“City Council asked that after the two events, administration report back as part of the 2018 budget on relevant logistics including frequency, duration, budget, staffing, sponsorship and management of future events,” she said.
The wildly successful events – the city called them a “resounding success” - saw eight kilometres of major arteries closed from Sandwich Towne to Ford City.
There were numerous recreation and cultural activities along the way as the streets for the first time were turned over strictly for pedestrian use.
People could walk, run, cycle, skateboard – you name it – in a type of outdoor community party.
This year the city is combining the city’s 125th anniversary with the province’s 150th and getting an Ontario 150 Community Celebration grant to fund Open Streets.
“Given the amount of planning, manpower and finances needed to put on the event, administration took all the feedback it received and recommended a one-time event that was longer in duration which city council approved,” Rodgers aid.
As for having more than one such event, Rodgers said, “I'm not aware of any calls from the public for more than one date per year.”
Many enthusiasts and urban activists, such as Ward 3 councillor Rino Bortolin, had hoped there could be several such Open Streets in future years.
But what the city lost in dates it’s making up in the number of hours Open Streets will run.
Instead of running from 9 am to 1 pm, like last year, it will run from 10 am to 5 pm.
The city said public feedback indicated people wanted Open Streets to last longer.
“This would allow participants to explore more of the entire eight kilometre route,” a report said.
It also allows for religious observances.
“Numerous suggestions were made to consider a start time later than 9 am to allow those with religious obligations to be able to attend places of worship on Sunday morning and still have an opportunity to attend the Open Streets event afterwards.”
There will be more than 100 activities – such as live music, youth dance, theatre – tying, the report said, “directly to the funding program’s guiding themes of Celebration, Participation and Innovation, and will promote healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy environments. “
A footnote: motorists need not despair that streets will be blocked.
There will be 10 intersections where traffic will be able to crosss University and Wyandotte streets.
Photo: City of Windsor