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

The City of Waterloo is beginning a study to review and update the community's transportation master plan. The study 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.

The update to the plan is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete. The specific objectives of the study will be 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 study will follow the requirements of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process (2011) and align strategically with the city's Official Plan and other master plans and policies.

Your input is important to us!

Engaging the community will be a major component of this study. Individuals, organizations and groups are welcome to share their views through a number of channels taking place throughout the year including pop-up consultation events, information centres, stakeholder outreach meetings and more. Residents are invited to share comments here or e-mail WaterlooTMP@ptsl.com with questions or comments.

The City of Waterloo is beginning a study to review and update the community's transportation master plan. The study 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.

The update to the plan is expected to take approximately 12 months to complete. The specific objectives of the study will be 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 study will follow the requirements of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process (2011) and align strategically with the city's Official Plan and other master plans and policies.

Your input is important to us!

Engaging the community will be a major component of this study. Individuals, organizations and groups are welcome to share their views through a number of channels taking place throughout the year including pop-up consultation events, information centres, stakeholder outreach meetings and more. Residents are invited to share comments here or e-mail WaterlooTMP@ptsl.com with questions or comments.

Please share your comments about the city's transportation master plan here. 
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The City should continue to discourage the use by motorists of streets designated as "local" in the current Transportation Master Plan "TMP" as cut-through opportunities by proactively planning for the use of proven traffic calming principles and associated measures implemented by city planners from other urban areas in their TMPs. It is vital for the health of our residential neighbourhoods that intra-city motorized vehicular traffic in the TMP continue to be encouraged to flow from local neighbourhoods, to minor and major collector roads, and then onto the major arterial/regional roads, and to limit opportunities for such traffic to infiltrate local streets. The re-classification of "local" streets as "collector" roads to manage congestion on such arterial/collector roads, or increasing acceptable volume levels on local roads to greater than the current 2,000 cars per day in the current TMP, should be resisted as options in the new TMP since these measures would significantly effect the liveability and walkability of our residential neighbourhoods. This issue is particularly acute for the Uptown residential neighbourhoods of Mary-Allen, Albert McGregor and Uptown West which are more prone to cut-through traffic due to the grid-like structure of their streets. (Waterloo's more recently planned suburban areas make use of crescents and dead ends to keep non-local traffic to the main collector/arterial road by design, although unforeseen cut-through and volume issues can still arise there too). Key guiding principles should be established for the TMP at the outset to ensure that the liveability/walkability score of all residents, including low-density residential neighbourhoods, remains high rather than placing the needs of auto commuters first. The City's current traffic calming policy needs to be updated.The trend toward favouring alternative forms of transportation by the City's planners (public transportation with the ION/bus route, cyclists, skateboardeers, pedestrian, scooter, etc.) is highly encouraged to continue as pivotal to the updated TMP. The key transportation-related issues associated with cut-through, non-local vehicular traffic are increased volume which results in potentially increased speeds and decreased safety for pedestrians/cyclists etc. in areas designated as low-density residential areas under the zoning bylaw set forth in the City's current Official Plan. Excess speed in such residential areas could be effectively addressed I believe by implementing a city-wide 40 kph limit on all local streets as put forth by Mayor Jaworsky, down from the 50 kph (unless otherwise posted) currently in effect. Reduced speed in residential areas will increase safety. Traffic calming measures to address volume, speed and safety issues need to be proactively planned for in the revised TMP and holistically applied in order to be effective (as opposed to the current adhoc approach) with standards created and implemented to ensure all residential environments are protected and the safety of pedestrians and those using alternative forms of transportation is paramount. These measures will help the City reach its goal of reducing residents' reliance on the auto and will help to retain Waterloo's reputation as great urbanized place in which to live.

wschlumb 16 days ago

It is currently difficult to travel East - West on the Northend of the City by bike. It would be great if the Lexington MUC/Hillside trail network could be connected via MUC along Weber to Parkside Ave. We would love to quickly get from Eastbridge/RIM park to McCormick CC or even to the YMCA by bike but currently biking on Weber to Albert or Parkside is uncomfortable for me on bike - even though I am an experienced and confident cyclist.

