operation of certain roadways would be required. This is primarily based on the anticipated increase in traffic volume and narrow road width. The traffic flow changes also ensure that on-street parking can remain in areas where the City knows on-street parking is highly valued.

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    The following question was asked by KirbyC in the comments section. "The public needs input into the strategy guiding those decisions, and we should have the ability to comment on the strategy guiding those decisions. E.g. - we have an ongoing transportation master plan process, and I'm not aware of conversations within that process of what we do as / if more rail crossings are closed...I'm also wondering how garbage collection will take place on the south side of the tracks - unless garbage trucks are granted two-way access, residents on the southside will need to put their containers on the other side of the street. I can live with this minor inconvenience. But the major concern is the winter time, when snow is also piled heavily on that side of the street."

    5 months ago

    Since the closure is a direction of the Railway Safety Act and a public safety matter, and not a decision of Council, public engagement was not conducted. Garbage collection will require residents to place their bins on the opposite side of the roadway for collection. Staff has followed up with the City’s Operations team and have confirmed that winter maintenance in this area will be increased.

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    The following question was asked by Mike Darmon in the comments section. "The City report states that discussion with Metrolinx started last August but the public was informed until around March 2020 of the Closure. Why didn’t the City have public engagement much earlier in the process?"

    5 months ago

    Since the closure is a direction of the Railway Safety Act and a public safety matter, and not a decision of Council, public engagement was not conducted.

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    The following question was asked by Mike Darmon in the comments section. "4 If no further closings are planned is Metrolinx justification for increased speeds necessary considering the tiny increase in efficiency for such a short distance requiring acceleration and then braking before Central Station?"

    5 months ago

    The City is reviewing each railway crossing with Metrolinx against the updated safety standards and no decisions have been made yet. Dublin Street poses a high safety risk and cannot be addressed through upgrades without significant impacts to homes, so the decision for closing this crossing was required at this time.

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    The following question was asked by Mike Darmon in the comments section. "3 Has the city fully investigated the possibilities of either a grade level pedestrian crossing or a full grade separation tunnel?"

    5 months ago

    Metrolinx has investigated the possibilities of a grade level crossing and a full grade separation tunnel. A grade level crossing is not permitted at this crossing due to the Railway Safety Act. At this time a full grade separation tunnel would not be cost efficient to construct. Metrolinx and the City will continue to work together to determine opportunities for active transportation crossings in the area.

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    The following question was asked by Mike Darmon in the comments section. "2 Who is responsible for the installation and expense of “full grade separation”ie a pedestrian tunnel or bridge."

    5 months ago

    Metrolinx and the City would likely need to enter a cost sharing agreement for the installation and expense of a full grade separation.

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    The following question was asked by Mike Darmon in the comments section. "Can the City ask further clarification from Metrolinx why a pedestrian crossing is not possible?ie for example does the current regulation have a speed threshold beyond which grade level pedestrian crossing cannot exist?please specify."

    5 months ago

    A pedestrian crossing is not possible as it would need to be provided by either a bridge or tunnel. Due to the grade of the road either a bridge or tunnel would not be cost efficient or practical to construct.