Posts tagged ‘Transit’

Region Not Happy After Large Transportation Analysis

Local politicians want to see Waterloo Region better represented in an analysis of long-term transportation needs at the provincial level.

Regional councillors voted last week to advise the Ministry of Transportation that a currently under development transportation strategy for the GTA and areas to the west “will not provide sufficient infrastructure for the long term to connect Waterloo Region, Wellington County and the City of Guelph to the Greater Toronto Area”.

The strategy aims to reduce congestion on Highway 401 by expanding the highway to 12 lanes near Mississauga, but the region takes issue with the lack of a new connection between Toronto and Waterloo Region.

“Any kind of incident on [the 401] would make it difficult for goods movements between the two areas and also commuter traffic,” said Graham Vincent, the region’s director of transportation planning.

The region is also lobbying the ministry to increase GO Transit train service to Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge, include the region in an upcoming provincial traffic management study, and hold off on any final decisions until the completion of a Waterloo-Wellington-Brant regional transportation study.

“We believe that could go a long ways toward offloading some of the traffic congestion along the 401. We see that as a key element of the entire package,” said Vincent of GO Transit expansion.

Source: The Cambridge Times

September 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm Leave a comment

Gearing Up For Roundabout Battle

Coun. Nicholas Ermeta is ready to fight to keep roundabouts like this one on the Can-Amera Parkway from being built along the length of Franklin Boulevard in just two years. He plans to launch his battle at Tuesday’s council meeting.

I’M BACK!

What this councilor needs to do is his research regarding signalized roundabouts, and roundabout history in general. It’s time to move forward, not sit in traffic… I’ll even give him a little push. Amazing how Google can sometimes be your best friend. I personally drive roundabouts on a daily basis as I am a delivery driver and wish there were more of them in the region. The amount of time I sit at red lights in this Region is disheartening.

The only part I don’t agree with regarding the installation of these roundabouts is the cost factor. I’m sorry to hear that the Region has put a price tag on human lives, all in the name of saving money.

Traffic signals are much more costly than is commonly realized, even though they represent a sound public investment when justified. A modern signal can cost taxpayers between $80,000 and $100,000 [U.S. $] to install – depending on the complexity of the intersection and the characteristics of the traffic using it. On top of this, there is a perpetual cost which is almost never considered – the cost of the electrical power consumed in operating a signalized intersection 24 hours a day. This now averages about $1,400 per year.

Arizona Department of Transportation

Why not pay a little bit more to save a life? This way we don’t have to repeat the tragedy that happened near St. Mary’s high school, at the intersection of Homer Watson Boulevard and Block Line Road.

Coun. Nicholas Ermeta is mad as hell and is demanding that Waterloo Region listen to the wishes of people in Cambridge.

As council resumes after its summer hiatus, Ermeta will be bringing forward a motion to Cambridge council calling on it to condemn the region’s decision to set aside previously approved plans to gradually install roundabouts at 11 intersections on Franklin Boulevard in favour of completing all of them within two years.

“It’s very important that we fight for what’s right for Cambridge. People aren’t ready for this,” he said. “We’ve got to send a strong message to the region that we don’t want this.”

Since posting his notice of motion in July, Ermeta says he has been deluged with phone calls from people upset about the region’s plans.

“I’ve gotten overwhelming positive feedback from people in Cambridge,” he said. “I’ve even had calls from people in Kitchener and Waterloo supporting me. They aren’t fond of what’s happened with Ira Needles Boulevard.”

Another concern raised is that the volume of traffic on Franklin Boulevard may make it impossible for drivers to safely enter roundabouts from the sidestreets.

Ermeta also vehemently objects to plans to install a roundabout in front of St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School.

“They installed a roundabout near St. Mary’s (High School) in Kitchener and it’s been a disaster,” Ermeta said. “I’m in favour of the status quo at Franklin and Saginaw. If anything, the lights should be extended there to give people more time to cross the street.”

Ideally, Ermeta wants Waterloo Region to go back to its original plan to install the first three roundabouts at the top of Franklin Boulevard and then take a year to evaluate.

The region initially supported that plan until transportation planning staff filed a report recommending all 11 roundabouts be installed over a two-year period to minimize disruption to traffic and cut costs. That recommendation was accepted, but the decision was far from unanimous.

