Comment 93748

By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted October 25, 2013 at 16:55:23

Well, it was me who has accused the city of half-measures and I stand by it.

I find it fascinating that you would criticize some of us for proposing a half-measure, adding a bike lane to King St. from the Delta to Wellington when you yourself, who is arguing for "incremental change", would instead have us fight for a full length bike lane? You're confusing me and I'm not sure of your point.

The repaving of King St. provided an excellent opportunity to add a bike lane on a stretch of road heavily used by cyclists all the way into the downtown. That would not be a half-measure it would be bloody fantastic and it would be well used.

As I said, I am fully supportive of the Canon lanes, but I'm not likely to use then and nor, I bet, are most of the cyclists currently using King and Main. Ryan has often made the effort on this site to impart the idea that we should plan and design for what people do rather than what we'd like them to do. And people cycle on Main and King because, just like for automobiles, it is often the most direct route to wherever they are going. Too much planning for cyclists is to push them out of the way. As I said previously, I pay the same taxes and I am equally entitled to share the same road. And let us keep in mind that the Canon St. project, too, is a "pilot project". Which means that it has all the permanence of a municipal Master Plan.

And further on half-measures, consider the "pilot-project" for the dedicated bus lane on King St. It is as though there was a concerted effort to anger every single demographic that shares that stretch of road. There was no warning that one day this week we would all wake up to a new bus lane angering motorists including supporters. Cyclists were told to find another way and provided with a maze of a route that included dismounts, walks, and possibly even portages. Even transit users complained because routes hadn't been adjusted so buses would sit to make up time. And where was the education component to prepare drivers as to proper road etiquette when making right turns or having to cross the bus lane? It was all so haphazardly done and now one councillor has already said perhaps the project will need to be reconsidered sooner.

It is all half-measures.

I am sorry if that offends you, but it didn't take much time for Rob Ford to tear up a bike lane on Jarvis and it won't take this council much time to paint over a dedicated bus lane on King St.

I am all in favour of incremental and steady change if there is a plan, visible progress, and light at the end of the tunnel. I don't see that here. Not at all. I see, instead, a plan, a very good one, gathering dust, limited progress won not through the implementation of the plan but through citizen activism, and no light at the end of the tunnel.

And there is Longwood. Like so many other projects, that too began with plans that are heartening and is ending with more of the same. Yes, there will be a cycling and pedestrian crossing at some point in an undefined future assuming the environmental assessments pass and the money is available. Until that sunny, sunny day, no bike lane for you!

So, yeah, I appreciate your efforts, but I'm not sold. And do you know why I come off as uncompromising and failing to see the background machinations working tirelessly to bring about the urban change we can all believe in? Because when I look at the projects and plans taking place in our city each and every day, I just see more of the same: planning for automobiles. Compromise is about meeting halfway and I would happily settle for continuous bike lanes along half of Hamilton's continuous thoroughfares. Give us Main St. and let the cars have King.

Comment edited by ViennaCafe on 2013-10-25 17:04:01

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