We're updating the city's transportation master plan and we need your help!

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We're done!! On April 19th, 2021 staff presented the final Transportation Master Plan (TMP) report to Waterloo city council. Following the presentation, council approved staff report IPPW2021-037 City of Waterloo Transportation Master Plan with one additional recommendation #6 which reads as follows:

6. That council direct staff to advance a city wide 30km/h posted speed limit option as part of the speed management report for Class 4 and 5 roads. Further that this 30km/h option be tabled for further public engagement before returning to council.

Based on the above direction, the final TMP report was adjusted accordingly and all volumes are now available (details on what is included in each section of the report is available in the Final TMP Staff Report news item).

Waterloo Transportation Master Plan 2020

Executive Summary

Introduction and Table of Contents

Volume 1: Foundations

Volume 2: Active Transportation Strategy

Volume 3: Roads, Transit and Future Mobility Strategies

Appendix A: Engagement Program

Appendix B: Updated Sidewalk Policy

Working Papers (Technical Memorandums)


Project Background

The City of Waterloo is undertaking a study to review and update the community's transportation master plan. The objectives of the study are to:

  • Develop a guiding transportation policy document
  • Provide more travel options;
  • Describe how to develop a community that is less reliant on cars for travel
  • Describe how the city can leverage recent investments in light rail transit (ION) and active transportation to encourage citizens to walk, cycle and use transit more

The revised plan will provide an up-to-date strategy for moving people and goods around the city now and into the future. With Waterloo changing and growing, the transportation system needs to adapt to who we are today and where we want to be in 25 years.

Please consider sharing your thoughts and comments on the future of transportation in the city through this page or by emailing WaterlooTMP@ptsl.com.

Thank You for Your Feedback in Phase 1!

Last summer, we asked community members where they go in Waterloo, what transportation modes they use, and what challenges they experience when moving around the city. You can read What We Heard in our Phase 1 Engagement Summary.

Phase 2 documents now available!

Our team has developed draft policy directions and network plans for the city’s future transportation system. The updated material includes information related to:

  • Guiding Philosophies and Strategies such as Complete Streets, Vision Zero and Emerging Technologies
  • Network Planning and Design guidance for active transportation and roadways; and
  • Operations and Maintenance strategies for winter maintenance of active transportation facilities and speed limits in the City.

A Technical Summary of the Phase 2 policy and planning work is now available in the Document Library.

Phase 3!

Although this project has experienced a few delays with city staff taking on other priorities during the pandemic, the third and final round of engagement for Waterloo’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is under way. On January 18, 2021 – staff are seeking Council approval to release the draft TMP report to the community for review. Feedback will be received until February 19 with staff targeting the final report for Council approval at the April 19, 2021 meeting. The current target for completion of the TMP is late 2020/early 2021

We're done!! On April 19th, 2021 staff presented the final Transportation Master Plan (TMP) report to Waterloo city council. Following the presentation, council approved staff report IPPW2021-037 City of Waterloo Transportation Master Plan with one additional recommendation #6 which reads as follows:

6. That council direct staff to advance a city wide 30km/h posted speed limit option as part of the speed management report for Class 4 and 5 roads. Further that this 30km/h option be tabled for further public engagement before returning to council.

Based on the above direction, the final TMP report was adjusted accordingly and all volumes are now available (details on what is included in each section of the report is available in the Final TMP Staff Report news item).

Waterloo Transportation Master Plan 2020

Executive Summary

Introduction and Table of Contents

Volume 1: Foundations

Volume 2: Active Transportation Strategy

Volume 3: Roads, Transit and Future Mobility Strategies

Appendix A: Engagement Program

Appendix B: Updated Sidewalk Policy

Working Papers (Technical Memorandums)


Project Background

The City of Waterloo is undertaking a study to review and update the community's transportation master plan. The objectives of the study are to:

  • Develop a guiding transportation policy document
  • Provide more travel options;
  • Describe how to develop a community that is less reliant on cars for travel
  • Describe how the city can leverage recent investments in light rail transit (ION) and active transportation to encourage citizens to walk, cycle and use transit more

The revised plan will provide an up-to-date strategy for moving people and goods around the city now and into the future. With Waterloo changing and growing, the transportation system needs to adapt to who we are today and where we want to be in 25 years.

