Participatory Budget

School Food Programs Top Ward 1 Participatory Budget Picks

The ward's second annual participatory budget results, unveiled Thursday night at a community meeting, saw two different school food programs land at the top of the priority list of how to spend the ward's area rating budget of $1.5 million.

By Saira Peesker
Published January 24, 2014

this article has been updated

The people of Hamilton's Ward 1 want their kids to be well-fed.

The ward's second annual participatory budget results, unveiled Thursday night at a community meeting, saw two different school food programs land at the top of the priority list of how to spend the ward's area rating budget of $1.5 million.

"Lunch/breakfast programs at local schools" received 820 points in the ranked voting system, allocated $80,000 by the appointed advisory committee. Food4Kids school nutrition programs ranked in second place, with 694 points. That program was allotted $40,000.

Other programs rounding out the top five were bike lanes on York Boulevard between Dundurn and downtown (627 points, $100,000); alleyway paving and beautification (622 points, $100,000); and calming strips, speed bumps and crosswalks throughout the ward (620 points, $200,000).

See the full list here.

Ward 1 2014 Area Rating Recommendation
Rank Project Description Points $ Allocated
1 Lunch/Breakfast programs at local schools 820 80,000
2 Food4Kids school nutrition programs 694 40,000
3 Bike lanes on York Blvd between Dundurn and Downtown 627 100,000
4 Alleyway Improvements (link, pave, beautify) 622 100,000
5 All of Ward 1: calming strips/speed bumps, zebra/ladder crosswalks 620 200,000
6 Artificial turf at Westdale High School 585 100,000
7 Churchill Park: Lawn Bowling Club renovation 526 50,000
8 Bike lanes on Longwood Road North 477 50,000
9 Pedestrian bridge at north end of Locke to the Waterfront Trail * 475 0
10 Beautify Ward 1 Neighbourhoods (flower beds, irrigation, planters, bollards) 460 50,000
11 Convert Dalewood and Ryerson to salt water pools 450 25,000
12 Recycling bins across the ward 434 10,000
13 $100,000 to be saved towards infrastructure for social and exercise activity centres dedicated for seniors 405 100,000
14 Main/Dundurn and King/Dundurn: pedestrianize intersections 346 10,000
15 Bike racks across Ward 1 335 25,000
16 Purchase Prince Philip School* 325 0
17 Partners in Nutrition/TASTEBUDS school nutrition programs - combined with Rank 1 & 2 303 0
18 HAAA: splash pad 288 25,000
24 Locke @ Hunter: pedestrian activated crosswalk 257 150,000
25 Improvements to Emerson Street (lighting, bike lanes, widen sidewalks, flowers and trees) 255 60,000
49 Alexander Park: replace pool with splash pad 116 25,000
Investment Fund 300,000
TOTAL 1,500,000

The intersections of Dundurn and Main, and Dundurn and King, will see better pedestrian features.

Some of the proposed projects that didn't make the grade included a scramble intersection at Sterling Street and Forsyth Avenue, near the eastern entrance to McMaster University; a performance space at Victoria Park; a traffic-calming piazza on Locke Street; and a long-proposed pedestrian bridge from the north end of Locke Street to the waterfront trail.

Over 400 Projects Suggested

More than 400 projects were suggested by community members, although several were lumped together by the advisory committee before the voting stage, according to memo issued by the councillor's office on Thursday. 1,264 participants of all ages voted on the shorter list of 85.

The vast majority submitted their votes online, each choosing their top five on a ranked ballot, so a voter's top choice received more weight than their fifth choice.

The committee, appointed by Councillor Brian McHattie, had the task determining how to split the pot of cash between the constituents' most popular suggestions.

At Thursday night's meeting, McHattie plans to launch the 2014 budget process. His office will accept applications for this year's advisory committee until Jan. 27. Interested parties must apply by Monday, be from the ward and be willing to attend regular meetings throughout the budget cycle.

