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.


ogimhere said...

First, as you mentioned it's the Ministry of Ontario that is doing the work on the bridge, not the city.
So, how can you attack the city for doing something it's not responsible for?

Second, there is a very close alternative with the King St. bridge and it's two-way bicycle lane over the 403. (It also connects with other bicycle routes.)

Third, if a cyclist, such as myself, still wants to cycle over the Main St. bridge, they can do so in mixed traffic. I much prefer mixed traffic over bicycle lanes because then I have more room to manoeuvre out of a situation, rather than being stuck against the curb.

However, given the fact that there are two exiting lanes from the highway, and the heavy vehicles (buses) that are also using these lanes, I can understand some reluctance that other cyclists would have about mixed traffic on this bridge.

So, if a cyclist doesn't wish to travel up to King St., or travel in mixed traffic, the only safe course across the 403 using the Main St. bridge is to dismount and use the sidewalk. (It's not safe for either cyclists or pedestrians to cycle on the sidewalk at any time, and should always be discouraged.)

In short, I think you're complaining about a non-problem. Why don't we see articles about illegal/unsafe cyclists, such as the ones who cycle on the sidewalks, or cycle the wrong way on one-way streets? They're the ones that are making it difficult for any city to embrace the cycling culture, for everyone.

Randy said...

a) no one was "attacked" and the city has a role in ensuring the MTO take care of cyclists
b) this IS the King Street bridge
c) see "b" to cover the rest of your letter
d) sidewalk cycling is not the big problem in Hamilton, compared to the lack of infrastructure to make cyclists safe in traffic.

Randy said...

I corrected the original post, which incorrectly referred to the Main Street Bridge. It is in fact a photo of the King Street Bridge. So it is still a fact that there is no alternative, with both the Main and King street bridges offering no bike lanes.

Anonymous said...

(Broken up because of length)

Cyclists on sidewalks are not only dangerous to pedestrians, but a danger to themselves, because motorists aren't looking for something approaching them at high speeds.

Do you remember the incident of the kid on the mountain bike on Upper James (last summer, iirc)? Instead of riding his bike on the road, where it's legal, he was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk, with no helmet, at a speed sufficient to kill himself when he collided with an SUV that had just turned into the driveway of a Tim Hortons.

The driver wasn't expecting to find a cyclist travelling that fast on a sidewalk. Yet, this website blamed the city for that death, rather than blame the cyclist for being irresponsible with their preferred mode of transportation. (I feel the same for those who skateboard on sidewalks, too.)

However, to get back to the point regarding safe crossings over the 403, the city is looking at building a bridge for the new LRT replacing the B-Line buses. Why not start a campaign to include both pedestrian and bicycle friendly options in that project. It could even be connected to the existing bike trail/route at King & Dundurn.

Also, note that the city has bike racks on all of their vehicles. If a cyclist doesn't feel comfortable using their bicycle in certain areas or, like myself, find the mountain too steep to climb, it's pretty simple to put your bike on the front of the bus, and ride in safety and comfort.

Now, while we won't always agree on what should be on this website, and we can simply agree to disagree on our respective points of view, I do have a suggestion.

It's easy to criticize. But, what would be helpful and more beneficial to everyone is to offer solutions.

So, instead of lamenting what we don't have, make suggestions as to how to improve the roads for everyone. Not just from the cyclist point of view, but for all users; motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

I'm sorry for posting anonymously (I'm ogimhere) but for some reason I can't post using my Google Account.