Council gave the green light to a dramatic redesign of Elgin Street that will see the north-south arterial road reduced to two lanes of car traffic, and the speed limit lowered to 30 km/h.

Councillors Tim Tierney and Stephen Blais dissented on the item at Wednesday's council meeting.

The new plan encompasses Elgin Street south of Laurier Avenue, Hawthorne Avenue and a bit of Waverley Street.

The redesign is among the city's first truly "complete street" plans that follow a council-approved policy considering the safety and experience of all roadway users equally.

It would see wider sidewalks on Elgin, which would not only give the 800 pedestrians who walk down the road every hour during rush hours more space, but would provide opportunities for patios and better landscaping.

Parking would be reduced to 90 spaces from 122, although most of the remaining spaces would be permanent — currently, there is no rush-hour parking on Elgin. 

There will be no dedicated bike lanes on the redesigned street, which has angered some cyclists. However, the street will be reduced to two lanes of traffic, and the speed limit lowered to 30 km/h.

Work starts next year, heavy construction in 2019

Some preliminary work, such as moving hydro poles, is scheduled to start next year.

But the city has pledged to complete the majority of the heavy construction, including replacing water pipes and repaving the road, in 2019. Limiting the most disruptive of the work to a single year was vital to getting most Elgin businesses onside with the plan.

The rest of the work, such as landscaping and sidewalk reconstruction, is expected in 2020.