Iron Horse Trail users won’t use complex regional link to transit hub

Regional councillors continued to stumble toward finding a route for a $2-million proposed link between the Iron Horse Trail and the transit hub on King Street West near Victoria Street at a planning committee meeting yesterday.
Committee members including Kitchener’s regional councillors followed the direction of regional staff and supported a bewildering route through the Cherry Park community that exits the popular trail near Gage Street.
The route will go through Raddatz Park, along Waverly Road to Strange Street, through Cherry Park, down a Park Street sidewalk to Kitchener’s Bramm Street parking lot and continue adjacent to a rail line until it reaches the transit hub.
The mangled 1.3-kilometre route was supported  instead of a direct link adjacent to the CN rail track earlier favoured by Kitchener staff and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.
The Iron Horse trail is used by about 1,730 cyclists and pedestrians every day and the indirect route is being recommended for two ill-conceived reasons.
* To qualify for a $1.3-million infrastructure grant offered by the higher levels of  government. Construction deadline for that grant is March 2018 but it is likely to be extended to March 2019.
* Nightmare bureaucratic difficulties any time local government tries to work with CN and the Goderich-Exeter Railway that usually takes  years to negotiate
And while I understand the reasoning, it doesn’t change the fact that if regional councillors want to do the project right and have people actually use the link, the best action would be to use the federal and provincial grant toward a down payment for that direct route alongside the rail track.
A final regional council decision is expected later this month and I would strongly suggest trail users attend the meeting or contact their regional councillors.

This entry was posted in Cherry Park, Iron Horse Trail, Light Rail Transit, Neighbourhoods, Transit. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Iron Horse Trail users won’t use complex regional link to transit hub

  1. Elizabeth Clarke says:

    Thanks for writing about this.

    The majority of Councillors did not support the route recommended by staff. Council and staff agreed that the rail track route would be the ideal route, however staff advised that it could take many years to get necessary agreements with CN, and so the recommended route was being presented as a temporary alternative.

    Council then deferred the report and directed staff to have conversations with CN Rail and Metrolinx and to come back with a more direct route for cyclists. (Regional Council was not informed that there was to be a neighbourhood meeting on this matter last night, or I expect many of us would have attended.)

  2. Bikers are smart. Why don’t you let them find their own way?

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