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 Scott Weldon took Regional Council candidate for Waterloo Jim Erb for a bike ride this summer. Here’s what he had to say about it:
Had a great ride with Regional Council candidate @JimErbWaterloo. Insightful chat about the @UpTownWaterloo changing landscape, busy/dangerous areas, and the potential it holds. Thx for helping my daughter cross hectic Caroline St! #raisedcrossings @TravelWiseWR @Cycle_WR pic.twitter.com/p1b4ExZvdU
— Scott Weldon (@s_weldon) July 31, 2018
Here’s some more detail about the route they took and what they found along the way:
I brought along my two children (Isaac, 4yrs, Charlotte 6yrs). We rode from Euclid Ave. (behind Seagrams Lofts) to Uptown Waterloo. We rode the new bike lanes heading North to Bridgeport Rd., then back South and home. I chose this route to show how hectic a simple ride Uptown can be (with or without two children).
We first stopped at Caroline and Father David Bauer (FDB) to discuss a few things. Firstly, the pedestrian crosses are NOT where people actually cross. Everyone quickly runs across Caroline at FDB Drive, then head to Willis Way. Jim Erb said that a long time ago he asked the City why they don’t connect FDB Dr. and Willis Way, to make it a better intersection (these two are currently offset by about 10m). It was interesting to hear that Jim had already thought of this idea and proposed it to the City (exactly when and how I am not sure).
Secondly, I mentioned that Caroline is more narrow but cars still speed down it. There is NO traffic calming on Caroline and drivers take full advantage. I told him I would like to see raised crossings for the pedestrians crossing Caroline.
The Multi-Use Trail is also a difficult one. Cyclists are sometimes doing 30km/hr, are mixed with pedestrians trying to cross Caroline and not die, and cyclists also have to ride through the Alexandra then FDB Dr. crosswalks. Cars roll forward over the stop line and pose a big risk to cyclists/pedestrians (I heard a cyclist was already hit this spring at Alexandra). I also mentioned that the Multi-Use trail should remain at an elevated level as it goes through the Alexandra/FDB Dr. cross-walks (essentially creating a raised cross-walk, i. e. traffic calming.)
We then proceeded to the Uptown “protected” Lanes. I mentioned that a rollover curb provides another opportunity for cars to enter bike lane. This can easily be fixed with posts or planters….or some combination of the two. I mentioned that cyclist safety is compromised with this design, and it is all to save about 15 parallel parking spots on King St. Not to mention the possibility of being doored while in the bike lane. Another difficult point on bike lanes are cars turning right. Again, a few flexi-posts could be used just before the side streets to force drivers to pay attention and make a safe wider turn onto side streets (from King).
Finally, the Uptown Lanes end at the tracks at Waterloo Town Square. There are not even signs to direct people towards the Caroline MUT or the trail heading through Waterloo Park. This is a great example of the Region creating infrastructure that has major gaps. There is nothing ‘seamless’ about the integration of the trail network here.
And this is what Scott would like to see from the Region:
We need a strong voice that understands safe streets/speed limits/access for all abilities. I want a devoted cyclist, who understands the daily risks, to have a strong voice. Otherwise, we get disconnected crap. I’m still optimistic…….sometimes 😊