In a previous interview with Raise the Hammer, McHattie said he was starting the process earlier this year to try to better align with the City's budget-planning schedule.

"We're going to start the process in January and try to wrap it up in June," he said in October. "We're battling against time."


Update: this article originally stated that a pedestrian bridge from Locke Street North to the waterfront trail was included. This is incorrect, and RTH regrets the error. According to Councillor McHattie:

Last year and this year PBAC set aside $300K/yr for larger projects; $600k now lies in that reserve. The Committee is aware of the Locke N ped bridge project but in a more urgent fashion also a pending option to purchase Prince Philip School. The Committe is prepared to allocate up to $500K to that purchase and will confirm as the School Board process evolves.

So, it is unlikely funding will flow to the ped bridge project this year. More communication on this will occur within the next couple of months.

Saira Peesker is an ace reporter who covers politics, business and current events. Her work has appeared on YourHamiltonBiz, OpenFile and CTVNews.ca, among others. When not snooping for scoops, she skates in counter-clockwise circles with Toronto Roller Derby's all-star team, CN Power. You can follow her on Twitter @SairaPeesker.

57 Comments

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 10:56:55

Can anyone confirm if the Locke N pedestrian bridge is actually going ahead? The Strathcona Community Council has been asking for years to see this already-approved pedestrian/cycling link built. Would be huge news if it's finally going to be funded.

Will open up a whole new area of downtown/west end to the beautiful waterfront trails, and provide another great link in the cycling network.

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By JasonAAllen (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2014 at 13:46:05 in reply to Comment 97136

That is not accurate. We are seeking a correction.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2014 at 16:51:50 in reply to Comment 97152

Thanks for noting the error. It has been corrected in the article.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:36:53 in reply to Comment 97152

Let's make 2014 the year we finally get moving on this project. It has received a huge number of votes both years in the P-budgeting process and folks in the area have been begging for it's completion. Time to get on with it.

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:03:30

Will the city start to listen? It seems pretty clear that the people who live in ward one want calmer streets and walkable/bikeable neighbourhoods.

Or will Lloyd Ferguson continue to put "his constituents'" commute time concerns above those of the people who live in the actual ward that they are driving through?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:08:11 in reply to Comment 97138

Trust me, the desire for speed humps and safe neighbourhoods here is astounding. People have had it with all the speeding short-cutters. I've clocked cars getting up to 70k on the short little blocks of Peter and Florence between Locke and Pearl. And do you know where they are short-cutting to/from? From Queen to King or from York to Queen. Think about the madness. They are leaving overbuilt freeways like York, Queen and King to blast through our neighbourhood with kids playing, walking, cycling etc.... we have ZERO respect or tolerance for anyone who thinks doing 65k on York or Queen still isn't fast enough in a dense downtown neighbourhood.
Can't wait to start getting speed humps installed.

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By PearlStreet (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:44:40 in reply to Comment 97140

Totally agree.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2014 at 13:02:06 in reply to Comment 97140

I still think that, at least in the South side (Kirkendall/Durand) a 2-way conversion would offer many of the benefits of speed-humps while also offering the dividends of wayfinding and, well, not having to drive over darned speed-humps.

But as you say, the problem exists in the North as well... I'm really confused how anybody could be taking Peter or Florence as a "short-cut" - are they ducking away from red lights or something? Because it doesn't seem "shorter" than the swift-moving main routes.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-01-24 13:07:14

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:06:07 in reply to Comment 97146

Exactly - only in Hamilton would the public works department be so blind that they prefer to install speed humps on streets they've inappropriately built as one way thoroughfares, rather than fix the root problem by making them two-way

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:26:10 in reply to Comment 97154

I think both are necessary. My street is a very narrow two-way. You must pull over and let oncoming cars pass. Yet short-cutters still hit 70km every single day here. It's downright scary. To Pxtl - yes, people coming up Queen seem to think it's faster to bomb through here to Locke and then right on King, instead of just turning onto King from Queen. My dream scenario, which would require neighbour support, would be to make Peter St a 'no entry' from Queen. Build a bumpout and only allow traffic to exit Peter onto Queen. Last fall I went outside for a few rounds of watching the traffic on Peter. Of the 25 cars I saw turn onto Peter from Queen over a 3-day period of watching, all of them but 2 went all the way to Locke and turned left heading to King. I'd like humps on Locke N, Peter, Napier, Florence, Pearl and Ray eventually. Florence, Peter and Locke seem to be the most pressing initially though.

