Week in review: January 28, 2017

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Consultations, feedback, and events


Record reporter Catherine Thompson covers a recent City of Kitchener study that found that most lots and garages are never more than 69% full, thanks to onerous parking minimums. She also highlights our blog series on parking.

It tolls not for the DVP

The Premier has denied the City of Toronto’s request to allow it to toll the Gardiner and the DVP. Despite this prohibition being bad policy – tolls are effective tools for managing congestion, shaping travel incentives, and having highway drivers actually pay the full cost of the infrastructure they use – Toronto’s loss is Waterloo Region’s gain. As part of the announcement, the province will be doubling the share of the provincial gas taxes municipalities receive to help pay for transit, phased in over 2019 to 2022. Under the present rates, Waterloo Region is receiving $10 million this year, which could increase to $20 million under the new formula. (The Region’s share of the pie could further increase if ridership growth with ION outpaces the rest of the province.)

The federal government is pitching in $96 million to widen the 401 from 6 lanes to 10 between Hespeler Road and Townline. We’re just going to leave this here:


The Region continues to gear up for building the multi-modal transit hub, inviting potential private partners to submit qualifications. It is expected that the final developer would be selected within the next 18 months. Meanwhile, Kitchener and the Region are holding a public meeting today (January 28) at 1pm concerning providing pedestrian access to the far side of the ION tracks for the Traynor/Vanier neighbourhood.

This week, CityLab published two articles on transit. The first looks at the importance of good transit as an equity issue for women, especially minorities, in light of congested Metro trains to the Women’s March on Washington. The second shares new research showing that buses are significantly safer than driving in cars.

Taxis and ride-hailing

The Region is still rolling out implementation of its new vehicle for hire bylaw, as taxi drivers complain about a lack of taxi stands (or the inconvenient placement thereof).


Waterloo Bikes has a write-up on the upcoming public consultation for the Uptown Streetscape redesign. Construction, which will introduce protected bike lanes to King Street for the first time, is expected to begin this spring. Kitchener has approved its 2017 budget, which includes improvements to the southern stretch of the Iron Horse Trail.

The Metcalf Foundation has published a new report on how to make Toronto a world-class cycling city. It’s recommendations, which include integrating cycling routes with transit connections, winter maintenance of cycling facilities, and building protected bike lanes are likely equally applicable here. And the CROW Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic, the bike infrastructure bible from the Netherlands, has just been updated (in English too!)