Kitchener to create pedestrian-first street in Market District
A change of pace is coming to Kitchener’s Market District with plans in the works for the city’s second pedestrian-first street.
The city is considering three areas including Cedar Street from Charles to King, King Street from Eby to Cedar and Eby Street between Duke and Charles where The Yeti Cafe is located.
The cafe’s co-owner, Jeremy Singer, said he’s a fan of the idea.
“If the street was closed, we would have more foot traffic. We have a big patio so it would only be a benefit for us really,” said Singer.
The portion of Eby Street in front the cafe is already closed to cars Saturday with market vendors using the space.
Kitchener’s active transportation planning project manager, Darren Kropf said the hope for an occasional pedestrian-only area is to bring more vitality into the neighbourhood.
“Right now, we’re expecting it to be more of a flexible approach [with closures], different times of the week. We’re not anticipating it’s going to be 100 per cent closure like we have on Gaukel Street,” said Singer.
Singer said the goal is to create a safe place for people to want to explore, much like the car-free zones in Waterloo on Princess Street and Dominion Lane.
The executive director of the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area, Tracy Van Kalsbeek, said both projects were done to assist businesses with patio space as well as add vibrancy to the area.
“Both projects have really made an impact for the businesses and have also been a draw for people to come and visit and explore Uptown,” said Van Kalsbeek.
Chris Boyne, an employee at Encore Records hoping it will mean just that. The store is located right across from the Kitchener market.
“Anything that gets people onto the LRT and gets them downtown… it’s nice and it helps,” said Boyne.
But Andres Guerrero, the owner of Pupuseria Latinos Restaurant on Eby Street is unsure of what the initiative will mean for his customers who need to drive in.
“The closest they can do it (pick up order), the better for them and better for me too,” said Guerrero.
Kropf said there isn’t much cost for these changes and there is still time to shape what the final plan will look like.
The city is gathering feedback online on the Engage Waterloo website. The survey closes Sept. 27 with the goal of putting some changes in place by next spring.
Kitchener Top Stories