DgDDyMmUYAY0IGp

A summer call-to-action on winter sidewalks

This past week, the Kitchener Community and Infrastructure Services Committee approved a plan to pilot different alternatives for keeping sidewalks clear and accessible in winter. The plan would see the city test out proactive bylaw enforcement, full city plowing, and shared responsibility between homeowners and city contracted plows in various parts of the city. It’s an important first step in figuring out how to best ensure our sidewalks are open and safe year-round.

However, we’ve become aware of an intense lobbying effort to cancel the plan at Monday’s upcoming City Council meeting. Don’t let the naysayers dump snow on the path to equitable winter sidewalks – speak up for improving winter mobility!

A quick email or phone call to your councillors expressing your thanks for supporting the pilot would go a long way. Better yet, if you’re able to, attend the council meeting on Monday June 25 and register to delegate.

You can also help to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook. Watch for the hashtag #snowbilityWR and don’t forget to tag your councillors!

(more…)

Read More »

pexels-photo-308748

Week in review: June 12, 2018

Subscribe to get weekly updated delivered directly to your inbox!

Consultations, feedback, and events

Election aftermath

The Progressive Conservatives have won a majority government in the Ontario Legislature. What does that mean for provincial transportation policy? Our best guess can be found in our review of party platforms and promises.

Walking

Kitchener staff have shared their plans to test winter sidewalk clearing options: proactive enforcement, plowing after every snowfall, and a hybrid of property owners and city-run clearing where plows are only deployed after major snow events. The study would also try out sensors that can detect the presence of sidewalk snow and ice.

  • Kitchener welcomes new ‘rainbow crossing’ in downtown (Kitchener Post)
  • Cambridge advisory committees clash over Blair Road turf war (The Record)
  • When it comes to winning praise, Galt’s new bridge is a walkover (The Record)
  • How traffic signals favour cars and discourage walking (The Conversation)

Cycling

Waterloo Regional Police have released a pair of videos containing tips for people cycling and driving to “share the road” safely. The cycling video has drawn criticism for admonishing “keeping to the right” at all times – in contradiction with guidance from the City of Kitchener regarding sharrows and the Ministry of Transportation’s own cycling safety guide, which discourage staying to the right if the lane is too narrow to share.  According to provincial guidelines for transportation engineers and planners, “sharrows are intended to guide cyclists as to where they should ride within a travel lane shared by both motorists and cyclists.” We’re don’t tend to be fans of sharrows – too often they’re a cop-out for real infrastructure – but it’s disappointing to see our police contributing to the public’s confusion surrounding them.

Transit

  • Resumes pour in for LRT driver positions (The Record)
  • Ride-shares, subsidized taxis eyed to improve transit in Waterloo region (CBC)
  • Buses to connect 9 Perth County communities (CTV)
  • Is anyone owed a transit line? (Human Transit)
  • Dedicated bus lanes, without the extra lane (CityLab)
  • Transit ridership depends on bus service, study finds (CityLab)
  • Flagging down driverless buses (The American Prospect)
  • Future-proofing public transit (Remix)

Vision Zero

  • Toronto planning to allow photo radar outside all elementary schools (The Star)
  • How fire departments stopped worrying and embraced safer street design (Streetsblog)
  • False positives: self-driving cars and the agony of knowing what matters (Wired)

The shape of our cities

  • New rules in Waterloo could threaten highrises, developers fear (The Record)
  • Developer vows to fix 10-storey ‘mistake’ in student area (Waterloo Chronicle)
  • Metal and glass addition planned for heritage building in downtown Kitchener (The Record)
  • Can the Growth Plan’s Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) policy be the beachhead into the Yellowbelt? (Neptis Foundation)
  • Challenging myths about millennials and housing (The Conversation)
  • Why transit-rich neighbourhoods are more affordable (The Atlantic)
  • “Unbundling” parking costs is a top way to promote transportation options (Mobility Lab)

Read More »

ballot

Parsing the election platforms

The Ontario provincial election is just over a week away. At TriTAG, we don’t endorse particular parties or candidates. We recognize that your vote is a personal choice, informed by your own values and priorities. However, we do want to help you make an informed choice, so we’ve tried to compile what each of the major parties has promised for transportation (and related issues) in their platforms or announcements.

Inter-city transit

The Liberals have pledged $11 billion for high speed rail connecting London, Kitchener, Guelph, and Toronto by 2025. The NDP and the Progressive Conservatives have both promised to complete the environmental assessment for high speed rail, but have not committed to completing it. There is conflicting information from the Green Party regarding their support high speed rail.

