The new sidewalks taking shape on Bernard Avenue offer the first visible clues to how the street is changing to become a more attractive and exciting “people place.”
As phase one of the revitalization project nears completion, the first sections of new sidewalks are in place. The wider sidewalks are among the most important changes happening during this $14-million project.
“The overall vision for Bernard Avenue is to make it safer and more inviting for pedestrians to get around and spend time exploring the area,” said Pat McCormick of the city’s infrastructure planning department.
The seven-metre-wide sidewalks include textural and visual cues to create three distinct “zones” with specific purposes. The middle zone is a two-metre-wide, unobstructed corridor for pedestrian movement. A furnishing zone for benches, trees and lights is located between the middle zone and the road and a merchants’ display zone lies between the middle zone and the buildings.
In the interest of making the street accessible to all citizens, the textural cues in the sidewalk will make them easier for visually impaired persons to safely navigate. Texture changes in the surface of the sidewalk will help them stay within the boundaries of the middle zone, or when they’re approaching a crosswalk.
The functionality of the sidewalks for people of all abilities will be matched by esthetic enhancements that will contribute to a streetscape that everyone will enjoy discovering when the work is complete.
The Bernard Avenue project is a component of downtown revitalization plans that include phase two of work on Stuart Park, Kerry Park improvements, a new public pier and downtown marina and new parking infrastructure.
The second and third phases of the Bernard Avenue revitalization project will take place next spring and fall.
For more information about the Bernard Avenue Revitalization and other projects, go to kelowna.ca/cityprojects.