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.



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