Florence is a beauty. People come off York at Dundurn or Strathcona and blast all the way down Florence and either get back on York at Ray, or jog over to Peter and onto Queen. It's remarkable watching people drive like lunatics...and scary for all the parents in the neighbourhood.

Comment edited by jason on 2014-01-24 14:27:24

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:08:13 in reply to Comment 97158

Thinking it over, I can see how Peter street happens - a driver pulls onto Queen, sees a long queue of cars, and turns right to exploit that clever route only he knows. All the "normal" drivers patiently wait in the queue at Queen, but the "clever" ones who seek any possible way to shorten their commute go down Peter. So you've already filtered out the patient people, and have only the impatient drivers heading down the street - and I wouldn't think impatient folks would drive slow.

A no-right-turn sign has been used elsewhere in the city - there's a similar sign on Wellington keeping drivers from using Simcoe/Ferguson to get over the train tracks when a slow-moving train is blocking them (yeah, my bad, totally used to do that myself).

Personally I don't like the no-right-turn and would prefer alternate traffic control measures - all the one-ways make it hard-enough to navigate this city, it doesn't need to be any harder to figure out how to get where you're headed. Hopefully speed-bumps and other calming will work for Peter Street.

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By Stinson (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 18:06:26 in reply to Comment 97158

You got a radar gun? I'd love to clock some people on main/king.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 20:40:49 in reply to Comment 97174

No. I don't. I'm not proud of the manner in which I've obtained these speeds people are actually going, but I've tailed a few short-cutters myself when no pedestrians or cyclists were around.
A couple times I called off my 'pursuit' at 70 because I simply felt too unsafe. I didn't think it was possible to go so fast in between stop signs on such short blocks, but people do it. Every. Single. Day.

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By Hyperbole (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 19:06:55 in reply to Comment 97174

Of course not. He's going by what his eyes are telling him.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2014 at 00:06:49 in reply to Comment 97176

According to the 2002 Durand Traffic Study the city conducted, 40% of traffic on Durand streets exceeded the speed limit, and over 200 cars a day were clocked exceeding 65 km/h. Since lower city traffic volumes have declined since then, it's reasonable to conclude that the excessive speeding made possible by slack lane capacity will be worse today. It is also reasonable to assume that speeding in nearby Strathcona won't be much different.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:24:07 in reply to Comment 97181

Uh oh! Facts!

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By RobF (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 20:23:08 in reply to Comment 97176

That may be true, but even 30 or 40 km/h would be too fast on residential streets in Strathcona ... Peter is quite narrow, especially down toward Queen St.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:29:29

I suspect that "Bike lanes on York Blvd between Dundurn and Downtown" would extend from Dundurn to Queen (the edge of Downtown and the eastern border of Ward 1) but even so, that's a great blank filled in.

Nice to see the ongoing enthusiasm for alleys as well. Between Ward 1&2, PB sessions have allocated $320,000 to this oft-neglected infrastructure.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:41:06 in reply to Comment 97141

The York bike lanes are going to be separated lanes taking up a full lane each way on York. As you know, York is currently 2 lanes each way west of Dundurn, and 2 lanes eastbound past Hess. This will connect the bike lanes on either side by using excess lane capacity. The lanes already approved will be protected bike lanes. I suspect that somewhere around Hess/Caroline the protected lane will slim down to meet up with the current painted bike lane, and the two vehicle lanes will angle towards the south side of the street, with the left turn lane onto Bay being a typical turning lane that one must shift over into, instead of simply being part of a general lane that suddenly goes left like it is now. Westbound, the plan is to connect the protected Cannon St lanes with the new York lanes probably at Hess, and shift to the north curb west of Hess.

