Special Report: Cycling

Yes We Cannon - Bike Lanes 2015

We can connect our neighbourhoods, our shopping destinations and our transit hubs. Most importantly, we can leave a legacy of health, safety and community vibrancy for decades to come. The time is now!

By Justin Jones
Published May 10, 2013

A lot of digital ink has been dedicated on this website to the various dysfunctions of Cannon Street, yet precious little has been done to try to ease the situation.

Cannon Street at James (Image Credit: Mike Goodwin)
Cannon Street at James (Image Credit: Mike Goodwin)

Unless the citizens of our great city stand up and demand better, Cannon Street will remain terribly over-built, only existing to transport car and truck traffic as fast as possible.

This is what Yes We Cannon is all about - giving the people a voice to demand that Hamilton City Council take dramatic steps to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety in the lower city and to make sure we have safe, functional streets for everyone.

The mission: create a bi-directional bike lane, running the full length of Cannon Street, by 2015.

If this happened, Cannon Street would become the centrepiece of our active transportation network, and a focal point of our city to be showcased to the hundreds of thousands of visitors we will host for the 2015 Pan Am games.

There are a number of important reasons why Cannon Street is prime to be converted into a street with bike lanes. They can be summed up by answering three important questions: Why Bike Lanes, Why Cannon, and Why Now?

Spare lane capacity on Cannon (Image Credit: Mike Goodwin)
Spare lane capacity on Cannon (Image Credit: Mike Goodwin)

Why Bike Lanes?

First, Cannon Street is identified as a priority for Bike Lanes in the City of Hamilton's Shifting Gears - Cycling Master Plan (2009).

Bike Lanes on Cannon Street are identified as Priorities numbers 20, 30, 45 and 55 in the Plan, so City Council have already committed to installing Bike Lanes on Cannon Street. It's time that we hold Council accountable for these promises to make the lower city safer for all road users.

Second, a cycling trip is only as safe as the least safe part of the journey. Currently there is no safe cycling infrastructure to get from east to west in the North End.

More to the point, there is no possible way to get from the Pan Am Stadium to the site of the new James Street North GO Station without riding on King Street, Cannon Street, Barton Street or Burlington Street.

Riding on King, Cannon and Burlington right now is a very frightening exercise, with vehicles whizzing by you at speeds upwards of 70 km/hour, and riding on Barton subjects you to very heavy traffic, tight lanes and many car doors opening in your path.

Finally, the North end of Hamilton is tremendously under-served by active transportation infrastructure. While Hamilton has made some tremendous strides in improving the bikeability of areas in the west end of the city and on the mountain, there exists a significant gap in the cycling network in wards 2, 3 and 4.

In fact, from Watson in the East to Victoria Street in the West (a distance of nearly 5 km) and from Lawrence Ave all the way to Burlington Street (a distance of almost 3 km), there is not a single piece of safe cycling infrastructure.

Working with the population map produced by Raise ihe Hammer, we see that in this area of over 16 square kilometers, there are 50,000 residents without access to safe active transportation infrastructure.

Considering that these residents are all contained within the Code Red neighbourhoods, the impetus for action becomes even stronger.

Not all people can drive. For children, the elderly and persons with disabilities, the option to hop in a car and drive to their destination does not exist. For others, the costs of owning a car may simply be too high.

We need to ensure that these populations have access to safe, effective transportation infrastructure, and that means making the streets work for them as well.

Clusters of high-speed traffic on Cannon (Image Credit: Mike Goodwin)
Clusters of high-speed traffic on Cannon (Image Credit: Mike Goodwin)

Why Cannon Street?

One of the most compelling arguments to be made for adding bike lanes onto Cannon Street is the lack of alternate routes to move East to West across the lower city via active transportation. Because of the way the roads in the North and East end of Hamilton are constructed, there are no continuous side streets taking you from East to West or vice-versa.

In fact, if you were to try to ride from Ottawa and Main to James and Barton, there is no route you could take that would keep you off of King, Cannon, Barton or Burlington.

These streets are clearly not designed for cyclists, and unless you are a very confident and experienced cyclist, those road conditions are likely to deter you from even attempting the trip.

