Special Report: Cycling

Ford Government Cancels Cycling Fund But Claremont Access is Already Funded

The Province is cancelling the cycling infrastructure fund that was going to help pay for the Claremont Access Cycle Track, but the City has already received the funding for the 2017 approved projects.

By Ryan McGreal
Published July 09, 2018

$3.7 million in provincial funds for new cycling infrastructure in Hamilton - including a new protected two-way cycle track on the Claremont Access - is secure, despite the Province cancelling the program that provided the funding.

Initial rendering of protected Claremont Access Cycle Track
Initial rendering of protected Claremont Access Cycle Track

The new Ontario Government of Premier Doug Ford is unwinding Ontario's greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, exposing Ontarians to billions of dollars in damages from businesses that already bought carbon credits and cancelling the climate mitigation programs that the carbon credit sales funded.

Those emissions reduction programs include both home energy retrofit grants and a capital fund that provided money for municipalities to invest in cycling infrastructure.

The Bay Street Cycle Track in Hamilton was partly funded in 2016 with a $295,000 grant from the Provincial cycling infrastructure fund and built in late 2017.

More recently, the Claremont Access Cycle Track has also received a funding commitment as part of provincial funding for cycling projets in Hamilton. Long requested by cycling advocates, the project was finally proposed and designed after Jay Keddy was killed in December 2015 on the Claremont while commuting home on his bike.

Despite that tragic fatality, City Council declined to include funding to build it in the City's 2018 budget. It was only when the Province committed a $3.7 million grant for Hamilton to build cycling projects that the Claremont cycle track received the funding needed to move forward.

Claremont Cycle Track design, upper portion (Image Credit: City of Hamilton)
Claremont Cycle Track design, upper portion (Image Credit: City of Hamilton)

The project - recently named the Keddy Access Trail after a community petition is not yet under construction, so RTH contacted the City to ask whether the funding will be affected by the Provincial announcement. According to an email response from Brian Hollingworth, the city's Director of Transportation and Planning, the funding is secure:

We can confirm that the City of Hamilton's OMCC funding of $3,707,933 for [Fiscal Year] 2017/18 was transferred to the City in April, 2018 and all related agreements have been signed. This money will be used to fund the Claremont Access Cycle Facility, among other projects.

The full list of projects seeking funding was approved last August. The total cost of the requested projects is $5.535 million, with the City expected to cover 20 percent or $1.102 million. With $3.708 million in Provincial funding, that leaves around $725,000 of the total cost of the projects yet to be funded.

According to Daryl Bender, the City's Project Manager for Alternative Transportation, "The actual cost of the various projects will be refined through the detailed design, and then funding can be distributed accordingly. We intend to stretch the funds as far as possible."

Cycling Projects Planned to be Submitted for Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling (OMCC) 2018 Funding
Cycling Master Plan Priority Project Description Project Type Project Total Cost Estimate City Contribution Ward (s)
* Identified in the Metrolinx Regional Cycling Network Plan
** Identified in both the Metrolinx Regional Cycling Network Plan and the Provincial Cycling Network
2018 Projects
31 Hatt St * Bike lanes connecting Market St and Main St Stand alone $75,000 $15,000 13
89 Hunter St * Two-way bike lanes connecting existing bike lanes by the GO Centre Stand alone $80,000 $16,000 2
93 Governor’s Rd A bike path along the south side of the street between Davidson Blvd and Creighton Rd With street reconstruction $450,000 $90,000 13
192 King St/RHVP A cycling connection between Lawrence Rd bike lanes and existing King St bike lanes Stand alone $95,000 $19,000 4, 5
21 (rural) Sydenham Rd ** Paved shoulders between Hwy 5 and the escarpment brow With road rehabilitation $350,000 $70,000 15
Total $1,050,000 $210,000
2019 Projects
13 Barton St * A bike path along the south side of this street connecting the existing multi-use trail over the RHVP across Centennial Pkwy Stand alone $280,000 $56,000 5
24, 108, 182, 207 Claremont Access * A multi-use trail facility connecting West 5th St and Hunter St Stand alone $2,000,000 $400,000 2, 3, 7, 8
61 West 5th St * A bike path to extend the planned Claremont Access facility to Fennell Ave/Mohawk College Stand alone $150,000 $30,000 8
72 Charlton Ave Bike lanes connecting existing bike lanes easterly to Ferguson Ave Stand alone $30,000 $6,000 2
163 Limeridge Rd Bike lanes connecting Garth St and existing West 5th St bike lanes Stand alone $40,000 $8,000 8
Total $2,500,000 $500,000
2020 Projects
79 Kitty Murray Lane Bike lanes on this entire street Stand alone $40,000 $8,000 12
80 Stonehenge Dr Bike lanes on this entire street Stand alone $40,000 $8,000 12
122 Highway 8 A bike path along the side of the street between King St and existing bike lanes at Dewitt Rd Stand alone $220,000 $44,000 10
Total $300,000 $60,000
Projects Typically Not Funded as Roadway Projects
Support Action Bike Share Enhance Increase density of the existing SoBi network Support Action $1,200,000 $235,000 1, 2, 3, 13
Support Action Bike Share Expansion Expand the SoBi coverage area easterly to Kenilworth Ave Support Action $300,000 $60,000 3, 4
Support Action Bicycle Counters Sensors installed at various locations Support Action $100,000 $20,000 City wide
Support Action Bicycle Parking Standard bicycle racks along city streets Support Action $50,000 $10,000 City wide
Support Action Bicycle Racks HSR Supply racks for HSR fleet expansion Support Action $35,000 $7,000 City wide
Total $1,685,000 $332,000
Grand Total $5,535,000 $1,102,000

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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