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Week in review: June 3, 2017

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Consultations, feedback, and events

Bike Month

June is Bike Month in Waterloo Region. Transportation Demand Management planner Kevan Marshall was on CBC radio Thursday to talk about local Bike Month activities and promote the public consultation for the Iron Horse Trail to transit hub connection coming up June 6 at the Tannery. He also highlighted TriTAG’s efforts to map cycling infrastructure projects taking place this year.

The Ontario government announced $42.5 million dollars this year in support of municipalities building commuter cycling infrastructure. The program would fund up to 80% of cycling infrastructure projects. The province has also revamped its cycling website.

Meanwhile, Waterloo has published their bi-annual active transportation report and approved new bike lanes for Lincoln Road.

  • Attempting to gauge the impact of “near-miss” incidents (Streetsblog)
  • ‘Landmark’ study from Seville shows immediate results from bike network (People for Bikes)
  • Ottawa discovers bike lanes next to sidewalks instead of painted on roads could save millions (Ottawa Citizen)

Transit

GRT fares are set to jump again in July. On Tuesday, Regional Council will consider increasing the Wilmot bus pilot service to include more early and mid-day trips, thanks to additional funding from the province.

The Region has come to a settlement with the local developers over new development charges to pay for transit infrastructure. The agreement would shave $100 off the cost for a house, but the difference would not be shouldered by taxpayers, rather costs would be accounted for over a longer period of time.

  • Good intentions, bad design make Highway 7 rapidway a jumble of contradictions (Toronto Star)

Vision Zero

Kitchener has approved its neighbourhood-led traffic calming program. Residents will be limited in what tools they have at their disposal, and will still be required to pass a high threshold of neighbourhood support, but this may take a bite out of the city’s 175 street traffic calming backlog.

On Tuesday morning, the Regional Planning and Works Committee will consider a staff proposal to infill sidewalk on Westmount between Union and Forsyth. Its a proposal that has strong opposition from fronting homeowners and strong support from people who walk the street.

  • Cyclist airlifted to hospital after crash in Kitchener (The Record)
  • Frustration mounts after 10 year old’s traffic death (The Record)
  • Ghost bike serves as memorial for small Toronto boy killed last week (The Record)
  • Blaming people for wearing black wins the prize for anti-pedestrian idiocy (Streetsblog)
  • Study: ignorance of the law leads to road rage against cyclists (Planetizen)

Climate change

Climate Action Waterloo Region has begun presenting its five year progress report  on emission reductions to local councils. It finds that transportation emissions have increased by 5%, now consuming just under half of this Region’s carbon footprint. The report to councils directly calls out “low political will when seeking to implement new actions or expand existing actions” as a challenge for reducing transportation emissions.

TriTAG maintains that if our municipalities want to see progress on this front, whether it be for the sake of climate, congestion, public health, or a high quality of urban life, we need to get serious about altering the incentives around transportation choices.

Land use

The Record celebrates the success of ION light rail in attracting new development to the central transit corridor, well in advance of service opening.

Kitchener is proposing new changes to its zoning bylaws that would encourage bigger porches, smaller driveways, and fewer garages for more liveable streets.

  • Keeping families downtown will take hard work, amenities, experts say (CBC)
  • Curb commercial sprawl to attract talent: report (The Star)
  • Make the suburbs walkable by allowing homes to convert into businesses (Torontoist)

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