Furthermore, by giving bikers few safe options we are also putting drivers at risk, creating a dangerous situation for both bike and car. Cannon is centrally located between two large, fast moving streets (the King/Main pairing and Burlington Street), making it an ideal candidate for conversion since the nearby streets would easily be able to accommodate the excess traffic generated by calming Cannon.

Equally important to the "Why Cannon?" question is the fact that Cannon has already been identified in Hamilton's Shifting Gears Cycling Master Plan as a route destined for bike lanes. Cannon street can serve as a central spine to the city's cycling network in the North end of the city, and should be prioritized to give access to the hundreds of new cyclists, young and old, that are getting on the road in this area every year.

Finally, Cannon street is ideally located to connect people to the places that they will want to go within Hamilton via active transportation.

By installing bike lanes along Cannon, the city has a unique opportunity to connect two thriving business and arts communities (Ottawa and James Streets), a major sporting destination (the Pan Am Stadium), a major transit hub (The James Street North Go Station) and four active, engaged neighbourhoods via a safe, effective active transportation route.

This opportunity is too valuable to our city to miss, and we must urge our politicians to make this a priority.

Why Now?

This is where the rubber really hits the road. With the construction of the Pan Am Stadium and the construction of the James Street North GO station, Hamilton has really never been in a better position to showcase itself to the region and the world.

Making Cannon Street a cycling destination route would speak volumes to our dedication to provide safe space for all road users. Here are the reasons why we must not wait any longer to make these important changes.

First, construction crews will already be on the ground redoing sections of Cannon Street in advance of the Pan Am games in 2015. With these crews on the ground, we have the opportunity to do the work that the city has already identified as a priority by installing bike lanes.

Second, our city is going to play host to thirty-two soccer games during the Pan Am Games. This is going to bring hundreds of thousands of visitors into our city over the span of ten days. We need a way to get those people from the James Street North GO Station to the Pan Am stadium, and providing them with a safe, direct cycling route along Cannon Street would be an excellent way to showcase our city to all these visitors.

Third, Hamilton City Council has approved a Bike Share program to be deployed in Hamilton. By installing bike lanes along Cannon Street, we can develop an amazing network for these Bike Share bikes to get from the downtown and the James Street North GO station to the Pan Am Stadium, to Ottawa Street and to other areas in the East end of our city.

Perhaps most important, the costs of inaction are growing every single year. People are no longer choosing where to locate their family based on how fast they can get away from their homes in their cars. People are looking for walkable, bikeable, connected neighbourhoods to locate their families, open new businesses and spend their time and money.

There are great strides being made in many parts of Hamilton to make them more connected and more accommodating to active transportation, but the lower city, and especially the North and East ends, have been neglected on this front, with our council continuing to prioritize rapid automobile movement over the development of safe, connected communities.

The time to reverse this trend is now. We can keep traffic moving through the lower city without Cannon street being a freeway. We can create a safe space for cyclists and pedestrians along Cannon Street. We can connect our neighbourhoods, our shopping destinations and our transit hubs. Most importantly, we can leave a legacy of health, safety and community vibrancy for decades to come. The time is now!

Yes We Cannon!

Join the movement at yeswecannon.ca, and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter @BikeCannon2015 and hashtag #YesWeCannon.

Justin Jones is the Manager, Bicycle Friendly Ontario at the Share the Road Cycling Coalition. Justin is a project manager, sustainability professional and rabble rouser with nearly a decade of experience in the sustainability field. His work with student groups, municipal governments and NGOs has taken him all over the country. He is passionate about civic engagement, with a special focus on active transportation issues and the creation of liveable cities through better infrastructure and education.

32 Comments

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By Conrad664 (registered) | Posted May 10, 2013 at 10:32:03

Yous think Cannon is scary to drive on you shouls try Main treet as well its like the Daytona 500

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By daytona (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2013 at 12:14:25 in reply to Comment 88591

It's not a competition

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By Chevron (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2013 at 11:00:00

Map out the downtown neighbourhoods with highest residential density, prioritize walkability measures/two-way conversions accordingly and the odds are you'll always be doing the most good for the most Hamiltonians.