Alley improvements are also a great item, but personally I hope we go easy with paving them. We need less hard surfaces in the city, not more.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2014 at 13:09:33 in reply to Comment 97142

... as much as I'm looking forward to a little pacification of York Boulevard, I'm not looking forward to the screaming we'll be hearing from commuters about converting those lanes. York carries a lot of traffic at rush-hour and there's going to be a lot of drivers angry when it backs up.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-01-24 13:09:56

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:09:27 in reply to Comment 97149

Where will it back up? Eastbound, it mysteriously gains a lane at Dundurn - how much traffic is actually turning right on Dundurn to York? Westbound it loses a lane at Dundurn. Is the volume east of Dundurn that much higher that we couldn't afford to lose that lane a few blocks earlier? I suspect york will happily carry the same number of rush hour cars with those two lanes given over to people.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:28:45 in reply to Comment 97155

volumes on York steadily drop from the 403, then Dundurn, then Locke, then Queen, then Bay. The 3rd lane is unnecessary. But yes, drivers will still scream.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:15:39 in reply to Comment 97155

You're probably right - I'm mostly thinking about red-light-cycles, though. Traffic backing up far enough that it takes two cycles to get through the light... then again, York's cycles are really long IIRC.

We both know that there'll be rage if there's even the most minimal perception that the road has slowed down, even if it's a perfectly reasonable amount. "Thanks, bike lanes", y'know?

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:48:52 in reply to Comment 97156

Yeah - but as the bus lane showed, the fury subsides pretty quickly with most people. Of course there will always be a few very loud, longer lasting opinions with every issue...

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By Stinson (registered) | Posted January 26, 2014 at 01:23:21 in reply to Comment 97165

Back in the news today: http://bit.ly/1eU7R9l

Comment edited by Stinson on 2014-01-26 01:25:34

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted January 26, 2014 at 13:28:02 in reply to Comment 97204

Hamilton police Staff Sergeant George Narozniak said that drivers generally respect the bus lane, even if the lane markings aren't clearly visible.

“Although it is newer, there is a quite a bit of compliance, from what I understand.”

So, in other words, he didn't actually bother to look for himself.

I regularly use this street, and can attest that the level of dangerous and illegal car driving is very high.

In particular, when I respect the law and travel in the next lane over, car drivers REGULARLY illegally and dangerously pass on the right using the bus lane for this dangerous and illegal stunt.

Complaints to the Hamilton police resulted in the usual FIDO non-enforcement of the law in the face of these violent and dangerous criminals.

The Parliament of Canada has decided that Dangerous Driving is good for up to five years in prison. Too bad that the Hamilton police do not believe in enforcing the law upon violent and dangerous criminals.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:55:13 in reply to Comment 97165

Yup, so true. Someone needs to call out those councillors who wanted to yank the bus lane on day 3. By day 30 nobody even noticed it.

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By HamiltonBrian (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 18:34:03 in reply to Comment 97167

Well, to be fair, the "No Bus Lane" flyers were still on the windows of businesses like Sunrise, Deja Vu, etc as of Thursday. I'm not sure why they're still struggling with it.

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2014 at 07:44:51 in reply to Comment 97175

Flat Spot and Bodega have stopped protesting.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 25, 2014 at 18:28:15 in reply to Comment 97183

Flat spot moved into Jackson Sq. Apparently not having parking 4 feet from the store isn't that big of a deal after all.

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By Stinson (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 12:43:31

Money allocated seems low in some projects. The Ancaster splash pad cost between 150k and 200k.

Expect some snags: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/n...

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2014 at 13:00:07

Good to see such a fast turnaround on the results. Big thanks to everybody who worked on this.

