Protected bike lanes are essential if we are to have infrastructure that accommodates everyone.
By Kevin Love
Published May 12, 2015
This is the second article in a five-part series entitled Building Hamilton's Protected Cycling Network.
Today's article is Part 2: Building the network: Herkimer and Charlton Streets.
Herkimer and Charlton are scheduled for cycling infrastructure as part of the City of Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan.
There have been several previous articles written about the efforts of the Durand Neighbourhood Association's to get a better design than City staff's originally proposed unprotected bike lanes placed in the Door Zone of adjacent parked cars.
In response to this unacceptable proposal, the Durand Neighbourhood Association formed a Cycling Committee that recommended New York-style car parking-protected bike lanes.
Today's article reports on the presentation made by City staff to the Hamilton Cycling Committee on May 6, 2015.
City staff, represented by Public Works manager Daryl Bender, reported that design work on the car parking protected bike lanes (CPPBL) is currently being "worked through." No target date for completion of the design was given.
Mr. Bender raised two concerns, but emphasized that they were not showstoppers serious enough to prevent implementation of the recommended design.
The first concern was that since the Durand Cycling Committee proposed the Herkimer CPPBL to be on the North side of Herkimer, people turning right onto streets such as Park or MacNab would have to turn across car traffic.
My response was that the same situation exists right now on the Cannon Street protected bike lane. For example, anyone travelling westbound on Cannon and turning right onto a street without a traffic light is making that right turn across two car traffic lanes. Somehow people are managing to do that.
Mr. Bender then raised the concern that someone riding in the CPPBL may be hidden from car drivers turning into driveways.
My response was that the exact same situation applies to any child running on a sidewalk next to parked cars. Also, CPPBL and driveways are still fairly common in The Netherlands as shown in this video that I had previously circulated to Mr. Bender and members of the Hamilton Cycling Committee.
Mr. Bender stated that he will report back when the design is finished. Again, no target date was given for completion of the design, let alone implementation.
It is quite frustrating that this process has been dragging out for so long. Protected bike lanes are essential if we are to have infrastructure that accommodates everyone.
The recommended design has been approved by the Durand Neighbourhood Association and our local municipal councillor, Jason Farr. This is a quite common design that has been successfully implemented in many places all over the world.
It is time to get going with it in Hamilton.
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