Uptown streetscape consults residents before construction on the city begins once more

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File Photo/ Photo by Safina Husein

Last week, the region of Waterloo released an online survey asking the city’s residents for their feedback regarding the ongoing uptown streetscape projects, to get a better understanding of the various needs, issues or suggestions for improvement that they might have for the uptown area.

With the first phase of the uptown streetscape project being completed earlier this year, the region is planning to continue with the same type of treatments leading up to University Avenue over the next couple of years. Because of this, they feel that resident and business feedback is crucial in the early planning stages.

The next phase of the project will begin in the spring, in the area between Bridgeport Road and Spring Street. The region currently has plans to meet with the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area (BIA) as well as the City of Waterloo to confirm the timing of the construction. They plan to communicate that timing with the affected businesses early in the new year.

“[But] prior to starting this second phase of the project, we wanted to get some feedback from the community about what they like and what may need some improvements. Certainly, we’re open to any suggestions and it would add some value in the next phases of these projects,” said Eric Saunderson, senior project manager of design and construction for the region of Waterloo.

“[But] now that we have that first phase complete, it would be really good to hear from people. So if there’s any way that we can get the word out there and have people engage in the survey, that would be great,” Saunderson said.

The uptown streetscape project was approved back in 2015 by Regional Council. Since that time, there has been a substantial amount of public consultation to give the region a better understanding of whether or not they have been or will be  — meeting people’s expectations with this construction.

“The design is relatively new in the region and the province … and we just want to make sure that we’re meeting our design objectives overall,” Saunderson said.

“The intent of the design was to create an environment for all modes of transportation. It’s really important to emphasize the fact that we’re trying to create a balance between all of these needs.”

The survey commenced early last week and so far the region has received about 500 feedback responses.

Supplementing this survey were a number of individuals who took to the uptown area last Thursday to get additional feedback.

Despite the sudden inclement weather the city has been experiencing, they already have plans to make another attempt to collect responses in the uptown area.

“[But] now that we have that first phase complete, it would be really good to hear from people. So if there’s any way that we can get the word out there and have people engage in the survey, that would be great,” Saunderson said.

“It’s a very short survey, it’s only going to take five to ten minutes. We’re not asking for any contact information, so it’s completely confidential.”

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