Thursday, May 31, 2007

Another TLC meeting!

Transportation for Liveable Communities will meet at 6:30pm Wednesday, June 6 to finalize comments on the city's Transportation Master Plan . All are welcome to attend. We are in Room 220 of the McMaster Student Centre.


Bus Tickets available upon request.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

where are the bus bike racks? a question and an answer...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: HSR Customer Service <>
Date: May 29, 2007 10:24 AM
Subject: RE: bike racks
To: Transportation for Liveable Communities <>

Randy: We are currently waiting for a response to our tender. Could you please
check back with us in approximately one month's time. Thanks.
-----Original Message-----
From: Transportation for Liveable Communities []
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2007 10:22 PM
To: HSR Customer Service
Cc:; Eisenberger, Fred
Subject: bike racks

Hi - any idea of when the bike racks will be installed on city buses?


Randy Kay
Transportation for Liveable Communities Hamilton

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

TLC Meeting Wednesday, May 30, 2007

TLC invites people interested in drafting a response to the city of hamilton's Transportation Master Plan to meet Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at McMaster University Student Centre room 224 - Please read the TMP at the city web site before the meeting.


bus tickets available on request

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

valley inn - cars out

Car free valley inn road in the cards: here's the spectator report on an open house to show the design.
A car free valley inn will enhance the natural setting at the mouth of Grindstone Creek where it enters Hamilton Harbour. It will also be an important part of the cycling network once work begins on the York Street Bike Lanes, due for construction this year (2007)

Walk or bike it, but no more cars

By Daniel Nolan
The Hamilton Spectator
(May 15, 2007)

The days are numbered for driving across the clattering timber deck of the Valley Inn Road bridge.

The deck is slated to be replaced this fall in a $200,000 rehabilitation project, which will also close the bridge linking Hamilton to Burlington over the Grindstone Creek to vehicle traffic. It will then be open only to pedestrians and cyclists.

The city held an open house last night to show residents what it has been working on for the bridge redesign since the spring of 2006. The present structure is a Bailey bridge, a military-style portable bridge, which was installed soon after the previous bridge collapsed beneath a truck May 5, 1965. A bridge has been at the site since the late 1800s.

There was talk of replacing the Bailey, but city officials decided to upgrade it, replace the decaying deck and also fund beautifying the area. This includes a 15-car parking lot at the top of Valley Inn Road (named for an old hotel which burned down in 1928) and a lookout into Sunfish Pond.

About two dozen people visited the open house. Lorissa Skrypniak, acting senior project manager, said the majority of comments have been "fairly positive," but she admitted some don't like to see the bridge closed to traffic. An environmental assessment has determined it should be closed to vehicles.

Randy Kay, a member of Transportation for Livable Communities, liked the change. "It's going to make it more intact environmentally and you can forget about traffic and think of other things," said the avid cyclist.

Keith Black, a retired Dofasco worker, believed it was a mistake to ban vehicles. "If it was good for people a hundred years ago, it's good for the people today," he said.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Two stories, one issue: Cootes

Lift your lead foot as you travel Cootes
Speed limit going down to 40 km-h to prevent further accidents
Kevin Werner, Dundas Star News

(May 11, 2007)

Politicians have approved reducing the speed along Cootes Drive from 80 km-h to 40 km-h to prevent another fatal pedestrian accident.

The speed limit along Cootes Drive will start at 50 km-h in Dundas, increase to 80 km-h travelling along the hill, drop to 60 km-h for 325 metres after the pedestrian walkway, then dip to 40 km-h as the road approaches the crosswalk, continues until the Cootes Drive and Main Street West intersection. The speed limit along Main Street West is 50 km-h.

Politicians will vote on the public works committee's recommendation at their May 16 council meeting.

Bryan Shynal, director of operations and maintenance, said city staff insisted that instead of dropping the speed limit from 80 km-h to 40 km-h, there needed to be a transitional speed limit at 60 km-h.

The request to reduce the speed limit along Cootes Drive near McMaster University came from the McMaster University Student Union and the university after complaints that drivers were exceeding the posted speed limit.

Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie, who introduced the motion, said earlier the idea is to create a "school zone" similar to council-designated school safety zones in front of elementary schools to protect students.

Pedestrian safety has been a particular concern since a 19-year-old McMaster University student was hit by a city of Hamilton truck in February 2006. The woman was struck at the pedestrian activated traffic lights on Cootes Drive. The city had constructed the traffic lights even though there had been no record of an accident at the location in the last 10 years.

McMaster University conducted a study that found between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. just over 3,700 individuals crossed Cootes Drive at the pedestrian traffic.

At the peak hour, between noon and 1 p.m., about 425 people crossed at the traffic lights. The study found there were a number of "near accidents" involving individuals and vehicles.

McMaster University is also investigating how to make the Cootes Drive area safer for pedestrians, including constructing a fence to "channel" individuals to cross only at the activated cross area and installing a speed limit sign on the Cootes Drive overpass revealing to drivers their posted speed.

