Friday, March 28, 2008

bridge web

Doing some preliminary research into highway-spanning pedestrian and cyclist bridges, like the one on the books for Hamilton's crossing of the QEW highway, I just had to share the Region of Waterloo's transportation web page - they make a real effort to present the transportation options equally, and there are clear and prominent links to cycling and walking pages. Compare with the city of Hamilton page
So what about the preliminary research? - well, at this point the cost to span the 401 in Waterloo Region: $1.7 million. The projected cost for Hamilton's crossing of the QEW: $8 million.
Any thoughts on the price disparity would help. Is the QEW crossing 4 times the size of the 401 crossing?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

test yourself (watch out for cyclists!)

Thanks to Anita Toth for alerting us to this video!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jawing over Joe's

Next TLC meeting TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2008, 6:00pm at My Dog Joe Cafe, 1020 King Street West, Hamilton (Westdale) Free hot drink, on TLC!

View Larger Map

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

no two ways about it? two-way is the way to go!

The City of Hamilton is reviewing their Downtown Transportation Master Plan and inviting your input. The study includes a pedestrianized Gore Park

As sustainable transportation advocates, TLC supports converting one-way streets to two-way, bike lanes, wider sidewalks with pedestrian amenities, and traffic calming in neighbourhoods to create more liveable communities in our reviving downtown core.

So visit the city site at, read what they are proposing and add your comments.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

analysis of speed data before and after speed limit change on Cootes Drive

SYNECTICS (October 24, 2004)

“Speed data was collected at two locations: Station 1 (north of the Westaway Road overpass) and Station 2 (immediately north of the study site). Based on a review of the speed data, it was determined that a majority of vehicles at Station 1 are traveling above the posted speed limit (80 km/h). The 85th percentile speeds in the northbound lanes were observed to be higher than speeds in the southbound lanes (100 and 93 km/h compared to 90 and 87 km/h). The relatively high speeds are not surprising, given the roadway environment [emphasis added].

At Station 2, a very high percentage of vehicles were observed traveling above the lower speed limit (60 km/h). Overall, though, speeds are lower than at Station 1. The 85th percentile speeds in the northbound lanes were observed to be slightly higher than speed in the southbound lanes (84 and 76 km/h compared to 75 and 73 km/h).”

- - - -


“We have the results back from the 3-day speed/volume studies conducted on Cootes between the IPS and the bridge structure. The studies were conducted November 27, 28 & 29th. The results indicate the 85th %'tile speed heading into Dundas was about 71 km/h and heading into Hamilton, the 85th %'tile speed was 75 km/h. For what it's worth, the 15th %'tile speed was over 50 km/h in both directions.”

- - - -


NORTHBOUND (toward Dundas)

Synectics (Stn2) October 2004

City November 2008

84 and 76 (posted 60)

71 (posted 40)

24 and 16km/h diff

31km/h diff

Reduction in speed (84-71=13 km/h)

SOUTHBOUND (toward Hamilton)

Synectics (Stn2) October 2004

City November 2008

75 and 73 (posted 60)

75 (posted 40)

15 and 13km/h diff

35km/h diff

Reduction in speed (75-75=0km/h)

- - - -

The initial study (Synectics) recommended the lights with traffic calming.

"To address excessive vehicle speeds on Cootes Drive:

  • Provision of horizontal deflection, in the form of lane narrowing;

  • Provide increased police speed enforcement or use of a speed trailer; and

  • Changing the roadside environment to discourage high vehicle operating speeds."


“Why is the city not doing traffic calming?” Or, put this way: “If cars are speeding, what is the city doing to slow them down?”

why you should take the survey

The battle over safety on Cootes Drive continues, now into it's fourth year.
Click Here to take a survey on pedestrian safety on Cootes Drive

Some recent letters to the editor in the Dundas Star regarding the issue of pedestrian safety versus convenience of cars (i.e. not having to slow down) after an article showing that drivers continue to speed over the posted limits on Cootes Drive at the pedestrian crossing. Editorial comments added in brackets.

"When driving through this light on a daily basis, the biggest problem I see is not the people in the vehicles. It's the people on foot and on bikes. They have forgotten how to obey a cross walk signal. Don't Walk means Don't Walk! " [and 'don't speed' means 'don't speed!' Ed.]

"My six- and eight-year-olds know the rules about crossing the road. Let's spread the word to the people who cross Cootes Drive on a regular basis, and maybe adjusting speeds and narrowing roads will not be necessary." [why can't adults slow down and obey the rules of the road, like speed limits? Ed.]

or from another person:

"So why are most drivers speeding? I'll tell you. No consulting fees. Free of charge...40 km-h is ridiculous." [unless you consider safety and the direct correlation between speed and injury/death. Ed.]

