Friday, January 13, 2012

Monday, January 09, 2012

TLC January Meeting

Transportation for Liveable Communities (TLC) will meet at 7pm, Thursday, January 26 at the McMaster University Student Centre room 220.
We will be discussing sustainable transportation issues and planning action. Meeting is open to all with an interest in taking action on pedestrian, cycling, transit, traffic calming, etc.


From the City of Hamilton Cycling Page: the following Shifting Gears Cycling Plan projects have been cancelled, a situation made possible by a council amendment to the cycling plan upon adoption, allowing Ward councillors to veto projects. Projects are mapped by TLC here.
  • Mohawk Road (McNiven Road to Filman Road) - wider asphalt platform was not included in the resurfacing [project #127 in Shifting Gears; Councillor Ferguson, Ward 12]
  • Nash Road - as Councillor approval was not granted [project #76 in Shifting Gears; Councillor Collins, Ward 5]
  • Barton Street (Nash Road to Centennial Parkway) - relocation of utilities/poles impeded the project [project #13, Councillor Collins, Ward 5]
  • Queensdale Avenue - as Councillor approval was not granted [project #83 in Shifting Gears; Councillor Jackson, Ward 6]

Not There Yet...

Some observations based on the "Bike Friendly" article from the Hamilton Spectator, January 9, 2012 (copied below).

"delayed" - while it's understandable that delays with specific projects will occur, the big delay not mentioned is the potential 40-year timeline to implement the cycling network based on city council spending.
"$300,000 per year" has been the amount annually budgeted for cycling since well before the updated Shifting Gears Cycling Plan, and has had years where this amount was cancelled (most notably in 2003 during World Cycling Championship in Hamilton). This rate would mean the cycling network would have trouble being completed even in the long 40 year time frame quoted. The city would need to spend $1.25 million a year to complete only the urban portion, or $2.5 million to complete the urban and rural plan in 40 years.
"Patchwork, disconnected" is an ongoing complaint with bike lanes ending abruptly and leaving cyclists to contend with multiple lanes of vehicles including transport trucks.
"high speed traffic" is one of the unaddressed problems in the city, and traffic calming, like two-way traffic on what are now fast and wide one way streets, should be implemented sooner rather than later to make streets safer for all users.
"better parking facilities" - nothing says you're not welcome like a lack of bike parking at key destinations.
"separated infrastructure...along major roads" - while other cities like Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto are moving toward physically separated lanes to encourage more people to cycle, there is nothing in Hamilton's cycling plan acknowledging this latest innovation. Major roads have not been included in the Shifting Gears cycling plan and cyclists feel this is to keep cars moving as fast as possible while relegating bicycles to back streets along disjointed routes.
"new lanes currently planned" - the list given here are lower city streets primarily west of downtown; are other city wards getting lanes, or are they getting cancelled?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Up Front About McMaster's Main Entrance

January 3, 2012
Councillor Brian McHattie,
City of Hamilton
Dear Brian,

I am writing on behalf of Transportation for Liveable Communities (TLC) to formally request that the city of Hamilton take an active role in McMaster University's proposed changes to traffic patterns at the Main St. Entrance to McMaster University. The area of concern is a city property under your jurisdiction, yet there appears to have been little information shared in the planning.

As we understand, McMaster University has retained the MMM Group to assess the traffic situation at McMaster’s Main St entrance with the goal of enhancing safety. We applaud McMaster’s intention of improving safety at this dangerous location, which we have discussed with you numerous times over the past several years. Nevertheless, we would like a more open and transparent consultation with local residents and stakeholders to ensure overall City and McMaster transportation priorities emphasizing pedestrian, bicycle and public transportation are met. Dealing with the front entrance in isolation, as a McMaster University issue, will present difficulties for a satisfactory outcome.

Sincerely yours,

Randy Kay

cc - TLC
Daryl Bender