Entertainment District Bylaw at Community and Public Services Committee on April 29, 2024

Below are our speaking notes for this committee meeting regarding the Entertainment District Bylaw.

Paths for People is here today to speak in favour of the entertainment district proposal that the City is contemplating. 

We’re excited that the city has taken a step towards creating more spaces that put people first within our downtown public spaces, and look forward to further steps in that direction. 

We hear a lot from our members across the city and a key idea that they want to see more of within our city is trialling out, low-cost and high impact ways of enlivening our downtown. Rice Howard Way Is a long-standing pedestrian area within our downtown. It’s time to take that next step to actually make this space more people focussed and draw folks into an experience that makes walking and lingering in our downtown fun. 

Programming this space more consistently means that this space just doesn’t become a one-off location to check out if there is some festival going on. If we do this weekly, it begins to get engrained in folks’ memories that this is a destination for people to meet-up, to visit, and to have fun.

One thing that we want to emphasize is the importance of traffic calming. Even though traffic is typically moving slow through the area, it’s really important to provide signals to drivers that really reinforce that they are moving through a people first space. This means physical signals that indicate that they should be driving timidly, so pedestrians who are out and about enjoying the space are able to actually do so without feeling threatened by vehicles. By prioritizing pedestrian connectivity to access the district, it will further encourage people to spend time within Rice Howard Way and the businesses there. 

Thanks for the opportunity to share our viewpoints on this matter. We would be happy to take any questions, should you have any.