With Canada’s rapidly weakening economy threatening revenues for outdoor advertising companies, the city is putting off its new integrated street furniture program until 2011.
The program will attempt to unify the various garbage cans, bus shelters, benches, information kiosks and newspaper boxes lining city sidewalks into a more coherent design intended to improve the streetscape.
Public self-cleaning washrooms are not recommended as additional street furniture, since they are very expensive and have had mixed results, according to Michael Murr, the city’s manager of strategic, initiative and business planning.
Current contracts with street furniture providers expire in 2010, but Murr is recommending extending the contracts one year in order to give companies an opportunity to prepare bids on contracts that would run until 2031.
Throughout February, the city will be consulting community stakeholders to draft designs and placement guidelines.
A request for proposals will be released near the end of the summer, with an aim of installing the new street furniture by Canada Day, 2011.