Please consider sharing your thoughts and comments on the future of transportation in the city through this page or by emailing WaterlooTMP@ptsl.com.

Thank You for Your Feedback in Phase 1!

Last summer, we asked community members where they go in Waterloo, what transportation modes they use, and what challenges they experience when moving around the city. You can read What We Heard in our Phase 1 Engagement Summary.

Phase 2 documents now available!

Our team has developed draft policy directions and network plans for the city’s future transportation system. The updated material includes information related to:

  • Guiding Philosophies and Strategies such as Complete Streets, Vision Zero and Emerging Technologies
  • Network Planning and Design guidance for active transportation and roadways; and
  • Operations and Maintenance strategies for winter maintenance of active transportation facilities and speed limits in the City.

A Technical Summary of the Phase 2 policy and planning work is now available in the Document Library.

Phase 3!

Although this project has experienced a few delays with city staff taking on other priorities during the pandemic, the third and final round of engagement for Waterloo’s Transportation Master Plan (TMP) is under way. On January 18, 2021 – staff are seeking Council approval to release the draft TMP report to the community for review. Feedback will be received until February 19 with staff targeting the final report for Council approval at the April 19, 2021 meeting. The current target for completion of the TMP is late 2020/early 2021

Guest Book

Please share your comments about the city's transportation master plan here. 
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I think one major concern in the city is it is very difficult in some area's to see the lines between lanes.

There was a lot of work done on Weber St in Waterloo last year. Weber and King St area in front of the old Chapters store has lines that aren't very visible. Considering they had a long time to do this project I don't understand why that is so.

Debbie Bourbonniere over 3 years ago

Some items are out of touch, much as the temporary bike lanes were. Reducing speed limits to 30km/h is reasonable during school hours , or better yet before and after school and lunch hours. At 10pm on a Thursday, it’s senseless.

Bike lanes have mostly been poorly implemented - 2 way bike lanes on a 1 way street or bike lanes on the left side of a one way street are a couple of examples. Exceptions are the ones near university and Westmount where they are more like an extension of the sidewalk vs a carve off of a traffic lane. Barriers between driving lanes and bike lanes that mess up plowing increase costs and dangers. Additionally, traffic slows down or comes to a halt, impacting the ability to get goods to businesses, slowing down buses, and increasing idle time and green house emissions.

There is no mention of working to create optimized traffic lighting, or any other measures to improve the actual throughput on major streets. Has anyone calculated the impact of spending an extra 10 or 15 minutes each way on a commute on a daily basis. What about the increased costs as anyone who delivers goods to retail or residential can do fewer deliveries per driver per day, needing more vehicles and drivers?

Don’t get me wrong, we don’t need to be racing down side streets and a lower limit there could be ok but pilot it first. And let’s slow down on the traffic bumps that are hard for plows and add yet more maintenance costs instead focusing on better enforcement of the limits.

On the plus side, planfully developing higher density residential along main transit routes optimizes the spend and efficiency of transit solutions. Mixed development that reduces the amount of travel from home to shopping, restaurant, community services, and recreation also reduces the need for driving.

Jf over 3 years ago

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The City of Waterloo planning department has not learned from the massive rejection of the temporary bike lanes. The councilors of the City of Waterloo with exception of ROW councilor of Sean Strickland got the message after 94% of his calls were against bike lanes on major arterial roads. The downtown bike lanes are not used and only drive people away from the downtowns. How many more businesses is the City of Waterloo going to kill by having delivery drivers refuse to deliver supplies to businesses? You would have thought the city would have got the message and modified their plans. I am in favor of 40 km/h speed limits on residential streets or even 30 km/h in school zones when school is in sessions. I am not in favor of reducing speed limits on major arterial roads or in the rural areas. I am in favor of placing speed bumps to slow, cross walks with lights and four way stops. I am not in favor of plowing bike lanes and leaving residential streets not plowed for days for bike lanes that are not used. The bike lanes are used as a excuse to reduce green house gases. The city has been encouraging bike lanes since 2011 and ten years later we have bike lanes that are seldom used. Marg Hoss-Bay is absolutely right about the conversion to electric vehicles by the major automotive manufacturers. The City is too large and spread out and is not Europe. I am in favor of multi-use trails that would be created not by taking away lanes for main travel. These bike paths such as the iron horse trail are actually used. Lastly, I do not trust the metrics and stats made up by the City of Waterloo because they are not accurate. I do not support the charter of pedestrians because it is based on motherhood statements and there are no facts to support the City of Waterloo's claims. I am afraid the only way we are going to stop this insanity is to have an election and vote these politicians out of office. I am also dismayed that the city and the region use this forum as a scientifically accurate measure of public opinion. Every media outlet puts an asterisk on an on-line survey when they publish as it is not scientifically accurate. I am also dismayed, that the moderators remove comments which are not aligned with the project's thinking and are too critical. Enough is enough!

