Posts tagged ‘Council’

Decision Deferred on Franklin Boulevard Roundabouts

So how many car crashes along Franklin Boulevard will it take before council decides that “YES, roundabouts are a good idea for the road.” Another car accident on Wednesday January 27, 2010 sent a young man to hospital.

Regional councilors deferred a decision on whether to install 11 roundabouts on Franklin Boulevard over concerns about safety and property expropriation. Staff recommended a plan that would see roundabouts placed at every major intersection but one on the eight-kilometre stretch of road. The proposal has been in the works for more than a year and has been circulated around the community. It is estimated to cost the region close to $50 million.

There has been a significant amount of concern and opposition. “Ever since I found about this, people have been speaking to me about this and just shaking their heads,” said Councilor Jane Brewer. Some of the worry is that the roundabouts will slow down one of the city’s major thoroughfares. “Franklin Boulevard many years ago became the bypass for Cambridge,” Brewer said. “People have come to expect that (they) can make time on this road. You wouldn’t put roundabouts on the Conestoga Expressway.”

  • How can you compare Franklin Boulevard to the Conestoga Expressway?- You Can’t!
  • Does the expressway have schools, houses, and businesses fronting onto the the road? – No!
  • Does the expressway have hundreds of driveways accessing the road? – No!
  • Does Franklin have a speed limit of 90km/h? – No!
  • Why should the City of Cambridge increase the speed on a road where there is already an abundance of speed-related accidents?

Maybe its time people slow down and understand that its not a race to the finish line. There is a movement called the Complete Streets Movement (CSM) which means streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abiliti es must be able to safely move along and across
a complete street.

The following definition was extracted from my thesis project: “Creating complete streets means transportation agencies must change their orientation toward building primarily for cars. Instituting a complete streets policy ensures that transportation agencies routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users. Places with complete streets policies are making sure that their streets and roads work for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists, as well as for older people, children, and people with disabilities.”

Another movement entitled, Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS), is defined by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration as, “a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach that involves all stakeholders to develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic and environmental resources, while maintaining safety and mobility. CSS is an approach that considers the total context within which a transportation improvement project will exist.”

Roundabout models have worked for decades in Europe, so why should it take so long for Canadians to understand their simplicity?  The deferral was supported unanimously and the matter will come back in March. If the plan is approved then, construction would begin in 2013.

Source: CambridgeTimes.ca and CambridgeTimes.ca

January 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm 2 comments

Who Killed the Merger?

Waterloo did… and the amalgamation debate is dead once again.

In a 5-3 vote on Monday, Waterloo city council rejected a request from a group headed by local high-tech leaders to put the question of merging Kitchener and Waterloo on the ballot in the next municipal election.

The group wanted the city to ask the provincial minister of municipal affairs and housing to put a question on the ballot that read, “Would you support members of council engaging in a dialogue about the merits of merging the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo? Yes or No.”
Kitchener council had already supported the motion.

But Waterloo didn’t follow suit, following a series of delegations asking the city to drop the issue.

Source: CambridgeTimes.ca

January 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm 1 comment

Rural Lands to be SAVED!

Waterloo Region is tightening land-use controls to limit urban sprawl.

Waterloo Region is tightening land-use controls to limit urban sprawl.

The affected lands, to the west, north and south of local cities, are already barred from development by current regulations. The new proposal would add more protection by designating the lands as “protected countryside” in the regional official plan. “There’s a strong will to protect those lands,” Regional Chair Ken Seiling said.

Council says the countryside restriction will help protect groundwater recharge, preserve farmland, protect environmental areas, and restrain urban sprawl. It’s part of a larger plan to direct suburban growth east of Kitchener, and put 40 per cent of future homes into existing neighbourhoods.

Environmentalist David Wellhauser is upset that politicians voted against extending the countryside designation to 1,327 vacant hectares in south-west Kitchener. Farmers and developers own the lands, near Fischer-Hallman and New Dundee roads.

Public open houses launch this week to explain the change to affected landowners.

Source: TheRecord.com

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Now playing: Wiz Khalifa – I’m Gonna Ride
via FoxyTunes

October 8, 2009 at 2:12 am Leave a comment

The Rise of the Student Ghettos

Neighbourhoods around Fanshawe College and the University of Western Ontario are at risk of becoming student ghettos, city planners are warning.  The broader plan to improve neighbourhoods around Fanshawe and Western was approved by council in February 2008 and dubbed the near-campus neighbourhoods strategy.

