Flexible Street Design in Downtown Kitchener

The main street in downtown Kitchener, Ontario -- King Street -- was recently redesigned to provide for flexible uses. I took this photo in 2010 during reconstruction. Notice how the entire street width is level, from the buildings to sidewalks to auto space.

The curb line is still visually present to guide users during times when cars are permitted (and for truck deliveries), but the design allows the city to maximize use of the street for different needs. At most times it is just a big pedestrian space, but parts of the streetscape are used for cafe patio seating, special events, and even temporary street furniture (tables, chairs, benches).

Kitchener also has a beautiful City Hall building and plaza that can be better appreciated without cars in the way.