Monday, June 22, 2015

Our New Executive

We had our Annual General Meeting last week.

The ACNA executive team for the coming 12 months is:
Graham Jeffery (President)
- 519-578-9603

Susan Bishop (Vice-President)
Ann Whittle (Secretary)
Jeff McKinnon (Member at Large)
Karen van Sickle (Member at Large)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Learn more about the proposed pedestrian walkway between Alpine Road and Homer Watson. Another chance to provide your feedback.

Public Consultation Session at Activa Sportsplex, Thursday June 18th from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. In the Murray Fried Room. Drop in anytime.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Neighbours Day is Tomorrow !

Last reminder of the City-wide celebration Neighbours Day tomorrow Saturday June 13th. Here's what's happening at Country Hills Community Center, 100 Rittenhouse Road.

9 - 10:30 a.m. The fire department and bylaw will be here. Ask questions to the experts about fire safety, bike trails or take pictures with the fire truck.

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Participate in a community art project, scavenger hunt, various games, activities and live music that will be held throughout the day at the community center.

There will be a FREE giveaway to the first 100 guests at our event (one per family). Enter for your chance to win a pair of day passes to Bingemans, AND enter for your chance to WIN one of Four Grand Prizes!

You are welcome to take a tour of our facility anytime from 9-3 p.m. Just ask one of our staff or volunteers!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Big Music Fest cancels Sunday show featuring Rod Stewart, Blondie

The organizers have announced the entire Sunday lineup has been cancelled. The Saturday show with Soundgarden and Jane's Addiction will go ahead.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Alpine Road the Homer Watson Walkway - Come to a Public Consultation Session

Learn more about the proposed pedestrian walkway between Alpine Road and Homer Watson. Another chance to provide your feedback.

Public Consultation Session at Activa Sportsplex, Thursday June 18th from 4:30pm to 7:00pm. In the Murray Fried Room. Drop in anytime.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Alpine Community Garage Sales Tomorrow - Saturday June 6th

The weather is going to be great tomorrow, so we are going ahead to promote the area garage sales.  Community Kijiji ads have been posted and refreshed daily.  Community signs go up at the crack of dawn.  Drive your own sales with your own signs and online ads.  Basic Kijiji ads are free.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Your feedback needed on the Alpine Road to Homer Watson walkway proposal

Last Thursday May 28th, we had a presentation from the Region of Waterloo about the proposed walkway.  A detailed summary is below.  They are very interested in getting community feedback.  If you like, you can let me know what you think (  I will summarize all the responses I get, and let them know.  I'd like to know the following, but tell me more if you want...
- Would you use it yourself.  Do you know if family members, or your neighbours would use it?
- Is the proposal something you would support in general?  Why? Why not?
- What street do you live on?

If you want to know more, or have questions, come out to the open house info session on June 18th (details below).  Region of Waterloo planners will be on hand to answer questions, and you can fill out their response form.

Or you can ask me.  I might have answers.

Pedestrian Walkway Between Alpine Road and Homer Watson Blvd
Summary of Proposal

The Region of Waterloo is proposing this walkway for people walking, cycling and using wheelchairs.  No motorized traffic will be allowed.  The walkway will run behind the businesses at 10, 20 and 30 Alpine Court, just north of the berm that separates these business properties from the condo townhouses at 190 and 192 Alpine Road.  At the Homer Watson end, the walkway will emerge close to the signalized intersection of Homer Watson and Hanson Avenue.  Right now, if approved, the walkway would not be finished before 2017.

There are two primary reasons given to have the walkway built...
1. To give residents of the Alpine Neighbourhood better access to the businesses and services on the other side of Homer Watson - like St. Mary's High School, Activa Sportsplex, public sports fields, the Family Center, and Family and Children's Services.  Homer Watson between Block Line Road and Ottawa Street is 1.3 km long and there is no public point of access to Homer Watson from the Alpine Neighbourhood along this stretch of Homer Watson.  The number of Alpine residents potentially using the walkway has not been estimated.

2. To enable clients of the Family Center and of Family and Children's Services (F&CS) to more easily access Grand River Transit.  Currently, their clients arriving by transit walk from Courtland from a GRT #8 route bus stop.  The walkway would shorten the walking distance by 80 meters (to the Family Center / 725m down to 645m) and by 320 meters (F&CS / 845 to 525m).  It would also be more walkable than the current route along Hayward.  Using the walkway, people would walk to the #11 route stop at Kingswood and Alpine.  There are about 100 employees and 300 clients using these buildings daily.  Their transit usage has not been defined.

The total cost to build the walkway is around $500,000.  This includes:
- laying the 1.8 meter wide strip of concrete that forms the path, with a chain-link fence on the berm side.
- putting in the lights that will keep it illuminated at night.
- buying land from the property owners of the Alpine Court businesses
- at the Homer Watson end, a ramp would be built to make it easier for people with mobility issues to use the walkway
- extending a sidewalk a short distance along Alpine Road to the start of the walkway
The walkway has an expected 20 to 25 year lifespan before major repairs are needed.

The land and walkway will be owned by the City of Kitchener, which will be responsible for maintenance.  This includes snow clearing, garbage removal and grass cutting.  The annual cost of maintenance has not been estimated.

Better transit access to the Family buildings is also being reviewed.  However, Grand River Transit (GRT) will not re-evaluate their transit routes until the LRT is operating in 2017.  Even if transit routes change, the walkway may still be recommended solely on the basis of giving the Alpine neighbourhood better access to the other side of Homer Watson.  Currently GRT finds that changing a current transit route to pass by the Family buildings will require them to purchase a new bus (approx. $500,000) and staff/maintain it (approx. $500,000 annually).

A group of the residents living at 190 and 192 Alpine Road have formed a group that strongly opposes this proposal.  Some of their primary arguments against the proposal are:
- anticipated low usage of the walkway
- potential damage to natural environment affecting at-risk bird species
- traffic safety at the Alpine Road end of the walkway
- potential for criminal activity, including vandalism and graffiti, in this isolated area
- poor emergency services access to the path
- light pollution, especially glare into the front windows of homes at 190/192 Alpine Road
- loss of privacy for residents
- noise and loitering
- litter and the lack of waste bins
- insufficient information provided about ongoing maintenance costs
- potential bus route changes may remove the need for the path

There will be an open house to present this proposal to anyone interested on Thursday June 18th at the Activa Sportsplex, from 4:30 to 7:00 pm in the Murray Fried Room.

On Tuesday September 15th the proposal will be presented to the Regional Planning & Works Committee.  At that time public delegations will be permitted to speak about the proposal.  On September 23rd, the proposal will be placed before Regional Council for a vote to approve.  No public delegations will be permitted at that meeting.