In case you missed Waterloo Bikes excessive runup announcements over the past few weeks, yesterday was the Davenport Grand Opening.
It was a educational event about the new street and it’s new features. I found the most interesting parts were discussions with the consulting engineers as well as the City of Waterloo Project Manager for the Davenport work. But that’s the nerd in me talking. There was also a pretty awesome skateboard demonstration and a charity barbecue. I spoke with the Sportchek guy doing free tune ups and he was busy.
The bike box at Lexington was completed this week just in time for the grand opening. I got a demonstration by a staff member of the consulting team who showed up to man her booth on her bike. Notice that this bike box is for left and right hand turns from Davenport onto Lexington. I’m told it will be painted in the near future.
There is a sign which spells out how the box should be used is installed. I like the added touch of the website url. It should also read “drive now, surf later” so there’s no confusion.
There were several levels of politicians on hand for the opening. Rightly so, as a good portion of the funding for this project came from the upper levels of government. I was even able to share my feedback on the street with Mrs. Witmer and Mr. Braid. Mrs. Witmer was especially interested in talking bikes with me. She was born in the Netherlands and still visits family there.
I was a little concerned when I first arrived at the street. It had just finished raining and there weren’t many people. That all changed in the hour or so that I was there. The turnout ended up better than expected I think. It’s hard to tell when the people are spread out so much.
Everyone I personally spoke with was really excited about the street. Surprisingly, not everyone in attendance agreed. At the City of Waterloo pavilion I heard that a few people who stopped by were upset that the lanes were reduced and that the street was now slower (in fact the street handles the same amount of traffic as ever, only more safely). I guess that’s what life is like in public service though, someone complains no matter how much progress is made. I made sure to let them know how great the street looked and how I appreciated that the work had been done. I rarely go to the mall, but I might be tempted to go more often now that it’s a little more bikeable.
One other complaint that I heard (which doesn’t warrant consideration IMO) was that queuing behind a bus across from Kidsability can delay traffic due to the nature of their service. I think it takes a special kind of person to make that complaint.