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Trails
#1
A forum to discuss trails in Waterloo Region.
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#2
Does anyone know if this stretch of the Walter Bean Trail will be completed?

[Image: cwoTs54.png]
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#3
(03-08-2015, 07:32 AM)rangersfan Wrote: Does anyone know if this stretch of the Walter Bean Trail will be completed?

Has there actually been any construction on the Walter Bean trail in the past 5 years? I go on it sometimes but nothing seems to change very fast.
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#4
The pedestrian bridge over the grand connecting the Pioneer Tower neighbourhood to the Lower Doon neighbourhood was finished a few years ago was it not? And the connection to the Fairway bridge was also finished recently.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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#5
Some of the uncompleted sections of the WB trail remain uncompleted because they go on private land for which permission hasn't been granted and/or the land on which the official trail would run is subject to flooding or erosion. The section from Pioneer Tower by the golf course and on towards Hwy 8 is officially open but keeps getting shut down every year because of flooding/erosion problems.
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#6
They lock the bridge to prevent people from using it during it winter it seems, or maybe that was the flooding issue rather than just a straight-up seasonal thing.
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#7
Apologies if this is the wrong thread, I could have sworn there was an Iron Horse Trail specific thread.

Have some automated trail user counters been installed along the IHT, at least along the portion between Queen and Union? I think I counted 3, and perhaps the rough markings for another.

They look like the one feature on this page:
http://www.eco-compteur.com/en/products/...lti-nature
(unrelatedly, their eco-totem seems like an interesting concept)


Also, the wayfinding sign on the IHT, northbound between Union and John seems incorrect. It says Waterloo is 10km further up the trail.
Everyone move to the back of the bus and we all get home faster.
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#8
(03-10-2015, 08:12 PM)clasher Wrote: They lock the bridge to prevent people from using it during it winter it seems, or maybe that was the flooding issue rather than just a straight-up seasonal thing.

The bridge was originally locked during the winter due to the area being a bald eagle nesting habitat.  Not sure if there's been any change to the reasoning since then.  Source
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#9
(05-14-2015, 07:41 PM)Pheidippides Wrote: Apologies if this is the wrong thread, I could have sworn there was an Iron Horse Trail specific thread.

Have some automated trail user counters been installed along the IHT, at least along the portion between Queen and Union? I think I counted 3, and perhaps the rough markings for another.
I saw a sign about the IHT improvement strategy today: https://www.kitchener.ca/en/livinginkitc...eTrail.asp
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#10
City of Kitchener site Wrote:In 2015, the City of Kitchener is launching an Iron Horse Trail Improvement Strategy to explore potential improvements to the trail, including signage and wayfinding, picnic and seating areas, lighting, public art opportunities, enhanced natural features and more

I hope the "and more" part includes some sensible connections with the cross streets. The trail ends at Strange and there's just a sidewalk and a curb. The signs on Victoria tell cyclists to dismount and use the crosswalk. The intersection of the IHT, Stirling and Courtland was a wasted opportunity to actually design the intersection to accomodate the trail instead of just ignoring it. The rest of the southern section is a bit rough, especially crossing Kent it seems like they could install smooth curbs. I get that it's not a cyclist expressway but it's mostly used for transportation cycling so why not try to integrate it a bit better when it comes to crossing the streets. I think the intersection at Strange and Victoria could at least include some sharrows leading cyclists toward the left turn lane and stuff like that.
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#11
(05-14-2015, 09:41 PM)clasher Wrote: I hope the "and more" part includes some sensible connections with the cross streets.
Agreed. That plus similar attention from Waterloo where the situation is equally unacceptable.

Quote:I get that it's not a cyclist expressway but it's mostly used for transportation cycling
I hope you also "get" that the IHT was never intended to be "a cyclist expressway" or to be "mostly used for transportation cycling" or as a cycling racetrack. It's always been intended to be a multi-use trail to be shared with pedestrians. We're not all in a hurry. And we're not all just slow moving obstacles meant to be slalomed as quickly as possible.
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#12
(05-15-2015, 06:38 AM)ookpik Wrote:
Quote:I get that it's not a cyclist expressway but it's mostly used for transportation cycling
I hope you also "get" that the IHT was never intended to be "a cyclist expressway" or to be "mostly used for transportation cycling" or as a cycling racetrack. It's always been intended to be a multi-use trail to be shared with pedestrians. We're not all in a hurry. And we're not all just slow moving obstacles meant to be slalomed as quickly as possible.

