Downtown Chatham Streetscape Study
The Streetscape Plan for Chatham’s downtown is focused on creating an attractive, vibrant, and accessible destination. The proposed plan integrates the Downtown’s existing elements into a comprehensive streetscape strategy:
Anchors – Anchors contribute to a community’s identity and sense of place. Downtown Chatham’s main street, King Street, is book ended by the Municipal Building, river boardwalk and municipal plaza at the west end and the iconic Retro Suites Hotel to the east end. Downtown Chatham Centre’s square is located at the elbow in King Street (east of Fifth Street) right at the centre of downtown.
Gateways – Slowing traffic and creating a sense of arrival or entry to the downtown will enhance a sense of place and importance of the downtown and further encourage people to stop and visit. Downtown has three key anchors that bookend King Street and help define the downtown core.
Connections – Improved connections to and from downtown are needed to improve residents an visitors experience. This includes widened sidewalks, enhancements to existing laneways and connections to the Thames River and McGregor’s Creek.
Laneways – Downtown has a number of secondary laneway pedestrian routes to and from the downtown. These connections should be enhanced with LED lighting, signage and other enhancements to create a comfortable aesthetic for those using these links to travel to and from downtown.
In this plan, the revitalized streetscape is accomplished through:
- Improved and widened sidewalks;
- Enhancements at intersections to reduce crossing distances;
- Enhanced streetscape through street trees, seating, and lighting;
- Designating space for outdoor seating (patio) and retail space; and,
- Improvements at key existing locations including laneways, memorial plaza, civic plaza and a proposed King Street parkette