Re-Imagine Keats Way

I 😡 Keats Way

Current photo of Keats Way Waterloo, Ontario

Keats Way is at the end of my block, and I hate it.

I hate it because it’s an absolutely massive street and much of it isn’t actually a lane for cars or a bike lane, it’s just unused pavement.

Current layout of Keats Way Waterloo, Ontario

Looking around the city, I found streets that were nicer; Keats Way west of Erbsville, for example, has a center median, which looks better but...

It doesn’t offer additional protection to cyclists
It doesn’t move cars further from pedestrians
It doesn’t offer additional greenery to pedestrians
All that greenspace is just locked up in the middle of the road.

Possible layout of Keats Way with median

So what if we thought bigger?

What if we made a street people wanted to walk down?
One that connected the numerous paths criss-crossing the Beechwood Neighbourhoods to a central artery?
One that gave cyclists, including kids – there are TWO elementary schools on Keats Way between University & Erbsville – a great, safe place to ride?
That still gave drivers reasonable lanes?

Proposed layout of Keats Way, an inviting pedestrian & cycling thoroughfare

This proposed solution...

Uses existing pavement for the road (the most expensive thing to build)
Cuts 26ft of major road crossing used by hundreds of kids every day throughout the school year.
Gives cyclists a protected path to ride on, and a bit more space
Allows pedestrians to walk 18 feet further from cars, with additional greenspace separating them
Doubles the size of the sidewalk on one side, giving all users more space
Narrows the road to encourage drivers to move at a reasonable speed
Provides additional space for groundwater infiltration
*Nearly* connects some major neighbourhoods with the Waterloo Uptown core. University between Keats Way & Westmount is already moderately pedestrian & cyclist friendly, we’d just need a connection in that corner of the park.

How Can I Help?

Sign our petition on Change.Org
Tell your friends, share on Facebook!
Talk about us on Twitter, use hashtags like #wrawesome and #kwawesome
Share our poster image, or print out a few copies of our poster!


Why do you hate cars?

I don’t. This plan takes literally nothing away from cars. It just tries to make things suck less for everyone else

What about bus stops?

My suggestion would be to reduce greenery for bus stops, and for the school bus loading zone in front of Keats Way Public School

What about cars turning onto the streets intersecting with keats way?

Waterloo (and the Ministry of Transportation) have a model for cars crossing bike lanes, we see something similar on Lexington Road. I would suggest raised crosswalks & cycle-crossings here with pedestrian priority.

Who cares about groundwater infiltration?

The city does, you can get a rebate on your stormwater fees if you use a driveway material water can get through. Keats Way between University and Erbsville is >3.5KM long. That’s a lot of driveway.

Why is moving pedestrians further from cars “good”?

The further you are from a car, the quieter it appears. Try holding a conversation while walking down Fisher-Hallman, it’s a challenge. A little more space here should help reduce car volume, and give young walkers & cyclists more confidence.

Why not move the road further to one side, to make this even better!

I considered this, but: That would also move cars closer to people’s houses, who might not like that. We tend to put storm drains at the side of roads, if we did that we’d have to move them all. There’s probably underground cables and pipes that might be very expensive to move We can’t move too much further without killing all the existing trees, let’s not start from scratch landscaping wise.

Why do Keats Way? We should do _____ instead!

Why not both? I am 100% in support of making our city better for people!

How did you get these numbers, and how accurate are they?

We went out and measured! Measured from one point all the way across to avoid cumulative error. But this is "two people in the snow using a measuring tape from home depot" quality, not "surveyor" quality. Measurements were taken on Keats Way between Leighland & Thornlea (near the top of the hill so we could see cars coming!).

I have ideas, how can I talk to you?

You can talk to Paul on Twitter @preinheimer, or send him an email to preinheimer [@]