Special Report: Walkable Streets

Hamilton's Car-Centric Infrastructure Strikes Again

Each one of these deadly automobile-centric intersections represents negligence on behalf of the city, putting road users at risk with a benefit to no one.

By Sean Burak
Published January 25, 2013

Hamilton's car-centric infrastructure strikes again:

Emergency crews are clearing the intersection of Main and Frid streets in the west end after a young man was struck by a car. ...

The victim was crossing at a median where the road exits Frid onto Main. There is no stop light at that crossing, only a yield sign for drivers.

How many injuries must be sustained by our citizens before we take our mandate seriously and start implementing our official plan to put pedestrians first?

When someone is killed at the Frid intersection or one of the 403 ramp crossings along King or Main Streets, who will be held accountable? This infrastructure presents a serious danger to citizens, and represents a liability on the part of the city, with the province being complicit in the negligence.

After a multi-year, multi-million dollar ramp rebuild project, we are still left with a design where highway traffic merges onto neighbourhood streets, crossing bike lanes and sidewalks where cyclists and pedestrians put their lives at risk mingling with cars moving at 401 speeds.

These ramps, and the Frid intersection should have been redesigned to be proper signalized intersections where all users have an opportunity to proceed safely.

They are dangerous not only for pedestrians and cyclists, but for motorists and their passengers, as they attempt to merge across five lanes of traffic in order to turn at Dundurn.

But this is not the only place where the city is actively putting pedestrians at risk. Our city is saturated with infrastructure features that favour fast-flowing cars.

Highway-Like Street Infrastructure

York Blvd

York at Old Guelph Road
York at Old Guelph Road

Hwy 403 West to York
Hwy 403 West to York

York to Hwy 403 East
York to Hwy 403 East

Dundurn and York
Dundurn and York

Cannon, York, Hess, Queen
Cannon, York, Hess, Queen

Hwy 403

King to Hwy 403 East
King to Hwy 403 East

King to Hwy 403 West
King to Hwy 403 West

Hwy 403 West to Main East
Hwy 403 West to Main East

Hwy 403 East to Main East
Hwy 403 East to Main East

West Hamilton

Main and Osler
Main and Osler

Main and Cootes
Main and Cootes

King and Paradise
King and Paradise

Main and Paradise
Main and Paradise

Main and Frid
Main and Frid

Dundurn and Main
Dundurn and Main

Aberdeen

Aberdeen and Queen
Aberdeen and Queen

Aberdeen and Longwood
Aberdeen and Longwood

Jolley Cut

James and St. Joseph's
James and St. Joseph's

Jolley Cut St. Joseph's and John
Jolley Cut St. Joseph's and John

Concession and Upper Wellington at Jolley Cut
Concession and Upper Wellington at Jolley Cut

Jolley Cut at Concession
Jolley Cut at Concession

Claremont Acccess

Claremont bottom at Victoria
Claremont bottom at Victoria

Claremont and Upper James at Southam Park
Claremont and Upper James at Southam Park

Claremont Access bottom at Wellington
Claremont Access bottom at Wellington

West 5th and Claremont
West 5th and Claremont

East End

Queenston Traffic Circle
Queenston Traffic Circle

Main and King at Delta
Main and King at Delta

Kenilworth

Kenilworth Traffic Circle
Kenilworth Traffic Circle

Kenilworth at King and Lawrence
Kenilworth at King and Lawrence

Kenilworth Top
Kenilworth Top

Sherman Cut top - good luck, pedestrians!
Sherman Cut top - good luck, pedestrians!

Ancaster

Golf Links Road to the LCBO
Golf Links Road to the LCBO

(To be fair, I have not included any Burlington Street infrastructure as it is clearly designed to be an industrial access corridor.)

Negligence

Each one of these photos represents negligence on behalf of the city, putting road users at risk with a benefit to no one. All of these intersections are either in residential areas, or located in places that pedestrians and cyclists need to navigate.

Note the concentration in lower Hamilton. Even in our suburban fringes, we rarely include freeway-style ramps in our intersection designs. Lower Hamilton is full of them.

These routes were designed in a time when tens of thousands of people drove from the escarpment to their jobs in the bayfront industrial sector. This traffic has evaporated, yet the infrastructure remains.

Drivers needing to get up and down the escarpment or across the city can now choose to take Hwy 403, Linc, RHVP, and QEW or Burlington Street.