Lowering speed not the answer to speeding: transporation rep
Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News

(May 11, 2007)

New speed limits on Cootes Drive won't solve ongoing speeding problems, according to a local transportation activist.

Dundas resident, and member of McMaster University's Transportation for Livable Communities, Randy Kay said Monday the group is pushing for a lane narrowing where Cootes meets a pedestrian controlled crosswalk, rather than new speed limit signs which received preliminary approval this week.

"The effectiveness of that is marginal, unless there's a lot of enforcement - which becomes an expensive proposition for the police and they could be doing other things," Mr. Kay said.

He said TLC has requested the two lane road be narrowed to one, then widen out again where Cootes meets Main Street West to maintain traffic capacity.

Mr. Kay believes that's a better way to slow down traffic because drivers will ignore new posted speed limits.

Council approval is expected next week after the public works committee approved an approximately 560 kilometre long 40 km/h zone on both sides of Cootes from Main West to the McMaster University parking lots.

The current 80 km/h zone will drop to 60 km/h for an additional 325 metres. Staff didn't expect the new speed limit signs up for at least four weeks.

Inspector Vince DeMascio, of Hamilton Police Services traffic department, said local police were not involved with the speed limit change.

A Speedwatch conducted on Cootes Drive in November apparently found no speeders on the two lane roadway.

Mr. Kay laughs at the suggestion that drivers on Cootes are following the 80 km/h speed limit, or 60 zone around the pedestrian controlled crosswalk just south of Main West.

"I think that's a joke. It's bologna," he said. "My experience as a driver and an observer is there's speeding."

His understanding of the Speedwatch program is that drivers can easily see the radar equipment and slow down at that time. Mr. Kay said the results are not a good indication of speeding.

He pointed instead to the 2004 study by Synectics Traffic Consultants for the City of Hamilton. That study led to the installation of the pedestrian controlled crosswalk on Cootes from McMaster to Sanders Boulevard in September 2005.

That study found "motorists were driving in excess of the speed limit and generally did not adjust their speed when pedestrians were observed waiting to cross Cootes Drive."

The study described speeding as "significant" and, in combination with high pedestrian and cyclist volume, creating a hazardous situation..

Synectics recommended lane narrowing and police enforcement to deal with the speeding problem.

On Feb. 13, 2006, a McMaster University student was struck and killed while crossing Cootes at the pedestrian controlled crosswalk. It was the first reported accident at the site in 10 years.

"If they're serious about making it safe, signs aren't the answer," Mr. Kay said.

"Signs aren't effective. They need lane narrowing."

[editorial comment - of course lowering speed is the answer, just how do we ensure lower speeds? a sign? or structural changes? TLC's position is: both]

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Rally Out for the Valley Inn...

Public Information Centre will be held to present the design for the
Valley Inn
Road bridge area.

DATE: May 14, 2007
TIME: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Admiral Inn, 149 Dundurn Street North, Hamilton

Full information available at the city of hamilton web site

Support a good design for this car-free bridge! See you there...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

step in right direction...

Speed limit cut on Cootes near Mac

* By Nicole MacIntyre
The Hamilton Spectator
*(May 8, 2007)

The city is lowering the speed limit on Cootes Drive to protect university students crossing the busy road.

Yesterday, councillors voted to reduce the speed from 60 km/h to 40 just south of the overpass at McMaster University to Main Street. There will also be a transition zone that will reduce drivers coming out of Dundas from 80 km/h to 60 before they hit the low speed zone.

Mac student Heather Watson, 19, was killed at the crossing in February 2006.

The city vowed after her death to explore whether there were more ways to make the popular crossing safer.

A recent university study found 3,700 people crossed Cootes Drive during the day. At peak time during the lunch hour, some 425 people crossed. The study also found a high risk for pedestrians to be hit.

Yesterday's committee motion, which was brought forward on behalf of Councillor Brian McHattie, noted the primary issue at the crossing is pedestrians and cyclists who ignore the traffic signals or don't use the crosswalk.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Pedestrian Fatalities - SNAFU

TLC member April Severin has been pushing for action on the high number of pedestrian fatalities of late in Hamilton Ontario. In 1998 a Toronto inquest was held after two cycling fatalities and a list of recommendations were drawn up.

TLC would like to see root issues addressed and a coroners inquest might provide the most comprehensive approach, barring concerted and sustained action from the city.

Here is the response so far:

April 30, 2007

Dear Ms. Severin:

RE: Pedestrian Fatalities

Thank-you for advising me of your concerns regarding the deaths of pedestrians while crossing roads in Hamilton. At this point, no inquest has been called, but I can advise you that our office is investigating the deaths, and will call an inquest if the circumstances meet the legal test for a discretionary inquest, under Section 20 of the Coroners Act.

Thank-you again,

Yours sincerely,

David S. Eden. M.D.
Regional Supervising Coroner Niagara

cc: Dr. B. McLellan, Chief Coroner