Transportation

Hydrant Move Not Needed to Accommodate Bike Lanes on Queensdale

By Ryan McGreal
Published April 22, 2010

An RTH reader posted a comment the other day in response to the recent article on the Queensdale Ave bike lane meeting claiming that the bike lane plan would require the fire hydrants to be moved from the south side of the street to the north side.

I contacted Daryl Bender, the city's manager of alternative transportation, to ask for clarification on this. Mr. Bender responded, "The hydrants would not have to be relocated to accommodate the planned Queensdale cycling facility."

He noted that the idea to move the hydrants to the north side was proposed not to accommodate the cycling facilities but to increase the supply of curbside parking spaces by three or four (because the presence of the hydrants would no longer block stretches of curb for drivers).

Mr. Bender also noted that the city observed parking demand along this stretch of Queensdale and found there would be more than enough space to accommodate peak parking demand without needing to move the hydrants.

The bike lanes would be in Councillor Tom Jackson's ward (Ward 6), and I understand Councillor Jackson opposed the plan. He is currently on vacation and unavailable for comment, but I left an email request with him to clarify what his concerns were about the proposed bike lanes. More to come if and when he responds.

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 Mark Harrington (anonymous) | Posted April 22, 2010 at 14:37:39

First I want to apologise for being inflamitory in regard to the "lies of ommission" part of my previous comment. That was uncalled for.

What was presented at the April 7th public meeting was:
The bike lanes would completely eliminate parking on North side of the steet, so all parking would be moved to the South side where the fire hydrants are, so the fire hydrants would be moved to the North side where there would be no parking.

I suppose in the stictest sense that's moving fire hydrants to preserve parking, but do diconnect that part of the plan from the bike lanes, as is now being suggested, is too much of a stetch to be considered reasonable in my book.

All on a quiet, calm, safe, street with no need for bike lanes in the first place.

To be quite honest I feel(not trying to inflame, this is how I FEEL) like a special interest group is trying to use tax dollars to shove something down my throat that I neither want nor need. I have 5 children 10 and under,(soon it'll be 6) and live on a block bordered by Queendsdale. I see Queensdale as totally bike-safe - a good street for my children to practice the rules of the road, which they need to know - there will never be bike lanes everywhere.

I do not support bike lanes as a promotional tool for a special-interest group, on a street where they're not needed and add no value.

I would be in support of bike lanes on streets that need them (and there are lots), where they would truly add to safety and access.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted April 22, 2010 at 14:49:56

Hi Mark, thanks for your thoughtful comment.

I suppose in the strictest sense that's moving fire hydrants to preserve parking...

That was the only impetus to move the fire hydrants. That option was added not to accommodate the bike lanes but to accommodate worries about the loss of parking.

The cycling plan itself says nothing about moving hydrants, and the city's parking analysis found that it was unnecessary to provide enough parking to meet peak demand.

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2010-04-22 13:51:20

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 22, 2010 at 14:58:19

there will never be bike lanes everywhere.

which is truly a sad reflection of our society considering how dirt cheap this mode of transportation is compared to others along with the recouped dollars in health care which would certainly occur if a larger percentage of the population started biking. If our society can ensure that the most expensive mode of transportation can be available 'everywhere' why can't we spend the peanuts necessary to ensure the same level of service for cycling?

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By jason (registered) | Posted April 22, 2010 at 15:04:21

site wouldn't let me edit my comment, so here is the rest:

if bike advocates are simply a "special interest group" then please give me more special interest groups like this. They want to save gazillions of tax dollars and improve public health and safety (thereby saving gazillions more). I'll take that anyday over the typical special interests who have been running our political arenas for too long looking for massive handouts at every turn.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 18, 2010 at 16:05:05

By the way, I just noticed that I never received a response from Councillor Jackon on this issue, so I've sent him a follow-up. More to come if I get a response.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted May 28, 2010 at 17:13:23

FYI Councillor Jackson has replied to my query. You can read his response.

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