Fall Schedule:

  •    Loose leaf collection is set to begin Oct. 22, 2018 and will run until the week of Nov. 19, 2018- weather permitting
  •    If weather conditions cooperate, we will continue to visit priority areas as time and budget allow. 
  •    Residents with street trees are asked to rake leaves to the curb by 7:00am on the first day of the scheduled pick- up week.
       Loose leaves that are raked too early can block storm inlets. 

 

For all of the information please go to the City Website at: 2018 Leaf Collection Program

 

Fiscal Accountability

Issue: Tax rate increases should not be more than the inflation rate

Answer: I agree, and this is why I voted against the City Budget for the past two years.

 

Issue: Identify and avoid wasting of City financial resources

Answer: I agree and actively seek to do this. Example: I voted against putting in an automated answering system at City Hall. I believe citizens deserve to speak to a “human”.

I voted in opposition to two, one million dollar parks in UpTown.

Further, I worked with Council and staff to save the capital for the East Side Library so that when it came time to build it, we had the money “in the bank”.

 

Issue: Publish finance reports for individual projects and make them easily accessible

Answer: I agree with this. Over the past 12 years, I have worked hard to provide links to important financial documents in particular information associated with work in Ward 4. I also routinely meet with people to review budget documents.

Efficiency and Transparency

Issue: Create an online system to allow people to communicate with the City and to help the City prioritize, track and evaluate its performance.

 

Answer: The City implemented a system to do exactly this back in 2014. It is called “engage Waterloo”. EngageWaterloo

In addition to the engage platform, the City undertakes “town hall” and “pop up” meetings in public venues like Conestoga Mall and the recreation centres to seek input on important work like the City 3-year Budget and the design for the East Side Library.

 

I strive to engage and reach out to people on an ongoing basis through:

  • routinely posting links to issues under review on my website, neighbour Facebook pages and etc.
  • helping people to know how to actively participate in decision making at City Hall  
  • I responding to emails and phone calls in under 24-hours.
  • meeting people face-to-face in their homes, businesses or over a coffee to discuss City issues of concern
  • writing articles on important City issues for Ward publications like the Eastbridge Newsletter.
  • attending neighbourhood and City events and meetings to engage people in City related issues/concerns
  • knocking on doors to ensure critical information has been seen by individuals potentially affected by decisions
  • arranging for public open houses within the Ward on development applications
  • arranging meetings with City staff to respond to individual concerns. Over the years these have included drainage, planning, building, and by-law issues, just to name a few.

  

Economy

Issue: Help High-Tech and other small/medium sized companies to grow locally.

Answer: The City is very invested in helping the high-tech and “start-up” sector to grow and to stay in Waterloo.

During my time on Council I have supported financial investments in the Communitech Data Hub in UpTown, Velocity, and the Accelerator Centre, just to name a few. Through our land holdings, the City is creating more employment zoned lands to allow for growth in all sectors.

 

Issue: Attract young professionals to stay, by providing good job opportunities and affordable housing options.

Answer: The City economic development department is a considered such an important part of the work we do that the team reports directly to the City Chief Administrative Officer. Through partnerships with and investment in the Universities and College, the City is committed to supporting the attraction and retention of young professionals.  Where housing is concerned, the City is working with the development industry, to the extent possible, under the Municipal Act to help create a range of housing options for all citizens seeking to live and work in Waterloo.

Zoning

Issue: Grow the City Core

Answer: The City is committed to this vision. The recently approved Comprehensive zoning by-law supports this continued direction.

I have been very active in advancing the plan to “grow up” not “out” and worked hard with Ward 4 neighbours to provide feedback to the City Comprehensive by-law to protect the existing Ward 4 low density neighbourhoods.

 

Issue: NO cannabis retail store or drug injection site

Answer: I am very concerned over these two issues. I am struggling with both the Federal and Provincial decisions where cannabis, in particular is concerned.

