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Interesting Chat with City Councillor

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Interesting Chat with City Councillor

Old 10-13-10, 08:50 AM
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nelson249
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Interesting Chat with City Councillor

In Ontario we have municipal elections all across the province at the end of this month. So we have had the usual crop of campaign workers dropping off campaign literature and making a passing attempt at discussing some issues facing the city and region. The incumbent for my ward stopped by and we had a good chat about the state of cycling and transportation generally and lo and behold he is a cycle commuter too and has placed trails and cycle infrastructure high on his list of priorities. I know we like to complain and moan in this forum about how little attention we cyclists get from our elected leaders but this talk left me feeling rather happy with a politician for a change. I think I'll ring up his campaign HQ and get a sign for my front lawn.

Any one else have any pleasantly surprising encounters with their elected representatives?
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Old 10-13-10, 09:38 AM
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And then he went next door to the neighbor with the 4x4 pickup and told him how cyclists were terrible, and if he's elected, he'll turn all bike lanes into 4x4 only speed lanes.
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Old 10-13-10, 09:52 AM
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In the United States it's at the local level where the political support of an individual is most significant. You might want to consider going beyond the yard sign and volunteering.
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Old 10-13-10, 10:15 AM
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Hi Nelson, also from KW. I'm in Ward 1. Who is this person you're talking about? Sounds like he has good priorities. Hope the new plan to connect the existing paths will come to fruition.
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Old 10-13-10, 08:00 PM
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Bizzz111 wrote: "And then he went next door to the neighbor with the 4x4 pickup and told him how cyclists were terrible, and if he's elected, he'll turn all bike lanes into 4x4 only speed lanes."


Normally, I might take the same view. However, I did a bit of research online and despite the fact that the councillor in question is in his 70s he still cycle commutes to City Hall and he has participated in commuter challenges where he raced other councillors using other alternative transport earlier this year.

Last edited by nelson249; 10-13-10 at 08:02 PM. Reason: tie in quotation
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Old 10-13-10, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
Hi Nelson, also from KW. I'm in Ward 1. Who is this person you're talking about? Sounds like he has good priorities. Hope the new plan to connect the existing paths will come to fruition.
I am in Ward 3 and the candidate in question is John Gazzola. I reinforced the need to tie the rather piecemeal trail system together much more effectively. I use the Iron Horse trail to get up into Waterloo but the problem is getting across the Conestoga Parkway and the only trail is the one that runs along Courtland that is not maintained in the winter.
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Old 10-14-10, 10:16 AM
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I've only started commuting this September and it seems like there is a complete lack of roadside bike lanes and bike trails leading into (and out of) the city core. With the exception of the Iron Horse trail. Getting to it is another matter. Is it maintained in the winter?
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Old 10-14-10, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nelson249 View Post
In Ontario we have municipal elections all across the province at the end of this month. So we have had the usual crop of campaign workers dropping off campaign literature and making a passing attempt at discussing some issues facing the city and region. The incumbent for my ward stopped by and we had a good chat about the state of cycling and transportation generally and lo and behold he is a cycle commuter too and has placed trails and cycle infrastructure high on his list of priorities. I know we like to complain and moan in this forum about how little attention we cyclists get from our elected leaders but this talk left me feeling rather happy with a politician for a change. I think I'll ring up his campaign HQ and get a sign for my front lawn.

Any one else have any pleasantly surprising encounters with their elected representatives?
When he stopped by, was he on his bike?
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Old 10-14-10, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
When he stopped by, was he on his bike?
He was walking door to door and I didn't see a vehicle with either 2 or 4 wheels.
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Old 10-14-10, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
I've only started commuting this September and it seems like there is a complete lack of roadside bike lanes and bike trails leading into (and out of) the city core. With the exception of the Iron Horse trail. Getting to it is another matter. Is it maintained in the winter?
The Iron Horse/Laurel trail is cleared in the winter the same time as the roads and city maintained sidewalks and generally speaking both the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo do a reasonable job but it seems to me it is rather better on the Kitchener side of the line. I rode most of last winter (running with studded tires) and only had a few problems when they temporarily shut the trail between Victoria and Gage to install new hydro poles.

