snowtracks

Week in review: February 5, 2018

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Consultations, feedback, and events

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Week in review: January 30, 2018

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Week in review: January 23, 2018

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Consultations, feedback, and events

#snowbilityWR

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

Transit

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)

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shovel

Week in review: January 15, 2018

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A few weeks in review: January 8, 2018

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Consultations, feedback, and events

The “sidewalk ice dancing”

(with apologies to Jane Jacobs)

If you walk somewhere in winter, you’re not likely to get very far without encountering ice or uncleared snow on the sidewalk – even when there’s been no snow in the last few days. That’s the findings of our just-released winter sidewalk study. Last February, we invited volunteers to help us measure how accessible Kitchener’s sidewalks were. Our numbers show that cities’ system of having adjacent property owners clear sidewalks severely restricts winter mobility. Read the report here. (Coverage in the Record, CBC, CTV, Kitchener Post)

  • Falls on ice seriously injure Albertans at triple the rate of people in Ontario (CBC)
    Because most Ontario cities (but not ours) clear their sidewalks, rather than leave it up to adjacent property owners.
  • Paying attention to the mundane policy issues (Policy Options)

Transit changes and funding

Grand River Transit’s 2018 winter service schedule begins Monday. Meanwhile, plans are being made to launch the 205 Ottawa iXpress route on April 30.

The province has announced $10,454,575 from its gas tax funds for transit in Waterloo this year. That’s up about $400,000 from last year, (but only $100,000 from the 2016.)

  • What Elon Musk doesn’t get about urban transit (CityLab)
  • Whistler slashes bus fares, turns to public transit to beat congestion (CBC)

ION testing (of trains and patience)

The first outdoor powered tests of an ION vehicle took place December 19. Our fourth vehicle, train 503, was delivered to Waterloo, while train 501 was sent back for repairs.

Meanwhile, Metrolinx cut their order of Bombardier light rail vehicles in half, which has local officials optimistic this will allow the company to focus on completing our order. They have also failed to meet scaled back targets for TTC streetcar delivery.

Vision Zero

  • Pedestrian hit by pickup truck, charged for walking on road (CTV)
    Wonder how well the sidewalk had been cleared of snow…
  • Pedestrian struck and killed in Wellesley (The Record)
  • Elderly pedestrian seriously hurt in crash (CTV)
  • Fewer impaired charges, but far fewer RIDE checks (The Record)
  • Is your city committed to Vision Zero, or just paying lip-service? (Streetsblog)

Bike networks

  • Calgary sees big increase in the number of winter cyclists (Global)
    After building a network of protected lanes downtown
  • 2017: The year America’s institutions got into all-ages bike networks (People for Bikes)
  • ‘A rolling walking stick’: why do so many disabled people cycle in Cambridge? (Guardian)
  • Berlin’s upcoming bike revolution (CityLab)
  • Top 15 cycling neighborhoods in Canada (City Clock Magazine)

Rethinking streets

The shape of our cities

  • Boom time: $1.2 billion in building permits expected for downtown Kitchener (The Record)
  • Governance strategies to achieve transit-oriented development (Ryerson City Building Institute)
  • Changes will come slowly despite OMB reforms (The Star)
  • Ditch the drive? Here’s what Americans would give up to live in walkable communities (Realtor)
  • The race in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (The Agenda on Politics)
  • King Street complainers need to remember why they’re on King Street (Sean Marshall)
  • How ‘not in my backyard’ became ‘not in my neighbourhood’ (The Upshot)

The road ahead

  • Who owns urban mobility data? (CityLab)
  • Why can’t Uber make money? (Forbes)
  • People aren’t ready for self-driving cars (CityLab)
  • Self-driving cars have hit peak hype – now they face the trough of disillusionment (Wired)

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Week in review: December 18, 2017

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Week in review: December 11, 2017

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Week in review: November 27, 2017

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