Comment 103272

By jason (registered) | Posted July 18, 2014 at 13:20:07

Well said Jason. It stuns me to see the number of cyclists increasing in the city, despite it being a horribly hostile city to ride in. If we simply developed a city-wide network of protected bike lanes, cycling rates would skyrocket.

Main Street was down to 3 lanes all day a couple of times this week near Bay and brace yourself for this breaking news: It was still a freeway.

Due to the loss of NE industry in this town, we are sitting on a glorious opportunity to add protected two-way bike lanes the entire length of Main. What other city can do that without even harming car traffic through the very heart of the city? We can also do this on Wilson, York, Wellington, Victoria, Claremont Access, Garth, Fennell, Rymal, Upper Kenilworth, Wentworth, Sanford, Bay, Birch, Burlington St and Queen. Again, without harming traffic flow.
Most cities trying to add that level of connected, separated bike lanes would incur major traffic tie-ups and slow-downs, yet many of our competing cities are doing it anyhow because they understand the need for safe travel and they understand the future of cities.

Here, we have an abundance of road lanes that aren't needed yet we cater to whiny suburban councillors who lie to the public about the need for all these mega one-way freeways. Interestingly, all of their suburban communities have beautiful, safe complete streets.

In Toronto a debate is percolating over whether to convert King and Queen to one-way streets so they can add dedicated LRT lanes and bike lanes. In Montreal, their wide one-ways (like Hamilton) have allowed them to become North America's #1 cycling city by adding protected two-way lanes on many of those one-way streets. In Portland the cycling community was actively asking to have a couple of two-way streets converted to one-way so there would be enough road space for protected two-way bike lanes.

With our rail trails, waterfront trails and nature trails both in the east and west sides of the city, we have the potential to connect literally every city resident to nature bike trails within a few minutes of their homes by simply offering this protected network of lanes and adding some mid-neighbourhood greenway routes.

That our cycling committee has become one of the biggest obstacles to improving cycling in Hamilton (latest example is Hunter St) and are clinging to Shifting Gears as if it's worth clinging too shows how big of an uphill battle it will be to see a good cycling culture form in Hamilton.

Comment edited by jason on 2014-07-18 13:21:50

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