Transportation, Infrastructure, and Cycling

New Voice. New Ideas. New Vision.

Nothing effects our mobility as a community more than proper transportation and well-planned improvements to our infrastructure.

Some background information from the Region of Waterloo public reports.  In 2007 the Region of Waterloo initiated the Regional Transportation Master Plan (RTMP) to gather data and consult with the community about the future of public transit in the Region.  The RTMP places a greater emphasis on the role of public transit to provide a more balanced transportation system. It reflects an increasing interest in greater transportation choices which has partially been influenced by the Ontario government’s Places to Grow Growth Plan, the Regional Growth Management Strategy, the Regional Official Plan, and the Rapid Transit Environmental Assessment. The Plan projects that by 2031, 15% of all trips in Waterloo Region will be by transit and 12% of all trips will be by cycling or walking. Other issues addressed include limiting urban sprawl, manage traffic congestion, preserve Waterloo Region’s environmental resources, increase the amount of walkable communities, and delay the need for construction and maintenance of new roads.

The Region is to be commended for this forward thinking approach to how transportation and the infrastructure that accompanies it will shape our future mobility.

The ION (Light Rail Transit) is now an exciting reality. The construction of the ION and the intensification that followed displaced many of the people who lived in neighbourhoods where affordable housing was available. With the completion of the ION an obvious outcome needs to be an expanded, bus network with more express bus service to feed rapid transit terminals, and better serve busy residential and commercial centres outside the rapid transit corridor. With the displacement of many citizens who at one time lived along the ION route where housing had been less expensive, they have now been forced to move further from the main transit corridor. For our neighbours who require affordable housing and may not own a car, or those who choose not to have a car, we need to ensure that our transportation network services areas where they will have convenient access to the ION.

Cycling is becoming a preferred transportation option for many in our Region. Our Region, and in fact our country, does not have the history or infrastructure of many European countries where cycling is a major transportation option. As the Region continues to implement the goals of RTMP, we need to ensure that all future transportation and infrastructure projects place cycling as an equal partner alongside the car and public transportation options. It is important we create accessible and safe cycling options in our Region.

The expansion of the ION to Cambridge is crucial to link the three major urban centres of our Region. We need to complete the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line o the City of Cambridge and hopefully take the lessons learned from the construction of the ION in Kitchener and Waterloo so we can improve the communication and inconvenience that was experienced in the first phase.  As we continue to plan for the expansion of ION to Cambridge, we need to be in conversation with the Provincial Government to fund this final phase with 100% provincial dollars, similar to what they have done in other areas of the province.

Transportation planning, new infrastructure projects and cycling in Waterloo Region deserves ….

 

New Voice. New Ideas. New Vision.

Change for the future!

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