There are 16 census tracts neighbouring Cannon to the North and South. Merging those N/S pairs into units:

Ward 2
Queen to James = 3,516 adjacent residents
James to Wellington = 5,854 adjacent residents

Ward 3
Wellington to Wentworth = 7,736 adjacent residents
Wentworth to Sherman = 7,387 adjacent residents
Sherman to Gage = 6,542 adjacent residents
Gage to Ottawa = 6,269 adjacent residents

Ward 4
Ottawa to Kenilworth = 5,097 adjacent residents
Kenilworth to Strathearne = 6,013 adjacent residents

http://raisethehammer.org/static/presentations/hamilton_cts.html

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By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted May 10, 2013 at 11:08:50

To add to your 'Why Cannon?' section: Because Cannon Street has been clearly demonstrated to be vastly underutilized when comparing its capacity to the amount of traffic it carries.

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By Myrcurial(not signed in) (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2013 at 11:21:56

Hamilton's North End was the engine of growth in the last century. The road infrastructure for high-speed / heavy traffic has been built around the city. It is time to begin returning the inner city infrastructure to the neighborhoods, the people and the future.

Near the beginning of May 2013, Mayor Bratina publicly stated that the Hamilton of the future will be built upon innovation.

Definitionally, innovation requires that we do things in a way that is different than before.

Stop placing all of our focus on moving cars around the city and start focusing on moving people around our city. People travel best by foot, cycling, transit and then personal automobiles.

Many of today's decision-makers do not see alternatives as worthy, based largely on their own self-focused opinions. It will not be long before many of those decision-makers will be unable to use personal automobiles due to age and infirmity. Of course they will be the loudest voices for alternative transportation methods.

Supporting Yes We Cannon is a tangible way to prove to the many young Hamiltonians that our civic leaders are capable of thinking about tomorrow, or at least beyond the date of the next municipal election. And when you realize that the city is already spending untold millions on public works projects centered on Cannon (stadium and high school) it is reasonable to spend a few thousand more and finish the job properly.

Ambitiously yours,

James Arlen
#HamOnt usual suspect
@myrcurial

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By rednic (registered) | Posted May 10, 2013 at 11:23:48

It really says something that .. Riding on King, Cannon and Burlington right now is a very frightening exercise, with vehicles whizzing by you at speeds upwards of 70 km/hour..

I have NEVER seen a speed trap on Cannon, a street with sidewalks, children and houses, yet take a trip along the raised portions of Burlington and your almost certain to see a speed trap.
Yet I've seen seemingly organized 'drag' races on Cannon starting a Sanford.

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By granny2 (anonymous) | Posted May 10, 2013 at 14:06:14

Just do it! :)

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By brendansimons (registered) | Posted May 10, 2013 at 16:26:33

Amazing! Very well argued. I really think this project is a no-brainer, and I so happy that there are motivated people out there working to make it happen. I used to bike across town to work daily (York there, Cannon back), but after one too many close calls I've nearly given it up, and I had almost lost all hope that this city would change. Good luck for everyone's sake!

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By movedtohamilton (registered) | Posted May 11, 2013 at 08:54:01

At the heart of the article is this: The mission: create a bi-directional bike lane, running the full length of Cannon Street, by 2015.

So, what is the next step in the process to realize the mission?

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted May 11, 2013 at 15:26:25 in reply to Comment 88627

Getting eight councillors onside so that the necessary resources can be earmarked in the next budget cycle (2014-2015).

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By movedtohamilton (registered) | Posted May 11, 2013 at 18:33:06 in reply to Comment 88636

Ok. Which councilors could be onside? Or rather, does Yes We Cannon have a list of councilors from whom to enlist support?

My point is simple. Justin's article here was the solid foundation. Time to transform it into an action plan. RTH is the friendly territory, but we're not people who by and large need convincing. Now the hard work must begin.

