Hi everyone! It's been a while.
On Wednesday thousands of people gathered on Gaukel Street to show support for
Black Lives Matter, and to demonstrate against the systemic racism and police
brutality that still exists in our country and beyond.
Seeing Gaukel Street used as a starting point for this rally was so heartening.
This is the potential that we can achieve when underused streets are turned
over to public space.
This Monday, Kitchener Council will be meeting to discuss the city's plans for
a phased re-opening from COVID restrictions. Staff have created quite a
and I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of topics that impact Gaukel
As you may know, a pedestrian-first Gaukel Street was approved by Council in
their Strategic Plan, and it is to be completed by 2022. (It is understood that
Gaukel was supposed to happen earlier, with the second pedestrian-first street
connecting to the Kitchener Market by 2022).
On Monday, council will be looking at "Emerging Opportunities" that might
affect how the Strategic Plan gets implemented. These include:
1. Accelerate the implementation of active transportation networks to provide
physical distancing and achieve local sustainability targets.
2. Launch a Slow Streets program that closes select neighbourhood bikeways to
through traffic seasonally.
In advance of the council meeting, I urge you to contact your Councillor to
express your support for these two Emerging Opportunities. Please call for the
immediate closure of Gaukel Street to vehicles, to allow for social distancing
in the vicinity of Victoria Park, which is a major attraction in the summer
months. We may not be able to install nice furniture and amenities on Gaukel
Street yet, but it can still function as a great boulevard for people walking
between the Park and the ION station.
Find your councillor here:
Cheers everyone, and stay safe!