The inevitable frequent presence of parked vehicles blocking the Bay Street lanes will act as a serious deterrent to a great many people who might otherwise be willing to use them.
By Ryan McGreal
Published October 27, 2017
The City is just putting the finishing touches on new Bay Street Bike Lanes running between Aberdeen Avenue and Stuart Street. In many ways it represents a significant new benchmark in bike lane design quality for Hamilton, but there are still some design problems that seriously undercut its effectiveness.
The two-way cycle track is physically protected by knockdown bollards and rubber curbing between Hunter Street and Cannon Street, but south of Hunter the cycle track is unprotected all the way to Aberdeen.
Since it's a two-way cycle track, and hence wide enough to accommodate a parked vehicle, this makes it irresistible to people who want somewhere convenient to park. Just yesterday, RTH reader Tony Higgins came across not one but two separate vehicles blocking the lanes south of Hunter.
Truck blocking Bay Street bike lanes (Image Credit: Tony Higgins)
Another truck blocking Bay Street bike lanes (Image Credit: Tony Higgins)
These trucks blocking the bike lane are bad enough for a cyclist travelling north on Bay, who can at least veer out into the adjacent driving lane to pass around them. But a cyclist heading south is basically screwed.
The fundamental usability of these bike lanes is subject to the whims of drivers - and it only takes one person to completely block them.
I honestly don't understand why the City of Hamilton doesn't just physically protect the bike lanes south of Hunter. There is really no argument against protection that is compelling enough to override the essential case for protection.
Even if the physical protection only goes as far as Herkimer, that will at least provide a continuous, physically-protected route connecting Bay with the major east- and westbound bike lanes on Charlton and Herkimer, which are both physically protected (by parallel parked cars).
As it stands, the inevitable frequent presence of parked vehicles blocking the Bay Street lanes will act as a serious deterrent to a great many people who might otherwise be willing to use them.
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