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Active Transportation Program

City of Waterloo

Diversifying the methods by which people can get around is an important element of a healthy, sustainable and prosperous Waterloo. In Waterloo, we have more than 150 km of off-road, multi-use trails and 60 km of on-road cycling lanes. In 2016, we recorded 1.3 million trips on our trails working out to about 10 trips per person per capita.

Our transportation master plan cites active transportation as a key ingredient in developing a more sustainable transportation system for Waterloo and our vision is to have a fully-connected and integrated community through our multi-modal transportation network. This is supported by our advisory committee on active transportation, a group of interested residents who advise council on existing and proposed modes of transportation for the planning and development of a safe, sustainable and accessible transportation system. 

On May 29, 2017, staff presented to council a bi-annual report on active transportation for 2016. Prepared in partnership with the University of Waterloo and the city's advisory committee on active transportation, this document highlights work done to date including research on cycling in the community, the active transportation goals of the city and information about the high priority active transportation network.  

A high priority active transportation network was identified through work the active transportation committee and forms a web of thirteen active routes that are significant in connecting people throughout the city and the region. By identifying a high priority active transportation network, the city is better able to prioritize improvements as resources become available. Staff can target key route connections in a logical sequence and utilize on-road and off-road tools to complete route connections. Recent improvements to this network include better wayfinding signage and the resurfacing of six sections of the Trans Canada Trail with asphalt. On the following map, the green lines indicate the priority network with the large thick line being the Trans-Canada Trail.

The high priority active transportation network

Projects planned for 2017 and 2018 include:

  • Streetscape improvements to King Street North in the uptown core from Central Street to just south of Erb Street in order to make King Street more accessible for all modes of transportation, including pedestrian and to create a streetscape that offers a safe, lively, accessible and attractive place to work, live, shop, learn and play
  •  reconstructing Columbia Street West between Erbsville Road and Fischer-Hallman Road to include multi-use trail, sidewalk, raised bike lanes and two vehicle lanes in each direction.
  • Improving traffic movement and improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure along the Columbia Street/Lexington Road corridor
  • Reconstruction of the Waterloo Park central promenade (the section of the Laurel/Trans Canada Trail running through Waterloo Park)
  • Completion of the Walter Bean/Grand River Trail along Woolwich Street
  • Cycling education programming and awareness including:
    • celebration of the provincially-designated Bike Month
    • participating in the regional Thumbs Up safe cycling campaign;
    • TravelWise, a transportation management association that works with employers across Waterloo Region to encourage employees to take transit, cycle, walk, and carpool to work; and
    • CAN-BIKE, a Cycling Canada accredited program geared toward improving basic cycling skills and raising road safety awareness.
  • Market trail feasibility study (more details to follow)
  • continuing to improve signed cycling routes

More information