Yappa Ding Ding: LRT in Waterloo Park

This used to be a line of mature trees, a bit of grass, a pretty railway line alongside a wide path…

Yappa Ding Ding: LRT in Waterloo Park

This used to be a line of mature trees alongside a pretty railway line. Now there is a hideous raised rail bed of gravel, structures every 50 feet that look like power pylons, and a long impassable chain link fence dividing our once-lovely park in two. Why oh why have our elected officials allowed this ...

Yappa Ding Ding: LRT in Waterloo Park

This used to be a line of mature trees alongside a pretty railway line. Now there is a hideous raised rail bed of gravel, structures every 50 feet that look like power pylons, and a long impassable chain link fence dividing our once-lovely park in two. Why oh why have our elected officials allowed this ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Berlin Wall in Waterloo Park

Back in 2011, the Record asked me to write an op-ed about the LRT (link). I outlined my major problems with the LRT proposal, including: “Waterloo Park will be sliced in two by trains. It seems likely a fence will be required, especially since the tracks border a children’s zoo. This will leave the park ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Berlin Wall in Waterloo Park

Back in 2011, the Record asked me to write an op-ed about the LRT (link). I outlined my major problems with the LRT proposal, including: “Waterloo Park will be sliced in two by trains. It seems likely a fence will be required, especially since the tracks border a children’s zoo. This will leave the park ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Berlin Wall in Waterloo Park

Back in 2011, the Record asked me to write an op-ed about the LRT (link). I outlined my major problems with the LRT proposal, including: “Waterloo Park will be sliced in two by trains. It seems likely a fence will be required, especially since the tracks border a children’s zoo. This will leave the park ...

Yappa Ding Ding: [Not] Solving Traffic Problems in Uptown Waterloo

I attended the Uptown Traffic summit last week. It was a success – over 120 people, lots of careful consideration of the problems that were posed. In the promo for the summit, Ward 1 Councillor Melissa Durrell said, “When I was going door to door campaigning during the election, traffic was the Number One concern.” ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Conflicts of Interest, or: Be Careful What You Wish For

There were a lot of raised eyebrows over conflicts of interest claimed by local politicians in the LRT decision. For example: The driving force behind LRT, Regional Chair Ken Seiling, spent nearly a decade ramming LRT down our throats and then claimed a conflict just before the final debate. His children own property near the ...

Yappa Ding Ding: The Future of King Street

I spent the weekend in Toronto, and this morning I needed to head cross town in my car. I decided to take St Clair, thinking it would be quicker. Those days are gone…The recently-completed St. Clair LRT, like other Toronto LRTs, is very different from Waterloo Region’s proposed LRT: in Toronto an LRT is a ...

Yappa Ding Ding: More concerns about LRT

Four skilled individuals (planning, Engineering, and legal), all of whom live locally, put together this list of comments about the proposed LRT. K-W is a city of 350,000, not a city of 729,000, the number that is always quoted regarding the Regional population of 2031. The next largest city where a significant LRT investment has ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Lack of credibility, the Region, and LRT reports

Chair Jim Wideman and Members of Planning and Works Committee have released the long-awaited LRT report, titled Preliminary Preferred Rapid Transit Implementation Option and dated April 12, 2011.There is no nice way to say this. The report is another example of flagrantly biased and inaccurate public relations hooey from the Region.The report says, “In evaluating ...

Yappa Ding Ding: The Region’s LRT ridership estimates: pie in the sky

The figures for other cities are from Wikipedia. This analysis was done by Dave Ramsey. Dave’s conclusions: The estimated daily boardings of 56,000 in 2031 are overstated by at least 40,000. Just like every city in North America with a population of less than 1M, KW will not need the LRT or BRT to cope ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Negative impact of LRT on the City of Waterloo

I wrote a little report on some concerns I have about what LRT will do to the city of Waterloo. You can download it here. (Click the file name LRT_impact_on_Waterloo.pdf at the top.)Upate: I expanded the report so that the Waterloo city impacts are just part of it.###

Yappa Ding Ding: Support for light rail trains gets a boost

During the recent public consultations, the Region distributed a survey that could be filled out on paper or online. It listed 11 options: nine were forms of LRT, one was BRT on dedicated lanes, and one was no rapid transit.The Region has released the results of the survey, causing the Record to trumpet that 78% ...

Yappa Ding Ding: World of debt

In last month’s “State of the City” address, Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran said that “finances remain the city’s biggest challenge, with a $5-million dollar debt over RIM Park still to pay off”, according to local news sources.Not long ago, five million dollars seemed like an awful lot of money… after all, that $5M debt has ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Questions about rail plan go beyond money

My article in the Record today:Questions about rail plan go beyond moneyIn his April 1 community editorial board article, We’re More than a Collection of Taxpayers, Sean Geobey dismisses the community’s objections to light rail transit as a cynical knee-jerk reaction by people who don’t understand what community is all about. He claims all we ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Unknown Costs of LRT

We don’t yet know the Region’s preferred option for LRT, so we don’t have final estimates of capital costs or the increases to property taxes. But we know it will result in hundreds of millions in costs to Regional taxpayers.Recently, it has become apparent that there may be more costs that haven’t been made public ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Downloading LRT Capital Costs

I have heard that the Regional LRT plan includes a lot of downloaded costs to the municipalities where LRT goes – Waterloo and Kitchener. Apparently this came out at a recent meeting of Regional Council. It was one of those situations where staff made a presentation and councillors, realizing that something wasn’t adding up, probed ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Cambridge: Getting Screwed and Dodging a Bullet

On her blog, Regional councillor Jane Mitchell completely poo-poos any concerns of Cambridge residents that LRT won’t extend to their city. She describes Cambridge as a bunch of whiners who had terrible transit when it was their responsibility, who don’t have the ridership to justify being in on Phase 1 of the LRT, and who ...

Yappa Ding Ding: Rail transit will not solve urban congestion

I have another guest column in the Record today: Public will never give up their cars. It is printed along with an article by Tim Mollison of Tri-Tag: Rail transit an answer to urban congestion.While I thank the Record for airing the debate, I’m not thrilled with the way they broke up my paragraphs in ...

Yappa Ding Ding: The "New" Rapid Transit Proposal, Part 2

The proposal is here: Region releases report on Rapid Transit Implementation Options.A few weeks ago, Regional Council voted to instruct staff to consider a bus rapid transit (BRT) option. The report presents 11 options, nine of which are LRT and only one is BRT. That option is a Cadillac version of BRT. It goes all ...

Yappa Ding Ding: The "New" Rapid Transit Proposal

Only a few weeks after regional council voted to reconsider the BRT option, the Region has released its “new” transit proposal: Rapid transit implementation options.Is it new? No. The report provides a dizzying array of 11 options, nine of which are LRT and one of which is “status quo” (AKA inflated estimates of the costs ...