Special Report: Walkable Streets

New Pathway along Mountain Brow Boulevard

The new multi-use pathway is wide enough for two-way bike traffic and a raised curb separates it from the road.

By Jonathan Lambert
Published September 23, 2015

In April 2015, work began on Mountain Brow Boulevard from Mohawk Road to Oakcrest Drive. Involving new water mains and services, concrete curbs and an asphalt, multi-use pathway, the project was scheduled to be complete by November. But it looks like the work may be finished closer to mid-October.

At one end of the new pathway is the intersection of Mountain Brow Boulevard and Mohawk Road East. This connects the new asphalt path with the Mohawk Road entrance to Hamilton's Escarpment Rail Trail, a multi-use trail developed on an abandoned CN line and extending from near Albion Falls to the city centre of Hamilton in Corktown Park.

A panoramic view of the intersection at Mountain Brow Boulevard and Mohawk Road
A panoramic view of the intersection at Mountain Brow Boulevard and Mohawk Road

The entire length of the new Mountain Brow Boulevard pathway lies between the newly repaved road and the edge of the escarpment. The pathway is wide enough for two-way bike traffic and a raised curb separates it from the road.

The Mountain Brow Boulevard pathway near Margate Avenue
The Mountain Brow Boulevard pathway near Margate Avenue

The path connects several parks and landmarks along the escarpment, such as Matt Bromen Park and Armes Lookout.

Armes Lookout
Armes Lookout

Automobile parking spaces beside the pathway are off to the side of the road.

New parking spaces on Mountain Brow Boulevard
New parking spaces on Mountain Brow Boulevard

New fencing is black and runs along the escarpment edge.

New fence beside Mountain Brow Boulevard
New fence beside Mountain Brow Boulevard

The pathway also connects the metal staircase at Margate Avenue with the Uli's Stairs, located at the intersection of Fennel Avenue and Mountain Brow Boulevard.

Uli's Stairs
Uli's Stairs

A water fountain has been installed at the Mountain Brow-Margate stairs.

New water fountain at the top of the Mountain Brow-Margate stairs
New water fountain at the top of the Mountain Brow-Margate stairs

Already functional, this water fountain has three spouts. The top is designed to fill water bottles, the middle part has a traditional push button drinking fountain, and at the bottom is a low spout and bowl for dogs.

This is an excellent location for a fountain. Many people often do exercise at these stairs.

With over 380 steps, the Mountain Brow-Margate staircase connects the East Mountain with the Escarpment Rail Trail and the lower city.

Mountain Brow-Margate stairs
Mountain Brow-Margate stairs

At the other end of the new pathway is the intersection at Mountain Brow Boulevard and Oakcrest Drive, just north-east of Sherwood Secondary School.

Mountain Brow Boulevard and Oakcrest Drive
Mountain Brow Boulevard and Oakcrest Drive

Jonathan Lambert is a returnee to Hamilton, Ontario. In between studies at the University of Toronto and stellar pick-up soccer, he enjoys taking in Monday night Hamilton Red Wing home games.

39 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By highasageorgiapine (registered) | Posted September 23, 2015 at 10:51:18

a great improvement to an area that has always been well-trafficked on foot by people who live close by and those who bike or jog there for the lovely scenery.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By jason (registered) | Posted September 23, 2015 at 12:06:19

Great project, and done well it looks like. Sadly, we missed an insanely easy opportunity to link this pathway with the west end of Concession/Sam Lawrence Park area, and we missed a further simple opportunity to link West 5th over to Garth with a similar off-road path when the new hospital was built. We could have had a seamless, safe cycling route along the Mountain Brow from the Scenic Drive entrance to the Chedoke Radial Trail in the west to the Escarpment Rail Trail in the east.

This new path needs to be continued around the traffic circle and over to Mountain Park Ave. From Mountain Park and Belwood. From Belwood to Sam Lawrence we had a golden opportunity for a new bike path, but instead chose to narrow Concession and use the extra space for coloured concrete next to the sidewalks. Belvidere to Rosedene would have linked this area to the new St Joes Hospital site on West 5th where no cycling path was built when the entire site was torn up the past few years. Would have been an easy off-road link to Garth and Scenic Drive.

One of these decades it would be awesome if Hamilton actually had a plan for transportation modes other than cars. Instead we get piecemeal projects with no safe connections and one-off cancellations by councillors who perpetually live in 1970.

Permalink | Context

By Crispy (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 08:19:42 in reply to Comment 113939

barf

Permalink | Context

By Nothing is ever good enough for jason (anonymous) | Posted September 23, 2015 at 18:05:53 in reply to Comment 113939

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Permalink | Context

By z jones (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 08:23:38 in reply to Comment 113941

Yeah, why would you want your multi use path to connect to other stuff on either end? Why can't folks just be happy riding their bikes back and forth between Mohawk and Oakcrest? We should just be grateful for whatever the city bothers to do instead of demanding excellence.