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted May 12, 2013 at 07:38:04 in reply to Comment 88639

Bratina
“I believe Council has shown reasonable support for the Shifting Gears program. Ward Councillors have to respond to special circumstances that may occur in the routings through their neighbourhoods, so adjustments may be made from time to time. No Councillor should be able to arbitrarily "block" or otherwise defeat sections of the project…. We have failed miserably in providing support and encouragement of investment in older neighbourhoods. There are many specific examples of how Public Works budget decisions have added to the problem, not helped. Public Works spending has to be reviewed in this context Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan has Council approval. However, the implementation timeline is very long and ward councillors can block individual bike lane projects.”

McHattie
“I strongly support all initiatives you have described in your question. Having worked through the Dundurn Street South bike lane issue, there needs to be a better public process for establishing bike lanes including community preparation for these positive developments in sustainable transportation…. I strongly supported the Dundurn Street bike lanes but encountered understandable but considerable push-back from local businesses due to the loss of on-street parking for their clients/customers. In the end, we made a number of local changes such as relocating bus stops to improve on-street parking options and adding on-street parking in the nearby neighbourhood. This was done in an ad hoc fashion but approaching the challenges with public consultation could lead to a better end-result.

The Places to Grow Act and the nodes and corridors approach contained in our new Official Plan, provide the opportunity for building new housing in the older neighbourhoods in the City, and installing dynamic live:work opportunities. In order for intensification to work, new investment, capital funding from the City is required in the form of upgraded parks, traffic calming, new greenspace (ie. new downtown park), and better ways to get around in the form of bus transit investment. LRT, bike lanes and more walkable neighbourhoods.”

Farr
“Bike all the time - anyway to make it easier and get more people on two wheels - works for me.”

Morelli
“I enthusiastically supported the Cycling Master Plan. Subject to further consultation and support, I am most interested in pursuing initiatives that are responsive to the needs of our community and the people of it. The increased use of cycling can only prove to be of benefit to those who do it as well as help stem the increased pollution created by motor vehicles… Hamilton can always do more to encourage investment in our older neighbourhoods.”

Merulla
“I do support it incrementally with full public consultation… My focus has been and will continue to be eliminating the one billion dollar deficit in hard infrastructure (i.e. Woodward Wastewater Treatment Plant, roads, sewers and bridges)… City Council must focus on emerging problems (i.e. the need to increase industrial and commercial investments; thereby, increasing tax revenues without impacting residential taxes or front line services).”

Jackson:
I am a strong supporter of Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan. I am not convinced that there is clamor for bicycle commuter lanes across the city. I strongly support and advocate for funds to enhance recreational cycling trails around the city…. I am a strong proponent of upgrading our aging infrastructure, particularly in our older neighbourhoods. We need to allocate sufficient resources in future budgets to ensure that these improvements are made.”

Duvall
“Bicycle lanes in the City of Hamilton is a great initiative, helpful towards the environment as well as good physical activity. Unfortunately, at this time we do not have the dollars to accelerate the program, we need to repair our crumbling infrastructure first.”

Whitehead
“I support it because it offers people a safe and green transportation alternative.”

Clark
“We do need safe bike lanes on mountain accesses that can be utilized by bikes or electric bikes. As for the expansion of the bike lanes, I believe we should be installing the new bike lanes as we rebuild our road infrastructure.”

Pearson
“Hamilton Economic Development team is doing the best it can to encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods. Further incentives, programs, etc. can always be brought forward and reviewed by Council.”

Johnson
“Our bike and hiking trails are the gems of this city. I believe there should be more public input in this process especially in Ward 11. I was in Montreal at the MOST (Moving on to Sustainable Transportation) workshop and heard about the bike sharing program. I understand that this program is sustainable and is very cost effective and also does not cost the taxpayers anything to operate… In the past, the City's focus seems to be on urban sprawl in the former area municipalities and not enough on intensifying development inside the urban boundary. The Places to Grow Act and the nodes and corridors approach contained in our new Official Plan, provide the opportunity for building new housing in the older neighbourhoods in the City, and installing dynamic live: work opportunities. We need to incorporate good planning strategies for sustainable communities where we can work, play and live. In Ward 11, there is an abundance of urban sprawl with no supporting infrastructure. We need to start to concentrate on intensifying within the urban boundary to improve our infrastructure.”

Ferguson
“I support the bike lanes and would support accelerating this project if there is adequate unallocated funds in the capital budget.”