The NDP explicitly list two-way all-day GO service to Kitchener as part of their platform, along with electrification of the GO network. They would also engage the federal government to better coordinate VIA and GO passenger services.

The Liberals’ GO Regional Express Rail and high speed rail plans also rely on electrification. (While the Liberal platform does not explicitly mention the Kitchener Line, infrastructure work necessary for high speed rail would also enable two-way GO service.)

The Greens believe two-way all-day GO could happen sooner than 2024, and have also pledged to support better inter-city bus connections.

The Progressive Conservatives have also pledged to fund two-way all-day GO and “cut red tape” to make it happen faster. However, part of the current provincial funding for GO electrification comes from planned carbon cap-and-trade revenues, which the party has vowed to scrap.

Local transit

Both the NDP and the Green Party have pledged to fund 50% of the net operating costs of local transit. The Greens also pledge $1-1.5 billion per year above the 2018 budget estimates for public transit infrastructure.

Liberals are promising reduced GO fares for short trips, cheaper transfers between municipal transit systems, and a seniors’ transit tax credit.

Aside from taking over the Toronto subway system and building more subway lines in the GTA, it’s not clear what the Progressive Conservatives’ plan for local transit is at this time. With promises to cut gas taxes, it’s unknown whether this puts puts budgeted plans at risk to increase municipalities’ share of gas tax to help fund transit.

Cycling and walking

The Liberals would spend $140 million on cycling infrastructure – this is likely the remaining balance of the $225 million pledged to municipalities as part of the climate change action plan.

The Greens would dedicate 5% of the transportation budget to walking and cycling infrastructure (which would work out to over $200 million annually). They would also spend $2.17 billion over four years on safer streets and roads.

The NDP would update the Ontario Cycling Strategy and set specific targets for cycling mode share and infrastructure spending. They would also pass their Vulnerable Road Users bill.

Since the Progressive Conservatives haven’t released a platform and we haven’t heard any announcements from the party pertaining to cycling or walking, we can’t say what a PC government would do. However, as the pledged cycling infrastructure funding in the provincial budget comes from cap-and-trade revenues, it’s possible that this may also be cut.

Roads and driving

The Green Party would introduce congestion pricing and parking levies to help cut traffic and fund transit and active transportation infrastructure.

Progressive Conservatives have promised to cut gasoline taxes by ten cents a litre by lowering fuel taxes and eliminating carbon pricing. As we note above, it’s not clear, but this could have negative implications for transit and cycling funding.

The NDP would lower auto insurance rates by 15% and end the practice of determining premiums by location. They have also promised to do something to slow the swings in gas prices.

The Liberals would continue expanding highways. They have also pledged to reduce auto insurance rates and remove location as a determinant for premiums.

Land use

The Progressive Conservatives have backtracked private comments suggesting they would open up the Greenbelt to suburban development.

The Liberals would expand the Greenbelt into the Waterloo and Paris/Galt moraine complex. They are also promising to continue with their plans to improve housing affordability and increase the supply of smaller multi-unit housing projects. Their infrastructure plan also includes bringing amenities like grocery stores and banks to GO station areas.

The NDP would build 65,000 new affordable units and would strengthen inclusionary zoning regulations.

The Green Party would also expand the Greenbelt and would require 20% of all newly developed units to be affordable.

Vote!

If you haven’t yet, find out where your polling station is to vote. Remember, you don’t need a voting registration card to vote, just ID showing your name and proof of address. You can also vote in advance already, but don’t forget to do so by June 7!

Read More »

dawn-dusk-fast-163856

Week in review: May 23, 2018

Subscribe to get weekly updated delivered directly to your inbox!

Consultations, feedback, and events

(more…)

Read More »

pexels-photo-753877

Week in review: May 4, 2018

Subscribe to get weekly updated delivered directly to your inbox!

Consultations, feedback, and events

(more…)

Read More »

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-24,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

Week in review: April 27, 2018

Subscribe to get weekly updated delivered directly to your inbox!

Consultations, feedback, and events

(more…)

Read More »

pexels-photo-85292

Week in review: April 17, 2018

Subscribe to get weekly updated delivered directly to your inbox!

Consultations, feedback, and events

(more…)

Read More »

pexels-photo-48707

Week in review: April 11, 2018

Subscribe to get weekly updated delivered directly to your inbox!

Consultations, feedback, and events

(more…)

Read More »

pexels-photo-90550

Week in review: April 2, 2018

Subscribe to get weekly updated delivered directly to your inbox!

Consultations, feedback, and events

(more…)

Read More »

movingwr

Week in review: March 26, 2018

Subscribe to get weekly updated delivered directly to your inbox!

Consultations, feedback, and events

(more…)

Read More »