Comment 39261

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted March 29, 2010 at 15:47:37

Maybe a broader vision rolled out in stages is the answer Ryan?

Actually, we already have that. Council approved the Cycling Master Plan and budgeted the first scheduled projects for this year. The pace is a lot slower than I'd like, but a continuous network of bike lanes is official city policy today - complete with an accompanying implementation plan.

I am a bit biased toward the bike path because I grew up in a city that had this in the 1970s.

Likewise (I grew up in a suburb east of Toronto that was marbled with bike paths - great for childhood mobility!), though I'd argue that a bike path and a bike lane serve different needs and therefore provide complementary roles in an integrated cycling network.

Again, to a considerable extent Hamilton has bike paths today. From my neighbourhood in southwest Hamilton, for example, the nicest and safest cycling route into West Hamilton and Dundas is to pick up the path that starts at the western edge of Glenside, cuts through Chedoke Golf Course, jogs south on Sudholme Rd, cuts through the train yard (the city has secured the rights to a pathway through here) and across the 403, and proceeds on a rail trail through West Hamilton, running to the south of and roughly parallel with Main Street until it crosses Old Ancaster Road.

Similarly, the nicest way into Ancaster is up the Radial Trail, which starts on the loop at the top of Dundurn, meets up with Scenic Dr. near Princess Falls, and bends around with the Escarpment to cross the 403 just north of the Linc exit and exit onto Lower Filman Rd.

The nicest way from the waterfront into Westdale is to take the Waterfront Trail from Pier 4 over to Princess Point. And so on.

The problem with these trails, of course, is that they're like highways - good for traveling across town to a macro-destination, but no good for traveling in town to a micro-destination. Certainly a bike path would be no good to me for commuting to work downtown.

Also, it should be noted that bike paths - especially busy ones - carry their own risks, given that cyclists, pedestrians, in-line skaters, dog-walkers, and so on all have to share the same space.

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