Over the past few years there has been a great deal of talk about the planned Regional Transit Hub (or King Victoria Transit Hub).
The Hub’s main page on the Region’s website is here and contains links to several reports with preliminary plans for how it might be organized.
The Record contains an article about the public/private partnership that might happen and it is here.
The overall time frame for the hub is described here.
In the past MHBPNA has had several conversations with Regional staff and politicians regarding some elements of the Hub and its design.
One issue is Waterloo St. (above) and some background on that is provided here. Staff were interested in hearing our viewpoint and our main issues were:
- The Region/ION has permanently closed Waterloo Street, which was a convenient access point to downtown (walking, via car, or cycling). How can they ensure the new Hub design will allow residents easy access? We discussed various designs and one problem is that existing infrastructure is in the way of a smooth bike or walking path from Breithaupt Street to Victoria/King. The grade between Breithaupt and Victoria is also an issue. So much of this discussion depends on future designs that have not yet been started. But residents must continue to push for easy pedestrian and bike access. The memory dims of what this access used to be like as time passes!
- Staff also stated they would properly landscape the street so that residents did not have to face the rather industrial side of the Traction Power Sub Station (TPSS). Again, we need to keep asking about those plans at every stage.
Another issue is a proposed multi-use trail which can be seen in the diagram below.
This would offer an excellent route across King and help join Mt. Hope / Midtown with King St., Victoria Park, Cherry Park etc. We would like this confirmed as a core part of any future plans.
A third issue is the idea of community space. The downtown / Midtown / Mt. Hope – Breithaupt Park area is seeing the development of thousands of additional condo units now and over the next few years. Our area is central in creating the higher density the Province demands as our population increases and we must build efficiently. However, despite the lovemyhood website and rhetoric, thus far Kitchener city council has not demonstrated interest in building more community space here in the centre of town. Of course the Transit Hub is a Regional development and this makes advocacy more complicated. But the Transit Hub will be a central location where, eventually, hundreds or thousands of people will arrive and depart each day on ION, VIA/GO trains and crosstown buses. There will be millions of public dollars invested in this, so should we not have some space set aside to have meetings? To run events? Meet our neighbours? ____________? (You are supposed to “fill in” this blank, and you can add more!)
We are sure residents have other ideas and insight they wish to share with planners and politicians. How can you do this?
The Midtown KW blog has an excellent article about a survey you can fill out and politicians you can contact.
Please fill out the survey and try and make it out to one of the Public Information meetings (e.g. Wed, April 4th, 3 -7 pm, 150 Frederick St.). This meeting is about transit in general, but you can certainly provide input on the Hub since it is, you know, a “hub” in the whole plan.
Everyone’s voice is important so tell politicians and planners what you want!
Ted Parkinson, Communications, MHBPNA