Downtown Cycling Grid

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This project has concluded. On Dec 14, 2020 Kitchener City Council approved the downtown cycling grid, connecting the downtown core to adjacent neighbourhoods and regional cycling arteries. Public consultation showed a strong desire for better-connected cycling options downtown and for more people-friendly transportation options. The population in downtown continues to grow at a rapid pace in the downtown and many are looking for greater mode choice. The pandemic has also highlighted the demand for high quality cycling facilities as we adjust to the new norm. A downtown grid was identified as a necessary step in connecting Kitchener’s neighbourhoods together, and the community identified their preference of which streets would receive cycling upgrades in the downtown. Changes were made to the plan as a result of the latest round of communication, including changes to Joseph, Duke, Ontario and Water Streets. 

Following the input of over 4,000 residents through the city’s Strategic Plan and Cycling and Trails Master Plan, this project includes the installation of a continuous and protected cycling network that connects adjacent neighbourhoods to the downtown. Just like the ION LRT significantly reshaped the downtown, this project will transform how people move around by making it safe, comfortable, and convenient for people of all ages and abilities to bike. Cycling has been shown to generate economic activity for small businesses, can assist with physical distancing for transportation needs during the pandemic, and reduce carbon emissions. The Downtown Cycling Grid connects to popular trails like the Iron Horse Trail, Spur Line Trail, and the Great Trail, creating a new way for people to access all that downtown has to offer.

Following the input of over 4,000 residents through the city’s Strategic Plan and Cycling and Trails Master Plan, this project includes the installation of a continuous and protected cycling network that connects adjacent neighbourhoods to the downtown. Just like the ION LRT significantly reshaped the downtown, this project will transform how people move around by making it safe, comfortable, and convenient for people of all ages and abilities to bike. Cycling has been shown to generate economic activity for small businesses, can assist with physical distancing for transportation needs during the pandemic, and reduce carbon emissions. The Downtown Cycling Grid connects to popular trails like the Iron Horse Trail, Spur Line Trail, and the Great Trail, creating a new way for people to access all that downtown has to offer.

This project has concluded. On Dec 14, 2020 Kitchener City Council approved the downtown cycling grid, connecting the downtown core to adjacent neighbourhoods and regional cycling arteries. Public consultation showed a strong desire for better-connected cycling options downtown and for more people-friendly transportation options. The population in downtown continues to grow at a rapid pace in the downtown and many are looking for greater mode choice. The pandemic has also highlighted the demand for high quality cycling facilities as we adjust to the new norm. A downtown grid was identified as a necessary step in connecting Kitchener’s neighbourhoods together, and the community identified their preference of which streets would receive cycling upgrades in the downtown. Changes were made to the plan as a result of the latest round of communication, including changes to Joseph, Duke, Ontario and Water Streets. 

  • Kitchener City Council approves downtown cycling grid

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    Kitchener City Council has approved the downtown cycling grid, connecting the downtown core to adjacent neighbourhoods.

    “This isn’t just about the strong local demand for active transportation,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “This is about planning for the thousands of people moving into the downtown core in the coming years. The record-breaking number of development projects downtown will soon be welcoming many new residents. A healthy mix of transportation options for those residents isn’t a nice-to-have, it is absolutely critical.”

    In total, the grid consists of 10 km of new or upgraded infrastructure:

    • 2.8 km of separated cycling facilities that create a grid of east/west and north/south corridors in and through the downtown.
    • 6.6 km of neighbourhood bikeways that will connect surrounding neighbourhoods to the downtown.
    • A 0.6 km multi-use trail that will help connect the Civic District, Spur Line Trail and Olde Berlin Town neighbourhoods to the downtown.

    Read the full media release.

  • Cycling network map

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    Approved cycling routes

  • Staff recommendations

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    Kitchener’s strategic plan includes the implementation of a continuous and protected cycling grid that connects adjacent neighbourhoods to the downtown.

