I do believe the ION goes beyond the fact that the streets in Kitchener are not a grid. It jumps back and forth between many rights of ways and other streets. It is obvious that public input and nimbyism has pushed the LRT to go around many areas and obstacles. Its not like it follows one road that is windy.
More importantly, the Region wanted to save a boatload of money building this thing, so building on ex-freight ROWs really saved money from a property expropriation perspective.It doesn't have that much to do with nimbyism. The fact of the matter is that the most important ridership generators, especially at the north end, are not in a straight line from each other.