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Consultations and feedback deadlines
- REGIONAL BUDGET DAY: Wednesday January 11. Voice your support for the proposed 2017 transit improvements through our Council contact form.
- MOVING FORWARD:
- Streetfilms showcases Seattle as “America’s next top transit city” for their bold $50 billion investment in rail expansion to ensure the vast majority of its citizens live and work in proximity to rapid transit. The city is demonstrating a virtuous cycle of good planning and service, increasing ridership, and public support for further investments.
- A new study from the University of Montreal shows that all-door boarding can decrease bus travel time and increase passenger satisfaction.
- Transit advocate Steve Munro looks at the impact that uneven headways have on transit wait times. The crowding and bus-bunching effects he highlights can be observed on our own central transit corridor.
- GTA urbanist Andrea Griffith observes that portions of the Kitchener Line with GO bus service every 20 minutes may see a decline in service quality if those relatively frequent buses are replaced by hourly trains. Frequency is freedom.
- CityLab writer Tanvi Misra looks at how immigrants in America have been among the most loyal transit riders – but their ridership is now in decline.
- The Region has updated its bylaws to prohibit parking on light rail tracks.
- Halifax celebrates a year without pedestrian or cyclist deaths. The regional municipality is roughly the same size as Waterloo Region.
- In New York, the State Court of Appeal finds the city liable for failing to study and implement traffic calming measures in the case of a child on a bike being seriously injured by a speeding driver. The ruling could have a major impact on how cities address road safety concerns.
- Kitchener staff recommend maintaining the traffic calming measures installed on Glasgow in 2014-15.
- Robin Mazumder goes on a tweetstorm about the danger of slips on uncleared sidewalks and the devastating effects a broken hip has on one’s quality of life.
- Vancouver gets praise for its great side street bikeways, but People for Bikes notes that protected bike lanes on main streets in conjunction with bikeways on quiet streets are a powerful combination for growing bike ridership.
- TCAT publishes a study of Toronto’s Queen Street West, in the Parkdale neighbourhood. It finds 72% of shoppers arrive by active transportation, only 4% arriving regularly by car. In spite of this, merchants tend to overestimate the number of customers arriving by car.
- The Waterloo Chronicle covers upcoming changes to the Columbia/Lexington corridor, including separated cycling lanes to the west, and a pathway to cross Highway 85 on the east side.
- The City of Waterloo’s heritage blog covers the history of King and Erb, noting its future as a protected bike lane corridor.
- As of January 1, people cycling are now allowed to ride side-by-side on Regional roads. Most other municipalities are expected to follow suit, but Wellesley and Wilmot are likely to refuse to do so.
Ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles
- City Observatory produces a scathing commentary of popular claims about the wonders of shared autonomous vehicles, especially of a recent study that claims ride-sharing apps can cut traffic by 85%. Don’t be beguiled by flashy technology, hype, and the glossing over of hard facts like geometry and induced demand.
- UW researchers are finding that it’s really hard for autonomous vehicles to drive in icy and snowy conditions. (It’s kind of hard for humans too…) Not only do the slippery conditions pose a stability problem, but piles of snow and reduced visibility can make it harder for vehicles to find their positions on the roadway.
- Meanwhile, automakers are resigning themselves to the fact that the age of the personal car is coming to a close, by investing in last-mile transit, ride-sharing, and autonomous vehicles.
Planning and parking
- Buffalo is now the first major US city to eliminate parking minimums, which should make transit-oriented development more feasible and affordable. Will our cities do the same to help spur ION’s success from day one?
- Brent Toderian writes about how good math can help address common misconceptions about planning – like how people who bike really do pay their own way or how compact development saves cities money.
- Cheris Burda, executive director of the Ryerson City Building Institute says it’s time to stop blaming the Greenbelt and provincial land use policy for the cost of housing in the GTHA.