In the months before the 2018 municipal election, CycleWR volunteers have been taking municipal electoral candidates for bike rides to show off the best and worst of the cycling infrastructure in their ward/city/region. For a full list of completed rides, click here. CycleWR is a non-partisan organization that does not support any particular party or candidate. Summaries are written by volunteers or candidates and may not reflect the mandate or views of CycleWR. For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CycleWR volunteer Tamas and his family took Jen Vasic, candidate for Ward 5, Waterloo, out for a bike ride. Here’s what Jen had to say about the ride on her blog and on Twitter:
I support active transportation and infrastructure that will support it. I believe active transportation is a fun and convenient way to get around town that promotes healthy communities and protects the environment. In addition, biking has also been noted to support a healthy economy.
I’d love to see a bold and resourceful solution to transportation. I can’t tell you how excited I got watching this video about the cycling infrastructure that Seville, Spain built quickly. On the route towards bold changes, though, smaller improvements are also necessary (e.g., signage, education, protecting existing bike lanes with bollards, or posts).
My family and I got out last night with @Cycle_WR volunteer Tamas and his family. We talked about reasons for biking, pain points in the city, and possible solutions! Thank you for this service to this community! #ward5waterloo #wrpoli #activetransportation pic.twitter.com/fYblnLfMFV
— Jen Vasic (@jenvasic) August 8, 2018
And here’s Tamas’ take on the ride and cycling in Waterloo:
The route: I would like show how difficult it is to cross University Avenue (section where it turns north, after Bridge St) and the highway (I usually cross it on University Ave and Northfield Dr). Other thing is that cars and especially buses and trucks don’t keep the 1m distance.
The problems: I’m forced to cross the above mentioned roads but don’t feel very safe and would not recommend for everyone and not taking my kids that way. I do cross University Ave with my kids because their school and daycare are on the other side but take extreme caution and sometimes need to wait minutes till the cars pass by.
The lack of biking infrastructure is an obstacle to me biking more. When there is snow, the bike lane is used as a convenient place to store the snow. Excessive salt everywhere makes my bike rust, this is the main reason I’m not using my bike during winter too much.
What Tamas would like to see happen:
- Underground tunnels and bridges over major roads (see Boulder, Colorado, for example—a similar sized city, with similar income levels, we should be able to do at least similar).
- Connected bike lanes to be able to get everywhere in the region. Continuous trail along the river (connecting parts of Walter Bean trail).
- Equipping cyclist with technology that helps detect drivers that pass too close.
- Subsidize companies that support bike to work.
- An answer to the following question: If Ontario pay drivers up to $15,000 to buy electric cars, how come I get nothing to buy a bike?