“All three (Cambridge) representatives voted against the change. So did the mayors of North Dumfries, Woolwich and one of the other townships. It’s the K-W councillors that are telling Cambridge what to do.”

Ermeta’s motion calls on “Cambridge City Council to condemn the (May 16) decision made by the Council of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo”.

It further asks council to request that the regional council reconsider and approve a new motion similar to the original recommendation previously passed.”

rmartin@cambridgetimes.ca

Source: The Cambridge Times

September 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

GO Bus off to a GO-od Start

During last Saturday’s launch, 210 people stepped aboard the green and white GO buses, with roughly 30 people on each of the seven trips. One GO bus can take as many as 57 passengers, which potentially can take 50 cars off Highway 401 to the GTA.

On weekdays, regular trips will run eastbound and westbound, serving the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchener Bus Terminal, Cambridge Smart Centre (The GO bus stops at the iXpress bus stops across from The Keg Restaurant in Cambridge SmartCentre, off Pinebush Road.), Aberfoyle GO park-and-ride lot, Milton park-and-ride lot at Hwy. 401 and RR 25, and Mississauga Square One GO bus terminal.

Additional trips during rush hour will offer connecting service at Milton GO Station to GO Train trips to and from Union Station.

The new service will run on weekends and holidays as well, with trips serving the Milton park-and-ride lot and Square One (not Milton GO Station).

A ride from Cambridge to Milton is $8.60, and $11.15 to Mississauga’s Square One. Tickets are available from the bus drivers, at GO transit stations, at the GRT Kitchener bus terminal and at the University of Waterloo’s student life centre. A Cambridge ticket sales location has yet to be announced.

For more information visit the GO Transit website.

Source: CambridgeTimes.ca & GOTransit.com

November 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm Leave a comment

Another Reason to DISLIKE London Transit

Mediation efforts between London Transit and bus drivers have failed to achieve an agreement resulting in the union representing drivers and other workers calling for a strike effective Monday, Nov. 16. Currently, drivers are refusing voluntary overtime, resulting in delays and reduced service on key routes at peak times, including those servicing The University of Western Ontario. The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 741 represents about 450 workers, of which more than 300 are drivers. There has not been a bus strike in London since 1980.

In a Nov. 5 statement, London Transit indicated:
“Until November 16, 2009, the Commission will continue in its efforts to provide a safe, secure and reasonably reliable service, given the level of service withdrawal by ATU Local 741. This will mean reduced service levels and customers should expect; buses to be more crowded, service delays and extended travel time, particularly in peak periods.”

From the LTC Website:

Last Reviewed/Updated 4:09 PM Friday, November 6, 2009

Notwithstanding mediation efforts, the ATU Local 741 and the London Transit Commission were unable to come to a Memorandum of Agreement.

ATU Local 741 has advised that it will completely withdraw service effective at the start of service on Monday, November 16, 2009.

The Commission had tabled an offer that it believes to be fair and responsible, particularly in light of the current economy.  The Union did not alter its last position at mediation.  The Commission remains committed to exploring options within the framework of the offer that has been tabled.  At this time, no further talks are scheduled.

Until November 16, 2009, the Commission will continue in its efforts to provide a safe, secure and reasonably reliable service, given the level of service withdrawal by ATU Local 741.  This will mean reduced service levels and customers should expect; buses to be more crowded, service delays and extended travel time, particularly in peak periods.

The Commission does not currently have any plans to lock-out its employees.  Any decision to lock-out employees would become necessary only when the withdrawal of services by ATU Local 741 compromises our ability to provide a safe, secure and reasonably reliable service given the circumstances.

In the event of a strike or lock-out, monthly and semester pass holders should rest assured that the appropriate arrangements will be made in terms of offering a refund/credit.  Further details will be provided once service has been restored.

We thank you for your continued patience and respectfully request that passengers refrain from directing any frustration towards our Operators.

Source(s): Western News & London Transit Commission

November 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm 3 comments

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

De-Railing Light Transit?

An example of a LRT station.

An example of a LRT station.

A local group, Taxpayers for Sensible Transit (T4ST), launched a formal public education campaign last week running ads in local media, which declared their preference for improved bus service that comes at a much cheaper cost than the proposed $790 million Light Rail Transit (LRT).

The iXpress bus service is great already, but LRT would work much better in the case of Waterloo Region. Faster service, dedicated lanes, improved pedestrian connections, and new development construction are just a few of the benefits, oh my!