There is no longer a need for inner city ramps everywhere, seven-lane escarpment accesses (Claremont), T-intersections with no stop signs (Jolley) and other quick-car cut-through infrastructure.

Proactive

With the amount of money we spend on our roads every year, we need to be ensuring that we do not waste any opportunities to make the necessary changes.

Each project that gets completed with a design that does not follow our stated priorities represents money wasted. We cannot afford to re-do any of our road projects, so each and every one must pass pedestrian-infrastructure scrutiny before work commences.

We need to make changes at the most basic level. We need to put these requirements into the staff job descriptions - and if they are not willing to learn, they should not be allowed to work on such projects.

In other words, we have to take this seriously instead of just writing up a bunch of PDF files.

Liability

Will the city wait until a legally savvy pedestrian is injured, one who recognizes that it was the infrastructure that was responsible? Will we wait until we are sued? Or will we proactively make changes?

We now have a complete ring highway system. There is no reason to have freeway-style ramps spread through the city.

Our local roads should serve the local citizens. That means pedestrians first, followed by cyclists, followed by transit followed by cars.

Sean Burak was born in Hamilton but raised elsewhere in Ontario. He returned to his birth town at the turn of the century and has never looked back. Sean is the owner of Downtown Bike Hounds.

90 Comments

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 11:18:51

Clearly, it's time to to increase our spending on roads!

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By Randy (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 11:21:56

I occasionally walk across the Frid street intersection. You always need to look as cars travel far too fast and won't slow down enough to stop in time. Not a fun road to cross, not totally surprised someone ended up being hit.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2013 at 13:04:56 in reply to Comment 85511

It's crazy as a driver too. I had to make that turn for the first time recently and given the speed of traffic on Main and the fact that you have to cross the recently-merged offramp to get into it, the speed at which it comes up can be startling.

It's seriously absurd design and the only reason we haven't seen more pedestrians hit there is that there just isn't much reason to cross it - there isn't that much on the south side of Main there.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 31, 2013 at 21:19:42 in reply to Comment 85520

if you find it that difficult then you really should give up your drivers license.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2013 at 11:41:00 in reply to Comment 85511

Every time I navigate that crossing I mutter to myself "it's just a matter of time".

With cars coming off of the 403 on a blind corner, it's like a lifesize game of frogger.

And that's just walking along Main (crossing Frid). If you want to cross Main itself from Frid to Dundurn Plaza it's a whole new level!

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By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 12:07:16

Sean or Ryan .. please go for office for Mayor im sure yous will be voted in ... you will have my vote hands down !

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 16:26:32 in reply to Comment 85513

THAT I want to see

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By Conrad666 (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 05:52:51 in reply to Comment 85513

Yes, please run for mayor. That way the proof will be in the pudding that there is a very small subset of the city who actually things these ideas are a priority over our crumbling infrastructure, massive deficit and anti-suburb agenda.

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By higher taxes are your answer? (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 17:58:03 in reply to Comment 85570

How do you figure we'll pay for the crumbling infrastructure? You got a plan?

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By Sure (anonymous) | Posted January 28, 2013 at 19:26:48 in reply to Comment 85634

Sure, it's not hard. Do away with frills like bike lanes, grassy medians, and costly renovations, ridiculous increases to police budgets, and general waste (like that in the roads department that has recently come to light...) and we can start tackling our infrastructure. Oh, and getting the burbs to pay their fair share. Maybe sprinkle in a bit of Casino revenue for good measure.

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By JH in Hamiton (because James wasn't avai (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 12:47:44

I feel the pain for the person that was struck by the car, I do. Being an avid city cycler for a number of years - and having been hit by a car twice, and a city bus once (all could have been avoided) - I truly do understand how much it hurts to be a cyclist in the city and how nice it would be to have friendlier roads. My problem with the attitude in this article would be the sense of entitlement. The reality here though is there are more people driving in cars. Cars are bigger and need more space. We need roads for our business in the city. Cars are bigger. Main point, cars are bigger.

The attitude of cyclists (and like I said, I know from experience) is that cars must be made to to yield to cyclists. Sure, I think that we should be able to share the road, but the onus is and should always be on the cyclist to be aware. Just like the onus should be on the pedestrian to be aware of their surroundings when a cyclist (and vehicle) is coming.

