Every day we need to get places, whether it is getting around the neighbourhood or the city, we rely on transportation infrastructure. We are not currently doing enough in Kitchener to ensure that transit infrastructure is inclusive and accessible. Mobility should never be a challenge or a danger whether you’re choosing a personal vehicle, active transportation methods, or public transit.
Ensuring we have sidewalks everywhere is important as are proper crossing areas and traffic signals. Walking to school, the corner store, or a bus stop should not be an ordeal. This should be true in both the summer and winter. Just like the city takes responsibility for clearing the roads, I believe we need the city to take responsibility for clearing the sidewalks. This is a matter of safety and accessibility. It is also a matter of fairness, we need to treat pedestrians, cyclists, and cars equally.
Bike infrastructure that connects our neighbourhoods with the rest of the city needs to be a priority. We need protected bike lanes or mixed-used paths on roads that have heavy traffic such as Westmount Road and Homer Watson. We also need to be looking at what other cities are doing for cyclist and pedestrians in their designs of roundabouts. For cycling to be a viable form of transportation we need to build a network that is efficient, safe, and connects to all corners of the city.
We can not approach the transportation conversation as bikes vs cars vs pedestrians. They are all part of a complete system. By taking a holistic approach to roadway design we can use our space more efficiently and work to reduce traffic deaths. Of course, we need to have a system of roadways that is well maintained and that is adequate for the traffic levels that use it; what I want to ensure is that we are building a system that helps us use our roads most efficiently. After all, the more roads we build, the more roads we have to maintain.
Accessible and reliable public transportation has been a big focus for the region of Waterloo for the past few years but Ward 5 remains underserviced and inaccessible. Parts of the Ward are still without weekend bus service. This is something that needs to be rectified. I will continuously be in discussions with regional councillors and GRT to ensure that all of our Ward has access to public transit.