A much better option than two-way conversion would be to create a protected bike route along Wentworth Street from the Escarpment to Burlington Street, similar to the one existing on Cannon Street.
By Jonathon David White
Published April 11, 2016
As a resident living on Wentworth Street with small children, I appreciate the efforts to improve lower Wentworth Street. However, I believe that there are better options than the one currently on the table, namely, two-way traffic.
Looking north on Wentworth Street at Delaware (RTH file photo)
A much better option would be to create a protected bike route along Wentworth Street from the Escarpment to Burlington Street, similar to the one existing on Cannon Street. There are five reasons why this would be a better alternative.
1. Currently there is no connection between the Escarpment Trail to the Cannon Street bike route. A bike route along Wentworth Street would allow a family to bike from East Hamilton along the Escarpment Trail, travel north along Wentworth Street, and then continue west to Downtown Farmers market, Dundurn Castle and finally Burlington RBC – all safely separated from traffic.
Looking north on Wentworth Street from the Escarpment Trail (RTH file photo)
2. A bike route along Wentworth Street would allow safe access to Tim Horton's field by first riding along the Escarpment Trail, north on Wentworth Street and then east on Cannon.
Cannon Cycle Track at Wentworth (RTH file photo)
3. A bike route along Wentworth Street would allow safe access to the Wentworth Stairs and the Escarpment from the Cannon Street bike route.
Looking up the Wentworth Stairs (RTH file photo)
4. On the east side of Wentworth Street North, there are two schools - Cathy Wever and Cathedral - and one large park. A bike route would allow safer access for students on bicycle to these two schools and park.
5. In addition, and in my point of view, even more important, it would provide a buffer between pedestrians - including young school children - on the sidewalk and cars travelling along Wentworth Street.
It is not uncommon for me to see, from my house, children playing on the sidewalk on the way to or from school. Occasionally a child gets pushed or stumbles out onto the road. Thankfully, the majority of cars do not use the shoulder lane, so there has been no injuries so far.
A bike lane would keep cars well away from the children (it is much safer to be hit by a bike than an 18-wheeler). In contrast, converting Wentworth to two-way traffic would create a severe safety hazard with cars forced to be close to the children.
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