Special Report: Cycling

Thank You For Making 2013 an Amazing Year

This year, Council endorsed several important programs that support livability. Please take a few minutes to thank them.

By Justin Jones
Published December 23, 2013

The time of year where we take time to reflect on what the past year has brought is upon us, and we at Yes We Cannon want to thank all of you for making 2013 such an amazing year.

Vision for Cannon Street with protected bike lanes (Image Credit: Jeremy Johnston)
Vision for Cannon Street with protected bike lanes (Image Credit: Jeremy Johnston)

It's hard to believe that a year ago, the idea of bike lanes on Cannon was but a glimmer in our eyes. Now, in the span of one year and with the help of our amazing volunteers, all the incredible community support and the thousands of voices that have made a stand for safe cycling infrastructure in Hamilton, we leave 2013 with the knowledge that early 2014 will bring about an unprecedented investment in cycling in Hamilton.

It's also important at this time of year to show our gratitude for our City Councillors. No, we might not agree with everything they say and do, but it's also important to recognize them when they support initiatives that will make our city safer, more active, more vibrant and better for everyone.

When you consider the things that got approved in 2013, it's a pretty impressive list:

So while there wasn't much progress in terms of physical infrastructure for active transportation in the City, the policy frameworks and the approved projects ensure that 2014 is going to be a banner year for pedestrians and cyclists in Hamilton.

This is something to be incredibly proud of, and something that deserves to be celebrated. So I encourage you all to email your Councillor and thank them for their support for Active Transportation in 2013. Even if they supported it grudgingly, their support is still necessary, and you always win more friends with a kind word of appreciation than with harsh words of criticism.

It's worth noting that those opposed to these types of initiatives often make their voices heard through phone calls and emails complaining about the steps that are being taken to make the city safer for all road users.

It's our responsibility as supporters of these types of initiatives to provide a counterpoint to that, and to thank Councillors and let them know that supporting these things is important and appreciated (especially in an election year), so please, email your Councillor (or all the Councillors) and thank them for their support for Active Transportation in 2013.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones, and we look forward to great things in 2014!

Justin Jones is the Manager, Bicycle Friendly Ontario at the Share the Road Cycling Coalition. Justin is a project manager, sustainability professional and rabble rouser with nearly a decade of experience in the sustainability field. His work with student groups, municipal governments and NGOs has taken him all over the country. He is passionate about civic engagement, with a special focus on active transportation issues and the creation of liveable cities through better infrastructure and education.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted December 23, 2013 at 19:59:04

Justin wrote: "...the cycling season..."

Kevin's question: When is that?

Here are a few videos to help you with your answer.

http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/?s=sno...

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By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2013 at 20:10:25

I'm referring to the season when most Canadians cycle. I, like you, Kevin, am a year-round cyclist, but that's not the case for everyone (at least not yet!).

For most people, riding along Burlington St. will wait until March or April.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted December 24, 2013 at 00:39:30 in reply to Comment 96325

I would suggest that for most people, riding along Burlington Street will wait until the cycle path is extended so that it is part of a network that goes from A to B where people want to go.

For example, I live in the Durand neighbourhood and work near Burlington Street and Parkdale Ave. About a 10 km ride to work. I would love for a cycle path to extend the length of Burlington Street. I would use it every day!

But to use the existing tiny section of cycle path, I would have to ride along the incredibly user-hostile and unpleasant Burlington Street before and after the cycle path. So guess what? I am not going to do that.

I see that "various types of cycling facilities between Wellington Street and Parkdale Avenue (connecting to Windemere Road)" are in the "Projects in the Planning Stage" at:

http://www.hamilton.ca/CityDepartments/P...

If acceptable cycle infrastructure built in compliance with the CROW bicycle traffic design engineering standards is built along Burlington Street between Wellington and Parkdale, then I will delight in using it every day. However, I am not holding my breath.

Speaking of this route...

The intersection of Windemere Road and Woodward Avenue is a good example of how the City of Hamilton consistently botches transportation infrastructure with lousy implementation. This intersection will be a vital part of the connection between the forthcoming Burlington Street cycle infra and the Waterfront Trail. It was recently entirely rebuilt with a large-scale construction project that took months and must have cost a lot of money.

Guess what! It was completely messed up with (among other engineering incompetencies) the requirement for people to lift their bikes over two curbs when making a left turn from Windemere onto the Woodward bike lane. This also denies disability access, currently totally prevented by the curbs.

Fixing this is within the capability of a guerrilla urbanism project. All we have to do is take a concrete saw and create a nice curb cut on the south side of the intersection of Windemere and Woodward. Then take the same saw and cut away enough of the centre curb on Woodward to allow people to make left turns without having to lift their bike over the curb. Then take a can of white paint and create appropriate intersections markings. I rather like the "Ladder" style. Voila! One successful guerrilla urbanism project.

Anyone out there have a concrete saw?

Comment edited by KevinLove on 2013-12-24 00:46:19

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By Um, no. (anonymous) | Posted December 26, 2013 at 06:22:47 in reply to Comment 96338

No. Let's build something that assists only you, or better yet, destroy the city's infrastructure so that it benefits a small subset of people. Yeah, that's using your noggin. Sheesh, I'd hate to see your take on home repairs and improvements!

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