On September 1 2007, the City entered into a 20-year contract with Astral Media to provide garbage bins, bus shelters and other items under the Coordinated Street Furniture Program. In exchange for providing, installing and maintaining these items, Astral will be given exclusive rights to sell advertising on bus shelters and information pillars. There is to be no advertising on any other street furniture item. The City will also receive a share of these advertising revenues. All in all, the City hopes to receive almost a billion dollars worth of benefits from the program.
On November 19, BIA representatives attended an information session to discuss the program with Astral and City staffers. We learned that the City intends to create a “Public Realm Unit,” which will have the job of managing the program. This unit will be responsible for the placement and positioning of street furniture, following the principles of the City’s Vibrant Streets Report.
The Public Realm Unit will soon be asking each BIA to provide a “wish list,” outlining their street furniture needs. Public Realm will use these lists to determine how best to distribute the available street furniture as evenly as possible throughout the city. The roll-out will begin in 2008.
The BIA asks all residents and businesses to think about what street furniture items are needed along Roncesvalles, and where. If you think a specific corner needs a bench, the BIA wants to know. If bike rings or lockers are needed, please tell us where you think they would be most effective.
In addition to benches and bike rings, the contract includes bus shelters, garbage bins (see photo, right), information kiosks, public notice boards, public washrooms, multi-newspaper boxes, and even a few public washrooms. Some furniture items come in different sizes to accommodate large or small areas. To view Astral’s preliminary street furniture designs, please click here.
Of course, the installation of street furniture will have to be coordinated with the planned reconstruction of Roncesvalles, which will take place either in 2008 or, more likely, 2009.
Got some ideas about street furniture along Roncesvalles? Leave a comment or email the BIA!