Tag Archives: bridges

Transportation: Roads, part 2 of the Fourth of My Five Priorities

My Pledge: I will work to get money added to Roads Rehabilitation

This past term, the Region of Waterloo built the first new bridge over the Grand River in 40 years. The new Fairway Bridge – I voted with Mayor Doug Craig to name it the Kossuth bridge, but what can you do? – links Cambridge and Kitchener and gives new routes to the 401 and Guelph. It is one of the areas of greenfield development, not everything is downtown intensification.

Three under/overpasses have been built this term, two in Kitchener and one at the Delta in Cambridge. The City of Waterloo has had a number of road upgrades and construction is all over the city.  Ira Needles is going to four lanes.

People are saying that the Region is seriously cutting road work to pay for the LRT. Here are the actual figures for spending on road construction from Regional staff.

In the 2014 Budget, the additional $1.3 million that would have been added to the Roads Rehabilitation Reserve per the long-term funding strategy was cut along with an additional $1 million reduction to the transfer to the Roads Rehabilitation Reserve for a total reduction in the transfer to the Roads Rehabilitation Reserve of $2.3m.

The Net Operating Levy for Planning, Admin and Construction in 2014 was $26.2 million; for Operations and Maintenance the 2014 Net Operating Levy was $20.5 million for a total Roads Net Operating Levy of $46.7 million.

On the Capital Budget side – The 2014 Capital Budget was $93.5 million ($915 million over the 10 year forecast 2014-2023). The $915 million breaks down into $409 million for Rehabilitation projects, $ 476 million for expansion projects and $30 million for Vehicles, Buildings, Equipment, and other.

That being said, I will vote to have money put into the Roads Reserve this year.

 Transportation, LRT part 1

Transportation,    Cycling and Walking part 3

Transportation, Transit, part 4


World O' Cars

 Next Tuesday, May 18th, councillors will be hearing the public response to the Regional Transportation Master Plan. You can come either at 9 am for Planning and Works or at 7 pm for a public meeting.

There have already been public consultation meetings. I attended the meeting at First United Church.  I talked to several constituents. Two men were enthusiastic about the master plan including bike paths and pedestrian sidewalks. They also like that there will be an Ixpress along Fischer-Hallman.

The master plan includes integrated rapid transit and bus network and strategic road improvements. Types of streets are classified with different uses. All this can go forward with or without the LRT, though it would be better with the LRT (when will we see our money???)

http://www.movingforward2031.ca  for more details on the master plan.

A couple who live in Eastbridge talked about how hard it is to bicycle to the University as the bridge over the expressway isn’t bicycle friendly. Here I’ve been talking about the problems of bridges in Cambridge and here’s an example in my own Waterloo.  World O’ Cars indeed.

Tritag came to council to talk about an innovative idea for the Lang Tannery property. Lang would give the Region money to improve the transit and Lang would not demolish the old warehouses for a parking garage. The idea was referred to staff. The fact that this would involve the city, region and Lang Tannery working together in an innovative way, leads me to believe, sadly, that nothing will happen.

http://www.tritag.ca/blog/2010/04/14/win-win-win-solution-for-the-lang-tannery/ is the post about this issue. Keep the innovation coming guys, the bureaucracy changes slowly but it is changing.

Enforcing no bikes on sidewalks reduces riders

I had a chat with one of our traffic planners who lives in Guelph.  Guelph police are inforcing the no bicycles on sidewalks by-law. The result. Less people riding bikes.

Instead of riding on the road, people are going back to cars.  Her question to me: Do I want less people riding bikes and more riding cars?

Darn. Well of course I want more people riding bikes. 

Apparently 60 percent of riders ride on sidewalks at some point. Having had  trucks blow by me, I understand that riders just feel safer.

In fact, bicyclists are no safer on the sidewalk than on the road. Why? Most collisions occur at driveways and at corners.

We next discussed whether the no bikes on sidewalks is a by-law that should be removed since it isn’t enforced.  I suspect though that it would be enforced on complaint.  I’m not prepared to remove the by-law as I worry that even more bicyclists would be on the sidewalks.

The region is presently looking at multi-use trails by the road (so cars can see cyclists at those corners, not have them pop out from nowhere) instead of sidewalks for some regional roads. Road warriors could still ride on the road and in bike lanes.

Since our planner is on a provincial committee on pedestrian safety, I pointed out that bridges going over the 401 and other highways often don’t have sidewalks or bike lanes as these are usually provincial bridges. Or should we build more pedestrian/cycling overpasses?  I like to point out that  you can cross a river with a boat but you can’t cross  a 401  or expressway when you are a pedestrian or cyclist. So how do you get across the highway?

Our planner would like trails to be 3 meters not 5 as proposed. I suggest everyone get out a meter stick and measure how wide that is. 5 meters is much wider than a traffic lane. I find from GRCA where people worry about a house 120 meters from a wet land (approx half a mile) that perhaps we don’t know the real distances with measures.