Bank Street downtown closing to vehicles on Saturdays
Bank Street will be closed to vehicles between Queen and Flora streets for the next few Saturdays.
OTTAWA -- Another downtown Ottawa street is closing to cars to make it more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists, and help people physically distance from each other.
A downtown section of Bank Street will be closed to motor vehicle traffic on Saturdays starting this weekend, the Bank Street BIA announced Wednesday.
“By opening Bank Street to the greatest number of people, we hope that foot traffic into businesses will increase, and at the same time, give more space to customers and clients to safely wander Bank Street,” the BIA said in a release.
The street will be closed to cars between Queen and Flora streets from 9 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. this Saturday.
The BIA says the closure will happen every Saturday through Aug. 8, at which point the program will be re-evaluated.
Local business owners and residents have demanded greater accessibility on Bank Street for pedestrians and cyclists during the COVID-19 pandemic, the BIA said. And maintaining a safe distance on the sidewalks can be difficult, especially at some intersections and outside high-traffic zones such as grocery stores.
“We believe that businesses, customers and the community will benefit from this plan,” the statement said.
For restaurants and businesses relying on food pickup and curbside services, the city has created dedicated loading zone parking spaces on side streets.
The street is the latest downtown thoroughfare to shut down to cars part of the time in an effort to attract more pedestrian traffic.
Somerset Street West between Bank and O’Connor streets is closing to vehicles on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to provide more patio space for businesses.
And parts of the ByWard Market have closed to cars for businesses to expands their patios there.