JoLogicCommonSense over 3 years ago

Give us back the roads! I never see any bikes in the bike lanes. The bike lanes only cause congestion and add more pollution due to the traffic they cause.

Sonny over 3 years ago

I see the bike lane lobby is out in full force! How many people actually use bike lanes. I am in favour of 40 km/h on residential streets and not on residential streets I am in favour of putting speed bumps, cross walks with lights, four way traffic stops to make stuff safer. I am against leaving residential not ploughed for days after a snow storm and giving priority to bike lanes.

Also, the major automotive manufacturers will convert to elecetrc vehicles. Have these educated inane planners noticed those trends? Volvo will be completely electric by 2025. VW will be electric 50% of their fleet will be electric, half of Fords fleet will be electric by 2024. Have these inane planners noticed that no one is using the bike lanes! I thought after the trouncing by the 94% not in favour of the temporary bike lanes received by Councillor Strickland and him calling this a stupid idea, the city would have come up with a revised plan! I do favour the bike trails around Laurel Creek Conservation, I do favour multi-use paths for bikes, scooters and whatever floats your boat. I do not favour creating a rat maze so that if people have to commute to work > 20 kms take longer to get out of it. Have you seen a massive increase in cycling down town where the noodle lights are or on Belmont. Where is your revised plan? I am tired of the neighbourhood whiners and complainers who make up stuff when it is not based on facts.

Marg Hoss-Bay over 3 years ago

I wish to register a comment regarding Table 9.5, Item J in the 2020 update to the Transportation Master plan. While I support many of the proposed changes such as Vision Zero & lowered speed limits, I cannot quite understand how a reclassification to "Regional Arterial" for Caroline St. from Erb to Allen is in any way consistent with other changes.

Caroline right now is a dangerous dodging game for literally HUNDREDS of Uptown West residents who need to cross it, on foot, or on people-powered wheels, to get to where they need to go for work, daily business in the community or for connections to public transit. Speed limits are TOO HIGH, and are still disregarded by drivers. The crosswalks are unheeded by drivers and are poorly placed for any actual pedestrian users, situated as they are to go between parking lots or loading docks, not sidewalks. UPgrading this stretch to any type of "Arterial" category seems ill-planned and dangerous. Both this portion of Caroline and the paralled section of King St should instead be redesigned to prioritize pedestrian access to the business core and to the public transport options in the Uptown hub - that means reduced vehicle traffic, making sure cars that are not going TO uptown are directed AROUND uptown (Weber or Westmount), and making pedestrian access the priority.

JohannaB over 3 years ago

The problems caused by COVID will be nothing compared to what we'll face if we don't limit climate change. Please continue investing in public transit and creating *separated* bike lanes, and have the city fund sidewalk snow clearance. (My tax burden will be much less than I currently pay to have someone shovel, and "more enforcement" is not working! Shunting sidewalk snow removal onto individuals is sexist and ableist: It strands many disabled residents at home, leaves everyone else at risk of serious injury, and makes it impossible to walk with a stroller or shopping cart.)

I'm sickened by how many people are whining about the temporary bike lanes. I saw several cyclists using the ones on Erb every day, and I think they would have been more popular if they'd been safer (i.e. separated by concrete barriers, and not sharing the bus lane). I saw too many overturned pylons to feel safe using them myself. But better cycling infrastructure would give my children more independence, and transform my family's health and lives.