JillianS 19 days ago

Hi! I think Albert, north of Columbia could easily be narrowed to two lanes, with protected bike lanes added to the sides. Especially near it connecting to Weber, a narrowing could allow the creek next to it to be widened, to meander more. The creek could be restored to a more natural state to increase flood protection and to create ecological habitat and more connection between people and nature.A protected crosswalk for the Laurel Trail where it crosses Columbia is sorely needed as it sees a lot of foot and bike traffic going to and from the university and Columbia has a lot of high speed car traffic.As others have stated here, just painting a line doesn't make for a safe bike-lane. It needs to be protected from car traffic and it needs to be plowed in winter.Thanks!

Jonas about 2 months ago

As a commuter, I commute every day to Hamilton to Waterloo to support a parent with Alzheimers in the evening. I am concerned that bike lanes are being put on major arterial roads. I too ride my bike on the weekends at home for short trips. I do not feel safe on majpr arterial roads when riding my bike and either take a dedicated bike path or side streets. A painted line will not protect you from heavy traffic. The half lane half baked Dawson street solution is really dumb. With heavy congestion on major arterial roads and infrequent cyclists using bike lanes. The Erb street Bridgeport road bike lanes are a joke. They have been hijacked and I do not see any bikes. The bike lanes should be on trails or secondary streets where traffic is not so busy.I do not support bike lanes on major arterial roads. The down town bike lanes on king street are really dumb and are a hazard. You cannot see traffic or bikes with a stop sign in at an intersection. \Also, I think the transportation plan is not forward thinking enough. If electric vehicles are going to become prevalent, where are the charging stations? Where is the plan for autonomous vehicles as well?

JoLogicCommonSense about 2 months ago

I fully support bike lanes and trails, but quit doing it at the expense of our already congested traffic lanes. It took several minutes to drive through the congestion of two laned Erb street on a Saturday, and meanwhile not one cyclist using the lane that was hijacked for their use.

Kevin R about 2 months ago

Union Street is very wide and should be rebuilt with bike lanes that are separated from traffic. Union Street is currently very wide, which results in very fast moving traffic. It is very uncomfortable when walking and biking. It is also a convenient route into Midtown from Belmont Village and Margaret Avenue. The City needs to work with the Region to improve Weber Street, as there are long distances between pedestrian crossings and the multi-use trail doesn't even continue into Waterloo from Kitchener.

YKF 2 months ago

I would like to see trails such as Spur Line granted right of way with vehicles having stop signs, particularly on lesser side streets. In particular the crossing at William St E/Willow St, Allen St E, John St. E, Roger St, Guelph St., and Wihelm St. Ideally crossings would be raised and textured at these locations. Engineering Standards should see that pedestrian refuges (like those at Hillside/Laurel trail crossings on Weber and University) are wide enough for a bike + trailer and long-tail or bakfiet style cargo bike - this is currently not the case. I would like to see no Right Turns on Red at intersections with bike boxes (in particular Bridge St./Lexington and Lexington/Davenport) and pedestrian and bike scrambles at intersections like Davenport/Lexington (where the eastbound Lexington MUC ends at Davenport).

JillianS 2 months ago

We have serious and urgent concerns with the major intersection at University/Auburn. Reference Chapter 6 - Transportation, this 4-way intersection is EXTREMELY dangerous for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians alike. The volume of traffic, combined with the speed limit does not usually allow enough time for pedestrians to cross University Avenue without running.  Most often we have had to wait half-way across on the narrow median.  Not only is volume and oftentimes excessive speed an issue along University Avenue, but to add to the danger, there are almost always cars turning at this Intersection. The University Avenue at Auburn Drive Intersection does not allow for safe transportation demands, as westbound motorists commonly exceed the speed limit in an effort to arrive at the following intersection to avoid a red light before entering Hwy 85.  This intersection is located within a major bus corridor to Conestoga Mall, where the Route 202 Ixpress Eastbound connects with the Ion, and Westbound connects to The Boardwalk as well as both universities. We have witnessed from our front porch a number of near accidents at this intersection. In fact, a single vehicle accident occurred on the morning of Sunday, July 28th at this location. The car mounted the sidewalk and landed in the backyard of a corner residence. We fear that a catastrophic accident could have and will inevitably happen without addressing the serious dangers of this major intersection. St. Matthew Elementary School is very nearby, as is shopping at Freshco Plaza, and University Downs Park is located at Auburn Road/Rosette.  The University Avenue at Auburn Drive Intersection does not provide safe passage for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, seniors, or persons with challenges as there are no traffic calming measures in place. Cars often race through turns from Auburn Drive onto University Avenue, putting pedestrians at serious peril. 

