shared streets kensington

Local group wants shared streets in Kensington Market

Kensington Market is already well known for its Pedestrian Sundays, which shut down the neighbourhood to vehicular traffic once a month throughout the summer. A local group now wants to expand on this idea by bringing shared streets to the Market.

Kensington United thinks this is an ideal area to implement this concept, which is popular in European cities. "Shared streets are designed to be shared by pedestrians, cyclists and cars BUT on walking terms," the group's web site reads.

"This encourages folks to pay attention to others and navigate the area through eye contact which in turn creates a safer and pedestrian friendly environment."

What's interesting about the idea is that Kensington already functions this way. If the idea is that shared awareness of each user's presence keeps everyone safe, I'd argue that we're halfway there.

Cyclists riding the wrong way south on Augusta, for instance, don't seem to cause much trouble, and there certainly seems to be more priority given to pedestrians than elsewhere in the city.

As far as specifics go, the implementation of the concept would be very simple. "Augusta Ave, Kensington Ave, Baldwin St and St Andrew St will each be painted a different colour (so you can tell your friends to meet you on the "red street")," the web site explains.

"The bold graphic will extend the Market's vibrant graffiti to your feet and alert drivers that they are entering a heavily pedestrian zone. The instantly recognizable look will cement Kensington Market as a truly one of a kind Toronto destination!"

Photo by Chang Photo in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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