Here are some items we discussed:
Street Painting initiative:On Monday, June 20, at the Kitchener city council meeting, Lane Burman, on behalf of MHBPNA, presented our idea to paint the intersection of Ahrens and Wilhelm (this topic has been mentioned here and here). City council approved Dan Glenn-Graham's motion to take this idea to staff and have them study it (and communicate with other cities where it has been successful) and bring a report back to council for the August meeting.
At our MHBPNA meeting we approved a motion to donate up to $500 for the paint for the intersection. We felt this would encourage council to support the idea and we hope that other intersections might be painted in the future out of the city's budget.
Our plan is open this up for ideas and perhaps have people submit illustrations and we can put them on the Blog and have a vote. If everything is approved, we hope to paint the intersection in the spring of 2015. We will also be talking with residents who live near that intersection to get their input.
Last week the Kitchener Post asked a Poll question: are you in favour of painting certain Kitchener intersections. MHBPNA was surprised to see that 55% said "no" and only 45 % said "yes". It is worthwhile for everyone to read about the success this practice has had here, here and elsewhere. We believe it is a great way to build community and slow traffic.
Spur Trail:We continue to follow the Spur Trail development (or lack, thereof). This would run from Wilhelm and Weber to downtown Waterloo. The Weber street construction has taken this plan into account and there will be bike/shared trails on both sides of Weber beginning around Wilhelm.
A mixed use trail has been approved but currently has no funding! We believe part of the problem is jurisdiction. Waterloo Region owns the land but CN maintains it and it runs through two municipalities. Everyone knows the trail is well used (with no paved walkway) and turning into a well maintained and safe bike/pedestrian route benefits everyone. So what is the hold up? MHBPNA continues to talk to the Region and other levels of government about this issue.
Breithaupt Park Rehabilitation and Shade structure:
There have been several Blog entries over the past year about the city's plans to "rehabilitate" Breithaupt Park. The city's plan for the park is detailed here. Although we had several meetings with citizens and the city, very few of our ideas were implemented in the final plan. For example, we had asked for a clear trail to be created to join the two halves of the park (the trail would run next to the splashpad area so cyclists would not have to ride through the parking lot). It is unclear whether or not this will happen (we are still asking for clarification).
We also asked for a shade structure to be built around the splash pad. Many residents have complained there is no shelter and the sun is harsh on young children's skin. The city has planted a number of trees (which they say cost over $5,800). But these will not offer any shade for another 5 to 10 years (if they survive). We are requesting (through our councillor Dan Glenn-Graham) that they city build a permanent shade structure for families now.
For the second year, MHBPNA hosted a Much Music Video Dance. We advertised on the Blog, Facebook, with posters, Twitter and via other means. We made a lot of younger and older kids very happy, but lost several hundred dollars because we did not get the numbers we wanted. But those kids that came had an excellent time! Next year we may not have a dance, or we will look to alternative providers.
As always, if you would like to be involved in our initiatives, need more information etc. please post to the comments here, or email us at "firstname.lastname@example.org". We are volunteers who live in this great neighbourhood and we'd love your input.