I can't help but be a little disappointed that table, though. Both food programs appear every year even though they violate the requirement that PB projects be capital-intensive instead of ongoing costs... I'm honestly confused at how both of these things scored top points. Is it just a subject that resonates well with voters? Was there somebody stumping for them? I know the WHYS were very aggressive in campaigning for astroturf, but I didn't hear anything about the food programs.

Also, that money seems to be spread really thin. I don't know how much can be done for the awful King/Main/Dundurn intersections with only $10k (other than a yield-to-pedestrians sign at the ramps hint hint).

Also, the jump to 24th rank for the Lock improvement, sporting the 2nd-largest dollar requirement, is conspicuous. I assume Councillor McHattie pulled rank there? It is his prerogative, I don't think anybody expected this to be purely direct democracy.

I'm very happy to see the York Boulevard bike lanes take the 3rd slot, though. That speaks volumes about Ward 1.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-01-24 13:11:00

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By JasonAAllen (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2014 at 13:44:41 in reply to Comment 97145

A couple of comments as I'm on the committee: The food programs were not stumped for by anyone we are aware of, but have always (this year and last) scored the most votes. The money is to be allocated to food iteslf (which is capital) vs. program spending. This is indeed a subject that resonates very well with voters.

The Main/King/Dundurn interesection is under the control of the MTO, who dictate what can be done to those intersections due to their proximity to a 400 series highway. In short, there's not much money being allocated, because there is very little the MTO will permit us to do. The goal is zebra crossings, and perhaps some other enhancements. KNA members are working closely with traffic planning to determine what the options are.

The jump to #24 is not as conspicuous as it looks. Everything between the two was either rolled into a larger dollar figure (such as Ward wide traffic calming), or accomodated in some other way. The allegation that Brian 'pulled rank' on the committee is frankly a little insulting to the hard work and process we all invested in this. The desire for 24 to be added came from the committee itself - we felt strongly that due to the safety issues in play on Locke and Hunter - combined with the way we were trying to integrated/accomodate numbers 20-23 - that the Locke/Hunter signal was a good idea. The price tag for this is the most recent one given by city staff - Brian is pushing back to see if he can get the number lower, possibly freeing up more money for future projects.

Your comment about money being spread thin, though, is very well taken. We are very concious about how many projects were put forward for consideration, and trying to balance issues such as fairness between neighborhoods, and the like was a real balancing act - that was partiall the cause of the high number of small dollar amounts. We are discussing whether or not (next year) to change the process in a way that would enable us to focus our efforts on either one area of concern, or perhaps re-offer the ideas that weren't successful this year. We are open to feedback on the process (esp. from Ward 1 residents), feel free to reach out to Brian's office with your feedback.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:26:27 in reply to Comment 97151

The money is to be allocated to food iteslf (which is capital) vs. program spending.

I'm still struggling with this, as it would seem to me that by any objective measure, food for a food program is an operating cost rather than a capital cost such as upgrading a kitchen to meet public health standards.

We are asked to submit capital projects that are primarily a one-time expenditure requiring little in the way of ongoing operating and maintenance costs. The fact that these programs keep coming back year after year for ongoing funding is in itself contrary to the criteria that the rest of us are expected to abide by.

It's frustrating for those of us involved in the community who are discouraged from submitting funding requests for programs we'd like to implement, to see these food programs topping the list every year.

Comment edited by highwater on 2014-01-24 14:33:47

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:51:13 in reply to Comment 97159

I agree - buying food is not a capital expense any more than buying gas for a car is. I had the same reaction to that point.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 16:25:38 in reply to Comment 97166

In a grocery store or a restaurant, the cost of stock materials would be part of the operating costs – an ongoing expense. Nobody considers menu items a capital expense. The PBW1 logic would allow you to argue equally well that wages are a one-time expense, since pay is tied to time, which expires moment to moment. Or perhaps you could put it toward a year's worth of hydro bills.

Industry Canada defines operating expenses as "charges that are produced as a result of the regular operations of a business." For a food program, that would presumably be the food. (Indeed, as these programs are often volunteer-reliant, it may be the only cost.) And as Highwater points out, the fact that these programs perennially return for seconds is another indicator of an operating expense. Yes, feeding hungry kids is a motherhood issues, and it's exactly this emotional lens that blurs things to the point when semantic gymnastics get a pass.

