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Cambridge road closures set to begin in May for annual Walk Queen event

People gather on Queen Street in Cambridge for Walk Queen on Aug. 4, 2023. (Hannah Schmidt/CTV Kitchener) People gather on Queen Street in Cambridge for Walk Queen on Aug. 4, 2023. (Hannah Schmidt/CTV Kitchener)
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Parts of Main Street and Queen Street in Cambridge will be temporarily closed through the spring and summer as an annual initiative returns.

The city is teaming up with the Downtown Cambridge and Hespeler Village Business Improvement Areas for the ‘Walk Queen’ closures.

Although vehicular traffic will be banned within the closures, pedestrians are invited to stroll the streets and visit local shops and restaurants.

“The Seasonal Road Closure Program creates places for people to connect with each other and enjoy time together,” Mayor Jan Liggett said via a media release. “They inject life into the cores with music, dance, dining, shopping and so much more. Residents and businesses have told us year-over-year that these pedestrian-friendly spaces are important for social wellbeing and the joy of interacting with others. I hope the community will continue to enjoy these spaces and the unique core areas the City has to offer.”

Main Street will be closed from Ainslie Street to Water Street seven days a week between May 17 and October 14.

Queen Street East will be closed from Guelph Avenue to Tannery Street on weekends only from May 31 to September 1. The Queen Street East closures are set to start every Friday at 4 p.m. and end on Sundays at 5 p.m.

Businesses share frustrations

The return of the seasonal road closures may not be welcomed by all.

When the program got underway last year, some business owners raised concerns.

They said the initiative hurt their bottom line and started a petition to have the barricade removed on weekends.

At the time, flower shop owner Goran Radulovic said the street closures made it difficult to unload and load deliveries.

"We're kind of losing money for those times when the street is closed," he told CTV News in August 2023.

Gabriella Martone, owner of Continental Hairstyling, voiced similar concerns.

"You know, [clients] don't like to come here on a Saturday, especially when I do weddings they don't want to walk so far, they want parking right at the front door.”

The city said they collected public feedback on the program and received an “overwhelmingly positive” response in favour of the program. They said more than 75 per cent of respondents wanted to see the annual summer closures continue.

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