I come away from this story in the Waterloo Region Record today thinking that the good councillors of Kitchener like the idea of a car-free Sunday enough to have one, but not enough to share one.
There's a Kitchener council meeting planned for Tuesday, Aug. 2 at which council will entertain the notion of having one more car-free Sunday this year, but without a designated linkage to any car-free event in Waterloo.
Since council is considering their next event for Sunday, Sept. 18, the same day as the final car-free Sunday in Waterloo, we'll have two car-free Sundays with no designated linking roadway.
Yes, pedestrians can still walk along the sidewalks. Yes, cyclists still have the same rights to use the roadway that they will have on Saturday, Sept. 17 and Monday, Sept. 19.
For me, the point of a car-free event is to show that you can safely use the road to get from A to B. Like the summer Sunday closings of the Colonel By Drive in Ottawa, a street closed to cars will attract would-be cyclists who are frightened about using car-jammed streets.
The first true Square2Square event on July 17 had a pretty dismal turnout due in large part to the heat, but not helped at all by the measly single lane on King Street that was closed to traffic. Even I felt claustrophobic riding from Kitchener to Waterloo and back, and I've been a confident road rider for 39 years.
But as Kitchener council moves to fund and support its own car-free Sunday, the stake is being thrust through the heart of Square2Square. From the comments in the Record story, it appears clear that the success of vendors is the principal focus for the politicos. For Kitchener, this is not about car-free Sunday; this is about sidewalk-sale Sunday.
What a pity.