By Jason Leach
Published June 16, 2009
As we've all grown painfully accustomed, a worthwhile investment in Hamilton's infrastructure that doesn't involve four rubber tires is met with the usual skepticism, small-mindedness and the distinct impression that some of our councillors don't explore civilized life outside of their daily trip to Horton's.
We will spend tens of millions at the drop of a hat to resurface roads and build new ones in the former countryside; yet the simple act of painting a white line in a curb lane in order to give non-drivers (gasp) a safe route to work is met with the usual blather and hot air:
Councillor Tom Jackson frequently hears from residents who want more recreational trails. He's not sure if those same people want to bike to work on city streets.
"I'm not detecting a huge clamouring for more commuter lanes."
Flamborough's Margaret McCarthy is skeptical additional bike lanes would be well used given the escarpment, weather, transit improvements and heavy traffic.
"It seems to me an unsafe practice," she said. "For my money, this wouldn't go forward."
I'm hopeful that the majority of council will see the worth of this investment and move the new cycling plan forward. We're decades behind the more progressive cities on the planet, but staff and the cycling committee should be applauded for their great work on this plan.
Now if it can just pass the necessary votes...
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