Our mentality nowadays has shifted to the very entitled which - in my opinion - has led to the lack of use of common sense. If a person knows that they're coming up to an intersection that may have vehicles, that person may want to execute some common sense (and a bit of survival instinct) and may want to look around to make sure the situation is safe to cross. What they may not want to do is to walk in front of said vehicle. No matter if we're right in the situation or think we're right in the situation, the car is still bigger and will always win in that particular instance.

To blame the city or the infrastructure for this particular issue is just another way to shift the blame from the individual to something else. Maybe we should ask why the individual walked out onto the busy road, or didn't see the car coming or wasn't paying attention in the first place.

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By Ferrs (anonymous) | Posted January 30, 2013 at 22:53:59 in reply to Comment 85518

I've been biking in Hamilton for 12 years now, and the only time I got hit was by another cyclist, speeding through a stop sign. (Not an "Idaho stop", but blazing on through.)

I hate to say it but over the years I've learned to keep an eye on cars and stay out of their way as much as possible, but as a cyclist, other cyclists often scare the crap out of me. Not all of them of course, but the aggressive ones that force cars to do unpredictable things. A car's path and momentum can be predicted easily, but a bike not so much. No car is going to hop on the sidewalk, run a red light, completely ignore a stop sign, drive on the wrong side of the road, or generally ignore major traffic rules.

We do need infrastructure changes, and yeah, some streets are designed poorly for walkability, but it's not SimCity, the whole city wasn't planned in one phase with a particular vision in mind, and no one's going to be able to raise enough money to change every bad road in the city. For now we should just make sure that enforcement is happening, and that cyclists always assume that every car is a potential bad drive who doesn't see you. It's way safer that way.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2013 at 20:02:59 in reply to Comment 85518

Train-and-blame does not work. If we are serious about taking an evidence-based approach to safety that actually works instead of moralizing, we must engineer safety into our traffic system instead of telling people to be more careful on our current, unsafe system.

Telling people to be careful is not effective. Humans are not reliable that way. Some are better than others, but nobody's perfect. You need a solution that's not about making people perfect.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2013-01-25 20:03:37

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 18:17:16 in reply to Comment 85555

That's BS. You can train people to be more careful and safer. I've been doing it effectively for 15+ years now. What you cannot do is make things idiot proof (i.e., engineer away stupidity).

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By Stewie (anonymous) | Posted January 29, 2013 at 08:29:32 in reply to Comment 85637

I'm going on a flight next week. I'm glad you're not the one responsible for making sure my plane doesn't fall out of the sky.

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By self-correcting system (anonymous) | Posted January 29, 2013 at 08:55:06 in reply to Comment 85664

If a pilot makes a mistake and the plane crashes, he dies in the crash and doesn't get to fly anymore. Therefore it is impossible for him to make the same mistake again. It's a self-correcting system. In other words, we don't need to design for safety. You'll be fine!

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By perplexed and needing a guide (anonymous) | Posted January 29, 2013 at 10:27:24 in reply to Comment 85665

The knuckle-drag trolling on RTH has been so bad lately that I still can't tell if this is tongue in cheek after reading it a few times!

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By self-correcting system (anonymous) | Posted January 29, 2013 at 10:31:10 in reply to Comment 85667

Yep I was being sarcastic!

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted January 30, 2013 at 21:00:21 in reply to Comment 85668

Ever heard the saying that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit?

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By self-correcting system (anonymous) | Posted January 30, 2013 at 21:31:16 in reply to Comment 85686

Just trying to keep things at your level.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted February 10, 2013 at 06:40:49 in reply to Comment 85688

Oh, burn, I guess...?

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 30, 2013 at 21:27:56 in reply to Comment 85686

The lowest form of wit is better than the highest form of cynicism.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted February 10, 2013 at 06:41:04 in reply to Comment 85687

Hardly.

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By Everyone else in Hamilton (anonymous) | Posted February 10, 2013 at 10:09:08 in reply to Comment 86133

Damn. We thought you left.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 29, 2013 at 07:57:46 in reply to Comment 85637

Ah, the old 'anonymous professional' routine. I guess we should just ignore concepts presented by people whose impeccable credentials are clearly available to us. We should just believe you 'cause you said so. After all, that engineer/anesthesiologist/pilot/astronaut/mountain rescue instructor guy was probably just trying to forward his anti-malpractise agenda.

