Traffic planners in the making: Student research on the Union Street Spurline Crossing

I am Jakob, I’m in grade 4. My brother Noah is in grade 2. We live near the where the Spur Line crosses Union Street and we cross at Moore Street to go to school and come home.  I am sometimes scared and stressed trying to cross Union Street. At the lights there are a lot of cars turning and not a lot of time to get across the street. At the Spur Line the cars go so fast that it’s hard to get across with my bike but the sidewalks to get to the lights at Moore are not wide and do not have curbs so it’s tricky to bike and walk there. I am worried someone is going to get hurt or worse.

We decided we needed a change so we made this problem our 2017 science fair project [Elizabeth Ziegler School].  We looked at all the problems cars and pedestrians have in that area and looked for ideas on Google on how the city could make that area safer for everyone. Our city Councilor, Melissa Durrell, told us we would need data for the city so we counted pedestrians and cyclists using the path and at the lights. We counted for 6 days in 15 minute chunks before school and after school. We also downloaded a radar app to our mom’s iPhone and recorded the speed of cars traveling in that area and we asked the city for the number of cars traveling along Union Street. We counted up to 150 people crossing Union Street between 8:40 and 8:55 in the morning the fastest car we measured was going 87 KM per hour but on average cars travelled at about 10KM per hour over the speed limit.

As the weather gets nicer in the school year even more people will be crossing Union Street. Before there is an accident we would like the city to look at our list of dangers and solutions. We would like curbs, advanced greens, a longer time to cross the street but most important we would like Union Street from Dover Street to Bowman Street to be named a Community Safety Zone and a cross walk with lights installed at the path.  We have collected over 120 signatures already and would like more.

Please sign our petition here! 


Additional Note: The City of Waterloo is also aware of this crossing concern and will host a public information feedback session on Thursday May 18, 5:30 – 8:00pm at Waterloo City Hall (100 Regina Street South). I hear Jakob & Noah will have a chance to present their research findings – how cool is that! If you can’t make it there in person, you can submit your feedback via engageWaterloo. But maybe you could go and support Jakob, Noah and their school project!

Counting people before school each day:
Counting people before school each day


No room for error!
No room for error!




Gathering their findings


Sign our petition!
Sign our petition about safety on the Union Street Spurline crossing!


Here’s the info on a sign at the crossing. See you there! spurline trail union street crossing

7 thoughts on “Traffic planners in the making: Student research on the Union Street Spurline Crossing

  1. So impressed and grateful. Your hard work and big ideas could make our streets safer for all of us. Big, big thanks.


  2. Noah & Jakob have reached 83 signatures… help them reach 100 before tomorrow’s meeting with the City of Waterloo re: spurline crossing


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.