"And to make it all worse, if you happen to come around the bend and into the 40 km-h zone at some freakishly high speed of, say, 60 km-h or 65 km-h, you will likely face a big fine and a huge jump in your insurance rates." [not if you aren't speeeding! Ed.]

"And if Mr. Kay had his way, there would be a police car there morning, noon and night looking to cash in on us crazy speed demons." [actually, no, we would have what the consultants suggested when they put the lights in: lane narrowing, and other traffic calming to slow speeding cars down. Ed]

Click Here to take survey

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


A very short (four question) survey for pedestrians and cyclists using the Cootes Drive pedestrian activated traffic light/crosswalk at Cootes Drive and Sanders Blvd. Click Here to take survey

Feel free to forward the link to active users of the crossing.

TLC will be out in the field collecting data for this survey in the next couple of weeks - get in touch with tlchamilton(at)gmail(dot)com if you can assist.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Getting to Work: Modes 2001-2006

Modes of transportation to work

City of Hamilton, 2001-2006

2006 2001
total people who travel to work 231850 219135
use transit

people 21665 18325
% 9.3 8.4

people 14700 14530
% 6.3 6.6
car as passenger

people 20970 16220
% 9 7.4
car as driver

people 172520 168430
% 74.4 76.9

Source: Statistics Canada Census

Thanks to Sara Mayo for compiling these stats

Saturday, March 01, 2008

transit wheels turning

In the words of Willie P. Bennett (R.I.P.)

Come on train
Can't you see I'm freezing here
Come on train

CATCH News – February 29, 2008

Transit revolution coming from province

Transportation decisions appear to be shifting away from city council to the province. And that will mean more transit, cycling and walking opportunities according to the head of the new transportation authority overseeing the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA).

Former mayor of Burlington Rob MacIsaac told this week’s air and climate change conference in Hamilton that major change is required and underway in moving people and goods. MacIsaac now heads Metrolinx, the renamed Greater Toronto Transportation Authority that recently directed $5.5 million to the HSR for more rapid transit in Hamilton.

“We are among the top five most congested city regions on the continent, and it’s getting worse every day,” MacIsaac warned attendees at the city’s Upwind Downwind Conference. “We are on a trajectory that will see us with Los Angeles style congestion in a relatively short period of time, and the worst in North America.”

The current congestion is already costing the GTHA economy an estimated $2 billion a year, as well as imposing unacceptable air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and stress, he said, suggesting that “land use planning got off the rails” by segregating residences from workplaces to protect people from the pollution of heavy industry.

“The suburbanization by cities has meant that walking and cycling and public transit are a lot less viable as forms of transportation because trips have become longer and they have become more complicated,” MacIsaac argued. “So ironically, what started off as dramatically improving public health, is now having precisely the opposite effect as rates of obesity and diabetes has trended dramatically upward.”

With a 50 percent population increase expected over the next quarter century, and a possible half million more cars accompanying this growth, the province has concluded that transportation planning can’t be left to cities or regional governments.

“We are now one big regional economy from Durham in the east to Hamilton in the west and York in the north,” notes MacIsaac. “Transportation investments being made in the United States are far and away superior to ours.”

He also pointed to Europe which is “light years ahead”, and specifically Madrid which has built more subways in the last decade than Toronto’s entire system. He went on to outline a future transportation system in the Toronto and Hamilton area tied to provincial land use rules, and directed by Metrolinx and including formal Metrolinx jurisdiction over GO Transit.

“When I travel to the Aldershot GO Station in the morning, I should be able to ride my bike there in protected lanes,” he envisioned. “I should have preferred and secure parking for my bike. I should be able to drop off my dry cleaning. A day care might make a lot of sense at a GO station.”

The Metrolinx board has been in place for less than a year and includes Mayor Eisenberger as Hamilton’s representative. It is currently seeking public comments on discussion papers – MacIsaac described seven of them to the conference attendees – which will be followed by “white papers” and then a set of major recommendations to the McGuinty government in June.

Their plans are moving away from road construction and towards more transit and other forms of “active transportation”. MacIsaac predicted the moves will be “difficult and controversial” and asked his audience to lobby councillors and other elected officials to support the changes.

“We need to develop a new transportation system using the principles of sustainability and mobility for those that will follow us,” he declared. “I need you to tell your councillor, your mayor and your MPP, and your MP how important that you think it is. I’m convinced that are few endeavours that we can undertake more worthwhile than changing the paradigm in transportation for our cities.”

CATCH (Citizens at City Hall) updates use transcripts and/or public documents to highlight information about Hamilton civic affairs that is not generally available in the mass media. Detailed reports of City Hall meetings can be reviewed at You can receive all CATCH free updates by sending an email to