Kitchener council brings back slow streets, food truck programs

The front entrance of Kitchener City Hall. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

Kitchener council voted to bring back a couple of programs that were tested last summer as the area made its first adjustments at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city says it will bring back Slow Streets this summer as well as once again allowing food trucks a wider swathe of places they can park.

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The slow streets program sees some roadways closed to through traffic, which the city says will provide safer cycling conditions as well as increase sidewalk space to allow pedestrians to maintain better social distancing.

The streets are only open to residents as well as emergency, maintenance and delivery vehicles.

The roads that will be affected include Cameron Street (King to East), Samuel Street (Stirling to Frederick); Montcalm Drive (Lorraine to Ottawa), Brybeck Crescent (Westmount to Karn), Greenfield Avenue (Fifth to Traynor), Duke Street West (Victoria to Waterloo), Duke Street East (Pandora to Cedar) and a portion of Waterloo Street.

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The city says staff will be collect traffic, pedestrian and cyclist data to help measure the effectiveness of the initiative on reducing vehicle speeds and volumes.

It did not say whether it would monitor neighbouring streets for the effects it would have there.

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The city says food trucks will be allowed to operate in more locations, including Victoria Park, this summer.

It says staff will choose the location in the coming weeks.

In addition, it says the plan to allow food trucks in more areas last summer was well received and will continue this summer.

It says that the program is under review by staff to determine if the changes should be made permanent.

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