City Life

Wentworth Stairs Survey Results

More than half of the 276 people who responded to the Wentworth Stairs online survey chose a safe crossing at the Sherman Access as their top priority for improvement.

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 18, 2015

This article has been updated.

Among 276 people who responded to an online survey asking for feedback on the most important improvement to the Wentworth Stairs, the most popular selection by far was for a safe crossing at the Sherman Access, which was chosen by 142 respondents or 51.4% of the total.

Chart 1: First Choice for Proposed Improvement
Chart 1: First Choice for Proposed Improvement

The closest follow-up requests were 15.9% for water fountains, and 14.9% for a bicycle gutter. 10.1% of respondents chose regular maintenance, and 3.3% chose exercise equipment. Another 4.3% chose "Other" and entered an additional suggestion.

Wentworth Stairs runs between Ward 3 at the border of Ward 2 below the Escarpment and Ward 7 above the Escarpment, and most of the respondents chose one of those three wards as their place of residence.

Wentworth Stairs (Image Credit: Google Satellite)
Wentworth Stairs (Image Credit: Google Satellite)

31.2% of respondents live in Ward 3, 20.7% live in Ward 2 and 10.5% live in Ward 7. Other wards that had significant response numbers were Ward 1 (10.9%), Ward 6 (8.0%), Ward 8 (4%) and Ward 4 (3.6%).

Chart 2: Survey Respondents by Ward of Residence
Chart 2: Survey Respondents by Ward of Residence

Support for a safe crossing at the Sherman Access was remarkably consistent across respondents from various wards. It was the first choice of 55.8% of Ward 3 respondents, 54.4% of Ward 2 respondents and 48.3% of Ward 7 respondents. Among other wards with significant response numbers, it was the first choice of 63.3 Ward 1 respondents, 36.4% of Ward 6 respondents and 45.5% of Ward 8 respondents.

Background

On 5 November, 2015, the @WentworthStairs Twitter account posted a question: "Hey #HamOnt: what, besides my sparkling personality and strong exterior, would entice you to visit more? Benches, exercise equipment?" Several people quickly responded with various suggestions, and a proposal was made to organize a more formal survey.

Wentworth Stairs, looking down from Sherman Access (RTH file photo)
Wentworth Stairs, looking down from Sherman Access (RTH file photo)

On 9 November, Raise the Hammer published an article written by the author of the @WentworthStairs Twitter account asking for feedback on what people want to see improved with the Wentworth Stairs. At the same time, Raise the Hammer created an online survey to collect results.

Between 9 November and 16 November, 276 people responded to the survey. This is an opt-in survey that was circulated on social media and should not be regarded as a random or representative sample of Hamiltonians' residents. It is a self-selected sample of people who have an interest in the Wentworth Stairs and want to see improvements to it.

Results

Table 1 summarizes the survey results by first choice for most important improvement.

Table 1: First Choice for Proposed Improvement
Improvement Votes % of Total
Bicycle gutter 41 14.9%
Exercise equipment 9 3.3%
Regular maintenance 28 10.1%
Safe crossing at Sherman Access 142 51.4%
Water fountains 44 15.9%
Other 12 4.3%
Total 276 100.0%

The most selected improvement, Safe crossing at Sherman Access, was selected by 142 respondents, or 51.4% of the total.

Among the 12 respondents who chose "Other": 5 requested wider stairs, 2 requested dog-friendly stairs, 2 requested accessibility improvements (for strollers and wheelchairs), 1 requested a safe crossing at Charlton, 1 requested a Port-o-potty, and 1 requested ice-resistant treads.

Table 2 summarizes the survey respondents by ward of residence.

Table 2: Respondents by Ward of Residence
Ward Respondents % of Total
Ward 1 30 10.9%
Ward 2 57 20.7%
Ward 3 86 31.2%
Ward 4 10 3.6%
Ward 5 3 1.1%
Ward 6 (East Mountain) 22 8.0%
Ward 7 (Central Mountain) 29 10.5%
Ward 8 (West Mountain) 11 4.0%
Ward 9 (Upper Stoney Creek) 3 1.1%
Ward 10 (Stoney Creek) 3 1.1%
Ward 11 (Glanbrook) 4 1.4%
Ward 12 (Ancaster) 5 1.8%
Ward 13 (Dundas) 4 1.4%
Ward 14 (Flamborough West) 1 0.4%
Other or NA 8 2.9%
Total 276 100.0%

Table 3 breaks down the first choices for proposed improvement by ward of residence.

Table 3: First Choice for Proposed Improvement by Ward
Ward Bicycle gutter Exercise equipment Regular maintenance Safe crossing at Sherman Access Water fountains Other
Ward 1 3 (10.0%) 1 (3.3%) 2 (63.3%) 19 (6.7%) 3 (10.0%) 2 (6.7%)
Ward 2 10 (17.5%) 1 (1.8%) 4 (54.4%) 31 (0.0%) 11 (19.3%) 0 (7.0%)
Ward 3 10 (11.6%) 3 (3.5%) 6 (55.8%) 48 (4.7%) 15 (17.4%) 4 (7.0%)
Ward 4 3 (30.0%) 0 (0.0%) 2 (40.0%) 4 (0.0%) 1 (10.0%) 0 (20.0%)
Ward 5 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 2 (33.3%) 1 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (66.7%)
Ward 6 3 (13.6%) 3 (13.6%) 2 (36.4%) 8 (9.1%) 4 (18.2%) 2 (9.1%)
Ward 7 9 (31.0%) 0 (0.0%) 3 (48.3%) 14 (6.9%) 1 (3.4%) 2 (10.3%)
Ward 8 2 (18.2%) 0 (0.0%) 4 (45.5%) 5 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (36.4%)
Ward 9 1 (33.3%) 1 (33.3%) 0 (33.3%) 1 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%)
Ward 10 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 1 (66.7%) 2 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (33.3%)
Ward 11 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 2 (0.0%) 0 (25.0%) 1 (25.0%) 1 (50.0%)
Ward 12 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (60.0%) 3 (0.0%) 2 (40.0%) 0 (0.0%)
Ward 13 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (50.0%) 2 (0.0%) 2 (50.0%) 0 (0.0%)
Ward 14 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (100.0%) 1 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%)
Other/NA 0 (0.0%) 0 (0.0%) 0 (37.5%) 3 (12.5%) 4 (50.0%) 1 (0.0%)

The full survey results are available for download in CSV format.


Update: updated to change "Sherman Cut" to "Sherman Access". The Sherman Cut refers to the north-south escarpment cut just east of Upper Sherman Avenue that connects to the Sherman Access.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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[ - ]

By Mr. safety (anonymous) | Posted November 18, 2015 at 14:30:07

Just make sure if you put a pedestrian bridge over the top it has to have a galvanized steel screen because if you don't teenagers will hangout in there and possiblly have huge rocks with them and drop it on cars coming by.

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[ - ]

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted November 18, 2015 at 14:48:25

The good news about these results is that a safe crossing on the Sherman Cut is a relatively inexpensive change that will have a big quality of life and safety impact for people using the Wentworth Stairs to travel between Ward 2/3 and Ward 7.

It's also a nice piece of social connective tissue that will help to mitigate against the divisiveness that too often pits the upper and lower cities against each other.

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[ - ]

By Sherman (anonymous) | Posted November 19, 2015 at 14:58:32

Do you mean Sherman Cut or Sherman Access, about safer crossing? Different places.

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[ - ]

By Damon (anonymous) | Posted November 22, 2015 at 23:51:46

Just look both ways before crossing and you're fine

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