Everyone on twitter is up in arms of course because the Waterloo City council agreed to move the Iron Horse Trail. It was bound to happen. I’m sure Mady Corp knew, seven or ten years ago when they first looked at the site, that the future decision to move the trail was in the bag. Developers are pretty smug when it comes to dealing with city councils.
That may not be right.
But it’s just the way it is.
That’s life. That’s what they say. The developers are the ones spending the money. The ones with the money, have the power and if you have the power and the money, you make the rules.
Thing is, it’s a good deal. That little section of the Iron Horse Trail was not part of the tree-lined scenic pathway. It ran past the old table and chair factory and then a block or three through low volume city traffic before getting washed out through the back of UpTown Waterloo. So the Iron Horse Trail ends a block early now. Who cares?
Oh, its the precedent? Giving up parkland to developers. I get it. Let’s all get in the way of progress. Big business is bad. One little section of trail is good.
From waterloo.ca: “In exchange for acquiring the city-owned lands, Mady will build a new wider trail, complete with upgraded features including rest areas, public art, and other trail features upon which the public is invited to provide input. While the entrance to the trail will remain in the same location on Park Street, the exit onto Caroline Street will be shifted slightly to the south. In addition to the new trail built between Park and Caroline Streets, Mady proposes to build a new asphalt, multi-use trail north on Caroline Street to its intersection with Allen Street.”
That seems pretty fair to me.
Let’s face it, we all knew which way the vote was going to go.
This decision affects me personally. I live not far from there and I love riding my bike along the Iron Horse Trail. I’m not going to bemoan an obvious decision. It’s a good decision.
Furthermore, the building at 144 Park is a nice looking building. I’ve watched since last year it taking shape. I like what I see. UpTown Waterloo is doing so well. It’s come a long way in a short time.
I’d applaud or city officials for making an unpopular decision except for the fact that this decision was really made many years ago before any of them were elected. Frankly, if the decision had gone the other way I’d be angry at the councilors for pandering to public opinion.