Current iXpress bus route through Waterloo Region

Current iXpress bus route through Waterloo Region

While Regional council gave formal approval of the LRT plan at the end of June that would bring electric trains to a new Kitchener-Waterloo rail corridor, it meant that Cambridge would be linked in a regional transit system by a fast bus service instead. Lucky Cambridgites… is that what we’re called? Ew!

The local grassroots movement is based in Waterloo and is was formed to express concern about the Region of Waterloo’s planned Light Rail Transit. The group’s other objective is to promote positive ideas for better transit planning in Waterloo Region.

I personally disagree with T4ST and would love to see LRT and BRT systems enacted in the Region. People are crying that there will be low ridership, but how will one know if one does not build? Oh I know how we can fix this idea! Perhaps Waterloo Region’s Growth Plan (warning: pdf format) would like to comment? Yes, I think that would be a fine idea!

The Growth Plan requires that by the year 2015, and each year after, a minimum of 40% of all new residential units must be built within the Built Boundary. The Regional Land Budget assumes a regional intensification rate of 45% by the year 2015, and each year after, thereby allowing for both slightly lower densities within the designated greenfield areas and a larger proportion of higher-density developments to be located closer to high frequency transit. The Regional Land Budget assumes a straight line increase in the annual rate of reurbanization that between the rate of intensification experienced in the region in 2006 (29%) and the proposed rate in 2015 (45%). As a result, the average annual re-urbanization rate from 2006 to 2029 would be 42%.

We are in hard economic times, yes? A recession to be exact, yes? The formation of an LRT system will help bring much needed jobs to the Region, furthering a spur in new transit oriented developments (TOD). The Region will be receiving major funding from upper levels of government, but local taxpayers will still be on the hook for millions of operating costs. I think we as taxpayers in the Region can deal with this seeing as how it can benefit all that use it. According to Ruth Haworth, “the provincial growth targets for uptown Waterloo for the next 25 years will be met in the next five to seven years. The problem in Waterloo, if there is one, is that there may be too much development in the works.” How can too much development be a bad thing? TODs are great places to create wonderful new development either through intensified housing or commercial projects.

Taking an excerpt from Section 2.1 of the Places to Grow Policy, one can understand why the Region of Waterloo wishes to construct an LRT; “communities will need to grow at transit-supportive densities, with transit-oriented street configurations. Compact urban form and intensification efforts go hand-in-hand with more transit: not only do they support each other, they are all necessary.” It’s not only what the Provincial government would like to see happen, but also what many residents of the Region would like as well.

Many areas would start to see fresh new ideas popping up, and help develop new partnerships within in the community. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and hope people will embrace this planned proposal with arms wide open.

Can we not formulate something from other cities that have such systems already in place, such as Toronto and Portland, Oregon? Yes I know it will cost a lot to build, but would you rather build in 20 years when it’s too late, and cost an additional $700 million?!

I guess all I am is just a daydreamer.

Source: CambridgeTimes.ca

Source: T4ST.com

October 5, 2009 at 1:58 pm 1 comment

A Green Agenda for Cambridge?!

Hopefully that is the answer soon!

Mayor Doug Craig is calling for new green initiatives to help boost the city economy during these tough recessionary times. In 2010, Craig wants to start work on a green action plan by creating a task force to transform the City of Cambridge into a green institution. In 2011, he wants to establish a green team to put in place an action plan of sustainable strategies, and implement those ideas by 2012.

The mayor also wants to start capitalizing on one of Cambridge’s untapped resources –the river. In the coming year, Craig wants to take a new look at various riverbank projects to determine what improvements can be done in different parts of the city. He also wants to beef up the city’s existing streetscaping program in efforts to stimulate more development.

And on the transporation front, work will begin next year on the Hespeler Road railway crossing. In addition, city council is expecting good news regarding GO Transit on Monday.

Development in Cambridge is also going strong, with work continuing on the former American Standard building in Hespeler and the Historic Riverside Lofts in Galt. Construction is also beginning on the Heartwood Place affordable housing apartment building on Ainslie Street and ground has been broken on the Blair campus of Conestoga College.

This is all great news for those of us currently looking for jobs within the City of Cambridge ;)and it will be exciting times in these upcoming years as hopefully this will start to shape Cambridge’s future!

Source: CambridgeTimes.ca

October 5, 2009 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

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