This excerpt is from a Markham Economist Sun article published on September 20, 2010
By L.H. Tiffany Hsieh
Can you see a Steeles Avenue overpass through the rail line east of Kennedy Road? What about a tunnel system that would get you directly into Pacific Mall and Market Village? How about both?
These are just some of the transportation options being explored in anticipation of the massive redevelopment planned for Pacific Mall and Market Village, the latter which will be demolished and transformed into Remington Centre.
After a year and a half of analysing about 30 different scenarios to ease the already congested and busy intersection, parties behind the two adjacent projects came together before a town committee this week.
"We are ready to sit down and work on the details and the preferred options," said Paul Stagl, planning consultant for both projects.
Mr. Stagl said while it was initially difficult to get answers from the City of Toronto, which oversees Steeles Avenue, significant progress has been made in the last few months.
"The major challenge has been the integration of transportation issues on Steeles between Toronto and York Region," Mr. Stagl said. "The intersection (at Kennedy Road) is a bottleneck."
Market Village and Pacific Mall are independent of one another with separate site plans. One is owned by the Remington Group, the other by the Pacific Mall condominium corporation. The Remington Centre is being designed by Sean Lawrence of Kohn Architects and Pacific Mall by Michaela Weiner of Petroff Partnership Architects.
However, to ensure an integrated expansion, they share one engineering plan, one transportation plan and one stormwater management plan, Mr. Stagl said.
A joint transportation task force is made up of representatives from the City of Toronto, Town of Markham and the Regional Municipality of York.
Transportation consultant Nick Poulos said the majority of existing traffic to the site comes first from south of Steeles Avenue and then west of Kennedy Road.
With pedestrian and bicycle movements there already high and a good portion of visitors taking the GO train, Mr. Poulos said they are looking at options to help circulate vehicles and free up the capacity at the intersection.
Options include road improvements such as lane changing and road widening, a Steeles Avenue underpass or overpass through the rail line, moving the bus stop from south of Steeles to north of the street, dedicated ramps and a tunnel system off Kennedy Road.
"It's going to be congested, it's going to be busy, but that means it's successful," Mr. Poulos said.