LDWeinberg over 3 years ago

Let's start with the city of waterloo and the region of waterloo when it comes to the environmental emergency !
Start by eliminating staff paid parking passes and get rid of parking lots at city buildings!
Eliminate staff using government vechicles for anything bit work related business!
Why did the region buy diesel powered buses when full electric or hybrid buses were available at the time of purchase?
Ban any vechicle weather city owned or subcontracted to idle more then 5 minutes and apply steep fines if caught , and fine the individual not the city or company !
This will change peoples habits!
I see so many vechicles espically in the winter idling unnecessarily!
Have the cities and regions set a president by setting an example of doing there best to offset the climate emergency !
I also see the city of waterloo wants the province of Ontario to shutdown the natural gas generation !
Thats great but what is your solution to power the province espically since we are transiting to more to greater use of electricity?
Look forward to your responce !
I have brought forward these issues to mayors and regional staff but no answers !

robpayne over 3 years ago

Removed by moderator.

Ady over 3 years ago

Is it possible to implement a turning lane from Colombia St W to St Moritz Ave. This turning lane would aid traffic flow for people leaving in Vista Hills. Alternatively, a roundabout could also be a good solution.


Same for the intersection at Colombia Street West and Erbsville Rd. Either a roundabout with lanes dedicated to turn to and from Colombia St W in Vista Hills Direction would be highly desired.




Connect Platinum Drive to Boardwalk roundabout and double lane road opn Erb St W between Costco and Erbsville Rd roundabout.

Ady over 3 years ago

Very nice planned updates to travel within our city. A couple things that I would inquire about for consideration and inclusion are;
1. Columbia street heading west between Weber and King. This is a very difficult stretch as the road narrows to one lane due to restrictions with nearby buildings. I would be curious to explore removing the left turn lane from eastbound traffic (no left turn onto weber from columbia) to enable 2 lanes in both directions through this block. There are often challenges when westbound traffic is backed up and cars that are emerging from the curve and hill from dearborn area realize this backup and try to quickly turn left onto marsland to avoid. 2 lanes heading west on columbia through weber and king could mitigate this risk.
2. Colonial acres - a number of communities have started lowering the speed limit to 40 kph. Since colonial acres has no sidewalks, it would be very considerate to have speed reductions in this community with other measures included to encourage this desired behaviour.
Thanks for considering!
Zach

Zach Weston over 3 years ago

If you really agree with the pedestrian charter, it is important to have all walkthroughs and walkways between streets cleared in the winter. No Winter Maintenance doesn't cut it. The walkway near my home is used by seniors, children going to school, dogwalkers and cyclists. On Saturday, my husband slipped on the ice and scrapped his head and hurt his arm.

JaneM over 3 years ago

Sooo, do you think City Council has gotten the point now about the Bike lanes???

ed sauder over 3 years ago

Good Morning,

I know what I've missed the map addition window, but I'm hoping there can be some dialogue around a pedestrian bridge connection between Kaufmann and Snyder Flats. We see a natural active connection between these two public spaces, which would effectively double the trail/outdoor space for community members. This has been discussed between our fellow condo members at 460 Woolwich St. and we would be happy to assist in any required fundraising for this project.

JonHendel almost 4 years ago

A suggestion - how about counting the vehicles and bikes using the temporary bike lanes? I did and it supports my comment that there was no common sense used in the decision to put in bike lanes. I made two return trips this week (Monday and today) that involved travel from University to Gage during rush hour. Both days, there were ZERO bikes in either lane on any of the four trips. ZERO bikes! There were however MANY cars. Score: MANY cars: ZERO bikes. How can this make sense? Maybe someone should check the numbers!!!

Michelle Sept almost 4 years ago

I can't imagine who thought this was a good idea let alone one that should be experimented with. Westmount is already narrow for a four lane roadway and if anything, it should be widened to accommodate traffic by adding left and right turn lanes at intersections like Glasgow to allow traffic to flow. And instead, we are looking at bike lanes? Seriously!

