Uptown Protected Bike Lanes – June 12 deadline

June 12 is the last day to submit comments on the ‘new’ street plan for King Street, Waterloo. Make sure the city recognizes that we’re asking for protected bike lanes, not deathrows or painted gutters!

To be sure the city / regional team’s preference is against protected bike lanes (refer to Appendix D: Evaluation of Final Alternatives).

Make you voice heard!

Let’s build the community we want to live in for the next 20 years. Your voice is important! (Check out TriTAG’s bike uptown slide deck asking where you’d rather bike.)

New option – May 29 2013 (via City of Waterloo pdf)

IMG_20140529_182241

Comments need to be sent by June 12th to:

King Street Streetscape Improvement Project (City of Waterloo)
Barb Magee Turner (City of Waterloo)
P. 519.747.8757  E. barb.mageeturner@waterloo.ca

King Street North Reconstruction
Eric Saunderson (Regional Municipality of Waterloo)
P. 519-575-4746   E. esaunderson@regionofwaterloo.ca

Love new designs

I absolutely love the new designs, it’s true protected cycling at its core, but these need to be the preferred designs. If this is approved by City and Regional councils, it will absolutely change the culture of our uptown experience and set precedent for future cycling infrastructure improvements in our region and in our province.

Concerns

One concern I have is that this plan is only for the King Street section north of Erb Street. South of Erb Street, which is about 100m to the tracks does not have any planned bicycle lanes. I’m worried that the lack of bicycle infrastructure south of Erb implies a lack of planned bicycle infrastructure along the LRT corridor south on King as well.  I will be following up with the streetscape team on these concerns.

Another is I want to see a plan to measure the effectiveness of the streetscape improvements. What is the increase/decrease on revenue for businesses? What is the increase/decrease in motor vehicle traffic? Bicycle traffic? Pedestrian traffic? Large Vehicle traffic? What is the impact on our quality of life (neighbourhood desirability for live, work and play)?

The other area that comes to mind is the plan for snow removal on the planned improvements? I’m not an expert but I didn’t see areas in the plan that could be used for on streetscape storage. The implication is that snow has to be completely removed for the entire surface.

Lastly I have not heard where the Uptown BIA stands on these improvements. I just sent an email today to Patti Brooks Executive Director for the BIA (patti.brooks@waterloo.ca) asking if the BIA has a formal position. I’m sure the BIA will have a big say in the preferred option that goes to the councils for vote.

A few pictures from our visit to public consultation on May 29th. A bunch of us met at Kitchener City hall and rode up through the proposed changes in Waterloo on our way to Waterloo City hall. Riding in the group of 10 or so cyclists really gave a feeling of increased safety.

IMG_20140529_181312

 

 

A few folks rode in their sunday best. Below is the shoe winner of our impromptu fashion contest.IMG_20140529_181330

 

 

 

Afterwards we hit Uptown for dinner. We had take-out from Tacofarm as our kids were famished needed the freedom that comes with backyard eating. You’ll notice my 7-seater bicycle below which is my mini-van killer, its a story for another post (babboe+chariot).
IMG_20140529_185728

Posted in Bicycles, Bring it, Community, Kitchener, Waterloo | Tagged | 6 Comments

New Fixit Bike Stand at Queen and Iron Horse Trail

Early Saturday morning, I stepped out of my house and began my run starting with a 5 minute warm up walk. We made it down Queen street, crossed the street, and was surprised to be greeted by this new fixture!

Brike Repair Stand

I thought back to Thursday morning and was pretty sure we would have seen this up as we did push ups and step ups on the bench right beside it (and trust me, I don’t think we could have missed this vibrant green thing had we tried!)

Here are all the tools available, all tied up so hopefully no one manages to steal them (sorry for the non specific view)

Bike repair Tools

It even comes equipped with it’s own tire pump!

Bike Repair air pump

This post is a really quick one to show the new bike Fixit right at Queen and the Iron Horse trail. I hope you all get a use out of it! I’m sure I will!

It even comes with a mini digital instruction book (www.dero.com/bike-repair)

Bike Fixit

I hope you all enjoy your week and I am excited to see if more of these keep popping up around town!

Posted in Bicycles, Community, Kitchener, News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Protected Bike Lanes on King Street – May 29th Public Consultation

Today, we have an opportunity to make our voices heard in support of protected bike lanes on King Street. We have an unique opportunity to create a community that’s bikable for cyclists age 8-80.

Since December 2013 over 1000 of us signed a petition asking for protected bike lanes, now we need to continue to show our support to ensure the city and region approves plans for these protected bike lanes on King Street.

Join us on a bike ride to the public consultation. We are leaving Kitchener City Hall at 5.30pm to cycle up King Street thru Uptown Waterloo, to remind ourselves how important this project is to our community. For details on the ride refer to following facebook event.

King Street Streetscape Improvement Project

Further resources:

TriTAG.ca (@mikeboos) created a fantastic infographic specific to Uptown Waterloo. Two of us even delivered 50 hardcopies to businesses north of the tracks.