It's a shame that the logic around this issue is not universally appreciated or the lines more clearly drawn.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2014 at 13:52:10 in reply to Comment 97151

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply anything unsavory about #24, I just had assumed that the Councillor was the only one with the authority to make that kind of call and that it wasn't up to the committee to do things like that. I like the decision, it just obviously stands out when you look at the table.

Thanks for the information and for all your hard work.... too bad about the limitations on King/Main/Dundurn, that was my top pick.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-01-24 13:52:20

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:35:53 in reply to Comment 97153

Main and Dundurn isn't as hopeless as it might appear. I too, voted for that one. I would suggest the following be implemented over the next year:

  1. Zebra crossings, and perhaps even explore a scramble crossing on King.
  2. Extend the curb-side parking that now exists on the south lane of King right to Dundurn, and add a knockdown-stick bumpout onto the SE corner of King/Dundurn similar to the one at Locke/Herkimer.
  3. NO right turn on red. Period.
  4. This one would require more money but get rid of the 6th lane (yes, you read that right) that enters Fortinos from King and widen sidewalks, and plant a boulevard of trees between the new sidewalk and road. Extend this new wide sidewalk right past Fortinos to Cathedral Park.

Sure, King and Main will still function like freeways, but at least we can make them more accommodating for pedestrians.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2014 at 19:19:39 in reply to Comment 97161

I also voted for this as #1 even though it is not in my part of the ward. It is the worst area for pedestrians in the ward in my opinion. Does this mean we are not getting a ped walk on the west side of this disgrace of an intersection?

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 25, 2014 at 21:00:53 in reply to Comment 97198

I would hope that's exactly what we're getting.
The MTO can get lost if they try to say we can't. I exit 400-series highways all the time onto proper, two-way, urban streets with crosswalk on all 4 sides. We need to make sure they don't pull the usual "dump-on-Hamilton" routine by the provincial government.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 24, 2014 at 15:09:35 in reply to Comment 97161

The pedestrian layout on that "6th lane" stretch is almost hilarious in its absurdity. I don't remember if it was ms Keesmat or an article here, but I remember hearing that having a sidewalk break for a driveway so that the driveway and roadway are connected by asphalt gives drivers an impression they can treat the driveway as an uncontrolled intersection... that's shown in spades in that turn. It's a very scary interaction - no marked crosswalk, no stop-sign, but drivers treat it as a roadway. No wonder pedestrians just cut under the sign (the footpath is cut amusingly deep) and walk through the parking-lot where cars are moving at less-insane speeds. It's ridiculous because Fortinos Plaza is one of the few plazas where you can get to the storefronts without walking through the parking lot - King's sidewalk directly connects to the storefront sidewalk.

Plus, that sidewalk is an unmarked dead-end. There's no indication for pedestrians that you can't get to Westdale that way, so you'd have to double-back to the three crossings at Dundurn to get to the other side of the street.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-01-24 15:10:00

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By notPublicWorks (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 15:40:30 in reply to Comment 97168

blinders

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By Jim Street (anonymous) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 14:21:29

I would like to see that food program include a caveat that the food bought is from local producers, manufacturers and distributors. I would hate to see the big corps (re: Loblaws) continue to make profit from community hunger.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 17:04:54

There was a $40k grant for Food4Kids in the successful PBW2 projects too. I personally don't have a problem with stretching the rules to feed kids, but I know some sticklers in Ward 2 still get pissy about it. I would argue the 700 or so votes (in each ward!) are proof positive that it has community support. If it violates the rules for the Area Rating Fund, I'm pretty sure $100k of the $1.6m is totally discretionary, so the Councillor can move it into that envelope if he chooses.

