Tidbit – proposal to move a 100m section of the Iron Horse Trail

The Record had a brief report that the developer of the Park/Allen condo is asking council to move the Iron Horse Trail to the edge of the property.

This makes sense, I’m surprised this wasn’t in the original design for the property.  I wonder if the proposal will enhance trail safety. I find this section of the iron horse trail quite dangerous as it crosses Park Street quite close to the traffic light at the John/Park intersection.

My guess is that the trail will proceed along Park towards William rather than proceeding thru to Caroline. Caroline is also slated to receive LRT traffic making the Allen / Caroline intersection quite complicated (although this is also under reviewed).

Park Street showing the Iron Horse trail where a condo development is being built:

7 thoughts on “Tidbit – proposal to move a 100m section of the Iron Horse Trail

  1. Meh… that little stretch of the trail is pretty rough compared to the nice, smooth and well-lite bike lanes going North on Park. Put up a few signs saying “trail continues via bike lanes” and we’re good to go as far as I’m concerned. Not that any of the other trails in this region have much in teh way of signs or maps…

  2. That Record article doesn’t give much info, does it? The Council’s minutes don’t seem to provide much either. Page 21 of the minutes (http://www.waterloo.ca/Portals/57ad7180-c5e7-49f5-b282-c6475cdb7ee7/CS_CLERKS_Minutes_2011/20110926_Packet_Council_Meeting.pdf) only include a letter, but not the conceptual plans mentioned in the letter. It’s hard to discuss when there isn’t much info provided. It does mention, however, that they’ve already bought the adjoining land.

    Just ditching that last section of the Iron Horse (unless you include the roadside multi-use trail on Caroline) is not necessarily a big deal, but not totally without problems. Firstly, the nice, smooth, well-lit bike lanes on Park are not standard size. They’re rather small until you get to Allen.

    Second, despite the half-hearted traffic calming island recently added to Park, it seems to be designed (or at least used) as a speedy King Street bypass – traffic really goes whizzing by because there are few stop lights or stop signs. Personally, I’m fine with that as a cyclist, but not everyone and their kids is okay with it. Unfortunately, I can’t see how changes on the east side of Park St would affect the admittedly dangerous crossing of Park St. for cyclists/pedestrians.

    Third, what’s the problem with having a multi-use trail moving between two condos anyway? Seriously. It would effectively make the condo lands public space, and connect rather than create a physical barrier between Caroline and Park. I’m unclear on the ownership of “Barrel Warehouse Park” in front of the Seagrams Lofts, but from outward appearances, they’ve done exactly the opposite – taken public space and made it look like private condo land, discouraging people from using it as public space. I would think they could find a way to integrate their condos into the community, rather than rerouting the community to benefit the developers.

  3. If the condo owners want the current bike lane moved, they should be required by the city to provide an acceptable alternative. Despite the widening of Park Street last year, the bike lanes are not even close to wide enough, as pointed out above, and are far more dangerous to cyclists than the current separated trail that cuts across from Park to Caroline. My suggestion would be that the condo owners pick up the tab for Waterloo’s first protected bikelane infrastructure, even if it is only to accomodate the section they have asked to move.

    1. I’m in agreement, a segregated bike lane joining the laurel trail with the iron horse, especially with the LRT being built on caroline is needed. Getting the condo owners help in picking up the tab is a good start.

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