Walkability Fail

Walkability Consultation Report Recommends More Consultation

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!

Nicholas Kevlahan was born and raised in Vancouver, and then spent eight years in England and France before returning to Canada in 1998. He has been a Hamiltonian since then, and is a strong believer in the potential of this city. Although he spends most of his time as a mathematician, he is also a passionate amateur urbanist and a fan of good design. You can often spot him strolling the streets of the downtown, shopping at the Market. Nicholas is the spokesperson for Hamilton Light Rail.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:06:42

Course it did. You didn't think the city cares what people who live downtown actually think, did you?

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By Tartan Triton (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:28:07

A consultants' study that endorses more consultation? Weird.

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By jason (registered) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 13:38:21

Hey, I have an idea! Let's do some more studies! That way we never actually have to improve the quality of life in our city. We can just talk about it forever....

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By Hooray! (anonymous) | Posted December 23, 2010 at 15:03:59

Also I just received a card in the mail saying : COMING 2011 HAMILTON LIGHT RAIL!!!! (public consultation and information meetings.

Wow. I had no idea we were soooo close!

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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted December 23, 2010 at 18:33:22

Studies studying studies. What has the world come to?

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By JM (registered) | Posted December 24, 2010 at 15:34:09

"What has the world come to?"

Not sure... will have to conduct a study to find out!

JM

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted December 26, 2010 at 12:28:51

This is absurdly ridiculous.

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By moylek (registered) - website | Posted December 26, 2010 at 22:20:27

Studies studying studies. What has the world come to?

I have no idea.

Maybe we need a study? It could recommend some recommended studies.

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