Permalink | Context

By 2 jones (anonymous) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 19:32:13 in reply to Comment 113945

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Permalink | Context

By z jones (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 20:32:37 in reply to Comment 113964

Screw that. Unless you're relocating Syrian refugees, curing Ebola, decommissioning nuclear weapons or ending human trafficking, you should just stay home and do nothing because your problems aren't important enough to do something about. :P

Comment edited by z jones on 2015-09-24 20:34:08

Permalink | Context

By JasonL (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 21:44:19 in reply to Comment 113969

Unless you're relocating Syrian refugees, curing Ebola, decommissioning nuclear weapons or ending human trafficking...

Don't forget 'sitting at home trolling the internet under anonymous screen names'

Permalink | Context

By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 08:50:15 in reply to Comment 113945

Clearly the answer is incessant bitter sarcasm.

Permalink | Context

By z jones (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 08:54:13 in reply to Comment 113946

Dont know what comment you read. The one I read started with a compliment "Great project and done well it looks like." Then it pointed out missed opportunity to connect it to the Concession Street complete redevelopment, which has fancy colored sidewalk instead of bike lanes. Then it pointed out other ways to improve the network of bike lanes the city didn't take when it rebuilt other streets around the same area. Only the last sentence has any sarcasm in it, and it seems pretty justified when you look at how little this city has done to make it easier to bike somewhere.

Permalink | Context

By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 10:52:24 in reply to Comment 113947

I'll just ask that you browse this site and read any other comment this person has made. 'Incessant' is appropriate.

Permalink | Context

By Cultosaurus (registered) | Posted September 25, 2015 at 09:55:14 in reply to Comment 113953

Hamilton could use more people being "incessant". There is way too much "oh well, good enough" going on, and it's been going on for generations.

Permalink | Context

By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted September 25, 2015 at 10:54:05 in reply to Comment 113972

I have no problem with advocacy and keeping our elected officials on their toes. It's just the constant negativity even for a simple feel good story like this one that gets grating after a while.

Permalink | Context

By JasonL (registered) | Posted September 25, 2015 at 11:10:18 in reply to Comment 113977

So I'm assuming that means you'd be fine with this suggestion copied from below?

let's close the Linc off just west of Dartnall and just east of Upper Wentworth. Then, you'll get to celebrate too.

Permalink | Context

By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted September 25, 2015 at 11:22:07 in reply to Comment 113978

I don't really understand the Dartnall road thing and I don't want to get into some extended argument about this. If you think I'm a troll then please don't feed me...

Permalink | Context

By JasonL (registered) | Posted September 25, 2015 at 13:59:21 in reply to Comment 113980

that quote was simply an example of what it would look like if we built car infrastructure the same way we build bike infrastructure. No connections, just a small stretch of highway to drive back and forth on via the Upper Gage ramps.

Permalink | Context

By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 24, 2015 at 11:45:21 in reply to Comment 113953

Well the city rarely gets it right - it has to be acknowledged, it doesn't help any of us to just ignore the issues or we will never do it properly

Permalink | Context

By jason (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 09:34:10 in reply to Comment 113947

like I point out below, imagine we built our road infrastructure with the same connectivity as we do everything else? These posters would flip their lids.

Permalink | Context

By Not really, jason (anonymous) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 19:33:07 in reply to Comment 113948

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Permalink | Context

By Cultosaurus (registered) | Posted September 25, 2015 at 09:58:35 in reply to Comment 113965

Please illustrate for us how that argument is a strawman

Comment edited by Cultosaurus on 2015-09-25 09:58:49

Permalink | Context

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 25, 2015 at 10:10:52 in reply to Comment 113974

Better yet, just don't feed the troll.

Permalink | Context

By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted September 23, 2015 at 23:28:49 in reply to Comment 113941

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Permalink | Context

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted September 24, 2015 at 09:55:50 in reply to Comment 113943

It is not, actually. His username is JasonAAllen. But stay classy.

Permalink | Context

By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 10:30:16 in reply to Comment 113949

Ok, will do Cory.

Comment edited by ergopepsi on 2015-09-24 10:56:16

Permalink | Context

By jason (registered) | Posted September 23, 2015 at 20:41:31 in reply to Comment 113941

let's close the Linc off just west of Dartnall and just east of Upper Wentworth. Then, you'll get to celebrate too.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted September 23, 2015 at 16:59:47

Interesting factoid: Most #HamOntStairs have their own twitter accounts.

They include: @DundurnStairs, @WentworthStairs, @JamesStStairs, @Chedoke_Stairs, and @KenilworthStair.

Does Mountain Brow-Margate have its own Twitter account?

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Greg Smith (anonymous) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 10:35:41

I'm going to stay out of the whole connectivity debate and mention how impressed I am with the new water fountains. As someone who uses the rail trails in the West & East I really appreciate being able to easily fill my water bottle while on a ride. Whoever ordered these units should be commended. It's the little things.

