Special Report: Cycling

Petition to Include Bike Lanes in Sydenham Road Plan

A municipal traffic calming plan for Sydenham Road neglects to include the cycling infrastructure that was specified for this important cycling route in the city's own Cycling Master Plan.

By Dave Heidebrecht
Published October 13, 2016

One year ago, a new organization called Cycle Hamilton was born. Inspired by the successful Yes We Cannon campaign that led to the successful implementation of a three-kilometre cycle track, and driven by a desire to unite the various cycling groups and initiatives in Hamilton, our mission is to be a member-supported coalition of individuals, communities, and organizations that works together to promote a healthy, safe, and sustainable cycling culture in Hamilton.

Earlier this year, we created three guiding principles to inform the shape of the organization:

  1. Information Hub and First Point of Contact
  2. A Unified Voice for Cyclists
  3. Accountability at City Hall

Our ultimate vision? To live in a cycle-friendly city that is proactive in supporting a growing cycling culture throughout all wards.

One of the main drivers of Cycle Hamilton taking shape is the concern that our members have regarding the recurring theme of missed opportunities for the implementation of cycling infrastructure or pedestrian-friendly initiatives, including opportunities on Concession Street, King William Street, and Beckett Drive, to name just a few.

Potential Missed Opportunity

Presently, we are facing yet another potential missed opportunity in Ward 13 (Dundas), where plans are currently underway to implement a traffic calming initiative in the Sydenham Road area.

Looking up Sydenham Road (RTH file photo)
Looking up Sydenham Road (RTH file photo)

While reviewing plans for this traffic calming project, it caught Cycle Hamilton's attention that the City's own Cycling Master Plan had not been cross-referenced, and that a bike lane that was slated for Sydenham Road was not included in the plans.

Furthermore, as they stand now, the plans include road narrowing, bollards and stop signs that may make the cycling environment less hospitable and more dangerous along this popular route.

Sign Cycle Hamilton's Petition for Bike Lanes on Sydenham

Prior to implementation, we are advocating for the plans to be thoroughly examined from a complete streets perspective, taking into account the needs of all road users. For these reasons, and guided by our vision, mission and principles, Cycle Hamilton is launching a new campaign asking the City of Hamilton to include bike lanes on upcoming traffic calming work planned for Sydenham Road in Dundas.

In addition, we are asking the City to adopt a policy of routinely cross-referencing and implementing the 2009 Cycling Master Plan whenever traffic calming projects or other roadwork are undertaken.

The following is the text of our petition, which we hope you will consider signing:

Zebra crosswalk at Sydenham and Alma (RTH file photo)
Zebra crosswalk at Sydenham and Alma (RTH file photo)

Petition Text

Sydenham Road in Dundas, Ontario is a popular cycling route for both Hamiltonians and visitors to our City, and is also listed as a priority road for cycling lanes in the City of Hamilton's own Cycling Master Plan. Unfortunately, the City has opted not to include its own plans for cycling infrastructure in upcoming traffic calming work on Sydenham. This is unacceptable.

Cycle Hamilton is petitioning the City of Hamilton to incorporate cycling lanes into their work on Sydenham Road as per the City's own priorities. Why Bike Lanes?

Please consider signing our petition if you support including bike lanes on Sydenham Road as part of the City's planned traffic calming roadwork and in line with the City's own plans for Sydenham Road in the City of Hamilton Cycling Master Plan.

If you are interested in learning more about Cycle Hamilton please visit our website: www.cyclehamont.ca or find us on Facebook or Twitter. You can also contact us at info@cyclehamont.ca.

Around the bend on Sydenham (RTH file photo)
Around the bend on Sydenham (RTH file photo)

Dave Heidebrecht is the Chair of Cycle Hamilton.

Dave Heidebrecht is the Manager of McMaster University’s Office of Community Engagement.

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By JasonL (registered) | Posted October 17, 2016 at 11:13:24

I have to be honest, I rarely use Sydenham for much but recently was on it 3 times. Couple times on my bike and once driving out to Websters Falls. Wow, I had no idea how many lunatic drivers there are on that roadway. Riding up on my bike I took the right lane, figuring there's such little traffic and no need for 2 lanes that people would happily pass me in the 2nd uphill lane. There was 2 drivers who went into the down bound lanes to pass me and cars beside me. They must have been doing over 100km up Sydenham, in the WRONG lanes.

The next 2 times on Sydenham the following week I saw the same thing both times. All 3 times being on the street cars are driving on the wrong side of the road unbound to pass people who are driving the speed limit. We def need to turn that unnecessary 2nd up-bound lane into a bike lanes. Split the difference and have bike lanes heading up and down on either side of the road. And narrow the car lanes while we're at it.

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