When the Region originally shared the plans for the Weber St. widening the MHBPNA discussed with them the problem of graffiti. They did not adjust their design and graffiti has been a problem for the area around Weber and Victoria. It has been cleaned up but only after we have brought it to their attention. As of June 2016, this area is still the responsibility of the contractor.
In the past few weeks we have heard complaints about graffiti along the Spur Line trail. We walked the trail three weeks ago and were startled by the amount we discovered. We contacted several City of Kitchener and Regional politicians as well as Regional staff because we were unsure who was currently responsible for the trail. We sent them several photos we had taken so they could understand the severity of the problem. It took staff more than two weeks to respond so while we were waiting we arranged an appointment with Gloria McNeil who is the Interim Director of By-Law for the City of Kitchener. She was happy to meet on the trail and walk along it for an inspection.
[A side note is warranted here because, Gloria has been a great help to our community for many years. The Neighbourhood Mobilization Alliance met for over 10 years to discuss with By-Law, Police and Fire issues in our MHBP area and Gloria attended some of those meetings and was always helpful. She has also responded to many of our complaints about 152 Shanley].
Gloria was startled by the state of the trail and it took her several emails and communications to find out who was responsible. We also received a detailed response from Peter Linn, the project manager for the Spur Line and Weber Widening from the Region around the same time.
It seems that the work is still not finished on the trail and the contractor has several issues to resolve. Ultimately the trail will be the responsibility of the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo (though most of it is in Kitchener). But for now the Region is still responsible and that is who ultimately cleaned it up. We were very happy with the speed at which the issue was resolved after the city of Kitchener became involved.
The Mt. Hope – Breithaupt Park Neighbourhood Association has also advocated for vines and other foliage to be planted along the walls of the trail as this is one of the best ways to discourage graffiti (the other way to discourage it is to report it and clean it quickly). The Region has already agreed to plant along the noise barrier walls along Weber St.