Powers
“I support the plan, in principle and also reducing the implementation period from 20 years down to a 12-15 year period (this range would reflect the annual demands relative to the proposed projects). I am supportive of the need for each project to be subject to community consultation i.e. neighbourhood, business sector, etc. before implementation. Dundas is a myriad of housing and building stock...some areas have virtually no off-street parking therefore would be a challenge if on-street parking was eliminated to accommodate a designated bicycle lane only.

It's very easy to say no because there's never enough that can be done. The availability of limited and dedicated resources and the setting of priorities defines what and when issues are dealt with in neighbourhoods but never soon enough! The City's capital infrastructure budget is $159 million short of the dollars annually needed to carry out everything that's wanted in any given year but are all taxpayers prepared to accept a 2% surcharge on their tax bills to make this happen...I don't think so! There are many positive things that the City is doing to assist neighbourhoods and the City as a whole that are very helpful but then red tape, cumbersome bureaucracy and antiquated legislation grinds everything to a halt. A review of rules and process was initiated a couple years ago but will legitimately take substantial time to correct...significant issues are receiving priority.”

Partridge
“The city should consider funding programs (incentives) to encourage restorative development of existing older buildings as multi-use facilities to include commercial/institutional and residential. We need to grab hold of the new "restoration economy" and leverage investments to rebuild old neighbourhoods. We need to stop sprawl and focus on intensification.

The program would be most successful if it applied to all older neighbourhoods throughout Hamilton (old and new), and a smart way for leveraging investment from the private sector. Older neighbourhoods should include the downtowns of Ancaster, Dundas, Waterdown, Stoney Creek and Glanbrook. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city is actually Greensville in Flamborough. “

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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted May 12, 2013 at 08:46:40 in reply to Comment 88645

Those are all drawn from RTH coverage of the 2010 municipal election:

http://elections.raisethehammer.org/election/1#candidates

It’s unclear how faithfully those opinions reflected reality then or how they may have changed since then.

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By transporter (registered) | Posted January 15, 2014 at 16:31:21 in reply to Comment 88646

I find most of those comments (typically?) non-committal. After four years, all we've got is a commitment to a few kilometers of bike lanes. Okay, it's a start. Is there any indication of commitment from new candidates for the upcoming municipal elections? Is it too early to ask that question?

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 15, 2014 at 16:35:16 in reply to Comment 96832

We will definitely be posing that question to candidates.

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By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted May 13, 2013 at 10:39:21 in reply to Comment 88646

Thanks for posting those, Mal! We'll be sure to reference those as we move forward.

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By DavidColacci (registered) | Posted May 11, 2013 at 22:55:10 in reply to Comment 88639

RTH is a great starting point, but there needs to be a plan of attack.

Like movedtohamilton says, now what?

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By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted May 13, 2013 at 10:48:43 in reply to Comment 88643

What next is something we've thought about a lot about when we were planning the Yes We Cannon campaign. Let me outline it for you.

Step 1 - get as much support as possible. If Councillors are going to listen to us, we need to make sure that there are a lot of voices chiming in. While people that bike now are undoubtedly an important voice to hear, an equally important voice is the voice of people who currently DON'T bike due to unsafe conditions. Those people are the majority of the residents in this City, so we need to hear their voices loud and clear!

Step 2 - Arrange face-to-face meetings with every Councillor in the City. We plan to sit down and find out where they sit, to find out why they feel the way they do, and to let them know that there is indeed a pent-up demand for cycling in this city.

Step 3 - Ride down Cannon. A lot. Our goal is to make sure that people know that cyclists are already a factor in this city, and are only going to increase in number. We want to organize as many mass rides as possible down Cannon, but we want to keep them safe, civil and, above all else, positive. We can show that Cannon can operate safely for all users, even when a lane of traffic is effectively removed. We're planning a ride on Bike to School / Work Day on May 27th, and will have several other rides during Bike Month and beyond.

Step 4 - Design a street that everyone can love. We can work with urban design groups, students, local communities and neighbourhood associations to come up with a design that best fits all road users and residents. We don't want to bring traffic to a screeching halt on Cannon, we just want to make it safe for all road users, and right now it is absolutely NOT fulfilling that goal.

