This fall, GCAT took on a big task. We decided to do our best to engage all of the candidates in the 2018 municipal election to ride the wards that they were running in. We invited the public as well. We talked about the good, the bad and the ugly in each ward, with a promise to relay this information to the public, councillors, and city staff. Here is what happened.
The results were phenomenal.
86 people came. 18 of them were candidates.
Please let us know in the comments what areas you find good, bad or ugly!
Ward 1 Ride,Sept. 29
Leader: Jordan Richard
Candidates present: Bob Bell, Dan Gibson, Barbara Mann, Charlene Downey
The good: Trail system that is already in place
To be improved:
-Wyndham Street should be safe for cyclists when reconstructed from 4 lanes to 2. No sharrows, but protected bike lanes would best as traffic will be angled parking that can back up on to cyclists.
-possibility of an underpass trail at MacDonnell and Arthur Street to remove pedestrians and cyclists from traffic at the intersection
-new trail should be put in the ward along Guelph Junction Railway track to Victoria Road. It is already being discussed by staff but will need to be in the Guelph Master Plan Update in order of it to come to pass. Will need to advocate for this!
-a suggestion of a concrete divider between road and boulevard for separated infrastructure on Grange Road. All agreed that there was plenty of room in the boulevard for a multi-use path.
Ward 2 ride, Oct. 14
Councillors present: Dorothe Fair, Rodrigo Goller, Jonathan Knowles
# of people in attendance: 20
-the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) cemetery connection was enjoyed by all. Peaceful and quiet.
-rest of the TCT is also enjoyed.
To be improved
-signage so that we know the TCT cemetary connection exists
-we need the Speedvale Underpass trail to get people safely across Speedvale. Discussion as to whether or not an amendment to allow an anchored boardwalk to reduce costs of trail construction
-We need to get the connection between the TCT to Nicklin to get access to the Guelph to Goderich trail via the Woodlawn MUP
–the crossing of the Trans Canada trail at Eramosa is terrible. Even less safe than Speedvale.
–looking forward to the building of the Emma-Earl bridge as it offers some great east west connection. Some concern about the cost, others agree that more people crossing the bridge will mean that less opportunity for “tent” cities to be built along the rivers’ edge
Ward 3 ride , Sept. 9, 2018
Leader: Duncan McKenzie
Councillors/candidates present: June Hofland, Steve Petric
Mayor/Mayoral Candidate: Aggie Mlynarz
The spur line trail is a very relaxing trail that gets people across some areas of ward 2
The curb cut on Exhibition Road for the Spur line trail
Bike lanes on Willow
To be improved:
Bicycle route symbols: not clear what they show, as there is no explanation
Bicycle route along London St: there are no bike lanes
Most people felt very unsafe on Speedvale: needs bicycle lanes or Multi-Use Path
Need trail from cemetery to Nicklin to connect TCT trail in Woodlawn Cemetery to the Woodlawn MUP.
Spur line trail should be extended south west beyond London Road.
Ward 4 Ride, Sept. 16
Leader: Yvette Tendick
Councillors/candidates present: Mike Salisbury, Matt Saunders
Potential for Hanlon Underpass Trail that could give everyone, teenagers in particular, the ability to go to Skatepark, downtown
To be improved:
Wood chip trail to Margaret Greene Park to become stone dust trail
Trail through Margaret Green Park could go to corner of Hanlon and Paisley
Resident who is Car free in Ward 4 says we need more bike lanes as she is forced to use the sidewalk for safety when riding her bike.
Discussion: What is safer? A bike lane or a Multiuse path?
Ward 5 Ride, Sept. 23
Leader: Laura Brown
Candidates in attendance: Leanne Piper, Aggie Mlynarz. Cathy Downer hosted the after gathering.
Crushed gravel path very well maintained and appreciated! One rider commented that they prefer gravel over pavement as pavement eventually heaves, costing more money to replace. Comments can be made when the Guelph Trail Master Plan comes up for updating.
To be improved:
No direct way for high school age students to get to Stone Road mall other side of Edinburgh
-Edinburgh road has a huge boulevard…plenty of space for a dual pathway
-many of the University lands, including those around OMAFRA building, east of Edinburgh should allow public access for bikes…instead areas are gated up (particularly behind the Public Health building (some found this ironic!!) so it makes it very difficult for people to avoid traffic when riding
-Trail behind Collegiate- no curb cuts
Stone and Gordon intersection:
-green lanes make it safer for left turns, but makes it more dangerous with right turning vehicles. We had a near miss with a vehicle that was turning right and did not see us going straight.
Ward 6 discussion only, Oct. 13
Attendance; Ishu Arora, Anshu Khurana, Dominique O’Rouke, Stacy Cooper, Mark McKinnon
Total # of people – 9
Things we need
-Need for active transportation
Environment; we need to be careful not to destroy our environment for future generations
-we need to allow children some autonomy with mobility
-there are many people who need to get around and need cars, so we need a balance
-we need an education piece with the parents so that they walk their kids to school rather than drive
-we need south end connections to the business park.
-We need to think holistically and provide subdivisions with amenities
-we need connectivity.
To be improved:
-Robin Rd. Park. the bike infrastructure just ends
-Jansen Park trail needs boardwalk as it becomes swamped after it rains
-Gordon St. needs flexi posts to protect riders
-need better signage so that people can use trails effectively
-curb cuts are low hanging fruit to make it easier to ride
-education the community about bicycling as a means of transportation, particularly the parents
-bike rodeo needs to be reinstated
-immigrants need opportunities to stay active without spending lots of $$
-getting on the bike good for health and building warm neighbourhoods