Improvements coming to Spurline, Iron Horse trails this fall

City staff are looking for feedback on how Waterloo can improve the Spurline Trail's Union Street diagonal crossing. Meanwhile, the Iron Horse Trail in Kitchener will be paved between Victoria Street and Queen Street.

Waterloo staff say Spurline's Union Street crossing 'identified as weakest part' of trail

The Spurline Trail's Union Street crossing is confusing for motorists and trail users, city staff say. (City of Waterloo)

Warm sunny days mean many people take to local trails for a bike ride, walk or run. So with increased interest and usage, the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo are looking at the state of their large trails.

The two main trails in Kitchener-Waterloo – the Spurline and the Iron Horse – are going to get some improvements.

The City of Waterloo is currently reviewing the Spurline Trail's Union Street crossing and is asking for public feedback.

"This intersection has been identified as the weakest part of the Spurline Trail and so, to upgrade the Spurline Trail to be better, we're reviewing this intersection," Natalie Wennyk, the engineering project manager with the city, told CBC.

The trail crosses the busy street on a diagonal line. Nearby railroad tracks and traffic lights just 75 metres away make it a confusing crossing not just for users but also drivers, Wennyk said.

"It's difficult to make it across the road," she said.

Sometimes drivers will stop for trail users, even though vehicles have the right of way. While the drivers are trying to be nice, it's actually a dangerous practice for both, she said.

Public consultation on the Spurline street crossing is scheduled for Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Waterloo City Centre. Additionally, people can leave comments online at the city's website.

The Region of Waterloo also plans to put lights on the section of the trail between Roger Street and Moore Avenue. That work was originally scheduled for the spring but will now take place in September.
This is proposed new signage for along parts of the Iron Horse Trail. (City of Kitchener)

Iron Horse improvements

Across town, the Iron Horse Trail will also be upgraded this September, said Mark Parris, a landscape architect with the city of Kitchener's operations department.

The trail will see the surface improved – the trail will be paved and widened to 3.6 metres between Victoria Street and Queen Street in Kitchener.

"We are improving way-finding signage," Parris said.

They will also do more seeding and add other park amenities along the trail. There are also improvement plans for the Henry Sturm Greenway parkette as well as a Victoria Park entrance with parking.

The city will be releasing more information about the upgrades to the Iron Horse trail in the coming weeks.


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