Step 5 - Take it to council. If we want these lanes on the ground by 2015, then this needs to be in the 2014 budget. This means we need to make THIS SUMMER the Summer of Cannon. We need to get as much support, make as much noise, and tell as many councillors and city staff as possible that we need safe infrastructure for people who choose active transportation in this City.

If you want to help out, we're looking for people to volunteer at booths across the City at many different events. Please email us at yeswecannon.hamilton@gmail.com and we'll get you something to do!

Thanks again for all your support folks - it's been amazing so far, and we're only just beginning!

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By adrian (registered) | Posted May 12, 2013 at 10:54:05 in reply to Comment 88643

One of the things I most vividly remember from when Noam Chomsky visited Hamilton ten or fifteen years ago was when one of the audience members asked him the question, "What can we do?" And he said (I'm paraphrasing here), "It's funny, but I only ever get asked this question when I speak to Western audiences. People in non-Western countries never ask this question, because they are already out there taking action."

That said, if you want to take part in the coordinated effort to make this happen, contact the campaign at yeswecannon.hamilton@gmail.com Or just use your creativity, ingenuity and motivation to make things happen on your own. Write letters to the editor, call your councillor, put up posters, go paint some bike lanes tactical-urbanism style, etc.

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By ScreenCarp (registered) | Posted May 11, 2013 at 20:38:29

No. Not Cannon. King Street sure. James/Locke/Ottawa/Concession, sure. Wilson Street sure. But leave some way to get out of the city quickly. Cannon is it. I live in Stinson, work in Toronto and need some way to get to the 403. Fuck me, right? Cannon needs to be the quick exit from the Pan Am games. Let's face it, no one is biking from James St. to go to a Ti-Cats game.

I'm all for walkable/bikable streets, but let's pick out battles. I'm just going to leave this here. http://www.americabikes.org/nyc_study_fi...

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By Steve (registered) | Posted May 12, 2013 at 12:32:20 in reply to Comment 88640

I've walked King Street after a Ti-Cat game and it's jammed solid.

Walk north to Cannon Street and it's like the street the world forgot.

Totally vacant.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 11, 2013 at 21:01:30 in reply to Comment 88640

you'll still be able to drive no probs on Cannon. The traffic volumes are insanely low for that many one-way lanes.

http://raisethehammer.org/article/1818/c...

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By ScreenCarp (registered) | Posted May 11, 2013 at 22:27:38 in reply to Comment 88641

Agreed, and I'm not against bike lanes and traffic calming anywhere in the core. I think there are bigger priorities. On a selfish note...the lack of traffic, synchronized lights and relative speed on this street is awesome. It's also a pretty drive and highlights Dundurn and the RBC on the way out of the city. I'd like to see fewer, wider lanes both here and on Main Street, but I don't want to see too much done to restrict traffic.

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By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted May 13, 2013 at 11:06:28 in reply to Comment 88642

Hi ScreenCarp - I'd like to address a few of your points, which I think are very valid, and we are going to hear a lot throughout this campaign.

First off, King Street is really not on the table for Bike Lanes. With the LRT plans coming into focus, there's really nothing that can be done on either King and Main right now, because it could all get torn apart with the LRT. Wilson Street ends at Sherman, so it's not a viable East-West route for cyclists either. Cannon Street is identified in the City's Cycling Master Plan (2009) as the preferred location for Bike Lanes - we just want to see that happen sooner rather than later.

As for getting out of the City quickly - we have King Street and Burlington Street mere blocks from Cannon - both of which can carry you out of the City quickly, and both of which are designed, much like Cannon, to carry more cars than they currently carry. The moral of the story is that there are other streets that can absorb the excess capacity from Cannon.

The other point you make is that it is a "pretty drive". And I agree with you 110%, except I would say it's a beautiful bike ride. It takes you from Hamilton's historic East end through the thriving Ottawa St BIA, to James St. North and then on to the Farmer's Market and Central Library only a block away. These are the kinds of rides we need to highlight to visitors - to bring them into our neighbourhoods and show them what our city has to offer them, not to encourage them to get out of Hamilton as fast as humanly possible.

