This year, Council endorsed several important programs that support livability. Please take a few minutes to thank them.
By Justin Jones
Published December 23, 2013
The time of year where we take time to reflect on what the past year has brought is upon us, and we at Yes We Cannon want to thank all of you for making 2013 such an amazing year.
Vision for Cannon Street with protected bike lanes (Image Credit: Jeremy Johnston)
It's hard to believe that a year ago, the idea of bike lanes on Cannon was but a glimmer in our eyes. Now, in the span of one year and with the help of our amazing volunteers, all the incredible community support and the thousands of voices that have made a stand for safe cycling infrastructure in Hamilton, we leave 2013 with the knowledge that early 2014 will bring about an unprecedented investment in cycling in Hamilton.
It's also important at this time of year to show our gratitude for our City Councillors. No, we might not agree with everything they say and do, but it's also important to recognize them when they support initiatives that will make our city safer, more active, more vibrant and better for everyone.
When you consider the things that got approved in 2013, it's a pretty impressive list:
We saw unanimous support for the Cannon Street Cycle Track, which will lead to the creation of roughly 3 km of highly visible, world-class cycling infrastructure for the lower city, providing much needed connections throughout the downtown area and showcasing our city's dedication to Active Transportation in time for the Pan Am games in 2015.
We saw unanimous support for a world-class, second generation bike share system - the first of its kind in Canada. This system is sure to attract national and international attention, and will provide residents with another tool in their transportation toolkit.
We saw the unanimous approval of the Pedestrian Mobility Plan, an award-winning policy document that will ensure that all road users are routinely accommodated on all of Hamilton's roads.
We saw (too late for the cycling season, unfortunately) the completion of a section of multi-use trail along Burlington Street. Once completed, this trail will provide much needed connections to the waterfront trail in the East End of Hamilton.
We saw the City embrace tactical urbanism as a tool to make our neighbourhoods more livable, and our streets safer.
So while there wasn't much progress in terms of physical infrastructure for active transportation in the City, the policy frameworks and the approved projects ensure that 2014 is going to be a banner year for pedestrians and cyclists in Hamilton.
This is something to be incredibly proud of, and something that deserves to be celebrated. So I encourage you all to email your Councillor and thank them for their support for Active Transportation in 2013. Even if they supported it grudgingly, their support is still necessary, and you always win more friends with a kind word of appreciation than with harsh words of criticism.
It's worth noting that those opposed to these types of initiatives often make their voices heard through phone calls and emails complaining about the steps that are being taken to make the city safer for all road users.
It's our responsibility as supporters of these types of initiatives to provide a counterpoint to that, and to thank Councillors and let them know that supporting these things is important and appreciated (especially in an election year), so please, email your Councillor (or all the Councillors) and thank them for their support for Active Transportation in 2013.
Best wishes to you and your loved ones, and we look forward to great things in 2014!
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