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 email@example.com.
CycleWR volunteers Craig and Josalyn Radcliffe (and their daughter!) took Angela Vieth, candidate for Ward 3, Waterloo, out for a bike ride. Here’s what they had to say about the ride:
We started our cycle route across the street from N.A. MacEachern Public School where there is a gravel trail. We took the trail to Parkside Drive, where we transitioned for a short while to the bike lane on Parkside Drive. We rode up to Parkside and Bearinger, where we crossed to the far side of the intersection as pedestrians and rode up the paved trail along Wes Graham Way and down a trail towards Columbia Lake. We took the Columbia Lake trail back to Bearinger and Pineridge Road. We then looped back to the original trail.
Because we were with children, we wanted to pick a route that used trails as much as possible. My 9 year-old had a bad spill the day before on Erbsville Road near Laurelwood Drive (heavy trucks at a construction side had eroded the paved shoulder going North and made for treacherous biking on a busy, exposed road), so we didn’t want to push things too much. Her fall became a good starting point for discussing issues of bike infrastructure in the region.
As we rode we discussed a few of the infrastructure issues in the ward and nearby. We mentioned:
- The difficulty of crossing highway 85 from the West side of North Waterloo to the East, especially during rush hour
- The lack of a safe and efficient route to get to East Waterloo that avoids riding on Weber Street near King and Weber
- The lack of consideration given to cycling infrastructure when doing considerable construction work on the bridge across the railway tracks on Weber Street between Parkside and Albert
- The need for separated bike lanes and our view that painted lanes are inadequate
The route we took is well-known to us, so we felt relatively safe (again, we were riding with children). There was a stretch along Parkside Drive that we needed to ride on a bike lane, which made our 9 year-old a bit nervous. We had to act as pedestrians when trying to reach the multi-use trail at Parkside and Bearinger since the trail was diagonally across from us at the intersection and the road was relatively busy.
Angela was generally supportive of cycling infrastructure as she rides to City Hall regularly. When I brought up how disappointed I was with the lack of cycle traffic separation on Northfield across the bridge over Highway 85, she didn’t seem to have much of a problem with it, which I found a bit disappointing. I got the impression that she believes the onus is on the cycling community to be vocal about our needs — she said she hears more from people angry about spending on cycling infrastructure. She said she was glad that CycleWR was around now, since she can point to the organization’s advocacy in support of cycling infrastructure. I was hoping to hear a bit more bravery from her in terms of making what she sees as the right decision to support cycling infrastructure, but at least she will support popular efforts.