The City of Hamilton has halted the installation of new bike lanes on Herkimer and Charlton Streets after the Durand Neighbourhood Association raised serious safety concerns about their designs.
By Ryan McGreal
Published October 10, 2014
The City of Hamilton has halted the installation of new bike lanes on Herkimer and Charlton Streets after the Durand Neighbourhood Association (DNA) wrote a letter highlighting concerns with how they will be implemented.
Sign announcing planned bike lane installation on Herkimer Street (Image Credit: Kyle Slote)
Janice Brown, President of the neighbourhood association, sent a letter to Public Works managers and Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr citing four specific safety issues:
1. The bike lanes are unprotected and vulnerable to "dooring" because they are between parked cars and the vehicle lane. As suggested by many people this could be fixed by moving the bike lane to the curb lane, protected by parked cars.
2. The lack of bike boxes for left turns at intersections, as have been installed on Hunter Street and Cannon. This makes it quite dangerous for cyclists to turn left as they have to unexpectedly veer out of the cycle lane across several lanes of traffic.
3. The fact the lanes are not continuous between James and Dundurn. There is a problem with turning left from Herkimer to James since the lane ends at MacNab.
4. The dangerous conditions at the Herkimer/Queen intersection. The need to re-design this intersection as a normal signalized intersection has been highlighted many times, also in the context of pedestrian safety.
These issues were first raised in an investigation by local resident Kyle Slote, who wrote about the issues in an RTH article and in correspondence with the city and the DNA.
Councillor Farr followed up with staff, noting that he had not received advanced notice about the planned bike lane installations and writing, "May I respectfully request that we honour the good working relationship with the Neighbourhood Association and hold off on any implementation until such time that everyone can sit down a engage? I am sure we can work this through together."
In response, senior staff in the Public Works Department agreed to hold off on further work until after staff meet with the Ward 1 and 2 Councillors, representatives of the Kirkendall and Durand neighbourhood associations to discuss how best to resolve the safety issues.
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