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Wednesday January 15th, 2014

Posted at 2:00pm

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The Walkerville business area along Wyandotte Street East and Devonshire Road is about to get a major visual update and makeover this spring.

Organizers from the Walkerville District BIA are using previously planned road and watermain construction as an opportunity to add new streetscape elements to the area between Argyle and Gladstone on Wyandotte Street and Wyandotte and Riverside on Devonshire.

Organizers says the plan drew on input from Dan Burden, founder of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute who led a sold-out audit event of the Wyandotte corridor in Walkerville last year.

Burden stressed the importance of maximizing the neighbourhood’s already ideal walkability characteristics including the commercial-residential mix, heritage features, tree-lined streets, and active transportation options.

“We endorse or support the collective design details that are being taken to reduce the overall driving speed, increase driver attentiveness, create a stronger sense of place, open up sight lines and create more public realm through the use of curb extensions, provide tighter turning radii that reduce time and distance exposure to pedestrians, add green, and all design changes which collectively return the balance of the Wyandotte Street East corridor to one that protects, respects and enhances the character of the neighborhood and provides placemaking, all which then strengthen the retail and social life of the street,” says Burden.

After long consultation with RC Spencer Associates design, and the City of Windsor’s Planning and Public Works departments, a streetscape improvement design and plan was put together to make the area more pedestrian friendly and to refresh the landscape.

Streetscape elements include decreased pedestrian crossing distance by “bumping out” curbs and adding treatments to the pavement at intersections. Similar bump outs were recently added to Wyandotte West near the University.

The BIA has also engaged the Design program at St. Clair College to create new banners for the area.

Other items in consideration include murals, historical placards and art-inspired bus shelters.

Once complete, the BIA is planning a “grand re-opening of Walkerville” event next fall.

Organizers say the plans will further establish Walkerville as one of the finest districts in Canada.

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