Special Report: Walkable Streets

PlanLocal: Building Safer Streets In Ward 2

We encourage anyone who lives or owns a business in Ward 2 to identify their unsafe locations and potential solutions online or at a location in their neighbourhood.

By Graeme Douglas
Published May 05, 2016

The safety of our neighbourhood streets is the foundation of a vibrant, prosperous community. For an urban community to flourish, residents must have the ability to move easily and safely between home, work, school, and recreation.

In Ward 2, the safety of local streets has been an ongoing concern for residents and businesses alike. With almost 40,000 residents, the centre of business, and 25,000 workers commuting there every day, the Ward is one of Hamilton's most highly-travelled communities.

It also contains some of the most diverse urban environments in all of Hamilton. Extending from the Niagara Escarpment to the Waterfront, Ward 2 includes six distinct neighbourhoods, the main central business district, several commercial and shopping districts, and is the seat of our municipal government.

While this diversity is a source of strength, it also means there is no one-size-fits-all solution to create safe streets.

PlanLocal Ward 2 Safe Streets

In recognition of the unique challenges and opportunities faced by each neighbourhood, Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr sought a new form of urban planning engagement. This led to the launch of PlanLocal Ward 2 Safe Streets.

New sidewalk bumpout at Forest and Ferguson near Queen Victoria School
New sidewalk bumpout at Forest and Ferguson near Queen Victoria School

PlanLocal engages the community directly to determine the unsafe locations most important to their neighbourhoods. It offers an opportunity for residents and local businesses to help guide the urban planning process through citizen supported decision-making.

This process reflects the fact that no one knows local streets better than the people who live, work, and play around them. PlanLocal funnels this knowledge into direct, actionable projects to enhance street safety.

To help attract as many submissions as possible, Councillor Farr has made $1 million available from the Ward 2 area rating capital reserve account for infrastructure improvements under the PlanLocal process. This investment offers a real opportunity to have a positive impact on safety in local neighbourhoods.

We encourage anyone who lives or owns a business in Ward 2 to identify their unsafe locations and potential solutions online or at a location in their neighbourhood.

Identify, Vote, Build

The PlanLocal process involves three distinct phases: Identify, Vote, Build.

PlanLocal Ward 2 Safe Streets
PlanLocal Ward 2 Safe Streets

Since the process launched on April 26, 2016, residents have already shared numerous examples of safe street solutions from locations throughout all six Ward 2 neighbourhoods. Suggested solutions include ladder crossings, sidewalk bumpouts, speed humps, street braille, better street lighting, sidewalk repairs, pedestrian activated crosswalks, and many more.

There is still time to participate. Ward 2 residents, business owners and kids can identify unsafe locations and proposed solutions until May 16, 2016, and vote on a shortlist of those ideas from June 20-30, 2016.

The question remains: how can your streets be safer? We hope the Ward 2 community will take this opportunity and act to build safer streets and communities through the PlanLocal Ward 2 Safe Streets process.

You can learn more about PlanLocal Ward 2 Safe Streets and submit ideas at www.planlocal.ca/ward2/

Graeme Douglas is an Associate with Civicplan, which provides innovative land use planning, community engagement, and research services to the public, non-profit, and private sectors. For more information, go to civicplan.ca.


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By Mack (anonymous) | Posted May 05, 2016 at 15:49:35

I want one of these for my ward, ward 5. But don't know if my dickhead councillor would be on board.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted May 05, 2016 at 19:53:33

Wow we need a councillor like this in ward 3.Congrats Jason. I now hear on the street that Mr. green will be the next mayor? He has yet to fulfill 1 of his campaign promises. I think he's too busy working on his carreer to worry about this.

Comment edited by rednic on 2016-05-05 19:54:00

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By Stinson (registered) | Posted May 11, 2016 at 10:31:24 in reply to Comment 118311

Are you absolutely sure about that? http://www.matthewgreen.ca/issues/

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By mountain66 (registered) | Posted May 11, 2016 at 14:54:02

While I don't live in Ward 2 I do walk & drive there frequently. I will retract one of my previous posts as well, on another thread people were concerned about the lack of a crosswalk on the south side of James South & Charlton. Since then I have walked that section & paid more attention to the layout of the intersection. I suspect the lack of a crosswalk is a leftover from when James was one way, now I see no reason for the lack of a crosswalk & think it should be simple to install a walk- don't walk light at that point. Probably more hazardous is the left turn lanes from James South to St. Joseph's drive. Traffic coming off Herkimer & going south on James tend to treat the turn like it is a banked turn on a race track. The lack of lane markings makes it worse & my wife did see an accident there last week with 2 cars going east trying to make the turn. I would suggest either putting an island part way up St. Joseph's drive or at least paint clear lane markings on the road. That is also a very interesting place to cross on foot.

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted May 11, 2016 at 15:10:22 in reply to Comment 118451

Thanks! I agree that it was probably left over from when the street was one way.

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