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Consultations and feedback deadlines
- REGIONAL BUDGET: Engage Waterloo Region budget survey, due Dec 21
- PROVINCIAL BUDGET: Submit and vote on project proposals by December 11
- MOVING FORWARD:
- Shape DTK 2020 short and long surveys
- Development in established Kitchener neighbourhoods
- Station areas informal public meeting on Official Plan, December 5
- Cycling solutions for Lexington across Highway 85, December 12
- MAPS: Regional cycling map, first edition in need of feedback
- We’ve put together a list of ways you can help ensure ION and the 202 University iXpress connect.
- A report coming to Planning & Works Committee next week details how the EasyGO card public roll-out won’t begin until spring, and the complete transition won’t be completed until late summer. The cards, which were supposed to have replaced tickets and passes this fall, have been delayed due to issues with the software behind the system.
- The new Cambridge Centre bus terminal on Hespeler Road will be in operation December 19, according to a new page on the GRT website.
- The Region is ordering 66 new buses, necessary for fleet replacements and planned expansions next year. However, some councillors suggested during the debate that those transit expansions, including better frequencies and the new 205 Ottawa iXpress, might not happen next year if it’s not felt the tax increases can be publicly supported. All the more reason to fill out the Regional budget survey to let councillors know how much you value better transit!
- Luisa D’Amato writes about how challenges for getting around construction have overloaded demand for the MobilityPLUS service the Region provides for residents with disabilities.
- CityLab features MARTA Army, a grassroots group of citizens volunteering to improve the cash-strapped transit agency in Atlanta. The group has helped to update schedule information at stops, and fundraises for bus stop trash cans, with the eventual hope that their efforts will help build public support for better transit.
- Active transportation staff from the Region, cities, and townships hosted a cycling forum on Wednesday, centred around “building a bicycle culture.” Despite the focus on branding, safety, and business, the conversation kept coming back to the need for good infrastructure – as keynote speaker and Cycle Toronto executive director Jared Kolb put it, “infrastructure creates culture.”
- Local cycling blogger Steve Shikaze bemoans the shortage of good cycling crossings of the Conestoga Parkway. The proposed short-term solution for Lexington should help a little.
- Calgary’s 18 month pilot of a downtown protected cycling network is up for review. Our cities could learn from its scale, speed of implementation, adaptability to change, and commitment to measuring the results.
- A paper in Safety Science confirms the notion of “safety in numbers.”
- CBC Sunday Edition host Michael Enright delivers an excellent essay on our culture of victim-blaming and the need for traffic to slow down.
- American researchers explain why U.S. roads are much more dangerous than those of other developed countries: their communities, roads, and even traffic laws are designed to favour automobiles over more vulnerable users than do those of other places. While Canada fares better than the U.S. in terms of safety, we’re still far from the head of the pack when it comes to safety – these are lessons that are as equally applicable to us.
- Luisa D’Amato asks why technology that can prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel, (that is available today, unlike autonomous vehicle technology), isn’t yet mandatory for vehicles.
Autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing
- The new vehicle for hire bylaw launched on Thursday in Waterloo Region. Uber and local startup RideCo are now able to operate legally.
- Ontario announces the first three autonomous vehicle pilot research projects, all based in Waterloo.
- Aaron Renn worries that, much like with the automobile in the last century, our cities and governments will bend over backwards to make infrastructure and policies favourable to autonomous vehicles, at the expense of the urban environment.
- Waterloo’s station area plans include a milquetoast 50% reduction in parking minimums (and parking maximums) for properties within just 400 m of ION light rail stops.
- Local radio personality and columnist Mike Farwell celebrates the revival of downtown Kitchener, in the form of parking lots being turned into high-tech offices.