In the last few weeks of fall of 2016 Kensington saw the closing chapters of an important rejuvenation project for the streetscape. Funded entirely by an award winning proposal for excess parking revenue, this $6 million dollar project was completed over two summers of construction.
The replacement of sidewalks, trees, street light poles, and utility infrastructure was badly needed. The previous refurbishment occurred in early 1990’s and required an additional levy that took 17 years to pay off. For this project the unique funding mechanism allowed Kensington to fix its public realm at no cost to its membership.
The public realm ‘facelift’ was much-needed in the shopping district as aging sidewalks and decorative brickwork had settled causing tripping hazards through the area.
Planning & Design
The Executive Director and Streetscape Chair spent hundreds of hours in meetings with City department representatives designing and planning the streetscape changes and negotiating, discussing (and sometimes demanding) construction considerations from the City on this project.
The considerations for construction in an active, pedestrian-heavy setting were a challenging requirement for the City and contractor many new procedures were created in the process, replicated now in other City projects.
Thousands of pedestrians were carefully guided and guarded through active construction areas to maintain access for the small businesses in the area with a City of Calgary first: pedestrian flaggers!
Prior to construction starting an extensive media campaign was designed to encourage shoppers to visit the area even as fencing and redirection impacted the shopping experience heavily.
As is so often the case, Kensington lead the way with an important project, working with the City and bringing new ideas to the table to mitigate risk and project impact.
Although massively disruptive, the overall impact on our member businesses was been mitigated wherever possible. Through out the duration of the project no business closures were directly attributed to business interruption due to construction and we are most proud of this outcome!
Further posts about this project:
$4.5 Million in Improvements
- 18 blocks of new sidewalks
- 35 new LED streetlights
- 25 new pedestrian streelights
- 20 new benches
- 35 bike racks
- 35 new garbage cans
- 9 new media corrals
- 3 new crosswalks on 10th Street
- 2 crosswalks updated for enhanced safety
- Ramps and mobility aids installed at all intersections
+ Bike lane upgrades on 10th Street
+ New trees donated by Forestry $500,000
+ Traffic signal upgrades $1,000,000
$6,000,000 in total value!
New Condos Help Kensington Thrive!
Richard White, The Everyday Tourist