Following several rounds of public consultation that showed a strong desire for better-connected cycling options downtown, the City of Kitchener is looking for a final round of community feedback on a proposed downtown cycling grid.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that people want more people-friendly active transportation options,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “The plan for the downtown grid is an important part of the investments proposed in the City’s new Cycling and Trails Master plan and is the product of a broad community consultation. I’m excited to hear what people and businesses have to say about this final proposed plan to improve connectivity in the downtown.” 

In 2018, the City consulted with community groups, businesses, residents, and elected officials on what the City’s strategic priorities should be for the next four years. Across all the groups consulted, a desire for more people-friendly transportation options came up repeatedly. When this became one of the City’s five strategic goals, another year of consultation took place on how the City’s cycling and trails networks could be better connected, with the goal of making city-wide travel on trails and bikeways easier. A downtown grid was identified as a necessary step in connecting Kitchener’s neighbourhoods together, and the community identified their preference of which streets would receive cycling upgrades in the downtown. In total, more than four thousand residents have provided feedback thus far, and City staff wants to share proposed renderings and see if there are opportunities to improve the design.

The proposed downtown grid includes:

  • Separated bike lanes on Joseph, Water, Duke, Ontario, and Cedar Streets, with a poured-in-place concrete median separating bikes from motor vehicles.
  • Neighbourhood bikeways on Breithaupt, Chapel, Lancaster, Church, Madison, Benton, Water, David, and Pandora Streets, as well as Stirling Lane.
  • A boulevard multi-use trail, providing two-way travel for both pedestrians and cyclists, on Margaret Avenue and Otto Street.

Portions of Joseph, Duke, Ontario and Cedar streets would be converted to one-way operation for motor vehicles, to fit the new separated bike lanes. In most cases, the only changes for the streets with neighbourhood bikeways are reduced speed limits, additional pavement markings and wayfinding signs. However, some traffic diversion is proposed at the intersections of Water Street and Jubilee Drive, Madison Street and Courtland Avenue, Lancaster and Krug as well as Chapel at Samuel and Simeon. According to an independent traffic study, traffic increases are expected on Weber, Charles, Frederick and Benton Streets, but within acceptable levels of service that will not cause congestion.

“This is something that many downtown residents and businesses are excited for,” said Ward 10 Councillor Sarah Marsh. “I hear from families that want to cycle downtown, use their cars less and just need the confidence of the right infrastructure to get them moving. This final round of engagement is an opportunity for the community to confirm we have it right.”

The survey opens today and will close on November 11. Online open houses are also being hosted on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 4, 7:30 p.m. The survey and detailed information about the grid, including a map, can be found at