Happy New Year, Uptown! Here are a few things to watch for in 2019

snow+tree.jpg

Happy new year, Uptowners! As the new Council gets settled in, there are many things in the horizon to look forward to. Here are a few to keep your eye on:

Spur Line at Union: The City Transportation department has shared news that the City’s Active Transportation committee is working on a temporary solution for this location to be constructed in 2019.  That section of Union is slated for reconstruction in 2020, so I’ll be looking forward to receiving more information and seeking public feedback leading up to that.

The budget: The City of Waterloo’s budget cycle runs in a one-year/three-years pattern. This coming month, we’ll be setting the one-year budget for 2019, then working towards the 2020-2022 budget next year. This seems like dry business, but it is possibly the clearest delineation of a city’s priorities that you can find. All of the information is online here, if you care to dig around and take a look.

Lower speed limits?: Waterloo and Kitchener have a joint services initiatives committee that explores ways for the two cities to work together on particular issues or projects. One proposal I’ll be watching closely is a review of residential speed limits. Rather than a base limit of 50km/hr, the committee is looking at the “benefit and feasibility” of reducing residential speeds to 40km/h. This has been done in many other Canadian cities and is something I’ll be paying close attention to. Stay tuned!

Bill 66 and other provincial proposals: No matter which way you slice it, 2019 is going to bring some big discussions between the province and municipalities. The recent election campaign means each Councillor has a strong idea of their constituency’s priorities and desires, but we’ll need to keep hearing from you. You can attend Council, watch online, send emails or be a delegate. It all counts.

Neighbourhood love! The City of Waterloo’s first Neighbourhood Strategy was approved this year, and we’ll hopefully be seeing some creative community building as it begins to be implemented.

Naturally, there is a lot more to come than just these few things, including Uptown development, the Ezra Street parties, Waterloo Park renewal, infrastructure deficits and environmental management. if there is an additional issue close to your heart, please feel free to contact me to let me know about it.

Until then, happy new year to you and yours!