KW getting more bike lanes this summer

Bike lanes come to Waterloo as part of a pilot project in UpTown.

KW residents can expect new signage, brand-new heated transit canopies, covered bicycle parking, improved bus stops, pedestrian crossings, intersections, and shelters this summer. 

These will be complemented by the construction of a 1.7 km trail, stretching to the ION Light Rail Transit.

In addition to these features, the Conestoga College and UWaterloo bus stations will undergo renovations.

Willis Way, next to Waterloo Public Square, will be closed to traffic to make space for outdoor seating and pedestrian traffic.

Four-lane roads that don’t have any biking facilities, bike lanes, or multiple-use trails will be reduced to two lanes, and there will be a lane on either side of these roads.

The streets that will feature temporary bike lanes are:

  • Westmount Road from Blockline Road to University Avenue, K-W region.
  • Frederick Street from Weber Street to Lancaster Street, Kitchener.
  • Erb Street from Westmount Road to Caroline Street, Waterloo.
  • Erb Street from Peppler Street to Margaret Avenue (single lane only), Waterloo.
  • King Street to Margaret Avenue (single lane only), Waterloo.
  • Bridgeport Road, Waterloo
  • KingStreet/Coronation Boulevard/Dundas Street from Bishop Street to Beverly Street, Cambridge

Building bike lanes are meant to get bicycles off sidewalks and community trails that are now getting crowded, which in turn is preventing people from practicing social distancing properly. 

“We’re still in a pandemic.  The restrictions are being eased, but not when it comes to social distancing. In fact, everyone is recommended to wear a mask and is still expected to socially distance,” Tom Galloway, chair of planning and works for the Region of Waterloo, said.

Establishments like restaurants and bars can have patios open to people, but only with 50 percent capacity. 

More and more people are walking and cycling to stay active, so some sidewalks and trails are getting very crowded.

For this reason, the Region of Waterloo is contributing more than $17 million to invest in active transportation projects to further improve various public transport infrastructures.

“It’s something we want to do in order to promote better social distancing,” Galloway said. Although Galloway is in favor of going ahead with this initiative to better promote social distancing, not everyone on the council agrees that this is the best methodology.

 An online survey was conducted on the Engage WR website, for the people to voice their opinion on the matter.

 A  total of 2,500 responses were recorded and 1,650 (66 per cent) of the respondents polled were in favour of the bike lanes.

The Region of Waterloo will consider the results of the poll when making its final decision.


  1. I wish the region would consult the public before implementing new bike lanes. If they did consult the public they did a poor job on outreach. Removing a lane on Erb is nonsensical. It’s a major thru road. Just because it’s a major road for motor vehicles doesn’t mean it’s good for cyclists. I cycle to work 3-5 times a week and avoid some streets with bike lanes because the traffic is so fast and semi trucks pass way too close. Northfield Dr in north Waterloo has bike lanes on both sides of the street for the whole length of it. It’s a direct route from my home to work and I avoid it. Cars often go 80 kph on it. I take this road when I drive to work on rainy days and find myself going 80 to keep up with traffic. But I take a longer route when I cycle. Erb from westmount to Caroline makes no sense because a block over Father David Bauer already has a bike lane. It’s a windy street with visual obstacles so cars are forced to drive slower. Large trucks don’t drive on it either I don’t even like cycling on Erb from University to Fischer-Hallman. Why doesn’t the city turn smaller residential streets one block over from these main thru fares into cycle paths? I don’t even like cycling on King in uptown. Too many cars and pedestrians. Also with lots of restaurants and bars opening up patios on the sidewalk pedestrians are forced to walk in the bike lane and then the cyclist is forced on the road. I bike on Regina (1 block east of King) if I need to go anywhere in uptown. You have urban planners looking at maps to design bike lanes but they don’t know how real cyclist behave. Cyclists are different than motor vehicles and they must take this into consideration when designing cycle paths. I’m not concerned about travel time. I’m more worried about safety. That’s just my opinion anyways. Feel free to disagree.

  2. Why do cyclists need to ride on the road. They are a hazard not only to themselves but to drivers as well. The sidewalk is plenty big enough for cyclists and people walking and if it isn’t make them bigger. Why take road space away from drivers.

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