Tuesday Morning Links

Planning for Car-free Sundays: Planning is well underway for making portions of King Street in Kitchener-Waterloo free of cars for four hours on four Sundays this summer — the first of which is June 19. The Record and Open File have coverage of the plans in general. If you want to help out, today there will be an meeting on planning events, organizing volunteers, sponsors, and so on. It will be from 4pm to 6pm at Council Chambers, 3rd floor of Waterloo City Hall, 100 Regina Street. There will also be a volunteer orientation and sign-up session on Tuesday, June 14. There is also a Facebook page for the Car-free Sundays events, which have been branded square2square.

K-W Chamber supports LRT…: The Greater K-W Chamber of Commerce offers conditional support for LRT. There is coverage from 570 News, CTV, and The Record, but there doesn’t appear to be a press release available. Basically, the K-W Chamber supports moving forward with LRT, but wants there to be due diligence in the design, construction, and phasing.

…but Cambridge Chamber doesn’t: The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce wants Waterloo Region to adopt a full Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which they say would be “fair and equitable”. It isn’t, however, an option that has any whole-hearted support in any of the cities.

Cambridge Council isn’t happy, wants gadgetbahn: Cambridge Council doesn’t want to pay for an LRT-based system if Cambridge doesn’t get LRT in the first phase, and it wants a referendum on the plans. (The Record) Cambridge Council also wants the Region to postpone making any decisions in order to study a gadgetbahn technology that has been getting local hype. The full Cambridge-for-Aerorail motion (page 5 of the meeting agenda) is, frankly, embarrassing. In The Record piece, Councillor Nicholas Ermeta claims a referendum question could be on the provincial election ballot in October, which is false; by law, the vote could come no earlier than 6 months after the question is set. Councillor Frank Monteiro says a referendum would cost only a million dollars, which is misleading since the inflation cost of waiting translates into at least a $10-15 million impact on the cost of the project.

Regional Councillors’ election quotes: Jeff Outhit of The Record tries to demonstrate or create conflict between politicians’ campaign promises and current stances on LRT. The piece features quotes from our own candidate questionnaire. Councillor Jane Mitchell responds on her blog.

And…: Why LRT makes sense to City of Waterloo Councillor Karen Scian. The Dearlove on the connection between transit and equality of opportunity. The Record wants long-term thinking about roads. A column by Kevin Thomas of GREN – Rapid growth requires rapid transit. Letters: Corner-lot resident thinks the city should be cleaning its own sidewalks; Mayor Halloran should do her job and make an LRT decision instead of asking voters to do it; A referendum is a recipe for gridlock; Don’t cheap out, build LRT all the way; Before supporting a referendum, Regional Councillors should ask themselves two questions.