A year and a week in review: December 31, 2016

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12 days of TriTAG!

To celebrate the coming of a new year, we’ve been sharing our top 12 blog posts from 2016 via social media. Here they all are, in one place:

  1. Announcing our ION station button campaign, through which we raised over $4000 to help fund our incorporation as a not-for-profit. (Stay tuned for more details on that process in the new year!)
  2. Don’t overlook the humble bus: while there’s lots of attention on getting better GO train service to the Region (as there should be!), it’s easy to overlook the potential GO buses to nearby communities have.
  3. Don’t panic: why you shouldn’t worry about declining GRT ridership just yet.
  4. Housing and parking minimums – or why the rent is too damn high: how mandatory parking needlessly increases the cost of living. especially for those in apartments. Part of our series on parking in the City of Waterloo zoning bylaws.
  5. Missing the connection: Will the University iXpress bypass ION? We raise the alarm on how administrative resistance at UW could mean less functional transit.
  6. Could the City of Waterloo move beyond parking minimums?  The first in our seven-part series on parking requirements in zoning bylaws.
  7. What’s in store for Grand River Transit? We look at the proposed GRT business plan and how it will shape getting around in 2017-2022.
  8. ION, walkability, fences, and it’s never too late to fix mistakes:  a look at how the Traynor/Vanier community got cut off from local businesses, and what’s needed to restore the connection.
  9. Could parking minimums hurt light rail? Another from our series on parking minimums, we look at how damaging car-dependent zoning can be to sustaining rapid transit.
  10. A potential game changer for downtown Kitchener: another parking one! This time, we look at how Kitchener’s proposed exemption on parking requirements for the first 10,000 square metres of floor space will help downtown to thrive.
  11. This corner shows what’s wrong with transportation planning in Waterloo Region: the corner of Queen and Charles is awful for pedestrians. We show how it’s symptomatic of misplaced traffic planning priorities.
  12. Big changes for Bridgeport, Erb, Caroline, and Albert: as we watch light rail construction transform our city cores, there’s been a lot of interest in what’s next, making this our top post for the year.

From us at TriTAG, we wish you the the very best in 2017. Happy New Year!

The past 7 days of TriTAG:

Your regular weekly update continues below:

Local government

1.3 million trail users

The City of Waterloo smashed its 2016 goal of 1 million trail users in 2016, logging 1,311,665 people walking and cycling on its trails through its automated counters.

Vision Zero

  • A man was struck by a car Sunday trying to scale the fence between Highway 8 and Kingsway Drive. Not much is known about why the victim was climbing the fence there, but one can’t help but wonder if the lack of pedestrian connectivity across the highway might have been a contributing factor.
  • A CAA survey reveals one third of all drivers admit to texting while stopped at red lights. Distractedness can still linger after a light change, and drivers miss the chance to become more situationally aware.
  • A deadly year for Toronto pedestrians is being seen as a wake-up call for improved safety. The city’s new head of transportation wants to act instead of “wait and see” if traffic deaths decline.


City sidewalks, busy sidewalks…

  • In her year-end “boos and bouquets” post, columnist Luisa D’Amato calls out Kitchener City Council for declining to provide municipal sidewalk plowing, calling it a human rights issue.
  • 2015 Federal Kitchener Centre Green Party candidate Nicholas Wendler bemoans the lack of consistent sidewalk clearing rules in Ontario, meaning many places are not barrier-free in winter.  (Draft road maintenance regulations, if adopted, may help.)
  • Debate rages on social media over whether the status quo is sufficient for ensuring winter mobility. Follow along with parallel threads on Twitter and Facebook:

Tolls, land use, and ride-hailing