Special Report: Cycling

Voice Your Support for Connecting the Hunter Street Cycling Gap

Making it easier and safer for people to cycle to transit is a key part of reducing costly traffic congestion and addressing the climate emergency.

By Jay Krause and Chelsea Cox
Published January 15, 2020

On Monday, the City's Public Works Committee voted against receiving an information report from staff about the Hunter Streetbicycle connection. As reported by CBC Hamilton and The Hamilton Spectator, this vote doesn't mean that the bicycle lane is cancelled, but it could be cancelled if a motion is introduced against the project at next week's Council meeting.

Hunter Street bike lanes, ending at MacNab Street (RTH file photo)
Hunter Street bike lanes, ending at MacNab Street (RTH file photo)

Now is the time to reach out to your councillor and voice your support for the Hunter Streetcycling connection. Contact information is linked at the end of this post.

Project Background

First approved in 2018, the Hunter Street bicycle lane will fill a dangerous gap in our downtown cycling network. The project will connect two "orphaned" bicycle lanes on Hunter Street, which end abruptly at Catharine Street to the east and MacNab Street to the west, leaving a four-block gap in front of the GO station downtown.

Map: Hunter Bike Lanes (blue) with missing connection (red) (Image Credit: Google Maps)
Map: Hunter Bike Lanes (blue) with missing connection (red) (Image Credit: Google Maps)

As outlined in the staff report, 33 metered parking spots along Hunter Streetwill be removed and a loading zone will be created on the north side curb. The project also includes a new AODA compliant traffic signal on Hunter at Hughson to facilitate pedestrian crossings in front of the GO station.

Rendering from staff report on Hunter Street bike lane connection
Rendering from staff report on Hunter Street bike lane connection

When the City conducted public consultations in 2019, support for the project was high. Over 500 people and businesses participated in a series of events. An online survey was also conducted with 254 people responding, 91 perce of whom supported the project. You can read more about the public consultations.

Originally planned for installation in 2019, the Hunter Streetcycling connection was one of 19 planned cycling projects that were delayed until 2020 (or later). The project is being built with 80 percent funding from the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program, a one-time provincial grant that must be spent by the end of 2020.

Committee Votes

At the end of the discussion, the committee voted against receiving the staff information report. Here's how committee members voted.

Voted to receive the report:

Voted against receiving the report:

Conflict:

Next Steps

Completing this project will provide a safer connection for people cycling to the GO station as well as a new and safer route for cycling across the downtown. Making it easier and safer for people to cycle to transit is a key part of reducing costly traffic congestion and addressing the climate emergency.

We urge all Cycle Hamilton members to act and ensure that this project moves ahead. Please reach out to your Councillor and the Mayor by email or by phone to voice your support for this important connection.

Contact information for your councillor is available online.

Jay Krause and Chelsea Cox are Co-Chairs of Cycle Hamilton. Formed as a registered non-profit organization in 2015, Cycle Hamilton is a member-supported group of individuals, communities, and organizations that work together to make Hamilton a place where people of all ages and abilities can safely get around by bike to all parts of the city. We strive to inspire people to ride their bikes in a growing network of connected and safe bike lanes and to create a culture of bike riding in Hamilton.

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