Week in review: February 14, 2018

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Consultations, feedback, and events

Making space

How inclusive are our discussions of urban and transportation issues? Melissa Bruntlett of Modacity writes about the issues that can arise when advocacy becomes disproportionately dominated by the white, able-bodied, and male. She’s challenging herself and others to make more space for those who aren’t exactly like us, because our cities are made better when everyone is heard.

On foot

By bike

Ontario is seeking feedback on its #CycleON cycling strategy Action Plan 2.0. Our first skim-through of the plan revealed some promising commitments – like updating cycling facilities standards using best practices from elsewhere in the world and helping municipalities complete their portions of a provincial cycling network. We also found some things that need improvement, like a lack of funding to fix provincial highway crossings beyond the designated provincial cycling network, and labelling education and awareness campaigns that don’t change fundamental road designs as “mak[ing] highways and streets safer.”

  • Based on the tally on the Winter Bike to Work Day website, at least 84 people in Waterloo Region braved the heavy snowfall to ride their bikes to work on Friday.
  • Kitchener-Waterloo riders cool for year-round cycling (The Record)
  • How to make winter biking more appealing (Ryerson TransForm Lab)
  • Why protected bike lanes are good for motorists (Lisa Schweitzer)
  • Looking for the fulfillment that car ads promise? You won’t get it from driving (Streetsblog)
  • E-bikes are destined for something bigger than replacing regular bikes (Slate)

In transit

ION vehicle testing continues, and is expected to cover the entire route over the next week or so.

  • Ontario appoints chair for high speed rail project (Ontario)
  • Kitchener-Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife asks Minister McGarry about the status of two-way all-day GO trains (Twitter)
  • The needless odyssey: Taking a bus between Brantford and the Tri-Cities (Dude Where’s My Bus Map)
  • What’s ‘adequate’ transit service? (CityLab)
  • Sidewalk Toronto puts ride-hailing ahead of public transit (Paris Marx)

The shape of our cities

  • $80-million development expected to boost Kitchener downtown’s east end (The Record)
  • Eaton’s Lofts building in downtown Kitchener getting a street-level facelift (The Record)
  • Public forum explores possible expansion of greenbelt into Waterloo Region (The Record)
  • Toronto offers up gifts of the past (The Star)

Vision Zero

Kitchener is planning traffic calming reviews this year for Patricia Ave, McGarry Drive, and Old Chicopee Drive. West Ave and Stirling Ave S also ranked high on the traffic-calming priority list for the year, but these streets are candidates for a pedestrian crossover and bike lanes, respectively, which may mitigate some traffic issues.

  • Forgiving design vs the forgiveness of slow speeds (Strong Towns)

The road ahead

The province has shelved plans for a new 400-series “GTA West” highway, on the advice of the Advisory Panel it had appointed to study the project. The panel, recognizing the reality of induced demand, found that congestion pricing would offer ten times as much time-savings as more highways could.

  • Uber issues remain a year after officially approved: Taxi alliance (Kitchener Post)
  • Big bad data: the uninformative Inrix scorecard (City Observatory)