BARRIE, ONT, CANADA, August 12, 2021
The Open Air Dunlop Street Project is now even more of a “must visit” destination this summer with the addition of specially designed anti-vehicle barriers and a beam gate to protect the thousands who attend each weekend.
Safeguard Perimeter Solutions, one of the nation’s leading security companies, was given the job of securing the street and creating a pedestrian plaza where people can wander through downtown at their own pace without worrying about dodging traffic.
For the first time in Barrie, Archer 1200 mobile barriers, the same as those used this year around the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. during the Presidential inauguration, were placed on Dunlop Street to secure the area.
“It’s no longer acceptable to put out flimsy wood barriers or cones to protect people in areas such as this,” said Shaine Moore of Safeguard Perimeter Solutions.
The Archer barriers, manufactured by Meridian Rapid Defense Group, are made of 320 kilos of solid steel and will stop a speeding car or truck, yet once placed pedestrians can easily move, unobstructed, past them. They are SAFETY Act Certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
During the height of the COVID-19 outbreak the Archer barriers were also used to create a “no vehicle restaurant and shopping zone” on the tourist hot spot in Centre Street at Niagara Falls.
“Here on Dunlop Street we also installed a rather unique beam gate supplied by Meridian,” said Mr. Moore. “While we needed to make sure that no regular cars could enter to endanger pedestrians, having the beam gate there still ensures that emergency vehicles can get in if necessary.”
Kelly McKenna, Executive Director of the Downtown Barrie Business Association, stated, “We’re creating a safer and physically distanced downtown so the public can support the incredible and truly resilient businesses who are ready to welcome them back.”
Prior to creating what is now effectively a popular pedestrian plaza and outdoor restaurant zone, Safeguard Perimeter Solutions worked with the city and event organizers to prepare a fully certified vehicle safety mitigation plan.
Shaine Moore explained that the Archer Beam Gate, with its specially designed net designed to snare a vehicle, had already proven its worth last month in California. “On day one of the beam gate being set up the driver of a stolen car hoping to escape capture tried to ram through the gate. It did its job, stopped the car completely and he was arrested.”
The secure walking and biking area in Barrie is already attracting thousands of visitors each weekend so much so that many, including Keenan Aylwin, Barrie City Councillor for Ward Two, wants it to become a permanent solution.
“I think we should build our streets to prioritize people instead of just cars. It’s good for business so I think we should even consider expanding this program beyond just doing a few Saturdays every year. I think we should look at permanently pedestrianizing Dunlop Street,” Councillor Aylwin told CTV News.