By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published April 05, 2012
I am surprised and shocked to learn that once again the interests of cyclists and pedestrians are left out when the City starts making actual changes to road design. Now it is happening to Longwood Road adjacent to McMaster Innovation Park (MIP), which was supposed to adopt a new balanced approach to street design.
Every recent planning document, from the Kirkendall Traffic Management Plan to the site plan for the MIP, emphasized that enhanced pedestrian and bicycle access and improved safety were to be top priorities.
Despite all the public consultation on these plans, and on the cycling master plan, the interests of motorists are apparently trumping those of all other road users. In particular, the cycling master plan has been systematically gutted in the short time since it has been adopted by Council!
Why does the City bother with these plans if we know they will be ignored when the actual decisions are made, particularly if motorists are inconvenienced?
The City has adopted the pedestrian charter and has approved a hierarchy that is supposed to put the needs of pedestrians and cyclists well above those of motorists. When are these policies actually going to start influencing decisions?
It is just not acceptable any more to use "traffic flow" as an excuse to ignore the interests of cyclists and pedestrians, especially in what is intended to be a cycling- and pedestrian-centred campus.