Kitchener-Waterloo, ON, April 2019. This month, CycleWR is presenting thank you cards to trails staff in Kitchener and Waterloo to show appreciation for the well-maintained cycling and pedestrian infrastructure throughout the icy winter of 2018-2019. The first thank you package was presented to City of Kitchener Operations staff on April 3 and CycleWR members will present an appreciation package to City of Waterloo councillors and trails staff on April 10 at their quarterly meeting.
Off-road trail quality was consistently praised by people who walk and bike all winter long, despite the very challenging and icy weather. Two local bike commuters even provided daily trail status updates for each other and for other Twitter users. The updates were usually that the trail was in great condition for their morning commutes! This consistent quality speaks to coordination between the cities’ maintenance crews, especially where trails cross borders between Kitchener and Waterloo.
That is why advocacy group CycleWR and more than 25 KW residents have signed a thank you card and donated money for gift cards to show their appreciation for the teams responsible for parks and trails maintenance.
“The number of days that I couldn’t walk to work this year was: ZERO,” said one 65-year-old Spur Line commuter. “So I’m pretty pleased at the condition in which the Trail was kept.”
Next year the region will be seeing new infrastructure that will come with fresh challenges, as the Region and cities learn how to clear protected bike lanes so that more people will be able to bike year-round. While trails were well maintained, winter cyclists also expressed frustration throughout the winter when on-road bike lanes weren’t cleared.
“While there are certainly concerns about unplowed on-road bike lanes, we consistently heard all winter that people were able to bike more easily around Kitchener-Waterloo thanks to the trails being cleared as early as possible every morning, and throughout the day during snow events,” said CycleWR Chair Emily Slofstra. “We also want to encourage all residents to thank their cities when they appreciate services that are being done well.”
With increased budgets for winter maintenance, lessons learned, and hopefully renewed determination, CycleWR is looking forward to better on-road bike lane clearing in 2020 and years to come. For now, CycleWR hopes the trail plow drivers, supervisors and trails managers enjoy a coffee on behalf of grateful year-round cyclists and pedestrians.
Waterloo Park has been a delight every time I’ve biked or walked down the new promenade. #ThanksKWtrailStaff
— Chris (@chuttenc) March 29, 2019
Huge thanks to everyone who shared their appreciation with us: Geoff Bell, Sarah-Beth Bianchi, Dan Brotherson, Ramon Canumay, Benoit Charbonneau, Helen Chimirri-Russell, Brian Doucet, Kate Dudek, Cait Glasson, Fred Greidanus, Greycoat Software, Andrew Grieve, Sylvia Hook, Chris Hutten-Czapski, Neil Malhotra, Becky McIntosh, Levi Oakey, Josh Orita, Ted Parksinon, Emily Slofstra, Henry & Nancy Slofstra, John Swarbrick, David Trueman, Scott Weldon.
Find tweets or share your own using the hashtag #ThanksKWTrailStaff.