Dunlop Street improvements part of downtown revitalization vision

Streetscape work on Dunlop Street is “is an essential component in the success of the downtown revitalization and the City of Barrie’s Downtown Commercial Master Plan.”

Streetscape improvements on Dunlop Street from Mulcaster to Toronto streets are scheduled to begin as the summer of 2019 draws to an end.
It’s estimated the work will cost $10.52 million, which includes $9.6 million for the streetscape work, plus design and related fees. The Downtown BIA will contribute $300,000, while $155,000 comes from an Association of Municipalities Ontario grant. A further $345 million comes from a municipal accommodation tax contribution.
The BIA’s contribution is expected to be paid over ten years instead of the six originally contained in a staff report.
According to the report prepared by Alvaro Almuina, project coordinator, the work to maintain and enhance the corridor “is an essential component in the success of the downtown revitalization and the City of Barrie’s Downtown Commercial Master Plan.”
Back in 2015, a class environmental assessment examined options to “improve the pedestrian environment by studying alternative streetscape configurations with the goal of creating more pedestrian space through wider sidewalks on Dunlop Street between Toronto Street and Mulcaster Street,” reads the report.
Key recommendations included the “implementation of a reconfigurable streetscape that maintains two-way traffic and includes reconfigurable parking areas that can be used for either pedestrian space or parking depending on time of year and demand.”
Plans call for a focus on pedestrian safety and accessibility, and better lighting, visibility, and service opportunities for businesses along the strip, such as on-road/boulevard patios.
“The design concept includes pedestrian friendly, aesthetically enhanced streetscape design elements within the boulevard and roadway,” reads the report. They include:
• Retail zone features such as patios
• Amenity zone features such as trees, planters, lighting, trash/recycling receptacles
• Street furniture
• Pay and display parking
• Flexible zone features allowing either parking or pedestrian zone, depending on how space is to be utilized.
Infrastructure improvements include water and sewer work. It’s expected the first phase of the project will run from Sept. 10 to Nov. 8, with the second phase going from Feb. 24, 2020, through to May 25.
“Staff will mitigate impacts on the local businesses and the patio season and have developed the schedule accordingly. However, it is subject to weather conditions and assumptions made, such as a shorter patio season in 2019,” reads the report.
A communications plan “will be developed as part of the construction contract to ensure affected business are aware of project ongoing during construction and communication protocols.”
To read the report, click here.

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