Kevin Love will be leading a Jane's Ride on May 8, 2016, 1:00 PM touring the alleyways of Durand and Kirkendall Neighbourhoods.
By Kevin Love
Published March 23, 2016
Hamilton has a comprehensive network of alleys which connect much of the city. On Sunday, May 8 at 1:00 PM, I will be leading a Jane's Ride through the alleys of Kirkendall and Durand.
Route of Jane's Ride (Image Credit: OpenStreetMaps)
As I did in my previous article, I will begin by naming the alleys. Giving alleys a name is not only an act of respect, but makes it much easier to describe the route.
The north-south alley directly west of Bay Street I call Central Alley. This is because it forms part of a safe route to Central Public School.
The east-west alley between Herkimer and Charlton I call Church Alley. This is because no less than three churches are directly on the alley, with another church half a block away.
The north-south alley between Queen and Hess I call Ryerson Alley, because it forms part of a safe route to Ryerson Elementary School.
Finally, the alley between Herkimer and Markland/Stanley I call Durand Kirkendall Alley because it stretches all the way between Dundurn Street and (almost) Bay Street.
We will start at the SoBi station in Durand Park at 1:00 PM. For those who have never seen me before, I am 203 cm (6'8") tall. Or you can see a photo of me leading a Janes Ride in 2012.
The first thing we will do is walk our bikes half a block on the sidewalk to Central Alley just west of Bay Street. We will do this because Herkimer is one-way the wrong way. Before we travel north on Central Alley, we will take a minute to look south and see how Central Alley goes all the way south to Aberdeen Avenue.
Central Alley at Herkimer
After travelling half a block north on Central Alley, we will turn left onto Church Alley at an alley/alley intersection.
Intersection of Central Alley and Church Alley
We will then travel west on Church Alley past Central Presbyterian Church and First Christian Reformed Church.
Alleyway entrance to Central Presbyterian Church
At First Christian Reformed Church, we will turn right onto Ryerson Alley. We will go past another alley/alley intersection with some nice raised flower beds in the back yard on the alley/alley corner.
Raised flower beds at alley/alley intersection
This takes us to Robinson Street, where we will again walk our bikes half a block on the sidewalk to Ryerson School - again, walking since this is the "wrong" way on this one-way street.
From Ryerson School, we will travel through the HAAA Grounds to rejoin Church Alley half a block south on Kent Street. Travelling west on Church Alley, we go directly past St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church and half a block away from St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church on the bustling Locke Street.
Church Alley ends at Dundurn Street, where we will travel on the Dundurn bike lanes one block south to the beginning of Kirkendall Durand Alley.
Kirkendall Durand Alley goes through the Mansion District, so we see some rather nice mansions with swimming pools and children playing in the alley with basketball nets.
St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Elementary School is on Kirkendall Durand Alley, with a rear gate providing a direct entrance to the school.
Entrance to St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Elementary School on Kirkendall Durand Alley.
At Queen Street there is a short discontinuity in Kirkendall Durand Alley, so we have to travel half a block along Herkimer before going back into the Alley.
There is an error in the Open Street Map which shows the Kirkendall Durand Alley ending at Caroline Street. Not true! The alley continues behind the Shoppers Drug Mart and ends in a T-intersection with Central Alley. We will turn left on Central Alley and end the Jane's Ride where we started in Durand Park.
This Jane's Ride is being conducted on public streets and alleys which every citizen of Hamilton has a right to use. However, I would like to gently encourage people to foster cycling safety by encouraging the safety in numbers effect. This involves branding and promoting cycling as an utterly normal, mainstream activity of ordinary citizens travelling from A to B.
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