City of Waterloo council summary, February 22, 2021

Posted On Monday February 22, 2021

City of Waterloo council summary

February 22, 2021

** The council summary below provides a snapshot of the major items presented at this afternoon’s council meeting. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.

City reintroducing several active transportation initiatives in 2021

Closed and slow streets were implemented in 2020 to enhance active transportation options amidst the pandemic and to assist local businesses. A review of the usage of these options, along with a public survey, found mixed results for these initiatives.

Enough positive indicators were present for closed streets that Council has again approved the potential to close specific streets, provided that an application to close them is made to the city, which includes how the street will be activated to maximize usage.

Staff have been directed to bring back a plan, including outlining the costs, for installing semi-permanent roadway signs in select uptown west streets and Waterloo Street. This will be brought back to a future meeting for consideration.

Staff will report the results of the reduced posted speed limits in neighbourhoods and in school zones to Council later this year.

City to review leaf collection program

Council has directed staff to review its annual leaf collection program, which typically runs in late Fall. Changing climate, the impact of raking leaves onto the curb and cost are considerations behind the program review. The city last reviewed the program in 2015.

Council approves exciting strategy for University Avenue

Council has unanimously approved the University Avenue Gateway Strategy (UAGS). The strategy aims to provide streetscaping principles and recommendations to serve as a guide for the evolution of University Avenue as a gateway to the city.

In addition, Council directed staff to advance the following: 

  • Advocate that planned regional road reconstruction advances the UAGS to the extent possible and does not preclude future enhancements; specifically, that
    • Intersections are designed to facilitate all components of the vision,
    • Safe active transportation facilities are provided, including a safe crossing of Hwy 85 as an interim solution
    • The corridor include duct banks and consider spaces for vaults to facilitate the future burial of hydro, and
    • The corridor includes or supports the addition of pedestrian-scale lighting
  • Identify corridor enhancements opportunities in relation to the pending road reconstruction between Weber and Albert, in collaboration with the Region
  • Identify other short term corridor enhancement opportunities to be implemented in 2022 and report back to Council
  • That the UAGS be incorporated into the upcoming Urban Design Manual update

The overall intent of the UAGS is to provide a high-level guideline document, which can help inform future streetscaping projects, public art and other street related initiatives. The basis of the UAGS are the four themes of Learning, Discovery, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Taken together, the four themes provide the foundation for the goals, design objectives and streetscaping principles for the Gateway Strategy. From these four themes an overall vision and goal for the corridor was developed. An abbreviated version of the vision for University Avenue is:

University Avenue will serve as the main entry Gateway to the City and leading businesses, technology and educational institutions. The Gateway will include an attractive streetscape that balance the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and motorists, while maintaining a strong sense of place this area is different and unique from other corridors in the City.




Media contact:
Tony Iavarone
Director, Corporate Communications