I also appreciate the challenges that must come with living in Stinson and working in Toronto - that is a nightmarish commute, and I do sympathize with you. We think that by creating a City that is more liveable, however, that we can draw more jobs to Hamilton, and potentially create a job for people like you here in the City so that you don't HAVE to suffer through that commute every day. What's more, while you may be able to afford to drive to Toronto every day for work, many of your neighbours cannot. We want to make sure that the roads work for them as well, and that the infrastructure in their neighbourhood doesn't rob them of their choice to use active transportation to get to school, work and their local shops. Right now, things are working pretty well for you to get to your job, and I admit that there is likely to be some adjustment for you in your daily commute if this all goes as planned, but at the same time, things are working TERRIBLY for those who can't drive (children, the elderly, people with disabilities, people who can't afford a car) and people who choose not to drive, or who would like to choose not to drive. I ask that you think about them as well. You sound like a reasonable, reflexive individual, so I would ask you to examine the sacrifice that you might have to make vs. the sacrifices that the status quo FORCES others to make.

Thanks for engaging productively, and not just with a "NO WE CAN'T SLOW DOWN CARS" type answer - it's refreshing to see!

Cheers

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By duggin (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2013 at 16:04:36 in reply to Comment 88686

I agree with the bike lanes but not the two way car lanes.

Your comment regarding king street being a street to getting out of the city quickly, I take it you don't drive on King Street. From my experience King Street is busy all day, and Burlington Street is not mere blocks away.

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By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted May 11, 2013 at 23:22:09

Beside adding my name to the petition (done), what else can I do?

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By adrian (registered) | Posted May 12, 2013 at 10:54:19 in reply to Comment 88644

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By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted May 12, 2013 at 20:58:45 in reply to Comment 88649

Respectfully, the first part of that answer is not at all helpful. When I have read Chomsky, his area of interest has been the military industrial complex, media and propaganda, imperialism and hegemony, foreign policy and war, and more of the big global issues that dwarf us individually. This issue, though, is about a grass roots effort with a very specific and obtainable goal.

Perhaps I should have rephrased my question by asking "what else can I do to assist this effort in achieving the goal of a dedicated bike lane along Cannon by 2015?"

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By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted May 13, 2013 at 11:07:15 in reply to Comment 88675

Hi ViennaCafe - email us at yeswecannon.hamilton@gmail.com - we've got tasks!

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By movedtohamilton (registered) | Posted May 12, 2013 at 09:41:06

On the to-do list: strategy for dealing with powerful lobbyists opposed to bike lanes. A post from another Hamilton-focused discussion forum:

"The minute the City starts painting lines on roads for two-way or for bike lanes or what have you, the phone starts ringing off the hook from major campaign contributors like Ron Foxcroft and the like. The City has its collective head so far up Foxy's a*se it's nearly dying of asphyxiation. Complete streets are a serious threat to transportation/ logistics companies like Fluke, so you can be sure old Foxy will do everything in his power to prevent the proliferation of such things."

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By kmakins (anonymous) | Posted May 12, 2013 at 23:09:59

The support for this is so exciting. I am one of the planners on the campaign, and we're blown away by the huge amount of feedback in such a short time.

Our plan is to present the findings of this project to council in the Fall, and so the best thing anyone can do to help is direct people to the campaign page and work to find and share good research on the benefits of bike lanes. Hopefully we can respond to Jackson's old comment: "I am not convinced that there is clamor for bicycle commuter lanes across the city." Clearly the response over the last few days shows that clamor levels are high! Of course the more signatures the better. It would be hard to ignore thousands of comments and signatures!

If people would like to get even more involved we would love some extra help. So far we have a few dozen people on the street team, but would love even more help. Best to email yeswecannon.hamilton@gmail.com so that we can get all the info in one place, and pull people together soon! It may take us a little bit of time to get back to everyone (we are just getting going, and all have day jobs!) but we would really love all the help we can get.

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By arienc (registered) | Posted May 17, 2013 at 10:52:14

Opportunity knocks!

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