    Thank you to the 1,250 residents who provided input during this final phase of consultation. Based on your input and additional analysis, city staff is recommending the installation of a Downtown Cycling Grid with 10 km of safe, comfortable and convenient cycling routes for all ages and abilities, including:

    • 2.8 km of separated bike lanes on Joseph Street (Victoria Street to Queen Street), Ontario Street (Joseph Street to King Street), Cedar Street North (Church Street to Lancaster Street), Duke Street East (Cedar Street to Frederick Street), Duke Street West (Victoria Street to Water Street), Queen Street (Joseph Street to Church Street) and Water Street North (Joseph Street to Weber Street);
    • 6.6 km of neighbourhood bikeways on Breithaupt Street (King Street to Margaret Avenue), Maynard Avenue (Margaret Avenue to Young Street), Chapel Street (East Avenue to Lancaster Street), Lancaster Street (Frederick Street to Weber Street), Church Street (Queen Street to Madison Avenue), Madison Avenue (Church Street to the Iron Horse Trail), Benton Street (Iron Horse Trail to Courtland Avenue), Water Street (Jubilee Drive to Joseph Street), David Street, Stirling Lane, Pandora Street (Stirling Lane to Duke Street), Waverly Road (Gage Avenue to Strange Street), and Duke Street West (Victoria Street to Wellington Road); and
    • 0.6 km of boulevard multi-use trail on Margaret Avenue (Victoria Street to Queen Street) and Otto Street (Queen Street to Frederick Street);


    A summary of what we heard and changes to the design based on consultations can be found here.

    Report DSD-20-203 Protected Downtown Cycling Grid will be presented to the Community and Infrastructure Services Committee on:

    Monday, December 7, 2020

    9:30 a.m.

    Virtual Meeting

    You may appear at that time as a delegate either for or against the recommendations in this report. To register as a delegate, click here, or contact Dianna Saunderson of our City Clerks Department at 519-741-2200, extension 7277 or dianna.saunderson@kitchener.ca by the end of Friday, December 4, 2020.


  • Key design changes from consultations

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    Following analysis of all comments, staff identified several changes to the design of the Downtown Cycling Grid and related actions that can help to address the concerns raised.

    Design change or action item

    Rationale

    Change the direction of one-way operation on Duke Street to EB (Frederick towards Cedar).

    Improved access to Kitchener Market garage and makes it possible to maintain 3 parking spots next to the Market Lofts.

    Change the direction of one-way operation on Joseph Street to WB (Ontario towards Victoria).

    Limit potential spill-over to side streets in Victoria Park.

    Add parking on Francis Street and Hall’s Lane. Improve wayfinding to parking everywhere, and especially to Bell Lane.

    Add up to 10 spaces to compensate for 24 lost spaces. Wayfinding signs would improve awareness of 15 spaces recently added on Bell Lane.

    Change the traffic diversion at Samuel/Chapel to a no-straight NB.

    Maintain direct access from Frederick to businesses on Samuel Street while still discouraging NB traffic displaced from Lancaster. Makes for an easier cyclist transition from future neighbourhood on Samuel Street to Chapel Street bikeway.

    Remove parking on Margaret Avenue between Queen Street and Maynard Avenue.

    Makes it possible to build a 3.0 m wide trail in a way that eliminates front yard impacts and reduces tree loss to one.

    Remove Water Street cul-de-sac from scope of this project and defer to a future phase.

    Conduct further analysis and community engagement for a possible future phase project.

    Remove Ontario Street separated bike lanes from King Street to Duke Street from scope of this project and defer to a future phase.

    Conduct further analysis and business engagement to determine if a better supported solution can be found.

    Install a series of bike counters.

    Measure ridership over time to justify the use of continued cycling infrastructure investment.

    Share the final traffic study publicly.

    Study has been uploaded to website to show the methodology behind the conclusion that existing vehicle capacity exists on adjacent roads.

  • Water Street

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  • Joseph Street

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  • Duke Street West with floating bus stop

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  • Duke Street East with bike parking

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  • Cedar Street at LRT Station

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  • Margaret Avenue multi-use trail

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