I strongly oppose the temporary bike lanes when the majority of those that use this major north-south artery drive a vehicle. Turning Westmount into a two way road instead of a congested four lane roadway shows a complete lack of common sense. If you use a bike, find a different, less busy and safe way to travel north-south than a busy artery like Westmount.

Michelle Sept almost 4 years ago

I have no issues with bike lanes as long as they are one are separate from the car lanes, two not on major arterial roads, and three they are safe. The plastic markers, flower boxes and white lines are not safe on major arteriaal roads I also believe as a cyclist they need to be used not just a few people or else they are a total waste of money. You only have to look at the epic fail of the temporary bike lanes. I would also like to see more mixed use trails instead of sidewalks and boulevards. I would also like to see a proper study done once that answers the following questions one can you use Alternative transportation such as bike for travel, two where do you need to go, and three would you use them? In addition, when you rip up Erb Street as you did five times, you could have had the forethought to widen the street to allow for Alternate transportation. The repair of streets should take into account bike lanes and be an addition not a subtratction. The existing bike lanes on King Street, University Avenue, Columbia Westmount are simply not used because they go nowhere! I would like to see an interconnected set of trails that will provide people with the maximum benefit on secondary roads. As a cyclist I do not feel safe on arterial roads. Also, please stop the war on the car, I drive an electric. This is the future of automotive and please set up some charging stations in areas. The congestion you have increased with the bike lanes has made people angry and divided the community. Also, please do proper metrics and stop the survey monkey and social media surveys and hold proper community engagement sessions. The transportation staff should be fired. Remember councilors you need to do a better job and respond to your constituents. You represent us and you do not rule us.

JoLogicCommonSense almost 4 years ago

I support bike trails and lanes even though as a driver, I definitely spend more time going from point A to point B ( Albert St., Erb St.,Westmount Road). It will take time for people to adjust and to experience the possibilities offered. Over time I expect to see more people using electric and motorized aids and seniors trying out scooters as well as more bicycles in the specified lanes.In nice weather it can be easier to get to the downtown to enjoy the enlarged walking and patio areas.In winter though, I can't imagine the lanes will be accessed unless they are kept clear of snow and the city sidewalks shovelled as well. Each piece needs to be completed to support the overall transportation goal.

A.Schnarr almost 4 years ago

More on the Bike lanes, Has anybody from the City actually gone out during the day on Belmont Ave, King St N in Waterloo and Westmount Road???These roads were 4 laned years ago to handle the increased traffic and guess what? Traffic has increased substantially since then and what does the City do? Close lanes for Bikes to help with emissions? I travel Westmount Rd and Belmont Ave fairly regularly and have Never seen a bike except on Belmont Ave yesterday and guess where it was? the sidewalk.....To-day I had the pleasure of being in a line-up of cars from University Ave to Columbia St. All those cars idling on a hot day and not a Bicycle in site! Lots of unnecessary Emissions. The City has spend millions to fight emissions then pulls this stunt? very Clever. How can these lanes possibly be justified at the expense of slower traffic and how are Emergency Vehicles to navigate all the snarled traffic for the sake of a hand full bikes??? I do think you seriously need reconsider.

ed sauder almost 4 years ago

Regarding bicycle lanes:
- I see very few people using the lanes while automobile backups appear to be increasing causing the use of more gasoline. Therefore, the cost per use MUST be very high, notwithstanding the cost and impact of using more fuel.

Travelling around town yesterday I witnessed only two bicycles, one of which was using the lane and the other was driving on the sidewalk ( along Westmount). On Northfield, Over the years, I could count on one hand bikes using the lanes where the walking path was being used by bike riders.

Since moving to Waterloo, some 50 years ago, I have witnessed a significant improvement in hiking trails, which we used extensively riding our bikes. These trails have improved since then, making them more accessible to get around town.

In conclusion, Notwithstanding safety issues, I fail to see the wisdom of creating bike lanes on major arteries.
- lack of use by cyclists
- reduced lanes for automobiles
- traffic backup due to reduced lanes
- increased fuel consumption
- tax payers money having to pay for construction, maintenance and snow clearing.
George MacAskill

George MacAskll almost 4 years ago
Page last updated: 15 Apr 2024, 02:55 AM