You are right to point to problems getting out of the downtown core. The way I usually go (I live in Country Hills) is to take the Iron Horse into Victoria Park and take either Heins or Water Street to King Street. Uptown Waterloo is no great joy either and the designated route via Caroline Street is a nightmare especially when you chuck in having to take a left at Erb. I avoid this mess by taking Menno Street and take the path to Father David Bauer Drive and cut through Waterloo Park.
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Old 10-15-10, 07:10 AM
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I live around Stanley Park and I come down on Stirling, take the Iron Horse -> Caroline -> Waterloo Park/UW -> work. It is 1-2 km more than just taking King all the way but the grade is fairly constant all the way and there's not much traffic to worry about. Turning at Erb is annoying, but I just use the ped crosswalk. I know this is somewhat frowned upon, but there's no turning light to go with that bike turning lane.
It seems like going up to Menno is going out of the way a bit, but I haven't tried that route yet, so can't really comment. Sometimes going out of the way is worth it.
Maybe I'll see you on the trail. I ride a black Trek Allant.
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Old 10-15-10, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by nelson249 View Post
In Ontario we have municipal elections all across the province at the end of this month. So we have had the usual crop of campaign workers dropping off campaign literature and making a passing attempt at discussing some issues facing the city and region. The incumbent for my ward stopped by and we had a good chat about the state of cycling and transportation generally and lo and behold he is a cycle commuter too and has placed trails and cycle infrastructure high on his list of priorities. I know we like to complain and moan in this forum about how little attention we cyclists get from our elected leaders but this talk left me feeling rather happy with a politician for a change. I think I'll ring up his campaign HQ and get a sign for my front lawn.

Any one else have any pleasantly surprising encounters with their elected representatives?
I think it's great and I wouldn't be concerned that he was just telling you what you wanted to hear. He would have to be a very well-informed and capable politician to pull that off and my guess is that at they municipal level politicians aren't quite that "good" YET.
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Old 10-15-10, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
I live around Stanley Park and I come down on Stirling, take the Iron Horse -> Caroline -> Waterloo Park/UW -> work. It is 1-2 km more than just taking King all the way but the grade is fairly constant all the way and there's not much traffic to worry about. Turning at Erb is annoying, but I just use the ped crosswalk. I know this is somewhat frowned upon, but there's no turning light to go with that bike turning lane.
It seems like going up to Menno is going out of the way a bit, but I haven't tried that route yet, so can't really comment. Sometimes going out of the way is worth it.
Maybe I'll see you on the trail. I ride a black Trek Allant.
Menno is a little out of the way but I find it considerably less aggravating. I especially hate deal with the bike lane that keeps bumping you out into traffic to dodge the parked cars. Further, on the way home, car drivers are constantly cutting each other off as the left lane ends and I'd rather not be in the middle of that on the bike. I agree with using the crosswalk at Erb and Caroline. It is really the only reasonable way to get across.

You might see me bombing around on my old red Mongoose.
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Old 10-16-10, 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by nelson249 View Post
In Ontario we have municipal elections all across the province at the end of this month. So we have had the usual crop of campaign workers dropping off campaign literature and making a passing attempt at discussing some issues facing the city and region. The incumbent for my ward stopped by and we had a good chat about the state of cycling and transportation generally and lo and behold he is a cycle commuter too and has placed trails and cycle infrastructure high on his list of priorities. I know we like to complain and moan in this forum about how little attention we cyclists get from our elected leaders but this talk left me feeling rather happy with a politician for a change. I think I'll ring up his campaign HQ and get a sign for my front lawn.

Any one else have any pleasantly surprising encounters with their elected representatives?
Here in Benbrook, TX, we have the good fortune to have a city council person who is a cyclist, Prez of a local cycling club and has been actively involved in getting 'Bike Route' signs installed in this area.
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Old 10-21-10, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by doc0c View Post
I live around Stanley Park and I come down on Stirling, take the Iron Horse -> Caroline -> Waterloo Park/UW -> work. It is 1-2 km more than just taking King all the way but the grade is fairly constant all the way and there's not much traffic to worry about. Turning at Erb is annoying, but I just use the ped crosswalk. I know this is somewhat frowned upon, but there's no turning light to go with that bike turning lane.
It seems like going up to Menno is going out of the way a bit, but I haven't tried that route yet, so can't really comment. Sometimes going out of the way is worth it.
Maybe I'll see you on the trail. I ride a black Trek Allant.
I think I may have seen your Trek at Laurier on Monday at the south entrance of the Woods Bldg. Was it yours?
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