Lloyd and Marie Cimprich 3 months ago

There are two very important places I would like to get to, neither of which is served by transit. The first is the Waterloo Rec Centre and in winter particularly it is absolutely impossible to walk there from either Westmount or Erb. Sidewalks are often much too icey, the walk is too far and that translates to me as they will only serve folks who can drive, leaving out seniors and anyone without a car. The second place is The Cedars which is located at the side of Erb St. with no access by transit unless one can walk uphill, in bad weather which is quite impossible. At least a week end stop Satruday and Sunday mornings would allow folks to get to their church/syngagoue for services, if they don't drive.

Gael 4 months ago

Overall, the bus transit service has gotten worse since the introduction of streetcar service. I can list countless trip examples where it takes longer than it did previously. The connection between buses and streetcars at the Block Line station is horrendous. A streetcar arrives at the station, passengers exit, and as they are going toward the bus stop, routes 201 and 22 leave right in front of them. If you expect people to take the service of Grand River Transit seriously and actually use them on a daily basis, you cannot have people waiting for a bus at a streetcar station for 30 minutes. 10 minutes is acceptable but anything more in the hot summers or cold winters is not acceptable.

MikeSmith 4 months ago

Need more protected bike lanes, off road trails maintained year round to connect to places. Need more LRT routes - East/West, down King St.. Need more roundabouts at key intersections - Columbia and Erbsville, Erbsville and Conservation Drive.

Kevin Thomason 5 months ago

I would really like to see designated Waterloo staff involved in transportation and road improvements encouraged to walk the walk in Waterloo. Let them experience the issues that pedestrians do at traffic lights, sidewalks blocked with snow dumped from the adjoining road and construction or residential debris that prevents safe passage. Let them wait 4 or 5 minutes for a pedestrian crossing at controlled or uncontrolled intersections. It takes direct experience to see how poorly planned pedestrian travel is in this city.

KDC 5 months ago

Is there any opportunity to create a connection between Bechtel and Hillside parks via the Laurel Creek Culvert to make cyclist travel between RIM Park/University Downs/Kiwanis Park area into the Glenridge/University safer than braving the Expressway interchange and high speeds on University Avenue? Similar to the pathway under Lexington at Hillside/Dearborn, but longer in length, potentially requiring ventilation.

AaronV 6 months ago

I would like to see connected bike trails. We have great trails but they aren't always connected to each other. Also, where trails cross major streets (Victoria, Weber for example) I would like there to be lights or some trigger to stop/slow oncoming car traffic. Separate bike lanes along busy streets (Weber for example) should be implemented instead of the current non-protected bike lane. Once you reach your destination via bike, secured bike parking is required. Secured bike parking infrastructure is lacking.

Sam 6 months ago

I have still not seen any plans from the City of Waterloo around the incorporation of electric and self-driving cars (like it or not, thats the future). If the city actively tries to facilitate ride-sharing services which are electric and potentially autonomous (multiple players competing in that area like Google/Waymo, Uber), you can tackle both the issues of reducing pollution and reducing traffic in one go.

sah 6 months ago

I would like to see the city prioritize converting existing bike lanes into protected bike lanes and ensuring that new cycling routes are separated from car traffic. I do not currently cycle but would be more likely to consider it if it were safer.

Thomas 6 months ago

I would like to see cars discouraged from using residential streets as cut through locations using either narrower streets, speed bumps or one way streets. This would also provide cyclists with safer roads to travel down while commuting to and from work.

AmandaS 6 months ago

Great initiative. I'd love to be able to bike to work, but some roads are terrifying to be on as a cyclist (e.g. all of Erb street). Sidewalks tend to be pretty small as well - the wider multi-use sidewalks (e.g. fischer-hallman north) should be the standard everywhere.

Krys123 6 months ago

I absolutely support any initiative that involves more active transportation (LRT, bike lanes, walkways, etc.). Cars are gas-guzzling primitive vehicles. We can do better.

Samiksa 6 months ago