Posted in Bicycles, Community, News, Safety, Waterloo | Tagged | 3 Comments

Event: Uptown bike lanes – Take 2

At the last Public Information Centre for the Uptown Streetscape Improvement Project along King Street, City staff received comments on their proposed design, including that the bicycle lanes were too narrow and unsafe-looking.

Now they’ve adjusted the proposed design and are holding another Public Information Centre:

Thursday May 29
Drop in any time 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Waterloo City Hall atrium, 100 Regina Drive, Waterloo

Hope to see you there!

- TRANSCRIPT OF PUBLIC NOTICE BELOW  -

Continue reading

Posted in Waterloo | Leave a comment

CAB Community Access Bikeshare Membership Giveaway – How would you use a full year subscription

In support of CAB’s crowd-raising campaign May 1-15, WaterlooBikes is giving away a one year membership to the reader who provides the most compelling use-case of how they would use a CAB (Community Access Bikeshare) membership.

Either respond to the comments in this post, on our facebook page or directly via waterloobicycles@gmail.com. The winner will be chosen by the CAB team by the end of the week.

For a detailed review of how the bikeshare works refer to our post from Sept 2013.  If you’re interested in a Bikeshare membership sign up here.

The fleet is ready to be used with stations at Kitchener City Hall, Kitchener Farmer’s Market, Charles Street Bus Terminal in Kitchener and Sun Life’s King Street building.  A new station at ‘Your Neighbourhood Credit Union’ in Waterloo at 168 King St S near George Street is almost ready for action.

How would you use a 1-year bikeshare membership?

 

 

 

Posted in Bicycles, Bikeshare, Community, Kitchener, Waterloo | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lessons from the Winter of 2014 – Screw fashion

Although I’ve been winter cycling since 2004, the winter of 2014 taught me some new lessons. Screw fashion and the discerning cyclist (at least when it’s below -15C)

New Lessons

  • Exposed skin sucks, especially below -15C
  • My general purpose blundstones are not warm enough even with 2 pairs of socks.
  • When it gets cold my body seems to cut off circulation much faster these days, I’m getting older.
  • Need a better winter bike cleaning routine (setup, tools, approach), unless you want to buy a new chain, freewheel and derailleur every winter.
  • Facial hair, if you can grow it, rocks for winter cycling! Don’t shave it off after Movember.
  • Who cares what you look like if you have confidence you’ll arrive home with all your digits. #screwfashion

Winter 2015 to do list:

  • Purchase ski googles, cycling glasses don’t cut the extreme cold
  • Purchase a better balaclava, my current one works great for one or two days, but is irritating to use long term.
  • Purchase warm winter boots, none of this hiking shoes or general purpose boots made in Australia crap. (This also goes for general winter walking, those blundstones made winter school drop-offs painful).

The Ride January 7th

2014-01-07 07.50.50January 7th was possibly the coldest bicycle ride I’ve ever done. The temperature wasn’t too bad at -20C but the 70km/hr wind was crazy, it made it feel like -41C. It was unbelievably cold, especially along King Street downtown Kitchener where the wind just roared between the buildings. I had a number of errands to do, probably cycled 15km in total that day. I felt like I was just trying to get between destinations as quick as possible so my feet could thaw.

 

 

 

Started out without the balaclava (mistake for sure), but facial hair helps a lot, thank you Movember.

2014-01-07 13.14.11

 

 

 

The Water Loop trail that has yet to be paved is not winter maintained, my bike wasn’t going to make these trails.

2014-01-07 15.46.06

Although bicycle parking has been added in our downtown cores, winter maintenance still makes it challenging to lock up.
2014-01-07 16.47.39

 

 

 

Posted in Bicycles, Commuting, Gear, Kitchener, Waterloo | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Jane’s Walk – Walking and cycling challenges and opportunities in Uptown Waterloo

Join members of the Waterloo Advisory Committee on Active Transportation (WACAT) as they follow the Laurel Trail through Uptown Waterloo to Weber St and back, looking for opportunities to improve cycling and pedestrian connectivity in the city.  What challenges stand in the way of improvements?  How can we improve wayfinding and signage?  How can we encourage more people to walk and bike in Waterloo?

Meet Sunday May 4th at 2pm at the clock tower at Erb and Caroline. Councillor Angela Vieth will be leading the walk. 

For details refer to the Jane’s Walk website here.

Another interesting Jane’s Walk with a cycling theme is in Kitchener as they explore Berlin’s historical roots on bicycle, and checking out what’s currently happening on these sites.  Cruising our neighborhoods’ by bike allows a greater connection to our surroundings, while still moving at a good pace.

The National Film Board has made a series of short films about Jane Jacobs, the inspiration behind Jane’s Walks. They will be running continuously.

Saturday 1-3 pm: Screenings at Queen Street Common Cafe
Sunday 1-3 pm: Screenings in the Multi-Cultural Cinema Club, upstairs from the Queen Street Commons

Posted in Bicycles, Community, Kitchener, Waterloo | Tagged | Leave a comment