Hamilton has a policy and culture of avoiding uncontrolled crossings on major roads. There's usually a stop sign or a traffic signal somewhere nearby to allow you to cross.
This isn't always the case, but usually the planners give us some kind of controlled crossing to get where we're going, although we might have to go out of the way to find it.
The biggest exception I notice is the on-ramps and off-ramps for Hwy 403 at King or Main near Dundurn. There is no crosswalk, no light, no stop sign, nothing - and no alternative, either; you can't go some other way around to find a pedestrian-friendly stop-light. We're just expected to wait for the gap.
In my favourite case, the Eastbound on-ramp from King Street, the presence of a gap depends on the fickle lane-changes of high-speed oncoming traffic.
Mystery oncoming traffic
Is that car in the distance coming down the on-ramp or not? I can't tell, can you? Sure it's far away, but the speed limit here is 60 km/h so it's probably doing 70. Want to bet your life that you can beat it across?
But either way, at least on the other side you can wait in a nice safe railing-protected space like this:
Which is handy ... if you can negotiate stairs. For wheelchairs, cyclists, and large strollers, this is where the ramp access to cross takes you:
No curb, no bollards, no water-barrels, just some knock-down sticks in front of knock-down people. Wait there for a gap.
I don't have to repeat the statistics about how much damage a car going over 60 km/h does to a person, I'm sure you've all read them.
I'm not picky. Just do something. Anything. A yield-to-pedestrians sign, like at the on-ramp in front of Columbia International College. A pedestrian crossover (PXO). A push-button stop-light (one would be nice on the other side too, so we could get to Fortino's Plaza without doing three cycles of the King and Dundurn lights). Replace the stairs with a ramp and some kind of bump-out/bollard thing.
Whatever. Just fix it.
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