A municipal traffic calming plan for Sydenham Road neglects to include the cycling infrastructure that was specified for this important cycling route in the city's own Cycling Master Plan.
By Dave Heidebrecht
Published October 13, 2016
One year ago, a new organization called Cycle Hamilton was born. Inspired by the successful Yes We Cannon campaign that led to the successful implementation of a three-kilometre cycle track, and driven by a desire to unite the various cycling groups and initiatives in Hamilton, our mission is to be a member-supported coalition of individuals, communities, and organizations that works together to promote a healthy, safe, and sustainable cycling culture in Hamilton.
Earlier this year, we created three guiding principles to inform the shape of the organization:
Our ultimate vision? To live in a cycle-friendly city that is proactive in supporting a growing cycling culture throughout all wards.
One of the main drivers of Cycle Hamilton taking shape is the concern that our members have regarding the recurring theme of missed opportunities for the implementation of cycling infrastructure or pedestrian-friendly initiatives, including opportunities on Concession Street, King William Street, and Beckett Drive, to name just a few.
Presently, we are facing yet another potential missed opportunity in Ward 13 (Dundas), where plans are currently underway to implement a traffic calming initiative in the Sydenham Road area.
Looking up Sydenham Road (RTH file photo)
While reviewing plans for this traffic calming project, it caught Cycle Hamilton's attention that the City's own Cycling Master Plan had not been cross-referenced, and that a bike lane that was slated for Sydenham Road was not included in the plans.
Furthermore, as they stand now, the plans include road narrowing, bollards and stop signs that may make the cycling environment less hospitable and more dangerous along this popular route.
Prior to implementation, we are advocating for the plans to be thoroughly examined from a complete streets perspective, taking into account the needs of all road users. For these reasons, and guided by our vision, mission and principles, Cycle Hamilton is launching a new campaign asking the City of Hamilton to include bike lanes on upcoming traffic calming work planned for Sydenham Road in Dundas.
In addition, we are asking the City to adopt a policy of routinely cross-referencing and implementing the 2009 Cycling Master Plan whenever traffic calming projects or other roadwork are undertaken.
Zebra crosswalk at Sydenham and Alma (RTH file photo)
Sydenham Road in Dundas, Ontario is a popular cycling route for both Hamiltonians and visitors to our City, and is also listed as a priority road for cycling lanes in the City of Hamilton's own Cycling Master Plan. Unfortunately, the City has opted not to include its own plans for cycling infrastructure in upcoming traffic calming work on Sydenham. This is unacceptable.
Cycle Hamilton is petitioning the City of Hamilton to incorporate cycling lanes into their work on Sydenham Road as per the City's own priorities. Why Bike Lanes?
Please consider signing our petition if you support including bike lanes on Sydenham Road as part of the City's planned traffic calming roadwork and in line with the City's own plans for Sydenham Road in the City of Hamilton Cycling Master Plan.
Around the bend on Sydenham (RTH file photo)
Dave Heidebrecht is the Chair of Cycle Hamilton.
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