Waterloo looks at segregated bike lanes for Uptown redesign

Cyclists could be looking at an easier pedal along King Street in Uptown Waterloo if a proposal by city staff gets approved by council later this month.
A rendering of the proposed streetscape redesign for Uptown Waterloo. (City of Waterloo)

Cyclists could be looking at an easier pedal along King Street in Uptown Waterloo if a proposal by city staff gets approved by council later this month.

Council will look at putting bike lanes that are physically separated from the rest of the roadway by a small curb on to King between Erb Street. and Central Street. 

It's a move welcomed by people like Graham Roe with cycling advocacy group Waterloo Bikes, the group behind a petition to bring the lanes to Waterloo.

"Each road user has their own space on the road and it's going to make it better for all users. For pedestrians, for cyclists and for automobile users," said Roe in an interview with Craig Norris on The Morning Edition on Tuesday.

Under the new proposal by city staff, segregated bike lanes would be installed on both sides of the street. Here are some more details:

  • The west bike lane lane would be 1.8 metres wide, and the east lane would be 1.5 metres wide. 
  • The east side of the street will also have space for on-street car parking.
  • Parking would be removed on the west side of the street, that's a loss of 22 spots. 
  • Sidewalks would be widened to 4 metres.
  • Planters and trees will separate the bike lanes from the sidewalks 

"There's going to be more space for people, so I think it will be nice to linger in some of those sections of Uptown, where the sidewalk is right on the road," said Roe of the widened sidewalks. 

In total, King Street would drop to just two lanes of 3.8 metres, instead of the current four lanes. There will also be left-hand turn lanes.  

The segregated lanes could be extended from Central Street to University Avenue. Currently, the Region of Waterloo and City of Waterloo are doing an environmental assessment and the results will be presented in June to regional council. 

Anyone wishing to comment on the proposed redesign can register as a delegate to speak at the May 25 Waterloo city council meeting when council meets to vote on endorsing the plan.