For immediate release
Recommended Uptown streetscape design includes wider sidewalks and protected bike lanes on King Street from Erb to Central.
WATERLOO, ON – May 7, 2015. Residents are celebrating a staff recommendation for protected bike lanes on King Street in Uptown Waterloo. The recommended design, if approved by Waterloo City Council, would see the installation of wider sidewalks and raised bicycle lanes, some protected from traffic by parked cars, along King Street from Erb to Central.
“These are the types of lanes you find in places like the Netherlands, where riding a bike is safe and natural for anyone,” said Graham Roe of Waterloo Bikes. “For me it is personal, I want my daughter to be able to ride and walk safely to MacGregor Public School from our home in the Mary-Allen neighbourhood. The current situation is dangerous and chaotic, for every road user. The proposed changes make King Street accessible for lots more people whether you’re 8 years of age or 80.”
The City of Waterloo has been considering updates to its streetscape design on King Street since 2004. In 2013, Waterloo Bikes organized a petition, calling for protected bike lanes to be installed, collecting over 1000 signatures. Since then, staff have worked to incorporate better cycling infrastructure into the recommended design, bolstered by a study by University of Waterloo researchers showing that cycling makes an important contribution to business in Uptown. It is likely that the Region of Waterloo will adopt infrastructure consistent with the City’s choice when rebuilding King Street from Central to University in 2018.
“We’re very pleased to see the progress being made towards better cycling infrastructure in our municipalities,” said Mike Boos of TriTAG. “When lanes like these are built in North American cities, there have been dramatic increases in cycling rates, often accompanied by increases in business activity when placed along downtown routes. We look forward to seeing the active transportation network continue to grow and evolve, as our cities reap the benefits of investing in transportation choices.”
TriTAG and Waterloo Bikes will be organizing a community bike ride through the proposed route on May 25, ending at the Waterloo City Council meeting where the design of the future Uptown streetscape will be decided. The groups hope members of the public and councillors will join them to help celebrate this significant milestone.
The Tri-Cities Transport Action Group (TriTAG) is a local grassroots organization advocating for better infrastructure and policy to enable people to walk, bike, or take transit in Waterloo Region.
WaterlooBikes.ca is a local cycling advocacy group striving to make life by bicycle easier in Waterloo Region.
Graham Roe, husband, father, cycling advocate, entrepreneur who happens to ride a bicycle to get around Waterloo Region (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Visit http://tritag.ca/bikeuptown for more resources on the Uptown Streetscape project and protected bike lanes.