By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published December 23, 2010
As I reported in the Winter 2009 [PDF link, p. 14] issue of The Durander, the Durand Neighbourhood Association's thrice-yearly newsletter, I represented the Durand neighbourhood at the City's "Making Hamilton More Walkable" meeting.
The intention of this meeting was to consolidate the recommendations from the numerous public meetings (including the Pedestrian Summit and the Durand Walk and Bike for Life workshop), as well as expert opinions that have been solicited by the City over the years on how to encourage walking and make being a pedestrian safer, more convenient and more enjoyable.
The final report is now available for download, and I encourage you to read it.
Like all the previous reports, this one lists the advantages of encouraging walking for individuals and the community, and repeats the well-known and straightforward changes that could be made to make walking safer, more convenient and more enjoyable: wider sidewalks, two-way conversion, more pedestrian crossings, traffic calming...
Unfortunately, instead of forcefully telling the City they need to get on with making the changes, the major recommendation is simply more consultation, and possibly the formation of a pedestrians' advisory committee, even though the report itself notes that the cycling committee has been singularly unsuccessful in achieving change.
Clearly, these sorts of workshops are more about letting the public vent their frustrations than actually producing real change on the street!