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Week in review: January 28, 2017

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Consultations, feedback, and events

Parking

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:

Transit

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).

Cycling

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!)

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Week in review: January 21, 2017

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Consultations, feedback, and events

Walking and Cycling

Transit

Car sharing, ride-hailing, autonomous vehicles, and of course, parking

What we’re reading

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Week in review: January 14, 2017

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Consultations, feedback, and events

Winter walkability

Transit

  • The 2017 Regional budget was passed on Wednesday. New or more frequent trips for routes around Conestoga College and Cambridge, and for the 201 and 202 iXpress are being introduced this fall (bundles 1 and 2). Meanwhile, the already postponed 205 Ottawa Street iXpress (bundle 3) has been further delayed until spring 2018. For more details on the service changes, see the budget issue papers.
  • Frederick, between King and Duke, is due to close for four weeks, causing routes 1, 4, 8, and 200 to return to detours via Water.
  • Dates have been announced for the next round of public consultations, concerning the extension of ION light rail into Cambridge. Regional staff will be presenting their preferred route in mid-February.
  • On the 10th anniversary of the opening of Charlotte’s LYNX Blue Line, Modern Cities looks at the transformations and developments that light rail system has catalyzed. Something to look forward to in Waterloo Region.
  • New research shows that busy traffic can make your wait for the bus feel even longer.

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Week in review: January 7, 2017

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Consultations and feedback deadlines

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A year and a week in review: December 31, 2016

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12 days of TriTAG!

To celebrate the coming of a new year, we’ve been sharing our top 12 blog posts from 2016 via social media. Here they all are, in one place:

  1. Announcing our ION station button campaign, through which we raised over $4000 to help fund our incorporation as a not-for-profit. (Stay tuned for more details on that process in the new year!)
  2. Don’t overlook the humble bus: while there’s lots of attention on getting better GO train service to the Region (as there should be!), it’s easy to overlook the potential GO buses to nearby communities have.
  3. Don’t panic: why you shouldn’t worry about declining GRT ridership just yet.
  4. Housing and parking minimums – or why the rent is too damn high: how mandatory parking needlessly increases the cost of living. especially for those in apartments. Part of our series on parking in the City of Waterloo zoning bylaws.
  5. Missing the connection: Will the University iXpress bypass ION? We raise the alarm on how administrative resistance at UW could mean less functional transit.
  6. Could the City of Waterloo move beyond parking minimums?  The first in our seven-part series on parking requirements in zoning bylaws.
  7. What’s in store for Grand River Transit? We look at the proposed GRT business plan and how it will shape getting around in 2017-2022.
  8. ION, walkability, fences, and it’s never too late to fix mistakes:  a look at how the Traynor/Vanier community got cut off from local businesses, and what’s needed to restore the connection.
  9. Could parking minimums hurt light rail? Another from our series on parking minimums, we look at how damaging car-dependent zoning can be to sustaining rapid transit.
  10. A potential game changer for downtown Kitchener: another parking one! This time, we look at how Kitchener’s proposed exemption on parking requirements for the first 10,000 square metres of floor space will help downtown to thrive.
  11. This corner shows what’s wrong with transportation planning in Waterloo Region: the corner of Queen and Charles is awful for pedestrians. We show how it’s symptomatic of misplaced traffic planning priorities.
  12. Big changes for Bridgeport, Erb, Caroline, and Albert: as we watch light rail construction transform our city cores, there’s been a lot of interest in what’s next, making this our top post for the year.

From us at TriTAG, we wish you the the very best in 2017. Happy New Year!

The past 7 days of TriTAG:

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Week in review: December 27, 2016

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Consultations and feedback deadlines

Local government

Vision Zero

Transit

Bicycling

Autonomous cars soon? Maybe not

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Week in review: December 17, 2016

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Consultations and feedback deadlines

Winter walkability

Transit

Vision Zero

  • The Toronto Star has been running a “Deadly Streets” series this week, looking at why 2016 has been so deadly for pedestrians.

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Week in review: December 10, 2016

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Consultations and feedback deadlines

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Week in review: December 3, 2016

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Consultations and feedback deadlines

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