ITE Journal April 2018 - 29
$15,000 CAD, provided they can match the amount of the grant with
their own cash or in-kind contributions, such as volunteer hours.
Lastly, residents looking to lead a resident-led traffic calming
project are assigned a single point of contact from the city's
Community Services Department. A single point of contact shields
residents from perceived red tape, so they aren't scared off or
deflated by the information and approvals they need to complete a
project. The assigned staff person works directly with staff in other
affected departments to coordinate all the behind the scenes work
and keep the process as simple as possible for residents.
Residents consistently identify traffic calming and safety concerns as
a top priority. This program provides an avenue for people to express
that passion in positive and constructive ways. Residents have the
opportunity to take ownership of and address their concerns and
foster a sense of pride in their neighborhood at the same time.
After all, residents experience their streets and neighborhoods
every day. Traditional studies may determine there aren't any
data-supported safety concerns-or in some cases a formal traffic
calming review is still years away-but the resident-led approach to
traffic calming is an immediate solution that encourages residents
to work together with their neighbors to address their concerns
(with help from staff of course).
Collaboration is the key. Being able to propose ideas and draft
designs is an empowering feeling for residents, and it is a way to
harness the passion people have for traffic calming in proactive and
The result? Trust and understanding is built between residents
and city staff. Residents appreciate the opportunity to address traffic
calming in a creative way in their neighborhoods, and staff are willing
to help and assist in whatever manner possible. When more residents
are positively engaged in shaping their neighborhood, it contributes
to more effective city building in all areas of the corporation.
Placemaking is a new term for many. In Kitchener,
we define placemaking as any effort that adds
beauty to a neighborhood and encourages people
to meet their neighbours.
Providing Opportunities for Neighbourhood
Placemaking is a new term for many. In Kitchener, we define
placemaking as any effort that adds beauty to a neighborhood
and encourages people to meet their neighbours. A street can be
a canvas for creativity and neighborhood expression that brings
a neighborhood together and creates a unique identity for the
residents that live there.
Laura McBride Photography
Building trust Between the City and Residents
Local artist and resident, Laura McBride, poses in front of Lancaster
Street's painted crosswalk. McBride designed the crosswalk after receiving
parameters from city staff, calling it "Walking on Sunshine." A gathering
of local residents came to watch and celebrate when the thermoplast paint
In Central Frederick, one of Kitchener's oldest neighborhoods, a
painted crosswalk featuring rays of sunshine serves a dual purpose.
It provides a visual cue for drivers to pay attention to pedestrians
crossing the street, while also adding some color and beauty to
the neighborhood. It has become a source of pride for the neighborhood, affectionately called "Walking on Sunshine" by the local
artist who designed it and the entire community.
Residents in this neighborhood have had initial conversations
about extending the bright, sunshine design to other parts of the
neighborhood streetscape, including garbage cans and benches.
Tying these different elements together with a single, beautiful
image helps to reinforce the message that the built environment of a
neighborhood can be an expression of neighborhood creativity and
contribute to public places where neighbors want to connect.
Plans are also underway to partner with local LGBTQ+ organizations to paint a rainbow flag crosswalk. In this case, the main goal
of the project is to demonstrate the city's commitment to a safe and
inclusive city for all people of the community. The location is still
being confirmed, but it will be based on the needs of the community.
This is one example where a proposed project within the resident-led
traffic calming program is actually about placemaking and social
inclusion and not about traffic calming at all!
w w w .i t e.or g
Apri l 2018