Comment edited by seancb on 2013-01-29 08:12:38

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By brendansimons (registered) | Posted January 29, 2013 at 00:02:54 in reply to Comment 85637

No you really can't. Bad, dangerous design is bad, dangerous design. We used to allow construction workers to work without a harness. We used to let stairs be built without rails. We used to drive without seatbelts for F sake! These all changed because the data showed that "telling people to be careful" wasn't good enough to prevent injuries.

Nobody is asking for idiot proof. We're looking for "not hostile to humans".

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 29, 2013 at 20:32:55 in reply to Comment 85661

What you are talking about is neither train and blame nor design safety. What you are talking about is increasing or installing safety devices. The design of the actual stairs has not changed simply safety devices were installed. Just like wearing a helmet when cycling will increase you safety. Cars were not redesigned (actually they were but has nothing to do with seat belts) but a stellar safety device was added, namely seatbelts. In the years since those seatbelts have been improved upon several times. Similarly construction procedure has really not changed a lot except again safety devices the ubiquitous safety harness was mandated. It is still all train and blame just with added safety features to minimize the damage.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 16:34:44 in reply to Comment 85555

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By jonathan dalton (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 18:57:51 in reply to Comment 85518

I think you're confused about who has the 'onus' here. Of course everyone is responsible for their own actions. Of course we all must drive, walk or cycle defensively if we want to avoid accidents. Counting on others to not make mistakes is not effective.

Legally however, a driver is required to be in control of their vehicle at all times. This is why you fail a driving test if a pedestrian steps out into the roadway well ahead of you, and you fail to respond by slowing down. This does not mean that pedestrians are entitled to step into traffic at any time. It is a bad idea, and depending on the context illegal, but that does not change the fact that the driver is responsible.

A cyclist is also legally responsible to be in control of their bike, which is treated as a vehicle. Cyclists must yield to pedestrians, drivers of cars must be aware of bicycles and slower moving vehicles. This is all part of the highway traffic act and it's explained in the drivers handbook that I read when I was 16.

I don't see any pedestrians here exhibiting such a sense of entitlement as to believe they should have human shields and not suffer the inconvenience of having to be aware of traffic. We are simply asking for safe infrastructure, that which has proven to be effective in minimizing accidents.

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By AlHuizenga (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 15:25:13 in reply to Comment 85518

It's not about blame, it's about design. Certain designs result in greater safety. Other designs result in greater harm. Traffic design in downtown Hamilton is really really bad and encourages harm, so people get hurt. Hence, the traffic designers need to change the design.

All the hand-wringing about how entitled people feel these days, how nobody has any individual responsibility any more, etc. is irrelevant, unhelpful, self-involved, and kind of immature.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 16:42:08 in reply to Comment 85538

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By AlHuizenga (registered) | Posted January 28, 2013 at 08:30:42 in reply to Comment 85628

The design of downtown streets is just fine.

We're talking about downtown Hamilton, right?

As in, "OMG it's a Road Warrior-style apocalyptic wasteland, I'm gonna dress my kids in body armor" downtown Hamilton?

I mean, I love living in downtown Hamilton, I do, but if you honestly believe what you just said...well...

Damn.

Cities all over the world are trying to figure out how to get traffic moving quicker and more efficiently

Ha! Really? Which ones? Links please.

Truth: Cities all over the world are trying to calm traffic - slow cars down, implement tolls to discourage driving altogether, and make more accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists.

It's happening across Europe and North America, it's happening in Oakville, Markham, Waterloo, Pickering...just not so much here in Hamilton.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 29, 2013 at 20:44:08 in reply to Comment 85645

Try looking at Hamilton's collision report

http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/E8EE9F6D-95BE-483C-A055-517F1B7EE933/76133/2010CollisionReportFinal.pdf


Try reading the last paragraph on page 22. Oh hell here it is

"Comparison of Hamilton with selected Canadian Cities

On the basis of total collisions per 1,000 population, Hamilton has very close to the lowest rate in Canada (Exhibit 2.2). On the basis of injury collisions per 1,000 population, the City also has very close to the best performance in Canada when compared to cities with similar road operation responsibilities."

So if you really think your kids need body armour here what will they need in places less safe like Oakville Markham Waterloo or Pickering? A parent with common sense I suspect.

