Guelph making temporary sidewalk and road changes so people can be active outdoors and remain 2 metres apart

Update May 5, 2021

Temporary active transportation lane on Speedvale Avenue has reopened

The City has reopened the active transportation lane on Speedvale Avenue to allow Guelph residents to practice social distancing while being active outdoors.

The lane will remain open until early July when it will be closed for a construction project.

The City will also keep the “narrow sidewalk ahead” signs in place at the five narrow sidewalk locations until social distancing is no longer required.

Last year, the Speedvale Avenue active transportation lane averaged 234 pedestrians and 402 cyclists per day, 175 per cent more than in 2018.

Temporary lanes data analysis – pilot project to end by November 1

Data collected over 18-hour periods from both the Eramosa Road and Speedvale Avenue lane closures show, on average, the Eramosa Road lane saw 206 pedestrians and 30 bikes per day, while the Speedvale Avenue lane saw 234 pedestrians and 402 bikes per day.

Based on low activity and impacts to waste collection and street maintenance, the City will remove the active transportation lane on Eramosa Road by the end of October.

With average use at 35 people per hour, active transportation activity at the Speedvale Avenue is up 175 per cent from 2018. Given the higher user numbers on Speedvale Avenue, this active transportation lane will stay in place until winter maintenance is required.

All “one-way sidewalks” signs were replaced with “narrow sidewalk ahead” signs at the five narrow sidewalk locations. These will remain in place until social distancing is no longer required.

News release

Guelph, Ont., May 28, 2020 – Starting the week of June 8, as part of plans to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is making temporary road and sidewalk changes at seven locations so people walking and cycling can stay 2 metres apart.

“These temporary sidewalk and road changes will create more space for physical distancing while also allowing people to get out and get active,” explains Kealy Dedman, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services. “We ask community members to be patient and kind to their fellow road users as we try these new ways of physical distancing during our new normal.”

Road users will see changes at seven sites in Guelph. One lane of traffic will be closed to vehicles to give people walking and cycling enough space to travel while physical distancing on the Speedvale Avenue bridge over the Speed River, and Eramosa Road between the Downtown Trail and Delhi Street. Parts of the latter section will also have one-way sidewalks that extend to Stuart Street.

Pedestrians will see one-way sidewalks at the following locations: Eramosa Road between Callandar Drive and Orchard Crescent; Paisley Street between Dublin and Glasgow streets; the Edinburgh Road bridge between the Royal Recreational Trail heads; Woodlawn Road on the south side from Fairway Lane to 250 meters west of Fairway Lane; and the Macdonell Street bridge between Arthur Street South/Elizabeth Street, Arthur Street North/Rose Street and Woolwich/Wellington Street.

Sites were selected based on areas with physical constraints such as guard rails, railings and retaining walls, and routes that serve grocery stores, hospitals and high-volume trail connections.

“We are trying to balance impacts to all road users. Where possible, we are creating one-way sidewalks instead of closing vehicle lanes, or putting up signs to let pedestrians know a narrow spot is coming up ahead,” adds Dedman. “We will monitor the areas to see if we need to make any adjustments.”

Roadway changes are based on best practices being used by other Canadian cities in response to COVID-19, including Toronto, Brampton, Calgary and Edmonton.

These temporary changes are a result of City Council’s May 11 decision to support the health and wellbeing of citizens as we respond and adapt to COVID-19, by making changes to certain locations to allow for active transportation while maintaining physical distancing.


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Map of Guelph’s temporary road and sidewalk changes

Media contact

Jennifer Juste
Manager, Transportation Planning
City of Guelph
519-822-1260  exstension 2791
[email protected]