The City recently approved the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw. This document outlines clear restrictions related to cannabis. A safe consumption site was also addressed in a recent Council decision.


Traffic

Issue: Find ways to remind drivers to slow down on community roads

Answer: I actively work to remind drivers to slow down and work with the City Transportation engineers to implement traffic calming installations. One of the most effective tools to slow traffic is to reduce the travel lanes. This is why the City paints wide “cycling” lanes on the roads and installs pedestrian crossing islands in the middle of roads. Many people think these spaces are only for cyclists and pedestrians, but one of the primary purposes is to reduce traffic speeds.

I also routinely ask staff to monitor traffic speeds in Ward 4 neighbourhoods to see if additional traffic calming measure can/should be installed. Mini roundabouts are very effective in reducing traffic speed, but very unpopular.

A lot of people are asking about reduced speed in neighbourhoods. If re-elected I plan to raise this idea more fully with Council as a part of the upcoming Update to the City Wide Transportation Master Plan.

 

Issue: Revisit plans of cycling lanes

Answer: As discussed above, one of the primary purposes for painting of cycling lanes on roadways is to narrow the travel lanes and reduce traffic speeds.

on roadways is to narrow the travel lanes and reduce traffic speeds.

Cities do not build active transportation corridors for cyclists, they build them for people.  When you take the time to actually spend time on the off-road network of trails and dedicated multi-use trails you will observe that the majority of users are pedestrians; people jogging, walking and individuals pushing strollers, exercising dogs, using accessibility devices like wheelchairs, walkers and canes and overall, people seeking to maintain and improve their health. 

The investment in these spaces is not typically property tax supported, but Gas Tax supported.  If you want to take a “pot-shot” at cyclists you could say they don’t pay into the Gas tax, but the evidence is clear; the majority of cyclists are also vehicle owners/users. When we look at on-road cycling infrastructure here are a few facts for consideration:

  1. Painting a bike lane on a road achieves some important and valuable things including:
  • Traffic “calming” by narrowing the travel lane for cars.
  • Reminding all road users how to share the road.
  • Buffering traffic from pedestrians on the sidewalk. This dramatically improves the pedestrian experience especially on roads that have no boulevard.
  1. Paint is cheap. The City’s budget for road painting is driven primarily by the increase in the overall road network then by painting a few sections with a “bike lane”.
  2. Most cycling advocates will tell you that painting a white line is not considered cycling infrastructure. In many cases, especially on rural roads, the white line is designating the road edge as opposed to creating a “bike lane”.

Issue: Cooperate with Waterloo Region and encourage the use of the existing public transportation

Answer: To truly understand how to support Grand River Transit use, I think you need to use it. It appears many people claim the buses to be empty, but that is not my personal experience.

I often use public transportation. My most common routes include the 200iExpress and the Mainline 7C bus. Every time I ride GRT no matter the time of day, 6am, 2pm, 10pm or the day of the week the number of passengers getting on and off the buses is staggering. Ward 4 is the “end of the line” for many routes so it is possible people in the Ward observes use when the route is either just beginning or just ending. To know more, Ride the Bus!

 

The following issues were recently raised on the Eastbridge Facebook page. They are great items for discussion and the following is provided for consideration:

Issue 1: I am concerned about the amount of crime and vandalism we are facing.

Response: I am concerned about this as well and have followed up with Waterloo Regional Police Services (WRPS) on the matter. Their response relates to priority policing and the fact that Ward 4 is not the highest area of crime in the Region.

There are other areas in the Ward where crime also involves drug use and squatting in public spaces in addition to the break and enter experienced in Eastbridge.

Police Services are Regional Services. It is my hope that Regional Councillors will consider also taking a leadership role in trying to connect with WRPS. As a City Councillor I feel very constrained in my ability to gain traction on these issues.

Issue 2: I would like to know of plans to conserve farmland and green space.