Look I realize you have some kind of phobia about one way streets but they really are the best way to go.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 29, 2013 at 20:36:13 in reply to Comment 85645

Didn't your glorious leader just right an article about how some Scandinavian city has implemented tolls on cars to alleviate congestion and increase traffic flow? Is that a good example?

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By AlHuizenga (registered) | Posted January 30, 2013 at 14:29:32 in reply to Comment 85673

Didn't your glorious leader just have his application for Canadian permanent resident status denied?

(I'm assuming, based on absolutely nothing, that you're a devoted follower of Randy Quaid.)

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 18:01:14 in reply to Comment 85628

Cities all over the world are trying to figure out how to get traffic moving quicker and more efficiently

Hey spamalot, you need to get out more. Cities all over the world are trying to figure out how to be more safe, hospitable and welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists. It's Hamilton (and you) that are out of step. Pun intended.

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By wait a second - who is entitled? (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 14:33:30 in reply to Comment 85518

"Our mentality nowadays has shifted to the very entitled"

You must be referring to those who say things such as "the onus should be on the pedestrian to be aware of their surroundings" because "cars are bigger". Or those who always assume that the pedestrian "wasn't paying attention" as if there's no way that the road design or diver inattentiveness can cause accidents.

Your words OOZE entitlement.

The road system in this province and especially in Hamilton is grossly unbalanced, tipping waaaaaay over to favour private automobiles.

Calling for better balance is not entitlement.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 16:45:15 in reply to Comment 85530

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By Kiely (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 15:04:12 in reply to Comment 85530

You must be referring to those who say things such as "the onus should be on the pedestrian to be aware of their surroundings" because "cars are bigger".

No, that's just common sense. And his words are more those of a realist than the entitled.

Oh and this article does not call for "balance" it very clearly calls for a change in priorities:

pedestrians first, followed by cyclists, followed by transit followed by cars.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 18:37:32 in reply to Comment 85533

Umm yes, that change in priority has take the entire planet by storm - well, at least in cities that care about their future, business districts and urban neighbourhoods. Nobody here is surprised that Hamilton doesn't. It's Walmart or bust for our future.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 16:47:03 in reply to Comment 85548

Are you saying that because the stores downtown keep closing because they can't make any money and Walmart is always packed and constantly building and expanding?

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By Jason Jr. (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 05:37:19 in reply to Comment 85548

Yeah! What he said!

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By Jason Jr. Jr. (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 10:24:58 in reply to Comment 85562

OK dad, let's get you back to the ward.

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By Jason IV (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 15:43:54 in reply to Comment 85586

Which ward? Burt Ward?

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2013 at 15:14:34 in reply to Comment 85533

I have to jump in here. I did not pull that priority out of thin air. It is supposedly Hamilton's actual mandate.

It's summarized nicely in this document:

Transportation Master Plan (2007) reflects the nodes and corridors framework and relies on aggressive transit improvements and an urban fabric with a high degree of connectivity. The Transportation Master Plan shifted the transportation hierarchy to focus on pedestrians first, followed by cyclists, transit, goods movement and general purpose traffic.

Our pedestrian infrastructure is dismal. Any improvement is indeed providing better balance.

Do you walk around here?

Comment edited by seancb on 2013-01-25 15:15:50

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 14:20:17 in reply to Comment 85518

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 14:27:09 in reply to Comment 85527

Pretty fucking hilarious that the people complaining about "entitlement" are the ones making excuses for highway on-ramps in residential communities. The only people with entitlement issues are the drivers who think everyone and everything on earth needs to get out of their way.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 18:40:25 in reply to Comment 85529

exactly.

Anyone who can defend this design as acceptable near people's front porches is out to lunch:

http://goo.gl/maps/O2TI3

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 17:18:30 in reply to Comment 85549

And no matter how much it bothers you there are people who bought that house and are living there. I drive by there frequently and I do not see the house constantly up for sale. Seems it bothers you more than the ones living there.

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By Jason Jr. (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 05:38:37 in reply to Comment 85549

Yeah! What he said! You're so right on!

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By Jason Jr. Jr. (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 10:23:47 in reply to Comment 85563

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By Jason IV (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 08:13:53 in reply to Comment 85585

Which ward? The common sense one?

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 13:09:42 in reply to Comment 85518

"My heart bleeds for them when someone gets killed. But it’s their own fault at the end of the day."

