In April, CycleWR and people like you across the region asked our local governments for additional bike lanes and quiet streets as a pandemic response. Waterloo and Kitchener responded with streets closed to traffic, quiet streets, lower speed limits, and some accelerated work on bike lanes. Cambridge City Council is currently considering some initiatives.
The Region of Waterloo exceeded our expectations—they’ve just completed the installation of 30 kilometres of temporary bike lanes! They’ve closed the curb lanes on a number of 4-lane regional roads, providing protection with big construction barrels. The locations are:
- King Street/Coronation Boulevard/Dundas Street from Bishop Street to Beverly Street, Cambridge;
- Westmount Road from Block Line Road to University Avenue, Kitchener and Waterloo;
- Frederick Street from Weber Street to Lancaster Street, Kitchener;
- Erb Street from Westmount Road to Caroline Street, Waterloo;
- Erb Street from Peppler Street to Margaret Avenue (one lane only), Waterloo; and
- Bridgeport Road, King Street to Margaret Avenue (one lane only), Waterloo.
The levels of new connectivity are just astounding! Particularly notable is the stretch in Cambridge which was extremely intimidating and dangerous with no good alternative. Another very noteworthy addition is the long, continuous stretch of Westmount, connecting south Kitchener to the Universities and beyond and providing the first safe crossing of the 7/8 highway in the west.
Can’t see the map? Open it in Google Maps.
Let’s make it worth it!
Now that the municipal governments have done their part, we need you to do yours, and it’s an easy ask: get out there and use these new facilities! We must demonstrate that investing in safe, connected cycling infrastructure yields positive results. Here’s what else you can do:
- Encourage your friends to check out the lanes—and ask them to pass it on, too!
- We’d really love for you to take pictures while you are out there. Post your photos on social media with the hashtag #CovidLanesWR or send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tell us your #HumansWhoCycleWR #RidingOutThePandemic story and we’ll share it for you!
- Be sure to fill out the survey on EngageWR to share your feedback.
- If you find the lanes particularly useful, let your Regional Councillor(s) know.
We are working on more initiatives to help people get out and use these and other bike lanes, including a virtual panel on “Planning and Practicing your Ride to School,” assistance with route planning, and maybe even some engaging games. Stay tuned.
We could use your help with these plans. Send an email to email@example.com to let us know you’d like to help. We will invite you to our Slack workspace where we do a lot of our discussion. We need social media posters, photographers, route planners, people to take shifts to monitor traffic and cyclists at key times, people to make contact with schools and businesses, people with mapping skills, people with ideas, people to write Letters to the Editor, etc.