Response: The City is very committed to honouring the limits of our growth and the constraint of the Regional “country-side line”. As an individual I am very committed to maintaining and where possible growing our green space holdings. I worked hard to protect an area of West Waterloo known as the McNally lands. Recently I raised the issue again to ensure that through the Comprehensive By-law process these lands were zoned with the highest open space protection available in the By-Law.

Issue 3: More low cost facilities that help keep youth busy like outdoor workout equipment under gazebos without a panic that they will be damaged. I wonder how the city would feel about outdoor workout equipment when they ban skating on outdoor storm ponds for fear of liability.

Response: I agree that we need more low to no cost facilities to help keep youth busy. Some recommendations around this issue as it relates to City holdings are included in the approved Neighbourhood Strategy. The report is located at: https://www.waterloo.ca/en/government/Neighbourhood-Strategy.asp.

In addition to the new library, the City has funding allocated and are planning to build an active sports park and splash pad in Ward 4. The active sports park will support BMX bikes and skateboard users. These will hopefully be designed and constructed by 2020.

In terms of fitness equipment in the green spaces I support the idea, but it is not in the budget at this time. If I can secure the City support for the placement, is the equipment something the community would consider fundraising for?

Issue 4: We also should add Micro dog parks similar to Kitchener (on the far side of the Millen woodlot beside the baseball diamond would be perfect, away from homes and near paths and parking and playground for dog families with kids).

Response: I agree with this idea and the City is looking at Dog Park options. If re-elected I will take this information to Council for consideration.

Issue 5: We have a very engaged group of neighbours that are initiating things like pick-up soccer in Eastbridge Green, flooding skating rinks and connecting local business to support each other. What will the candidates do to support these community-building efforts? How will they help to remove the barriers in City Hall when residents are interested in pursuing community-building and placemaking ideas such as creating a splash pad?

Response: Eastbridge is one of the most engaged Neighourhoods in Waterloo. Issues associated with supporting community building efforts, in particular “red-tape” and liability is one that has been raised by many councillors including me. The neighbourhood strategy (noted above) is a start at trying to address these issues and allow for organic community building outside of the City’s formal structures. I support community building efforts and will strive to remove barriers presented by the City.

Issue 6: What is the perspective of our candidates with regards to safety on our roads? Is traffic calming enough? Are our roads safe for our children? What could we do on the transportation file?

Response: As I discussed in my all candidate debate, this is the number one issue that I receive emails on. It is also one of the areas where I feel most constrained in my ability to affect change. The constraints are related to:

  • requirements of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act
  • inability to rely on police for enforcement
  • willingness on behalf of neighbours to speed in their own neighbourhood
  • lack of public support of use of traffic calming installations such as on-road bike lanes to reduce travel lanes (this removes the ability to park on the road), installation of mini roundabouts (often results in City taking their easements from front/side yards of homes)

I have written a number of articles related to traffic issues in the Ward and have asked for a number of traffic studies to be completed to assess the need for more traffic calming measures. I responded to individuals with regard to the traffic data but perhaps I should have shared it with everyone in the community. The following is the Staff report prepared based on an analysis of traffic data collected in Eastbridge.

Intersection Counts:

The 3 leg intersection of Eastbridge at Windjammer was counted this past November as well the 3 leg intersection of Eastbridge at Cabot Trail was counted this past June prior to school ending.

 

Both intersections were counted for vehicle movement as well as pedestrian traffic. Total pedestrian traffic refers to the number of pedestrians who crossed the Major street (Eastbridge) at the intersections, during the eight hour count (7:30 to 10:30 am; 11:30 to 1:30 pm and 3:00 to 6:00 pm). The results are as follows:

 

Date

Intersection

Major Street Volume

Minor Street Volume

Total Pedestrian Volume

Collisions

All-Way Stop Warrant

November 7

Eastbridge @ Windjammer

2206

384

20

None

All-way Warrant not met

June 19

Eastbridge @ Cabot Trail

1913

89

17

None

All-way Warrant not met

 

Based on the traffic counts, pedestrian volume and collision history; the addition of stop signs for Eastbridge traffic is not warranted. 

