Slow Streets and Food Trucks Reinstated
By: KWMotion, April 27th
Several decisions emerged from discussion in Kitchener Council’s meeting yesterday. As previously discussed, the council has approved zoning by-law changes that now allow tiny homes to be built on some properties.
New decisions discussed within the meeting include the reinstatement of Slow Streets and food trucks.
City Council approved reinstating the Slow Streets program for 2021 on Cameron Street (King to East), Samuel Street (Stirling to Frederick); Montcalm Drive (Lorraine to Ottawa); Brybeck Crescent (Westmount to Karn), Greenfield Avenue (Fifth to Traynor), Duke Street West (Victoria to Waterloo), Duke Street East (Pandora to Cedar) and a portion of Waterloo Street. Slow Streets are closed to cut-through traffic and only to be used by people who live on the street, emergency vehicles, maintenance vehicles, and for delivery vehicles. Lowering the traffic volumes and speeds on these roadways creates safer cycling conditions and allows sidewalk users a safer space if they need to use the roadway to maintain 2 metres distance from others. City signage is posted at the entrances to each slow street. Staff will be collecting traffic, pedestrian, and cyclist data to help measure the effectiveness of the initiative on reducing vehicle speeds and volumes.
The Staff Report for Kitchener Council states reason for the renewal of the Slow Streets, “The need for physical distancing required for essential trips and physical activity on sidewalks and trails continues, as the pandemic emergency remains in effect. Staff recommend reinstating the program, utilizing lessons learned from last year and putting in place an effective evaluation program in terms of motor vehicle speeds, volumes and community feedback.”
In addition, Food Trucks will once again be allowed to operate in more locations in Kitchener, including parks and residential zones, as the City continues to support small businesses during COVID-19. One additional food truck spot will be permitted at Victoria Park and staff will be choosing the location in the coming weeks. The Food Truck pilot program was well-received by the community and businesses in 2020 and will operate once again in 2021. City staff are reviewing this program to determine if it should be made permanent.