Queen Street Placemaking in Downtown Kitchener
Posted on May 3rd, 2019 under Landscape Architecture
The intersection of King and Queen Streets is the historic centre of Kitchener. This crossroads has seen recent improvements, but Queen Street itself has not seen the same attention and needs repairs.
In early 2018, the City of Kitchener retained GSP Group and MTE Consultants to prepare detailed designs and implement an existing placemaking master plan for Queen Street.
This portion of Queen Street is well traveled by pedestrians and will see increasing pedestrian traffic once the ION system commences in 2019 as LRT stations are located on Duke and Charles Streets. A series of small public spaces are also found along the street including Vogelsang Green, Goudies Lane, the frontages of public parking lots and a parking area at Charles Street are proposed to be converted to a pedestrian spaces.
It's a challenging site with the narrow right-of-way on Queen, as well as building placement and floor elevations, and the grades of Vogelsang Green where Queen Street rising to Duke Street.
The proposed enhancements within the Queen Street right-of-way space will provide wider sidewalks, upgraded surface treatments, and new street lighting to calm traffic and better accommodate pedestrian travel. Road profiles will be to provide low-profile curbs with trench drains proposed to collect stormwater.
Vogelsang Green is proposed to include an open green with edge seating, and outdoor sitting areas along Duke Street to support the Duke Food Block. Goudies Lane and the existing landscaped plaza will be resurfaced and transformed into new, well-lit pedestrian gathering spaces. Colourful paving patterns are proposed at key points along Queen Street, including the intersection with King Street.
GSP Group is also preparing a design for improvements to the City’s Cenotaph at Duke and Frederick Streets that is proposed for construction at the same time as Queen Street. The Cenotaph area is in need of site improvements to accommodate annual Remembrance Day services, and to provide the public with an attractive open space for day to day use. The new Cenotaph space will have new seating, planting and paving areas that will make this space more attractive for large organized events or daily use.