Columbia-Lexington Public Information #2

Another public information session for the proposed transportation changes along the Colombia-Lexington corridor is upcoming. It will be held June 23 from 6-8pm at the City of Waterloo Public Works building on Lexington Court.

This is a good chance to talk to traffic engineering nerds about what they do. My estimation of the first one is that they love to tell you about their craft. They would really like it if your questions were related to the proposed upgrades.

I though about the proposals a bit since I attended the first one. There are a few proposals, but the road diet is my favourite. In this plan, they’ll remove car lanes for wider boulevards, more turn lanes and bike lanes (which don’t exist on Lexington at all).

If you rip up the street, and put down bike lanes why not raise the bike lanes to segregate them from traffic. I don’t remember seeing this in the plan when I read it the first time.

Columbia Lexington Notice of Public Information C

5 thoughts on “Columbia-Lexington Public Information #2

  1. Yes…segregation works!

    That was a bit tongue in cheek obviously, but to be perfectly serious, segregating bike lanes from regular traffic does nothing to further the image of the bike being a part of road traffic. It just serves the agenda of the people who think bikes belong on the sidewalk or on the bike path, not on the road.
    The flip side is that more people would probably bike if they had separate facilities because most people don’t feel safe on certain roads, myself included. I just think this will turn into one of those drivers against bikers debate once again because ‘we’ are taking away their roads and there’s not a lot of us.
    To be a bit philosophical, do the rights of the many outweigh the rights of the few or do all people have equal rights to public infrastructure?

    1. I’m not sure I truly believe that a bike is part of motorized traffic. Seems a bit silly to me. Just because it’s the status-quo doesn’t mean it’s really an acceptable policy.

      It’s 100% true that if we didn’t have this notion of ‘bikes are like cars’ then we would probably see more cyclists out there. At least, that’s my opinion.

      1. Well I think this just leads back to the argument that if a bike doesn’t belong on the road, where does it belong? Some argue bikes belong on the sidewalk. As a pedestrian and frequent jogger, I hate bikes on the sidewalk. Some argue that bikes are not modes of transportation, just recreation. That is simply silly, but I can see how a bike travelling on Albert St. (single lane portion) would become an annoyance to someone driving an ultra-wide dino-mobile. Others still argue that bikes need separate infrastructure that separate them from car traffic. This alternative would please both car drivers and novice riders. However, in the long term, I don’t see this as a beneficial tactic. It requires more space and more investment in a crumbling infrastructure that is barely being kept up as it is.
        My solution is to have enforcement of speed limits, wider lanes that accommodate bikes and cars, and ,where viable, borders that separate bike traffic from car traffic (without the addition of new lanes). This wouldn’t work on main thoroughfares, so smaller roads should be used, in north-south, east-west directions. Those neighborhoods would also benefit from the decrease in car traffic. Possible candidate roads in Kitchener/Waterloo core: Stirling, Highland, Glasgow, Wellington, Union, Regina, Keats Way, Bearinger, Davenport, Bridge, Lancaster…to name a few. Pairing these with existing on-road and off-road bike infrastructure (University, Ironhorse, Transcanada etc), you could get anywhere in the city in no time.

  2. I think the lexington crossing of the highway is a good spot for a seperated bike lane on the road because there aren’t really any other nicer crossings of the highway. My pie-in-the-sky solution is to build a ped/bike bridge somewhere and expand the trails along the lands beside the highway… but they need to do something about the speeders on that stretch as well.

    I think the entire region and the cities would do well to stop putting so many bike lanes on the major roads and instead focus on doing something similar to what Octavian is talking about and we are seeing in Portland: bicycle boulevards and there are many great side streets that I already use in a similar fashion… mostly just need to put up bike route signs and maybe paint sharrows… so no need to spend a lot of money

    1. Oh, and I hope that any separated bikeway would be continued all the way down until Bridge street at least, there is a massive boulevard there now but we don’t need all of it for a good bikeway. Start it down on Lexington and Weber, ideally? I really like the idea of a raised separation of some kind in this scenario.

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