Special Report: Cycling

Cycling Committee Wants Your Feedback on Winter Bike Lane Maintenance

Share your feedback on the bicycle lane winter maintenance pilot project by completing the maintenance survey.

By Dan Botham
Published January 16, 2014

A bicycle lane winter maintenance pilot project running for the past two winters continues this year. The project involves enhanced maintenance activities for selected sections of the on-street painted bike lanes.

Snow on Dundurn bike lanes (RTH file photo)
Snow on Dundurn bike lanes (RTH file photo)

The pilot will measure the associated costs and benefits of this enhanced level of maintenance aimed at making these cycling routes safer and more accessible throughout the winter cycling season.

As in years previous, the pilot project does not include specialized snow removal in the bike lanes. It will, however, include ploughing of snow further to the side of the street, anti-icing, street sweeping and additional inspection of the bike lanes in the subject area of the pilot.

The enhanced winter maintenance includes the bike lanes on Sterling Street, Longwood Road, Dundurn Street, and Sanders Boulevard only.

Feedback from cyclists using these routes is an important part of the evaluation of the pilot and the results will inform recommendations for future bicycle route winter maintenance.

Please share your experience with this enhanced winter maintenance by completing the Hamilton Cycling Committee's winter bike lane maintenance survey - as often as you ride the routes.

Share your experience, make your voice heard and let's advance the state of cycling in Hamilton.

The Hamilton Cycling Committee is an advisory committee to the City of Hamilton Public Works Department. We are comprised of citizens - including both recreational and commuter cyclists. We share a common desire to make cycling safe, fun and easy in Hamilton.

Dan Botham is a long-time Hamilton resident with an interest in advancing state of cycling in Hamilton. He is a member of the Hamilton Cycling Committee.


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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted January 16, 2014 at 14:08:30

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

I will dutifully fill out their surveys. Had no idea the survey existed. The spec wouldn't publish something useful like this :) I commute from west mountain to Appleby line every single day by bike (electric assist mountain bike). And I have made it successfully and safely every single day this winter. Except one day where I stayed home with the flu.

Has the enhanced maintenance already started this year? There is no evidence of it on Dundurn whatsoever. North Dundurn - bike lanes piled high with snow, then ice, ever since our first storm. Sharrows squeeze. South Dundurn - bike lanes piled high with snow and ice. Where they are clear, cars are parking on them. Frequent merges into the traffic lane result. The bike lanes have been 100% USELESS this winter.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted January 19, 2014 at 16:51:35 in reply to Comment 96875

Have you filled out the Burlington Cycling Committee survey? As a user of Burlington Cycling infrastructure, we want to hear from you!

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted January 16, 2014 at 14:35:41 in reply to Comment 96875

My first response:

I commute along the entire length of Dundurn every weekday. I use an electric assisted mountain bike, properly winterized, and with studded winter tires.

AM - northbound from Aberdeen to York.
PM - southbound from York to Aberdeen.

From my perspective, there is no evidence of any snow maintenance on Dundurn.

Dundurn North (King to York) : After our first snowstorm just before Christmas, the bike lanes on both sides got completely buried by snow piles, when the plows came through. This was never cleared. It subsequently turned to ice. Ever since then, the bike lanes were completely not navigable. I am merging into traffic (sharrows if possible) because the bike lane has been completely not navigable ever since. It is only just now becoming navigable, after our recent thaw.

Dundurn South (Aberdeen to Main) : Better; the snow plows are able to clear more of the bike lane. However parked cars result in random segments of lane with snow and ice piles big enough that they have to be evaded. Cars park a bit farther out when snow is built up. So likewise, frequent merges into the traffic lane result.

Thank you for your initiative in this area, I am thankful and supportive beyond words. However at this time there is neither evidence of maintenance, nor benefit from it!

Solution: Because the bike lanes on much of Dundurn are narrow, the plows cannot push snow far enough to the right (it'd be on the sidewalk). If you are able to have a snowblower vacuum up the snow pile, this will significantly remedy the semi-permanent ice mound that envelops the lane..

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By Bill N (anonymous) | Posted January 16, 2014 at 15:24:42 in reply to Comment 96879

Ha, is that you I see on Plains Road? You flew past me last night (I'm on a recumbent trike) making me feel very inadequate until i saw you weren't peddling very much. i agree, the bike lanes have been unusable since before Christmas. I find it more predictable to just take my place in the lane than to dodge in and out around ice and snow.

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted January 16, 2014 at 16:16:11 in reply to Comment 96880

Yup I remember passing you on the trike ... hi Bill!

Haha yes I've had people call me a cheater. If I was in it purely for fitness, I'd be totally cheating. But that's my commute and using electric assist is just too efficient and awesome.

Never rode a recumbent before, it must be very comfortable!

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted January 16, 2014 at 15:29:12

Ironic that the poll includes a phrase (presumably from a couple of years ago) about this being an "unusually mild winter". Maybe time to update the poll ...

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted January 16, 2014 at 15:58:44 in reply to Comment 96881

Yup. They were missing "Riding more this year despite a traditionally harsh winter" :)

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 16, 2014 at 23:37:32

Wow. if this has been 'enhanced levels of maintenance' this year, I'd hate to see typical maintenance.

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