By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published March 19, 2010
One of the most egregious walkability failures I've found is the Wellington "on ramp" south of Main Street.
Not only is it a high-speed one-way freeway style on-ramp cutting through a high density mixed commercial residential neighbourhood, but also there are no safe crossing points for hundreds of metres.
The City has even erected chainlink fences to physically stop people trying to walk through their own neighbourhood (or access the bits of highway island greenspace).
What's more, Wellington is far under-capacity for most of the day, which means cars are moving well over the 50km/h limit - and are certainly not on the lookout for "jaywalking" pedestrians.
Worst of all, Wellington forks into the Claremont access, on which the chainlink fences and design are literally those of a freeway on-ramp.
Neighbouring Victoria street south of Main is not much better.
I often walk or cycle from my house near Charlton and Hess to the Canadian tire at Victoria and Main, and am constantly amazed at the breathtaking lack of concern for residents and pedestrians shown by this road configuration - especially in a neighbourhood where most people walk or cycle to get where they're going.
Note the various amenities that would (normally) attract foot traffic: the Canadian Tire, Youth Employment Centre, Hamilton Help Centre, Dawn Patrol Child and Youth services, Universal Retirement Lodge, the Pentecostal Church, Tim Hortons, First Place Seniors residence, the Park between Stinson and Young St, and Victoria Manor I & II.
The arrogance of this design is truly breathtaking, and makes getting safely and conveniently to and from these destinations on bike or by foot a challenge (especially if one is 8 years old, or 80 years old, as many residents are).
The message is clearly: your convenience and safety don't matter, and we're going to make this is obvious as we can!
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