Pedestrians and cyclists will have plenty of extra breathing room as early as May 14th, as the City of Barrie has voted to close northbound lanes of Lakeshore Drive at the Tiffin Boat Launch.
At Barrie City Council’s Monday night meeting, ward representatives unanimously voted to allow northbound lanes of Lakeshore to be closed, temporarily, from the boat launch straight through to Victoria Street. Vehicles will be detoured along Bradford and Victoria Streets. Southbound local traffic will be permitted to access the Tiffin boat launch despite the closure.
“With the nice weather finally arriving, we recognize people want to get outside, and your City wants to do what it can to provide extra space for people to enjoy the outdoors safely,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “If you’re feeling healthy, go enjoy our wonderful parks and waterfront—but don’t congregate and keep your distance from those outside your family. Use this new space on Lakeshore or walk on the grass—we have lots of public space, so let’s spread out and use all of it.”
One of the reasons the decision was made to pilot this now was the lack of vehicular traffic along Lakeshore during the COVID shut down. “This is a no-brainer, with the amount of cars not driving along Lakeshore, it’s an even better plan,” said Councillor Mike McCann.
This plan might not just be limited to Lakeshore Drive either. “I would be interested in staff, and hopefully the BIA, looking at Dunlop St. and using it as a pedestrian zone for as much time as we could afford to do it over the summer,” added Councillor Clare Riepma.
“I wouldn’t rule out doing this in other parts of the city,” concluded Mayor Jeff Lehman.
The closure of northbound lanes will be reviewed on a weekly basis for traffic volumes as the Province gradually allows the reopening of businesses and services across the city.