-- Rob Ford

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By so... (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 05:54:10 in reply to Comment 85521

So are you equating anyone with conservative views with Rob Ford?

Bravo.

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By grate comprension (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 10:22:37 in reply to Comment 85571

Or more likely equating anyone with that specific view with rob ford.

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 13:10:01

I've always maintained that Frid access should be inbound only, with no exit to Main and all outbound traffic routed to Chatham and onward to Dundurn.

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 15:03:08

Roads are for vehicles of any sort, sidewalks are for pedestrians and there are specific places where a pedestrian is allowed to cross the street. And everyone should be careful what they do, drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. The onus is on the individual to always make the wisest and safest choice in this world.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 16:01:31

I think a stop light is required on the Main St. Bridge just west of the highway on ramps that spill their traffic onto Main St. Perhaps it could be metered with the off ramps. This would be safer for cyclists and pedestrians, who would most naturally be scared at crossing an unsignalled highway off ramp. It would also be safer for motorists trying to change 5 lanes over a 100 meter interval to get to Dundurn St. The only drawback is that cars wouldn't be able to travel from Westdale at 70 km/h over the bridge ;)

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By wouldn't work (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 05:55:53 in reply to Comment 85541

It won't work because it would back the traffic up to Hwy 6 or beyond in the morning and evening rush hours. I don't think I've ever seen a metered ramp for getting off the highway, only for getting on.

That whole section needs to be blown up and redone.

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By what? (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 10:17:38 in reply to Comment 85572

Every ramp coming off of every other highway in our city terminates at a light. Every exit from the Linc, every exit from the RHVP.

And almost every exit from every 400 series highway terminates at a light at the local road in every other city.

The ramps onto main street from the 403 are anomalies, not the norm. Where else do you exit the highway and then merge onto the city street? Can you name any other place that has that design?

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2013 at 09:16:16 in reply to Comment 85583

Try driving the highways that you claim exits terminate in traffic lights. Most if not all of the exits from the Linc terminate in a right turn yield onto the destination street. This is the basic standard for highway offramps and can be found all over the continent. Jurisdictions everywhere are trying to keep traffic moving. Only in Hamilton do we have a site dedicated to slowing it down. Since the 403 exit for Main East terminates at a one way street and each exit becomes a new lane it really is not a problem. I would love to see the accident rate for that stretch of road. I drive there a lot and there does not seem to be a lot of accidents.

Before you whine about the way exits are constructed try driving them.

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By SpaceMonkey (registered) | Posted January 31, 2013 at 09:26:31 in reply to Comment 85583

I'm not defending it, but in response to your question, the first one that came to mind was the Gardiner merging onto York and Lakeshore.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted January 31, 2013 at 17:42:29 in reply to Comment 85692

Any others? We must be able to push this to at least 0.01% of all other 400 Series Highway off ramps that enter live traffic vs. the only one in Hamilton that does'nt (Main W.)

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2013 at 12:23:31 in reply to Comment 85708

Again the nonsense. Main West terminates like the overwhelming majority of off ramps do. A right turn yield and a traffic light for left turns.

The silliness never stops here does it.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted February 02, 2013 at 16:16:59 in reply to Comment 85762

Notwithstanding the fact you are an obvious troll; an underwhelmingly intelligent at that,there is no right turn yield on the Main West ramp.

Keep going stupid. Don't let facts get in the way of your skewed view of reality.

Hamilton's lower city street design is so awesome that it is not found anywhere else in Southern Ontario; not even in upper Hamilton.

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By wouldn't work (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 12:00:29 in reply to Comment 85583

My comment was directed at this:

"Perhaps it could be metered with the off ramps."

Not the rest of the post

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By -Hammer- (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 17:06:10

I am in complete disagreement regarding the mountain accesses. These are NOT pedestrian areas, and in many cases, not cyclist areas either, nor should they be designed as such. Nearly all of these accesses are over a KM in length and possess steep inclines which are capable of taxing even professional cyclists (which is why the last major cycling race here, we utilized the clairmont). There is no development along them and minimal development near them and are not exactly easy to expand or work on given the constant erosion of the escarpment. They typically lead to clearly marked and serviced major traffic veins, which feed very low density residential area's or institutions that do not lend themselves of high amounts of pedestrian traffic, like say in the city core nor cycling traffic, say at more level streets.

