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
In 2020, we were pleased to have the City of Waterloo implement slow streets, closed streets, 30 km/h school zones and 40 km/h neighbourhoods. These projects met with varying degrees of support and were plagued with drivers ignoring or even stealing the road signs and construction cones. Nevertheless, Council approved continuing with similar initiatives in 2021. Car culture has been built up over decades by sophisticated marketing campaigns — it will take more than one year to bring it back under control and rebalance the priorities for our streets.
Other projects that were completed in 2020 include the following list. The Lexington Road multi-use pathway (MUP) was significant in filling a gap on an otherwise hostile road, connecting the Hillside Trail with one of the few safe routes over the parkway. Little things like trail counter replacement and augmentation are important as they allow us to measure progress over time — the city does a better job of this than the other cities and the Region.
2020 completed projects
|Colby Drive – from Colby Court to Wyman Road||0.6 km MUP|
|Davenport Road – from Frobisher to Baffin Place||0.2 km MUP|
|Lexington Road from the pedestrian island to Hillside Trail||0.6 km MUP|
|Lexington Court between Lexington Road and the Waterloo Service Centre||0.4 km MUP|
|Keats Way between University Ave and Shakespeare||0.04 km MUP|
|Laurelwood Drive between Erbsville Road and Wideman Road||1.1 km On-road buffered bike lanes|
|Wideman Rd between Erbsville Road and Woolgrass Avenue||0.5 km On-road bike lanes|
|Keatsway between Erbsville Road and Lucerne Avenue||0.5 km On-road buffered bike lanes|
|Walter Bean Trail||3.4 km Phase 1 rehabilitation|
|Lexington Road||2 cross-rides installed|
|University Avenue (Walter Bean Trail)||4 cross-rides installed|
|Geo Time Trail||Wayfinding signage|
|Lincoln Road||0.5 km raised cycle track and bike lane|
|Caroline and Willis Way ION Station||Bike shelter|
|Iron Horse Trail and Waterloo Park; Walter Bean||Replacement and new counters|
Coming up in 2021
Planned work for 2021 (pending approval of contractor bids) is in the following table. The completion of the Farmer’s Market Trail (a joint project of the City and Region) will be an exciting addition to the north end. We will be anxious to see what arises out of the Transportation Master Plan, which was approved by Council on April 19.
|Farmer’s Market Trail Phase 1||Realignment of The Great Trail to the rail corridor between Northfield Drive and Woolwich Township (Regional project)|
|Farmer’s Market Trail Phase 2||Realignment of The Great Trail to Parkside Drive between ION Station at R&T Park to Northfield Drive|
|Davenport and Lexington||Intersection upgrade with cross-rides|
|Various||Sidewalks and multi-use paths, 1.18km approximate total length|
|Walter Bean Trail: Kauffman Flats to Woolwich Street||Rehab work stage 2, approximately 0.6 km|
|Laurelwood MUP from Beaver Creek Road to Fischer-Hallman Road||Multi-use path (MUP) 0.67 km|
|Phillip Street||Implementation of Station Area Planning work; MUP|
|Conestogo Road||Implementation of Station Area Planning work; MUP|
|Throughout city||Implementation of Transportation Master Plan when approved|
|Various||Bike parking at neighbourhood parks|
City staff were unable to provide budgetary numbers for both years. The election pledge called for $961,940 in spending per year. It would appear that the city is easily exceeding this level, both last year and in the coming year. Nevertheless, we hope that the City will revise how the accounting for active transportation projects is done so that we can achieve a better level of transparency and accountability.
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.