More LRT Meetings, and Why It’s Important To Go

It’s that time again: the Rapid Transit team has sent out notices of the Transit Project Assessment meetings to be held on January 24, 25, and 26:

24th Jan, 3-8pm: First United Church, King and William, Waterloo
25th Jan, 3-8pm: Region of Waterloo Headquarters, 150 Frederick, Kitchener
26th Jan, 3-8pm: United Kingdom Club, 35 International Village Drive, Cambridge

Speculation aside about whether or not there will be cookies, these meetings are important because they discuss what impacts LRT construction/operation will have on the environment. With parts of the LRT route being near floodplains, being next to or on top of the Laurel Creek tunnel through Uptown Waterloo, and running through some parkland, it will be very important for the Region to explain to the public how environmental impacts of the project are to be mitigated and how an incident of provincial significance can be avoided (the Laurel Creek runs into the Grand River, and that’s where Brantford gets its drinking water from), and how any contract for construction and/or operation will ensure high quality transport for the citizens of Waterloo Region while taking the health and well-being of our neighbours downstream into account.

So with so much on the line, an informed public, and the feedback it provides, are very important here. Please take an hour out of your busy schedule to attend one of these information meetings above, and continue to be an active participant in the affairs of your local government.

4 thoughts on “More LRT Meetings, and Why It’s Important To Go”

  1. Graham – this is the (expedited) provincial review, and it’s only really going to focus on things “of provincial significance”, i.e. bodies of water, protected species, etc. That said, it certainly won’t hurt to bring up the impact on cycling throughout the process.

  2. Glad to see that you are still pushing for an LRT surface solution on existing rail corridors as much as possible, throughout the total area. Do not allow the shortsighted politicians to opt for a half way solution with part LRT and part BRT as I saw in a previous report. That will lead nowhere. Just look at what happened in Ottawa. Conversion at a later date is always very expensive, but conversion sounds good and is a political paliative.
    And by all means insist that the municipalities get to own all the existing rail rights of way. These are preciosu corridors for an administratin to own. But if you use some for bike paths or walkways, you may never be able to take them back as a rail corridor. People in adjacent lots are funny that way…

  3. Ben – there is going to be a part that will be BRT-lite, but not a busway like in Ottawa. The idea there is to extend LRT as a second phase, which the BRT-lite won’t be an obstacle to. The issue of conversion was a big reason for the choice of LRT over full BRT for the first phase (north Waterloo to south Kitchener).

    Municipal ownership of marginal rail rights-of-way is a good idea, and that seems to be what the Region is currently aiming in the few remaining cases. (But it’s too late for several corridors.)

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