Friday Morning Links

Public workshop on a K-W Spur Line Trail: Waterloo Region is beginning planning for a multi-use path alongside the railway tracks from uptown Waterloo to near the VIA Rail station in Kitchener. There will be a workshop on Thursday, June 9, in Kitchener. (The Record)

The cost of road maintenance: Terry Pender reports on the poor state of repair of the road system, and that $590 million would be required to get them all into shape. Maintenance costs are driving municipal staff to provide for other transport modes, but elected officials don’t carry all of that through. The local costs of roads far outweigh the cost to build LRT. (The Record)

Official launch for Breithaupt Block: Yesterday there was an official launch (The Record) of the redevelopment of the former industrial buildings composing the Breithaupt Block in downtown Kitchener. This will be an office complex not unlike the Lang Tannery, and will be directly adjacent to the planned intermodal transit terminal at King & Victoria.

Press for Rally for Rails II: There is some print media attention (The Record) to Rally for Rails II, which will be on June 11. Over 140 people are already listed as attending on the Facebook event.

School board and active transport: Take the Lane reports that the Waterloo Region District School Board has adopted an Active Transportation Charter.

Township mayors and the LRT vote: Terry Pender reports on where the 12 remaining Regional Council members likely stand on LRT. Five are likely in favour, three or four are likely against, and the three township mayors may prove decisive. Councillor Jane Mitchell says that if Mayor Brenda Halloran’s LRT referendum motion passes, that she will call for a referendum on the $1.5 billion in road expansion that are deemed to be required without rapid transit. That compares, of course, to the $253 million that is currently Waterloo Region’s portion of the light rail project capital costs. (The Record)

Kitchener council’s public meeting: Last night the City of Kitchener held a public meeting on LRT for people who live or do business in the city – even though Waterloo Regional Council is the body making the decision, and not the city. Five of the 11 members declared conflicts of interest. After hearing Regional and City staff presentations, Kitchener City Council heard many delegations in support of LRT (The Record), including the CEO of Desire2Learn, a developer of the above-mentioned Breithaupt Block, as well as Tim Mollison on our behalf. Perplexingly, 570 News writes that “the reaction was fairly mixed” despite reports being that of the 22 delegations, 15 were in favour of LRT, and only 5 were against. After hearing delegations, the council voted 4 to 1 in favour of a referendum on LRT – a nearly meaningless gesture from a minority of a council which is not responsible for Regional transportation decisions.