York Urbanist

Pedestrian (Integrated) Streets

September 24th, 2012

Kleinburg’s Nashville Road and Islington Avenue suffer morning and evening congestion due to its being a short route north-south. Streetscape plans were created to beautify the village core. But what would happen if congestion was increased? This could be a good change!

Pedestrian priority streets would do that. The benefits?
Bypass: Through traffic, disrupted by congestion would bypass the village core. Those who know the village will make it a destination.
Safety: Make the village pavement all the same from storefront to storefront. Add planters, benches, limited signage and free up the streets for pedestrians first. Vehicles will be forced to move slowly through the space, making safety implicit and not required to be enforced.
Uniqueness: Vaughan and the GTA have no such opportunities for pedestrian streets, unless, like parts of Yonge Street in the summer, sections are closed. This should be a year round phenomenon and Kleinburg is ripe to such change.

An Integrated Street report for Switzerland can be found at http://www.pedestrians-int.org/content/33/6ped-pri.pdf . See photos attached from that report. There are many more examples.

In this example, the street was paved with a rubberized surface, a flexible pavement that can be snow plowed.  In fact, the pavement is not the essence for success of this Integrated Street.  The continuous and consistent pavement could be unit pavers, concrete or asphalt.  The signal to drivers and pedestrians is that everyone mixes here. Slow down, stop, and enjoy village environment. Less expensive than typical street cross-sections, Safe and Unique.

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