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Week in review: May 6, 2017

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Consultations, feedback, and events

Jane’s Walks

This weekend (and the next, thanks to weather) are Jane’s Walks: guided walks through neighbourhoods and public spaces in honour of celebrated writer Jane Jacobs. We’ve highlighted a few in the area related to transportation, but check out the complete list on the Jane’s Walk website. (Note that the bike ride from St Jacobs to Uptown has been rescheduled to next weekend.)

Transit

After a opponent tried to spin a revisionist history concerning the Region’s approval of light rail, TriTAG member Chris Klein brings the discussion back into reality.

In Cambridge, certain residents are raising their voices against the staff preferred route for Stage 2 of light rail through Preston, suggesting instead that an alternative route on Maple Grove be considered. While many of their concerns are legitimate, the Maple Grove alignment would be a disaster for both the Preston businesses hoping for the access light rail would bring, and also for the Region’s land use planning goals. We hope that the Region will find ways to mitigate the impact of this alignment or find alternative routes that still include Preston. If you feel the same way, a friendly email to your Regional councillors would help.

The Region has started its search for a company to help it build the transit hub at King and Victoria. Meanwhile, the Star has a long look at the difficulties Bombardier has had in building the new TTC streetcars (and Metrolinx/ION LRVs.)

  • Autonomous technology – driving into the future (Mass Transit)
  • Queue jumps for buses – the ethical way to cut in line (Streetsblog)
  • A simple change to make the walk to transit feel within reach (Streetsblog)
  • Some of VIA Rail’s passenger cars are 70 years old. We can do better (Ottawa Citizen)

Cycling

UW researcher Robin Mazumder returns from the International Cycling Congress in Moscow and a visit to a number of European cities. He writes about his conclusion upon his return to local cycling infrastructure (or lack thereof) – that if we are to view road design from a public health perspective, bike lane opposition is equivalent to the anti-vaccination movement.

Community Access Bikeshare launched their 2017 season on Friday.

  • The invisible bike riders (Strong Towns)
  • The case for bicycles’ inevitable triumph over cars (CNN)

Land use

New census numbers have been released revealing age demographics and housing types. While seniors now outnumber children in Canada as a whole for the first time, Waterloo Region still has more kids than seniors (but just barely). Our rapidly aging suburbs will be a problem in the coming years, as Baby Boomers lose the ability, or interest, in driving, but remain in places where walking and transit are difficult.

In downtown Kitchener, businesses are in limbo as the Region figures out the rules for sidewalk patios next to light rail. The Region is helping to fund a number of new affordable housing projects, some of which lie near the central transit corridor. The Globe and Mail covers how rapid transit is spurring developments in the GTA and Ottawa.

  • Older, denser neighborhoods offer better access to everyday destinations, study finds (phys.org)
  • The new suburban crisis (CityLab)
  • The immaculate conception theory of your neighbourhood’s origins (City Observatory)
  • Planning orthodoxy calls for denser, urban living — but leaves out many immigrant communities in the process (TVO)
  • Parking vs housing: Mayor Wheeler calls debate ‘over’ (Portland Shoupistas)

Vision Zero

Vision Zero Canada tweets highlights from Queens Park committee meetings to discuss the government’s new safety camera bill:

  • Why children struggle to cross busy streets safely (University of Iowa)
  • AAA’s latest road safety report ignores the obvious: we should be driving less (Streetsblog)

The road ahead

  • Bridj is dead, but microtransit isn’t (CityLab)
  • Uber faces criminal probe over software used to evade authorities (Reuters)
  • Six things cities need to know about the future of autonomous vehicles (Bloomberg Philanthropies)
  • The self-driving dilemma (CityLab)
  • Tesla may not build a bus after all (The Verge)
  • Elon Musk’s futuristic tunnel system looks both amazing and impossible (The Verge)

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