Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Red Hill to the Lake - New Pedestrian-Cycling connection

It is big money, $8 million, but it is a big job, and it looks to be well done. The structure is comfortable to use as a cyclist or pedestrian, and the lines are bold yet simple. 

Getting non-motorized traffic over the Queen Elizabeth Way to connect the Red Hill Valley trails to the waterfront trail on Lake Ontario required a bold initiative. Thankfully, the province of Ontario came through with the majority of funds to see this project to completion.

There were a surprising number of people using the waterfront trail on a Monday mid-day, where the lake was keeping the air cool, unlike places inland where it was much warmer. 

I suspect the city authorities will be adding trail signage to help direct people to the new bridge. There was still being work done to complete the connecting trails on the far side of the bridge.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

auto book talk

Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay
Book launch and discussion with authors Yves Engler and Bianca Mugyenyi
** 5:30pm ** Friday May 13 ** Skydragon (27 King William St.) Hamilton

In North America, human beings have become enthralled by the automobile: A quarter of our working lives are spent paying for them; communities fight each other for the right to build more of them; our cities have been torn down, remade and planned with their needs as the overriding concern; wars are fought to keep their fuel tanks filled; songs are written to praise them; cathedrals are built to worship them. In Stop Signs: Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay, authors Yves Engler and Bianca Mugyenyi argue that the automobile's ascendance is inextricably linked to capitalism and involved corporate malfeasance, political intrigue, backroom payoffs, media manipulation, racism, academic corruption, third world coups, secret armies, environmental destruction and war. An anti-car, road-trip story, Stop Signs is a unique must-read for all those who wish to escape the clutches of auto insanity.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

setting up the valley inn car free space

Construction is underway on rest areas at the now car-free Valley Inn Road. Nice to see people space being created in place of car parking. What do you think about this area now that cars are excluded? Share your thoughts.

Missing Bike Lanes on Bridges over 403

With both Main and King Street bridges over highway 403 under construction, the loss of separated bike lanes have left cyclists with a lack of infrastructure to safely cross the bridges.

Ward One councillor Brian McHattie responded to our complaint with a supportive e-mail reporting that he has requested the bike lanes be reinstalled, noting that auto traffic should be able to get by with one lane.

We'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 09, 2011

cyclists sidelined

The King Street bridge over Highway 403 is due for repair work from the Ministry of Transportation Ontario. As a result, lane reductions have left two lanes for cars and a narrow sidewalk, but nothing for cyclists.
The busy contra-flow bike lanes have been replaced with instructions to dismount and cross using the sidewalk. There are limited options for crossing the highway, with this bridge being the most popular with cyclists. So, why nothing for cyclists?
In a "balanced transportation system" touted by the city, this kind of marginalization of cycling on a major commuting route should not be occurring.

Monday, May 02, 2011

evolution of bike culture

I would trace the grassroots development of bike culture in Hamilton from the 1997 beginnings of Recycle Cycles with the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) McMaster, where the idea of starting Critical Mass Hamilton sprung (May 1998) and, after two years of rides, the formation of an advocacy group in 2000, Transportation for Liveable Communities (again through OPIRG McMaster). Other groups followed, like MaCycle and advocates for sustainable transportation at Raise the Hammer, and this wonderful group out of New Hope Bicycle Co-Op. The point is, the basis for a healthy cycling culture is blossoming, and the city needs to do more to make room for us on the streets.