Getting around the city is a subject that comes up often as I speak to residents. My vision is that you should be able to get around our community safely with any form of transportation.
Over the past term, we have created an award-winning asset management system at the City of Waterloo. It helps us forecast future needs and allows us to prioritize areas for repair, maintenance and expansion. Whenever the City starts a road project, we aim for “complete streets.” Road improvements should be designed to safely handle all types of traffic including cars, trucks, buses, cyclists and pedestrians. The vision places a priority on vulnerable users – cyclists and pedestrians – by installing missing sidewalks, multi-use trails, protected cycling infrastructure and bike lanes where possible.
As Mayor of Waterloo, I will advocate for improved GO Train and public transit service. Encouraging people to take transit will help decrease congestion on our roads. Over the last term, we’ve done a lot of work to prepare for the ION which will take people out of their cars. Once the ION is up and running, it will take buses off the roads on King Street. We will reorient Grand River Transit to feed into the ION stops. We’ve improved the streetscape in uptown Waterloo to make wider sidewalks for pedestrians. The new segregated cycling lanes also have “protected intersections” defined by green paint treatment, which will be a first in the region. Building better trails to keep bikes away from traffic to service all corners of the city will be started in the next term of council. “Super trails” as I call them will be a major area of focus to help encourage active transportation.
As the west side of Waterloo continues to grow, there are plans in 2019 to extend Columbia Street south to Erb Street past Costco to ease the burden on the Ira Needles roundabout. Erb Street west of Fischer-Hallman will also be widened to be better for vehicles and safe for cyclists and pedestrians.