To further iterate these streets as non-pedestrain, sidewalks don't typical run even to them or around them (which I feel is a bit of a problem, espcially along Mountain Brow and West 5th, where their presence could better direct to pedestrain routes). These are streets that should never be "Complete" streets as RtH has often labeled mixed use traffic veins. The safer, more cost effective, alternative to trasversing the mountain is seperate infrastructure. Pedestrain stairs, bridges, trails and better, more frequent public transport options, and in many cases this infrastructure is already in place.

The base of the Kenniworth access is serviced by pedestrian stairs linking to the rail trail (which would be better if it had a linkage to the area around Oakcrest Dr.), the West 5th access is serviced (albiet poorly) by the nearby bruce trail connection (which could use a direct sidewalk path for access and a bridge/stairs to traverse Beckett Dr) the Clairmont is serviced by the Clairmont stairs (which at most could use better pedestrain crossing signage) and nearby trail connection and the Jolley Cut is serviced by a proper pedestrain path further down concession.

Comment edited by -Hammer- on 2013-01-25 17:09:42

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 25, 2013 at 17:50:41 in reply to Comment 85544

My map shots are from the tops and bottoms of the accesses, where they carry cars through residential neighbourhoods. I did not comment on the lengths of the accesses themselves. The top of the Sherman cut is in the middle of a residential neighbourhood. The top of the Jolley is especially miserable, as it sits between one of our finest parks and the Concession shopping district - but to walk that length you have to cross two ramps, one of which has traffic completely unhindered by even a yield sign.

But since you brought the accesses up, I do not agree with your argument that they are "not pedestrian areas" and "not cyclist areas". People do ride and walk up and down these accesses on a regular basis despite their lack of infrastructure.

The Jolley could easily accommodate a two way bike lane and wider sidewalk if we limited the downhill traffic to one lane. John narrows to one lane downtown anyways and there is no need for a downbound passing lane (I can understand the need for an uphill passing lane to get around slower buses and trucks).

Claremont could accommodate two way bike lanes, two sidewalks and a dedicated transit lane with no traffic impact along its entire length. It has a greater lane capacity than the 403.

These accesses are all overbuilt - completed in an era where thousands and thousands of people commuted within the city every day. These patterns have changed greatly. Some people still have to use these accesses, but many use them out of habit. It would be just as fast to take the Linc to 403 or RHVP for many of trips.

It would be great if we could at least convince the traffic department to do counts on these routes and commit to changing the designs in order to match volume. At least we would have the data and a plan.

The Claremont is a great example. It has been down a lane for how long now with no impact. Are we going to spend money repairing that lane even though we don't need it? Or will we save some cash and accept that we do not need that lane capacity on that route? I assume that in order to maintain their budget, the roads department has a plan to fix and reopen that lane. Why?

Comment edited by seancb on 2013-01-25 17:52:52

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 17:28:54 in reply to Comment 85546

You claim the one lane down had no effect and another article on this site railed against drivers who called city hall and complained about the problem. Doesn't seem like it had no affect.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 28, 2013 at 09:03:21 in reply to Comment 85633

There was no rally.

Go to the Claremont at rush hour and use your own eyes to gather evidence rather than relying on an anecdote by a councillor used as a sidenote in a CBC article from 2.5 months ago.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 17:23:13 in reply to Comment 85546

Two way cycling lanes? For what? 5 bicycles a week? Why not just give them free access to HSR buses to get up and down it would be cheaper for the city.

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By TnT (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 18:09:20

It is the single most shocking comment I hear from visitors to our city: Why are the roads so unsafe? It isn’t like the ideas haven’t been floated out there before (http://www.raisethehammer.org/article/943/a_jolley_cut_for_everyone). Genius. It really seems simple, especially when talking about the huge amounts of tax dollars being tossed around for this.

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By how many people say that? (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 05:57:00 in reply to Comment 85547

Just how many people are you talking to that say that?

I can say right back,

It is the single most comforting comment I hear from visitors to our city: Why are the roads so convenient?

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By z jones (registered) | Posted January 27, 2013 at 12:00:49 in reply to Comment 85573

I call BS on your anonymous made-up interweb chestnut.

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By Dundurn's King (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 08:24:05 in reply to Comment 85573

I live at dundurn and king. I am regularly stopped by visitors how have lost their way and are frustrated with the inconvenient one way streets. It's kind of amusing and makes me feel like a big deal.

