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September 21 and 22
2 days, 2 disciplines, 2 ways to participate – defining our professional roles and uniting to build more equitable, accessible and inspired communities.
Downtown Kitchener is booming. Thanks to progressive planning policies and the transformative impact of Waterloo Region’s ION LRT, over 5,000 residents and jobs will be moving downtown in the next few years. Managing this growth and avoiding significant downtown congestion requires an integrated transportation network of walking, cycling, and transit. Designed to feed LRT stations and maximize a future bikeshare and e-scootershare program, the Downtown Cycling Grid will reduce the city’s transportation carbon emissions and further position downtown as an attractive destination to live, work, and play.
The City of Kitchener’s strategic plan identifies “People-Friendly Transportation” as a major priority theme, including the installation of a continuous and protected cycling network downtown. Through three phases of engagement, the City heard from over 5,000 residents and 58 businesses on how to effectively design and build a network of cycling infrastructure. Most importantly, intentional and creative engagement tactics ensured sufficient support for this ambitious — and potentially controversial — project.
The Downtown Cycling Grid provides a new way for current and future residents to access all that downtown has to offer. Connecting to the existing trail network, the grid is designed to be safe and comfortable for all ages and abilities. When complete, over 10 km of new or upgraded cycling routes will create a grid throughout the downtown, with a combination of protected bike lanes, neighbourhood bikeways through quiet streets, and multi-use trails.
Kitchener’s Make it Kitchener economic development strategy prioritizes a vibrant, active city where difference makers and entrepreneurs can offer experiences and moments that truly matter. The most significant urbanization opportunity in Kitchener lies in a strong central transit corridor that integrates walking, cycling, intercity light rail, and commuter rail. The Downtown Cycling Grid provides a sought-after urban amenity, attracting talent, businesses, and investment to the city’s core.