A few months ago, the City of Hamilton installed a light at the corner of John at Augusta due to requests made through councillor Jason Farr regarding pedestrians having difficulty crossing.
While the installation was greatly appreciated, once it was brought online some problems became apparent. I sent a message to the city to alert them to the issues, which I'll summarize below:
There is no pedestrian green cycle when cars on Augusta trigger the light, so a pedestrian that arrives as the light turns green for cars has to wait two cycles before crossing.
The delay between a pedestrian hitting the button and the actual green is too long, especially noticeable during the low traffic times.
A glitch causes the north/south hand to start flashing after a pedestrian hits the east/west button, but the hand becomes green again for north/south before flashing once more and then finally changing to green for east/west.
The observed result of these issues is that many people cross against the red, possibly because it is not apparent to that the light is working correctly. It also impacts motorists since the light will often turn green for no one (after the person who triggered it is long gone, having given up on waiting).
Needless to say, this is a dangerous and inconvenient set up, and it represents wasted capital budget on a signal that serves nobody.
After several back and forth emails, with the city taking a hard line and refusing to consider any changes, they passed me up to a supervisor who sent me this gem of a response:
I have inserted this as a screenshot so that you can witness as clearly as I did that it was most certainly a form letter with some minor edits made - edits that were left in a different font and size than the original letter.
In other words, Mr Gallo did not bother to send a personal response. I'm left wondering whether he considered my points at all. Did he even read them?
What's especially disturbing is that his first bullet point, "Maximizing safety for all users," appears to have been added as an afterthought!
Was this added because my letter mentioned the recent pedestrian fatality in Dundas? And if I hadn't mentioned it, would safety even make the list?
I followed up with this response, which I hope you'll enjoy:
This was first published on the Downtown Bike Hounds blog.
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