Friday, December 30, 2005

Valley Inn Bridge going Car Free!

December 30, 2005

Transportation for Liveable Communities (TLC) is a volunteer working group of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group at McMaster University. TLC seeks to improve conditions and infrastructure that supports and actively encourages healthy and sustainable transportation modes, including walking, transit, cycling and car pooling.

TLC is very pleased to see that the preferred option for Valley Inn Road involves creating a car-free area by closing the road to vehicles and replacing the existing bridge with a pedestrian bridge.

TLC feels that this will enhance the environment and the integrity of the natural area at the mouth of Grindstone Creek, and strengthen pedestrian and cycling links between Burlington and Hamilton while reducing road maintenance costs.

This project is an important link in the larger trails development plans with the proposed bike lanes along York Blvd. Because this is such an important link for cyclists TLC would like to have assurance that the bridge structure at Valley Inn is designed to accommodate cyclists and pedestrian traffic in a safe and clear manner, i.e. wide enough and marked to ensure safe passage for both modes.

Further, TLC would like to suggest limiting traffic from the east off Spring Garden Road. The options presented during the last open house suggest possibilities including making a turn-around for cars at the bottom of the hill on the east side of the bridge (presented as option 1) or a turn-around for cars at the top of Spring Gardens (presented as option 2). TLC supports the second option (option 2) of a turn-around at the top of Spring Gardens: the short distance down Spring Gardens to the bridge should be limited to vehicles from the (one) residence and service vehicles from the Royal Botanical Gardens and the City and emergency vehicles, leaving the roadway otherwise available for cyclist and pedestrian traffic. Doing so would enhance the entire project by making the pedestrian (including wheelchair) and cycling amenities safer while avoiding the future construction of an expensive and intrusive separate pedestrian/cyclist trail beside the existing Spring Gardens Road.

In closing we would like to thank you for the opportunity for input into this worthy project.

Transportation for Liveable Communities

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