I wanted to make sure that everyone who lives  around the Auditorium knows about a neighbourhood meeting to discuss the Kitchener Rangers plan to expand The Aud by 1000 seats. But hopefully you have seen a flyer distributed earlier this week on an ad about it. More information on the proposed expansion can be found at: kitchener.ca/audexpansion.

The meeting is this coming Wednesday, Oct. 12, 6 – 8 p.m. in the Subscriber’s Lounge at the Auditorium. You can also give feedback through an online survey.

I haven’t reviewed the material in detail but based on what I have seen including media reports I am supportive of the project. I know the biggest concerns of neighbours are traffic and parking–especially when the streets are narrowed by snowbanks in the winter.

Here’s what the FAQ says on those points:

Won’t an increase in seating capability at the Aud mean an increase in traffic volumes around the facility on game days/nights?
The city plans to hire a consultant to conduct two studies – a traffic impact study and a parking impact analysis. The objective is to get a better understanding of the traffic and parking conditions during events at The Aud, and to anticipate how those conditions will change with the addition of 1,000 more seats. In addition, the Kitchener Rangers have proposed launching a shuttle service to provide door-to-door service from the downtown parking garages to The Aud. The Downtown Kitchener Business Improvement Association is also planning to work with their members to engage the shuttle users both before and after the games.

I’d suggest that the proposed shuttle service be a condition of adding the seating for any event expected to bring in more cars than the lots on the site can handle. I’d also like to see a plan to encourage greater use of public transit to get people to and from the games. That option should be heavily promoted. It should be heavily used once the LRT is built especially after an iExpress route is running north-south on Ottawa St. In the mean time, the parking lot shuttle needs to be connected to the Kitchener bus terminal and possibly one or more likely transfer points.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and questions here but be sure to also participate in the official process.

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