In 2018, 16 elected representatives across Waterloo Region pledged to fund a minimum grid of cycling infrastructure within the next four years and a number of other councillors also expressed their support for CycleWR’s work. Since then, we’ve been digging into the municipal budgets each year to see how this support is translating into real investments in cycling infrastructure.
Achievements in 2020
Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a busy construction year for the Region of Waterloo. In addition to the temporary bike lanes, there were some substantial additions to cycling infrastructure on regional roads, most notably the multi-use paths (MUPs) on both sides of Victoria St. N and on Franklin Blvd. in Cambridge. The former looks to be almost complete, finishing up in 2021. The total budget expenditure for these projects was almost $10 million, well in excess of the election pledge that many of our councillors signed on to.
2020 completed projects
|Project||2020 budget||Expected completion||Description|
|Dundas Street: Franklin Blvd to Roxboro Road||$150,000||2024||Sidewalk and on-road cycling constructed in 2020 on Dundas from Briercrest to Lowell St.0.7 km cycling facility in 2020 from Lowell St. to Monroe St.|
|Victoria Street North: Kitchener/Woolwich Boundary to Bruce Street||$3.6 million||2021||Multi-use pathway (MUP) on both sides of the road from Bruce St. to Centennial Rd.MUP on the south side from Forwell Rd. to Centennial Rd.|
|Weber Street: Forwell Creek Road to Blythwood Road||$820,000||2021||On-road bike lanes on both sides of the road|
|King Street East: Freeport Bridge to Freeport Hospital entrance||$110,000||MUP on the north side|
|Listowel Road: Timber Trail to Arthur Street||$450,000||MUP on the north side of the road|
|Study: New pedestrian bridge over the Speed River (Preston)||$450,000||Study only at this stage|
|Bleams Road at Fischer-Hallman Road||$75,000||2021|
|Erb Street: Gateview Drive/Beechwood Drive to Erbsville Court and Ira Needles Blvd to Wilmot Lane||$400,000||2021||separated cycling facility on both sides of the road 0.7 km in 2020 and 1.2 km in 2021|
|South Boundary Road: Water Street to Franklin Blvd and Franklin Boulevard, South Boundary Road to Carpenter Road||$1,113,000||MUP on the north side|
MUP on both sides
Coming up in 2021
The Region has a number of projects planned for the coming season, in addition to completing some of those listed above. We have learned from experience that delays are common with large capital projects, so view this more like a weather forecast than a hard and fast plan.
|Project||Municipality||Budget||Type of Facility (if known)|
|Arthur St.N. – Sandy Hills Dr. to Waterloo/Wellington boundary||Woolwich||$301,000|
|Dundas St., Franklin Blvd. to Hespeler Rd.||Cambridge||$772,000||Painted bike lanes|
|Highland Rd., Fischer-Hallman Rd. to Ira||Kitchener||$127,000||MUT|
|Highland Rd. W, Highland Hills Mall Entrance To Ira Needles Blvd.||Kitchener||$786,000||MUT|
|King St., Bishop St. to Dover St.||Cambridge||$1,338,000||Painted bike lanes|
|King St., Central St. to University Ave.||Waterloo||$642,000|
|Notre Dame Dr., 0.38km South of Erb’s Rd. to St. Ann Ave. N||Wilmot||$933,000|
|Ottawa St.S., Fischer-Hallman Rd. to 100m West of Trussler Rd.||Wilmot / Kitchener||$2,138,000||MUT|
|Ottawa St., Alpine Rd. to Fischer-Hallman Rd.||Kitchener||$892,000||MUT|
|Ottawa St., Nottingham Ave., King St. & Weber St. from Sheldon Ave. to Borden Ave.||Kitchener||$757,000|
|Sawmill Rd., River St. to Snyders Flats Rd.||Woolwich||$590,000|
|Snyder’s Rd. E, Christian St. to Gingerich Rd.||Wilmot||$801,000|
|Lackner Blvd., Ottawa St. to Victoria St.||Kitchener||$375,000||MUT|
|Bleams Rd. at Fischer-hallman Rd.||Kitchener||$186,000||MUT|
|Ottawa St., King St. to Charles St.||Kitchener||$218,000|
|Erb St., Gateview Dr./Beechwood Dr. to Erbsville Ct and Ira Needles Blvd. to Wilmot Ln. and Ira Needles Blvd. to Wilmot Ln.||Waterloo / Wilmot||$1,365,000|
The total budget is well in excess of the election pledge. Some of these are multi-year projects and the budget is not necessarily reflective of the spend in 2021 — for example, most of the work on Ottawa Street South is complete and 2021 will see the last section to Fischer-Hallman completed. By the way, this facility is a wonderful addition with bi-directional multi-use trails on both sides of the street with some really scenic views, albeit with a bit of a climb.
We’d love to hear from you about which completed or upcoming projects excite you the most! Photos and videos of trips on new facilities would be most welcome and would help spread the word. You can send those to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us on Twitter using @Cycle_WR or #CycleWR.