Long-term residents are fleeing, leaving some streets almost entirely occupied by students and other temporary inhabitants who don’t own the homes, a change that threatens the viability of everything from local day cares to churches. The change in ownership has driven up prices of homes whose value are based on rental income, making it tougher for families to buy them. Too many properties have lost green spaces, are in poor repair and become the target of vandals. Previous efforts by city hall to limit changes have sometimes been quashed by provincial appointees on the Ontario Municipal Board.

City planners laid out proposals they hope would make a difference:

  • Reduce the maximum number of bedrooms in rental homes to three from five.
  • Require outdoor areas that can be enjoyed that are no less than three metres wide in any direction.
  • Require proponents of new single and semi-detached homes and those who want to add bedrooms to existing buildings to have their detailed plans subjected to scrutiny at city hall.

Source: LFPress.com

October 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

Help Shape the Future of London’s Transportation Plan

  The City of London officially launched Smart Moves, its London 2030 Transportation Master Plan study, Monday (Sept. 28), and is looking for Londoners input into the study.

The City of London officially launched Smart Moves, its London 2030 Transportation Master Plan study, Monday (Sept. 28), and is looking for Londoners' input into the study.

The next grand plan for transportation in London seems likely to be a greener one, with cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders relegated to the back of the bus.

  • A four-line streetcar route shaped like a cross, with downtown London in the centre and the arms reaching north, south, east and west.
  • Two rectangles of bus routes intersecting those streetcar lines. GO trains heading east and west, and light rapid transit rail heading to smaller centres.
  • All along the routes, people-friendly streets with commercial, retail and residential development built at key connections.
  • Instead of buses and streetcars being an afterthought to development, the transit system would actually determine where and how the city grows.

An ambitious plan that turns the idea of London’s transit system on its head.

London Transit unveiled the centerpiece in a push to get feedback on transportation, a city bus covered with the pictures and words of what city officials have dubbed “Smart Moves: What Moves You?” The City of London Smart Moves Transportation Master Plan study, which takes place over the next year, is intended to address future transportation needs of London.

A public meeting has been set and the following information has been provided:

When:

  • Tuesday, November 10

Where:

  • Western Fair Grounds – Carousel Room

Time:

  • 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Open House
  • 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Workshop

Sources: What Moves You?, LFPress.com & LondonTopic.ca

October 5, 2009 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

Kiwanis Park to be SOLD?

The City of Kitchener is in the midst of determining whether to declare several properties across Kitchener as surplus. The parcel of land in Kiwanis Park – approximately 9.6 hectares (23.7 acres), or roughly a fifth of the park’s total size – is the largest portion of land in their surplus list. City staff maintain the swath of land in question is underutilized and could better serve the public if it was redeveloped. The bulk of the park is in a flood plain, and would not be sold.

Does this not bring up the question of planning for future generations? Removing a park and constructing high-rise developments would be a heinous crime. I’m sure glad that Councillor John Gazzola is opposed to this idea, and he was quoted as saying, “I am opposed to selling any park land […] It makes no sense. You’ve got to look down the road 100 years from now. Once that park land is gone you are never getting it back.”

Jeff Willmer, the interim director of planning, said city workers must now cut the grass and pick up litter in these unused open spaces.

BOO HOO! Is this not why summer students are hired? If cutting grass and picking up litter are Jeff Wilmer’s idea of why the parkland should be sold off, he should be removed from office. He back’s up his statement by stating, “The development of the sites would create jobs and generate tax revenue.” Well duh! – any development of land would create jobs and generate tax revenues, but don’t remove park land!!! The justification is just not there.

I hope Kitchener’s council smartens up and sees that this is not the way to go about creating new development and spurring the economy out of its current slump.

Join the cause to save the park here: SaveKiwanisPark

Source: TheRecord.ca

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Now playing: The Pack – Lovin U
via FoxyTunes

May 14, 2009 at 4:59 pm 1 comment

Public input sought regarding new ward boundaries in London

The Committee of the Whole will be holding a public participation meeting on Thursday, May 14, 2009 commencing at 4:00 p.m. at Centennial Hall, 550 Wellington Street, London to obtain public input on proposed draft by-laws to provide that the City shall not have a Board of Control, a change in the composition of Council to include a Mayor and 14 ward councillors and the redividing of the municipality into 14 wards.

Source: London.ca

May 11, 2009 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

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