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By Noted (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2014 at 17:07:57 in reply to Comment 97172

Re: "I'm pretty sure $100k of the $1.6m is totally discretionary"

Another opportunity for enhanced transparency.

thespec.com/news-story/2158986-when-is-a-slush-fund-not-a-slush-fund-/



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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:26:45 in reply to Comment 97172

Yes. The community support is clear; these programs should be funded without using participatory budget capital funds.

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By fmurray (registered) | Posted January 25, 2014 at 16:46:13 in reply to Comment 97189

Thanks, seancb. That's correct -- PB money should be used for capital projects not to fill holes in programs that are underfunded, but are not capital-based.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted January 24, 2014 at 17:22:41 in reply to Comment 97172

Here's why this ward 1'er is 'pissy' about the rules being stretched for selected programs - I would like to run an after school youth drop in at the former lawn bowling club in Churchill Park. It would require very minimal funding as I would be volunteering my time. Just rental, snacks, maybe some games, although those could likely be donated. We would also like to see seniors drop-ins. I was told that I couldn't propose these programs as the pbac funds are intended for capital projects only. I'm sure I'm not the only community volunteer who was similarly discouraged from proposing their ideas for this reason.

In the interest of fairness and transparency, we should either ensure that all proposals meet the criteria as stated without having to 'stretch' either the rules or the English language, or expand the criteria to allow everyone, not just a select few, to propose funding for programs.

Comment edited by highwater on 2014-01-24 17:24:09

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2014 at 08:04:25 in reply to Comment 97173

If committees are okay with "stretching" criteria to the point where they invite "if we were in the wrong" rationales, maybe there's room for greater transparency.

Or just do what's popular and/or expedient. Works fine at City Hall.

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By R (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2014 at 12:17:31

Is the city going to work with Loblaw who I believe is the owner of the Dundurn plaza to improve pedestrian access?

Coordination can provide greater rewards.

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By alberto (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2014 at 19:57:12

the alleyways money is much needed. I don't think it should go to paving though unless absolutely necessary. These are largely pedestrian spaces so why create an incentive for cars to drive faster. The money should go to lighting or drainage, IMO.

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By In The Dark (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2014 at 01:42:40 in reply to Comment 97199

Please, no lighting in the alleyways! We already have enough light splashing thru our windows from old style streetlights, porches lit for nobody, and motion detector lights detecting phantoms. If you really need more light, wear a headlamp.
Next year, I'm gonna propose a change to modern LED streetlights that your more subtle, direct light down instead of out and reduce energy demand (like Mississauga is switching to right now) for a PB option. Ward 1 is bright enuf already.

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By Stinson (registered) | Posted January 26, 2014 at 17:22:56 in reply to Comment 97205

Was thinking about LED the other day. Thanks for the insight. Appreciated.

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By In The Dark (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2014 at 00:15:41 in reply to Comment 97210

Mississauga areas with the new LED lights that I've seen are incredible. More than adequate light for pedestrians, cyclists or drivers and very little over splash onto yards, houses, etc. What's more, the new lights are 55% more energy efficient and require far less maintenance(ie. they'll pay for themselves). I'd love to see a convert here in Hamilton. Instead, all we seem to be getting are one size fits all UGLY concrete poles, with the same lights, to replace what we had before. I hope someone comes to there senses here. For more information on Mississauga's program, see mississauga.ca/portal/residents/ledstreetlighting

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 27, 2014 at 23:40:35 in reply to Comment 97214

Check out James South and the Queen St hill. Both with LEDs. They look great.

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By Gabriel (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2014 at 12:55:00

I just will try and not get pissy when councillors start bending other rules. "Talked to 700 people in my ward. No more arts funding. It's what the people want". "People calling me telling me nor more bike lanes. Scrap all those"

We just bend all the bylaws to fit the whims of councillors based on their perceptions of what the people want in a budget.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 27, 2014 at 08:24:17 in reply to Comment 97208

"People calling me telling me nor more bike lanes. Scrap all those"

That is already happening. Councillors get to exercise a veto on any bike lane projects in their wards.

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