 

Additional information on stop signs is as follows:

  • The purpose of a stop sign is to control the right-of-way at intersections.  All-way stop control is installed in response to concerns regarding collisions, excessive motorist delay or pedestrian crossings at an intersection.
  • Improper use of all-way stop control unnecessarily restricts traffic flow.  This leads to frustration and disrespect for stop signs in particular and traffic control devices in general.  It also negatively affects the environment in terms of air pollution, noise and fuel consumption.
  • Many citizens believe that the installation of stop signs, either singly or at regular intervals, will serve the purpose of slowing down traffic on a roadway.  A stop sign will stop or slow down a driver at an intersection but many studies have established that the speed reduction is limited to a range of approximately 30 metres immediately adjacent to the stop sign.  Often motorists accelerate to an even greater speed after having stopped or slowed for a stop sign to make up lost time.  The effect on vehicle speed with a stop sign is limited.  Staff deems the installation of all-way stop control as a speed control device to be not appropriate.      

 

Radar Signs:

The City had their new radar speed signs set up between Cabot Trail at the all way stop and Windjammer for two weeks, between May 4th & May 18th. The AADT refers to the average daily traffic counted on Eastbridge. The 85th percentile means 85% of the vehicles that passed the radar sign were traveling at or below the speed indicated. The peak speed is the highest registered speed recorded over the two week period. The results for that are as follows:

 

AADT

Average Daily Speed

85th Percentile

Peak Daily Speed

1,151

34km/h

46km/h

60km/h

 

The speeds collected in May are appropriate for a minor collector roadway with a 50 km/hr speed limit.

Due to vandalism on the speed signs, they are currently unavailable for use.  Once our program is operational again, the signs will be placed on Eastbridge as an education tool. 

Mid-block Counts:

We had our ATR recorders placed on Eastbridge between Cabot Trail (closest to Bridge Street) and Windjammer as well as from Windjammer to the next Cabot Trail intersection. The AADT refers to the average daily traffic counted on Eastbridge. The 85th percentile means 85% of the vehicles that passed over the traffic devices were traveling at or below the speed indicated. The results for that are as follows:

 

Date

Location

AADT

Average Speed

85th Percentile

Sept 27 – 29, 2017

Cabot Trail to Windjammer

2,336

49km/h

59km/h

Sept 27 – 29, 2017

Windjammer to Cabot Trail

1,720

42km/h

52km/h

 

Painting:

The crosswalk lines across Eastbridge at the all-way stop at Cabot Trail and at the all-way stop at Windjammer/Bonavista are being completed.

 

Additional signage:

In conjunction with the park area being used for t-ball, seasonal traffic calming signs were installed on Eastbridge Boulevard.  Staff will be performing additional studies to determine how these signs affected vehicle speeds.  The data collected in 2017 will assist in determining if there were changes in driver behaviour.  The signs will be removed in early October prior to winter weather commencing.

 

At this time, based on the data collected, additional stop signs are not warranted on Eastbridge Boulevard.  In addition, the number of pedestrians does not warrant an additional facility to be installed specifically for them.

Staff will continue to monitor traffic on Eastbridge Boulevard for both pedestrian traffic and vehicular traffic. 

The highway traffic act uses a warranting system to ensure that traffic control is installed where it will be respected.  Unwarranted infrastructure goes ignored and the potential for pedestrian fatalities are increased because children, in particular, think they have right-of-way when they do not.  All pedestrians are required to ensure the way is clear prior to entering or crossing a road even when a cross-walk is present.  Therefore the approach to crossing is unchanged regardless of road painting and the fact of the matter is that road painting can result in an increase in collisions, in particular with pedestrians.

More broadly the City will be updating their Transportation Master Plan in the coming term of Council. If re-elected I want to raise the issue of maximum traffic speeds within subdivisions and ask the question is 50 km/hour too high?

 
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