Also I've been run over by a car by the King ramp when I was biking. I got a ticket until the cop was nice enough to throw it out for me.

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By jason (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 18:49:05

Here's a couple more examples of crazy freeway ramps that are 100% not needed in Hamilton's neighbourhoods. A normal intersection where cars actually have to GASP stop before turning right would suffice.

http://goo.gl/maps/dH9lI

http://goo.gl/maps/AOX24

  • this one is ridiculous. P.S. - Queen should be two-way from the base of the Mountain to the waterfront. Easy access for everyone to Main, King, York, Barton without having to cut through neighbourhoods.

http://goo.gl/maps/pXHEH

Comment edited by jason on 2013-01-25 18:50:23

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By Jason Jr. (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 05:39:38 in reply to Comment 85550

Yeah! Preach it!

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By Jason Jr. Jr. (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 10:25:57 in reply to Comment 85564

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

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By Jason IV (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 12:01:08 in reply to Comment 85587

JASON LIVES!

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted January 25, 2013 at 20:17:05

The intersections along Centennial are not very pedestrian friendly either, particularly at Queenston Road. While it's a very commercial corner (begging for intensified development I'll add, though that's a comment for a different post) we have Eastgate Square which is supposed to serve as a high-level transit node even without LRT/BRT, yet anyone walking there from the east or south has a lot of traffic movements to deal with.

Perhaps some of these intersections should be re-evaluated using a cost-benefit framework that better reflects the new priority of road users? (I should say transportation users instead) And rebuilt, if indeed the free flow of automobiles does not valuate as it once may have?

Comment edited by ScreamingViking on 2013-01-25 20:18:42

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By SCRAP (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 06:46:12

I hope the person is ok and recovering. As someone who lost a family member to a traffic accident many, many years ago, that memory is still with me today.

So maybe we have to look at our society, where the car is number one, at all costs. Maybe this is what needs to change. Given the destruction of the tar sands and other oil related disasters, that we are hurting mother earth, just so we can get somewhere fast.

I know, not an easy subject to talk about but one I feel we should be engaged in.

Not ot lon ago, I watched an older gentleman trying to cross Main Street right where the ram[ is going into the Fortino's. I thought for sure he was going to hit, he made it across but it was nail biting to watch. I, myself would enver attempt to cross at that point, just too many cars. But even if you use the crosswalks, you must always be vigiliant, in watching the traffic.

I have noticed that many cars will block the crosswalk in an effort to turn right, yet as pedestrians we are suppose to have the right away and be able to cross with the light.

Keep pounding away at this issue, as it is the general masses that you need to reach and convince.





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By Fiddler's Green (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 15:45:05

Hey, what about the offramp from the 403 London-bound that exits at Fiddler's green? It drops you off right in a subdivision!

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted January 26, 2013 at 16:52:11

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 26, 2013 at 17:21:19 in reply to Comment 85605

The city puts unpainted crosswalks across highway ramps. I would not be surprised if they were sued eventually - either by someone who was injured while crossing, or by a motorist who was charged for injuring someone.

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By voice of fire (anonymous) | Posted January 28, 2013 at 09:54:40

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted January 28, 2013 at 11:16:22 in reply to Comment 85650

Asking for a stoplight where a highway ramp meets a city street is not a war on the automotive industry.

The automotive industry, and by extension, all motorists (myself included), are some of the biggest social support recipients in the world.

Those of us who drive should be thankful that the car-free citizens exist to help us enjoy this lifestyle.

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By LOL all over again (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 07:18:27 in reply to Comment 85653

When the off ramp meets a one way street and forms a new lane there is absolutely no need for a traffic light.

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By view angle (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 09:56:19 in reply to Comment 85953

Yes there is.

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By Today (anonymous) | Posted January 28, 2013 at 18:01:19

I have no problem where citizens ask for traffic lights, stop signs etc where it's proven though data that has been gathered that it is unsafe to not have such. My problem lies with people who think that roads should cater to pedestrians first and pedestrians should be allowed to walk across any road anywhere without going to an intersection where pedestrians are allowed to cross legally and safely.

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By crtsvg (registered) | Posted February 01, 2013 at 00:39:17

who will be held accountable? the dummy that ran across a very busy 5 lane roadway is accountable for his stupid actions. Cross in the walkway.

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