Week in review: January 23, 2018

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Consultations, feedback, and events


Thanks to your help with our sidewalk study last winter, and your continued efforts raising concerns with municipal leaders, Kitchener appears poised to re-open the debate over how it keeps (or doesn’t keep) its sidewalks cleared in winter. Keep the pressure up!

Melissa Bowman, chair of the Victoria Park Neighbourhood Association also writes of her neighbourhood’s support for ensuring sidewalks are accessible in winter, and former City of Waterloo councillor Karen Scian suggests that city explore the use of private contractors to keep sidewalks clear.

  • How Sweden’s gender-balanced snow-clearing may offer Canada tips on budgeting (CBC)

Cabinet shuffle

Cambridge MPP Kathryn McGarry was appointed Minister of Transportation last week, raising some hopes for future Cambridge GO train service. Kitchener Centre MPP Daiene Vernile was also promoted to Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport. We hope she’ll continue the efforts of her predecessor, Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon, in fostering cycle tourism.

School zone

Some of the dangers of driving kids to school were realized this week in Waterloo Region, and Ontario. On Monday, a parking attendant was struck by a driver attempting to exit the Adam Beck School parking lot the wrong way. On Tuesday, a mother struck a bylaw officer with her car, who was issuing her a ticket for stopping in a no stopping zone near Wilson Ave Public School.

  • School traffic congestion ‘a concern everywhere’ (CTV)
  • One-third of Ontario parents believe school zones are unsafe: Ipsos poll (570 News)
  • Stop driving children to school: it could be a lifesaver (The Star)
  • Ontario Active School Travel Fund (Active & Safe Routes to School)

Vision Zero


New public information centres have been announced for the 2018 GRT network changes. Meanwhile, work will soon begin on a new Fairway Road bus terminal to integrate with the ION stop, and the Region buys a bus simulator to help train its drivers.

  • Should transit agencies panic? (CityLab)
  • Why is transit ridership declining? (Planetizen)
  • Why transit authorities sometimes resist change (Human Transit)
  • Public transit becomes the next battleground in the #MeToo movement (NPR)

Cycling and Trails

London Cycle Link challenges us to see which Southwestern Ontario community can have the most cycle commuters on International Bike To Work Day February 9. Will we really allow ourselves to be shown up by London?

On Monday, Kitchener passed its 2018 budget, which included a new Active Transportation Planner, 6.8 km of new trails, and long-awaited improvements to trail crossings, such as Victoria/West. Meanwhile, concerns are being raised over the way a new multi-use trail along Franklin Boulevard will cross onramps to the 401.

  • 8 rules of effective (bike) marketing (Modacity)
  • What people mean when they call dockless bikeshare a ‘nuisance’ (CityLab)
  • Celebrating 10 years of cycling advocacy in Ontario (Share the Road)

The shape of our cities

Road ahead

  • A glimpse of TransportationCamp: An intellectual feast for transit geeks (Mobility Lab)
  • The automotive liberation of Paris (CityLab)
  • Peak fender-bender: Technology can prevent car crashes, if consumers will buy in (Washington Post)
  • Destroying the city to save the robocar (The Register)
  • Why driverless cars may mean jams tomorrow (Economist)
  • Significant hike to carbon prices necessary to achieve emissions targets, study finds (Globe and Mail)