LOL, pedestrians on the trail often walk or jog 2 or 3 abreast and snark at me when I ring the bell asking to go around, they need to remember that people are trying to get places instead of just being out to smell the flowers so it goes both ways. People walking their dogs with 10 metre extendo leashes that block the whole trail, jackasses in full road gear kit that blast by without even a bell or a shout. I could go on and on. Sharing the trail is the responsibility of everyone that uses it. I don't think the trail should be a bikes-only place and I use it to walk places too and have been doing so since the late 90s. As for being in a hurry I commute everywhere on an one speed cruiser that runners have passed me on, especially when I'm laden with groceries.

I didn't mean to say that the trail was only used for transportation cycling, just that the majority of people that ride on the trail seem to being doing so as transportation rather than recreation. I think a good share of the people that are walking aren't just out there for fun but are actually commuting too. I think casual recreational use of the trail can totally co-exist with pedestrians and transportation cycling. My ideas to make the road/trail interactions better for cycling also improve the safety of pedestrians. The gates that force everyone into a metre-wide opening are just dangerous and invite crowding and chaos and they are close to busy roads to make the situation even worse. The gate at Strange and the sidewalk that forces everyone to bunch up is also kinda dumb.

I think the Courtland crossing by the plaza is the worst, especially around 3pm on school days, the bus stop has a lot of people waiting there, the streets are busy and even if one dismounts you've still gotta push your bike through a crowd. There's plenty of room the city could buy a strip of land and at least make a wide sidewalk there.

There are also lots of places that the trail could be widened too, so maybe that is something that could alleviate crowding, especially in the stretch from Strange to Queen since there is a lot of traffic coming through the park and from the other trail that goes west to Fischer-Hallman.
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#13
(05-15-2015, 08:29 AM)clasher Wrote: LOL, pedestrians on the trail often...
Absolutely. I can tell you all sorts of stories about how some cyclists behave badly even towards pedestrians like me who stay to the right and try hard to share the trails with all other users. It would be a long saga. But the solution isn't to start a war but rather to find ways to coexist peacefully.

Quote:I didn't mean to say that the trail was only used for transportation cycling, just that the majority of people that ride on the trail seem to being doing so as transportation rather than recreation.
Even so they don't have any more right to use the trail system than other users. I got the impression that you were advocating for cyclists only. If that's not the case then we're on the same side. Let's focus our energies on making improvements to the trail system that benefit all of us.
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#14
(05-15-2015, 09:21 AM)ookpik Wrote: But the solution isn't to start a war but rather to find ways to coexist peacefully.

Yep. Everyone has stories about "cyclists" or "pedestrians" behaving badly. We know it happens.

I do think etiquette and user behaviour is a big part of how well a trail (or sidewalk, or bike lane, or highway...) functions, and in my experience people who are out for "recreational" walks seem less likely to be as conscious of their surroundings and observant of proper etiquette. I say this as someone who is usually on foot. If there is a perception among people who don't use active means of transportation that this is strictly a recreational trail, it might not seem important to them that they hold someone up briefly with their dog leash or walking three abreast. I think that, if they came to understand that some people are on the trail to get places, they would behave differently. I am unsure how to get that message across, though.
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#15
You've underlined the dilemma, is it recreational or an active means of transportation? I use it for both walking and cycling, and when a cyclist and passing, it is my responsibility to do it safely. I don't think it's fair for me to expect a group of friends to walk in single file, just so I can go at a considerably faster rate. If I ring my bell from a reasonable distance, they move and I pass. That reasonable distance becomes quite far, if I'm going at a considerable speed. I disagree with your hypothesis that "recreationalists" are less observant of their surroundings, they are simply in less control of the situation, as compared to the faster cyclist approaching from behind. It's the same dilemma as the cyclist sharing the roads with cars.

You have put the emphasis on the walker with your comment "I think that, if they came to understand that some people are on the trail to get places, they would behave differently. I am unsure how to get that message across, though." It is your opinion that "getting places" is more important. Therefore, the debate needs to decide on either recreational or as an active means of transportation.
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