Permalink | Context

By fmurray (registered) | Posted September 25, 2015 at 13:51:28 in reply to Comment 113951

The water fountains are absolutely brilliant, but......it's too bad we can't have public washrooms or outhouses along some of these paths. The City can't put them in, I'm told, because of ongoing vandalism issues.

Permalink | Context

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 25, 2015 at 14:21:35 in reply to Comment 113984

Off the top of my head, I can think of two port-o-potties on the Waterfront Trail and one on the Rail Trail behind the Dundas Valley Trail Centre (the Sulphur Springs Train Station) that seem to hold up well enough. For a more urban context, and at the risk of becoming the "Did I mention I just got back from Paris?" guy, that city has some elegant self-cleaning public toilets called sanisettes in operation. The newer ones are accessible for people with disabilities and the outside includes a helpful map of the immediate surroundings.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2015-09-25 14:22:17

Permalink | Context

By jason (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 15:13:12 in reply to Comment 113951

agreed. I'm amazed how often I try to map out fountains on a ride, especially in hot weather. Dundas Valley Centre has one, and there a few along the lake-front and West Harbour. But they are really lacking in the city. I'm aware of new ones like this at the bottom of the Chedoke Radial Trail, top of Wentworth Stairs and now here. Hope to see dozens more.

Permalink | Context

By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 10:45:05 in reply to Comment 113951

Especially the dog ones. I'm always grossed out when I see a dog owner letting their dog drink from a 'people' fountain. The one at HAAA park is out of bounds for me now...

Permalink | Context

By highasageorgiapine (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 13:51:37 in reply to Comment 113952

it would be nice if the by-law officers would stop by the HAAA grounds often again. it was cool to be able to go to the park and not have to worry about someone's untrained little abomination of nature jump all over you.

there was this one kid actually trying to play soccer and this dog just wouldn't leave him alone and obviously a young kid isn't going to be able to assert himself to an adult who finds the whole thing a load of fun because "who would think my annoying yappy designer dog isn't so much fun?"

dog parks probably shouldn't exist given how badly our society needs to get outside and exercise, but they do so let your dog run free there or just get a cat or fish or something.

end rant

props to the people who train their dogs properly though.

Permalink | Context

By Cultosaurus (registered) | Posted September 25, 2015 at 09:57:43 in reply to Comment 113958

Agreed. I think the bar for dog ownership should be a lot higher and the penalties for not controlling your pet much more severe.

Permalink | Context

By KevinLove (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 18:18:30 in reply to Comment 113958

I recommend a Springer device for high-energy dogs. This allows the dog to safely run beside a bicycle.

Permalink | Context

By jason (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 14:49:46 in reply to Comment 113958

dude. PREACH. So annoying

Comment edited by jason on 2015-09-24 14:50:02

Permalink | Context

By Choir (anonymous) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 19:34:36 in reply to Comment 113959

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Permalink | Context

By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted September 24, 2015 at 12:38:50 in reply to Comment 113952

I love these 21st century fountains. Much more sanitary design.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By MattM (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 14:58:27

More water fountains everywhere!

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By JasonL (registered) | Posted September 24, 2015 at 19:53:00

Rode up the rail trail to this new pathway tonight. It's a gorgeous ride. The new path is fantastic. Would be nice to see the Brow path behind the Henderson Hospital widened to feel more like this new one.

http://cyclemeter.com/58cc8c80cc21e60f/C...

Couple observations:

  • The Upp Kenilworth Traffic circle could easily house bikes with some minor tinkering. A pedestrian signal just N of the main circle with bike path cutting through would work (this is the route I took). Most cyclists wouldn't want to mess with that circle. It's def the first pinch point making this a 'dead end' for 95% of riders.

  • Mtn Brow Blvd west of the circle is 4 enormous lanes that are simply not needed. One entire lane just disappears as a left turn lane heading west. Plenty of room exists for a similar bike path to be built in the northern half of the northern-most lane, and excess land next to the Mtn edge to connect seamlessly to the nice path in Mountain Park.

  • Concession between Belwood and Wellington sees the traffic lane go from a normal width, to ultra-wide for no reason in the westbound lane. Easy opportunity to paint a bike lane here. Eastbound there is an entire lane that disappears as a right turning lane into a quiet side street. Again, not needed and could easily house a protected bike lane.

  • Getting downtown is a real forehead slapper. Riding the Jolley Cut and it's 15 foot wide lanes (at least) was horrendous. No wonder everyone does 80-100k. It's wider than lanes on the 401. A down bound bike lane would be great, with a left turn signal jump at the bottom.

  • Charlton was a horrible ride, but that will soon change

For anyone not wanting to risk their life, the ride up and the ride along the new path was really enjoyable. One could easily go up and then turn around at the Traffic circle and head back downtown via the trail.

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds