Special Report: Cycling

Flawed Design For Herkimer and Charlton Bike Lanes

As it stands, this cycle infrastructure 'improvement' feels like another case of one step forward, two steps back that will undermine the cycle-ability of these streets rather than improve it.

By Kyle Slote
Published October 08, 2014

Some time two weeks ago, construction notices went up for new bike lanes on Herkimer and Charlton.

Bike lane sign on Charlton
Bike lane sign on Charlton

Bike lane sign on Herkimer
Bike lane sign on Herkimer

These have long been part of the City's Cycling Master Plan, Shifting Gears 2009. As someone who cycles Herkimer daily to get to work, I was cautiously excited about this work.

I was cautiously excited, because I know the city has a mixed track record for installing safe and properly designed bike lanes.

I emailed Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr for an update and after a string of correspondence I learned that as currently designed, these lanes have some major flaws that raise significant concerns about safety and usability.

The Plan

Here is Councillor Farr's description of the plan:

On Herkimer St, we are able to narrow existing lanes to add bike lanes from Locke St to MacNab St; and maintain existing on-street parking.  The bike lane ends at MacNab St as there are multiple options for turning in the block approaching James St, so cyclists would merge with other traffic if they wish to continue, and choose their desired manoeuvre.  We intend to encourage cyclists to turn at MacNab St to take other routes easterly.  Between Dundurn St and Locke St we plan to install sharrows as we did not have sufficient width for a bike lane.    On Charlton Ave, we are maintaining existing parking.  From James St to Caroline St we are removing one travel lane for auto traffic to create the space for the bike lane.  Capacity analysis has confirmed this will maintain acceptable operations as the auto traffic typically straddled these two lanes given they were narrow.  At Queen St we are replacing the dual left-turn with a single left-turn lane.  West of Queen St to Locke St the bike lane fits into the existing roadway

After follow-up questions regarding which side of Herkimer the lane will be on and whether bike boxes will be included for left-hand turns, I received this response city staff person, Daryl Bender:

There are no bike boxes planned for the Herkimer and Charlton bike lanes.  Further to the comments below, the bike lanes were created on Herkimer Ave by narrowing existing lanes between Queen St and MacNab St.  Between Locke St and Queen St we removed a second lane for eastbound auto traffic, and analysis of traffic volumes indicates that traffic operations should continue to be acceptable

The eastbound bike lane on Herkimer will be on the south side, beside the on-street parking.  The north curb lane is auto traffic sometimes, and auto parking at other times.

Here is a map of the bike lane routes on Charlton and Herkimer:

Map of the Charlton and Herkimer bike lanes
Map of the Charlton and Herkimer bike lanes

The Good

Existing auto lanes will be removed or narrowed to accommodate the bike lanes. This is great news - narrower/fewer lanes mean slower traffic.

As anyone who frequents Herkimer and Charlton can attest, car speeds are often alarmingly high, particularly along the stretch between Queen and James where they happen to pass Durand Park.

Slower speeds mean easier pedestrian crossings and drastically reduced chances of serious injury when collisions occur.

Also good - no street parking will be lost. Street parking is at a premium with the proximity of these streets to Locke Street, St. Joseph's hospital, and a number of churches. Losing street parking would have undoubtedly resulted in significant pushback from those who rely on these spots.

The Bad and the Downright Ugly

Where to start? I think this warrants a list:

1. No Bike boxes for left-hand turns. The majority of cycle traffic on Herkimer eventually turns left to head down Locke or downtown via Bay. Those turns will now have to be made by navigating across 1-2 auto lanes.

This is a hugely dangerous manoeuver that only the most confident and experienced cyclists will be willing to make. To avoid this peril, most cyclists currently ride along the North curb lane.

2. The Herkimer lane ends at MacNab. With no signals at this intersection, cyclists will be forced to precariously merge with auto traffic before arriving at the complicated intersection of James and Herkimer.

3. Cycling between parked cars and a traffic lane. This is a recipe for getting doored (whacked by a suddenly opened car door), especially on the south side of Herkimer where cyclists will be driving beside the driver doors of parked cars.

4. The Charlton lane does not extend to the existing Dundurn bike lanes. Continuity is key for successful cycling infrastructure.

Additional Concerns that Must be Addressed

Will the lanes be physically separated? Given that neither Councillor Farr nor Mr. Bender mentioned this in their responses. I assume not, but will ask for clarification.

What is the plan for the high speed highway on-ramp style intersection of death (also known as Queen and Herkimer)? This one will need some very careful design considerations. While we're at it, let's redesign this intersection entirely. Right now it is irresponsibly dangerous for cars, cyclists, and pedestrians.

Queen and Herkimer
Queen and Herkimer

Proposed Improvements

Let's catch our breath and get this right the first time by following the design standards set out by the Cannon Street Cycle Track. Why continue to install substandard bike lanes that could actually make cycling more dangerous?

Beyond adding bike boxes, ensuring physical separation, and providing full continuity, I think the Herkimer lane would be much safer if positioned along the North curb lane. This would facilitate much simpler left-hand turns to head downtown. It would also buffer cyclists from auto traffic with parked cars for much of its stretch.

Construction Already Underway

Despite a promise from Mr. Bender to review my concerns and suggestions with other staff, I awoke yesterday morning to see preliminary lane markings have already been laid out.

Lane markings
Lane markings

I have sent a follow-up email to find out if any improvements have been made to the original design, but no response has been received.

As it stands, this cycle infrastructure 'improvement' feels like another case of one step forward, two steps back that will undermine the cycle-ability of these streets rather than improve it. I hope I am wrong.

Kyle Slote lives in Hamilton with his wife and three children. He works as an architect at TCA Architects and is past Chair of Young Architects Hamilton. He loves his city deeply and will champion its virtues to anyone who will listen. His infrequent tweets are found @kyleslote.

49 Comments

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 11:46:57

No surprise.
Hamilton is so out of touch with the rest of the continent it is staggering.

Here is Winnipeg. http://www.winnipeg.ca/publicworks/Major...

NYC protects bike lanes with parking and has launched to #1 in America as a result. http://guide.bicycling.com/ride-maps/fea...

Herkimer and Charlton were perfect candidates for parking protected lanes since we already have parking. And why end at MacNab?? We could sacrifice one of three turning lanes at a dead end??

If only we had light traffic like NY or a balmy climate like Winnipeg. Brutal. Yet not surprising.

Comment edited by jason on 2014-10-08 11:47:59

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 08, 2014 at 12:57:49

Yup, looks like it's back to the typical approach we've come to expect from the city. Boss says build bike lanes, so they build the absolute bare-minimum that could be considered a bike lane.

I'd just rather see Herkimer and Charlton go two-way and a normal stop-light intersection put in at Queen. I'm willing to bet we'd see they don't even need bike lanes once two-way conversion calms their traffic.

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By bikehounds (anonymous) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 13:46:10

why even bother instaling bike lanes on these totally dysfunctional streets?

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 13:51:04 in reply to Comment 105255

Unfortunately the vast majority of Hamiltonians would see these streets as completly functional............for them.

They would only be considered dysfunctional if the city tried to convert the streets in their neighbourhood to look like these.

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 13:55:15 in reply to Comment 105254

This. Sanely designed streets don't need bicycle lanes. Give me a well-balanced street with mixed traffic over a complete stroad with bicycle lanes any day.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 14:33:09 in reply to Comment 105257

not sure I agree with this. Yes, I agree that it's safer and easier biking on streets like James N or Locke than Main or King, but ironically, the closest calls I've had have been on Locke. I've never had an issue on say, Dundurn.

Also, research shows that around 65% of the population wants to cycle, but won't until they have safe, protected lanes. We should have safe, complete streets AND protected bike lanes.

Herkimer and Charlton is a direct slap in the face because we are leaving 24-7 parking along both of them and could have protected these bike lanes simply by swapping the paint!! Literally it's that easy.

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By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 14:47:21

Do we really even need a bike lane on Herkimer or Charlton? For what? To make it 'official' that you can ride your bike on the road? I can see creating these lanes on busy streets like Cannon but on Herkimer you can ride down the middle of the street any time you want. Look back for the occasional car once in a while, move to the side a bit and you're fine. I'm sure that every biker, given the opportunity to either ride hemmed in right next to all of the parked cars or just cruise down the middle, will choose the middle. Personally I think they are just painting lines on the road to promote a positive urban image. Any practicality regarding cycling is obviously secondary to the effort.

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By kdslote (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 14:52:24 in reply to Comment 105259

There may be some truth to that West of Queen, but East of Queen northbound traffic coming down the mountain is forced onto Herkimer creating both volume and speed. It's a dangerous stretch any time of the day, but is especially dangerous during morning and afternoon commutes.

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By RobF (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 14:54:53 in reply to Comment 105258

For our backbone bicycle routes, the ones we expect will be used to travel the longest segments of each trip, I agree with Jason we should demand protected lanes. I'm less concerned with smaller side streets with lighter traffic provided they are two-way. It's too bad the city has decided to make Charlton and Herkimer bike lanes according to the bare minimum possible. My experience on the Cannon bike-track has been eye-opening. Having a safe route to travel on for longer east-west trips is amazing. It isn't perfect ... it needs to go further on each end and needs north-south equivalents, but it shows what can be done and provides a new baseline for what is possible.

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By theninjasquad (registered) - website | Posted October 08, 2014 at 15:05:39

I wouldn't hold out much hope that the design will change at this point or that you'll hear much back from the city staff on it. I've been trying to work with them on some bike parking in the city and it's like pulling teeth to get any kind of response unfortunately. As a citizen it's frustrating not getting answers about things.

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 16:14:10 in reply to Comment 105258

James North vs. Main is an unfair comparison, because they serve totally different purposes. A better comparison would be current state of Herkimer west of Queen (slow traffic, frequent signaled crossings) vs. proposed design of Herkimer east of Queen (fast traffic, fewer crossings, plus poorly designed bike lane.)

I'd take the first, no questions asked, but it's not my neighbourhood.

And I'm certainly not arguing that there's no place for bike lanes, merely that they're often an expedient way to prop up a lousy street design when the better solution is to fix the whole street. Pedestrians (and anyone who needs to travel west) will still have a tough time on Herkimer.

As for the street parking issue, if I lived in Durand I'd be lobbying for a parking benefit district. I used to be one of the the jerks who parked for free on Markland and walked to St. Joe's. I don't understand why there isn't a price on parking on all those streets, with part of the revenue going back to the neighbourhood.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 16:18:45 in reply to Comment 105263

This point needs to be reiterated. Of all city departments I've ever felt the need to deal with, the cycling office is least responsive and doesn't take ANY tips or input from anyone. Heck, several of us sent in simple designs 2 years ago to allow Hunter to be done in its entirety and protected by parked cars while still allowing for necessary car turning lanes. Stoney silence for 2 years.

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 17:13:01 in reply to Comment 105264

That's an interesting point. There has always been some hospital employee parking at least as far as Queen on Charlton, but since they raised the rates at St Joe's the spots are taken all day long by hospital employees who leave their cars while they work. And this is even true in the block between Hess and Caroline. I've seen the many of same cars park outside our house almost every morning for the past few months.

It's good that hospital employees are getting more walking, but it is maybe a bit unfair to use city streets to park for free all day five days a week to avoid paying for parking at your place of work.

And there is bit of a negative to residents because it has now become difficult for visitors or tradespeople deliveries to find temporary street parking.

And, ideally there should be more businesses on the street (like the corner store at Caroline and Charlton that has been closed for years) and they would benefit from having access to parking. Like many things, putting a reasonable price on parking would help it be used for efficiently.

(Note that because overnight parking is not allowed on Charlton and Herkimer it doesn't affect the residential parking supply.)

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 17:57:39 in reply to Comment 105264

agree with your thought process here. Def don't like seeing bad streets left bad. Although in the case of Herkimer it could be argued that this is a close to a complete street as we'll see. Parking is on both sides and now a bike lane with only 1 lane for car traffic. Personally I'd like to see the parking on both sides be left 24-7, and the bike lane moved to the curb. Queen should be made 2-way, but only 1 lane each way with parking retained on the east side all the way to York. This would allow Mtn residents direct access to King, Main, York, Cannon and Barton without cutting through Durand or Kirkendall. And if by chance Queen St residents don't need the parking out front north of Herkimer, we could add bike lanes both ways on Queen from Aberdeen to Barton.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 20:22:32

This is an insanely dangerous design. Putting a bike lane in a door zone means that the most dangerous place on the entire road to ride a bike is in the bike lane. This fails to learn any lessons from the failed bike lanes on Dundurn.

The correct solution is to use security bollards to eliminate rat-running "cut-through" car traffic from Herkimer, Charlton and all other residential streets. This is something that the Durand Neighbourhood Association has been asking for since 1976!

Once all the rat-running "cut-through" car traffic has been eliminated, bicycle lanes are not necessary. If these roads are through roads only for cyclists, pedestrians and public transit (using retractable bollards) then there will be very little car traffic. Safe for everyone!

Here is a description and video of how to do this for every residential neighbourhood in a city. See:

http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/201...

Here is a quotation from the above link:

Residential streets in the Netherlands rarely work as through roads for cars, even if they were originally designed to do so. This makes them excellent places to cycle or walk with a high degree of comfort and safety.

Please see the video and read the text to see how effectively this works for an entire country. This is what we need in Hamilton, not dangerous door-zone bike lanes!

Comment edited by KevinLove on 2014-10-08 20:27:21

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 21:16:27 in reply to Comment 105251

Here is a rather good video of New York's parking protected bike lanes.

http://www.streetfilms.org/floating-park...

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 21:21:41 in reply to Comment 105259

I'm sure that every biker, given the opportunity to either ride hemmed in right next to all of the parked cars or just cruise down the middle, will choose the middle

92% will choose not to cycle at all. To quote my mother, "At my age, I am not going to play tag with two-tonne lethal weapons."

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By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 22:19:39 in reply to Comment 105260

Yes that is true. So for the west it's a shame that they couldn't come up with something a bit more creative. I'm still wondering why they didn't incorporate the alleys. That's where I bike along this stretch.

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By JBS (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 22:33:31

Make Queen St. two-way eliminating the current insane flow of separate one-way traffic coming from each direction at a high speed to attempt a "merge" onto Herkimer. This high speed is maintained once on Herkimer making any attempt to pull over to park extremely dangerous. Hamilton is such a mess of either one-way streets, two-way streets or a combination of both on different sections of the same street that even motorists familiar with the streets are often confused never mind tourists! Make all streets two-way. Have safe bike lanes on access streets such as Herkimer, especially since this type of street is also highly residential!

Comment edited by JBS on 2014-10-08 22:35:13

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By gregsmith (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 23:01:02

It seems virtually every piece of cycling infrastructure has come with a compromise. This is a detriment to those for and against cycling. Those for are frustrated by the lack of progress and connectivity. It makes attracting new, occasional cyclists difficult as they do not like being dumped into live lanes of traffic. Those against cycle tracks look at the empty bike lanes and feel they're not being utiliized. I live between Locke and Dundurn on Charlton St. It has room for parking on both sides plus an active lane of traffic. With parking only on the South side the street sees a lot of high speed due to the width. A bike lane through this section will have a traffic calming affect as the street will feel narrower for drivers. Even I as a resident of this section have to consciously think "don't speed" when I enter this stretch; it just feels like a drag strip. As for the bike system on a whole I can't help but think we try too hard to be unique. There's an unending list of other places that have figured this out. Let's learn from others. Why not call up the cycling infrastructure division of Montreal, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, etc. and ask for a tip? "Hey Montreal cycling advocate, I've got this tricky bit of road to figure out, any ideas? Here's a pic of our situation". Could it not be so simple?

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 23:04:07 in reply to Comment 105266

It's good that hospital employees are getting more walking, but it is maybe a bit unfair to use city streets to park for free all day five days a week to avoid paying for parking at your place of work.

I totally agree. That's why you guys need proper pricing of parking in your neighbourhood.

Incidentally, the hospital has a seven-year waiting list for parking spaces. Demand greatly exceeds supply at the price they currently charge, although that price has recently been rising. So many of the people parking in Durand have no option to park at the hospital. The hospital could raise its staff parking rates even higher and that would be more equitable, but either way there will be lots of hospital staff looking for off-site parking.

Oh, and the hospital has no provision for occasional parking for staff. So staff who need to drive to work once in a while either pay $15 per day or park on the street (as I used to do on occasion).

I'm not for a second arguing that hospital parking should be the neighbourhood's problem. But the best way to address it is to price the on-street parking according to demand, which we seem to agree on. There are lots of examples of parking benefit districts in other cities.

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By Chris Ewing-Weisz (anonymous) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 23:30:46

Good analysis. I especially agree with the proposal to put bikes in the north rather than the south lane on Herkimer. City Hall, please pay attention.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 23:45:01 in reply to Comment 105271

yes, the data is so clear on this. Most people simply won't bike unless it is safe to do so. Riding down the middle of the lane, or wedged next to parked cars won't attract any new riders at all.

Simply doing the gigantic task of adjusting the paint so the bikes can be protected by parking will see new riders, even parents with their little kids use the bike lanes as we now see in NYC and Montreal

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 08, 2014 at 23:49:05 in reply to Comment 105275

totally agree. Just chatted with someone tonight and said I have no interest in us being the 'Ambitious City'. I want us to become the 'Copycat City'.
Send every councillor and employee at city hall a fully paid month long trip to Montreal, Vancouver, Portland, NYC and tell them to simply COPY the best practices and bring them back here.
Of course this nifty thing called the internet allows one to see the best practices from all of these cities from the comfort of their city hall office, but clearly that's not happening.

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By crtsvg (registered) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 05:25:48

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By Loves cars and bikes (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 07:41:25

Wow, what a small mind.

Typical Hamiltonian that has not left their lil bubble.

In big cities hard working people who make six figures still ride a bike to work.

You need to get out more.

I actually know several highly paid very well educated hard working professional people that ride to their law office, Doctors office, design studio etc.....

Their is more to this world than the "Hammer" and you probably drive a honda civic with a shocker sticker on your back window, one if those guys.

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By kdslote (registered) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 08:23:54 in reply to Comment 105280

Fun fact - 40% of the architects in my office cycle to our office downtown on a regular basis!

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By DissenterOfThings (registered) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 08:23:54 in reply to Comment 105280

Could please just fuck off.

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By kdslote (registered) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 08:27:08

Update: I have heard back from city staff person Daryl Bender. No design changes will be made. No bike boxes will be provided. There will be no physical separation. As many of you have noted, these lanes are pointless as currently designed. A waste of taxpayer dollars that undermine what should be their intent. I have reached out to Councillors Farr and McHattie in the hopes of keeping the dialogue going.

It would be great if others could reach out to the councillors too. The more voices we have, the greater the chance of change and impact are.

Comment edited by kdslote on 2014-10-09 08:27:31

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 08:36:56 in reply to Comment 105266

Just to take your well made point a bit further......many of the St. Joe's employees taking up the street parking work 12 hour shifts. This means their vehicles are actually parked for over 12 hours; in excess of the city wide by-law that limits all on street parking to a maximum of 12 hours. Of course there is no enforcement.

In Durand we get to pay the highest mill rate in the city and are expected to provide free parking to St. Joe's staff.

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 08:42:15 in reply to Comment 105276

Is it true that they run a shuttle for staff parking at the West 5th campus to Charlton Street?

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By StephenBarath (registered) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 08:57:28

So, no bike lanes west of Locke. I suppose there’s little call for them as Dundurn bike lanes are pretty well useless (entirely unprotected, blocked by stopped vehicles at times, encroached by vehicles passing others with regularity, adjacent to high-turnover parking used by the least patient of the Beer Store’s clientele).

I would be really curious how narrow was deemed too narrow for the lanes at Herkimer- how narrow specifically would they have been to accommodate the same bike lanes as east of Locke? On Charlton, I think that the lanes must be plenty wide since traffic is able to move so fast down them. I suppose I’m wrong and they are narrower than I assume.

It’s positive that some stretches of these two streets will be narrowed- both move insanely quickly given that they are entirely residential for long stretches. I agree that Queen/Charlton should be redesigned as a normal intersection, but I bet removing one left-turn lane will be a good development. Crossing Queen on the south side of the intersection often results in being cut off by motorists too busy worrying about the car turning left next to them to yield to people on foot. Possibly that will improve a little.

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 09:20:25 in reply to Comment 105276

Thanks for the background.

The hospital should definitely offer discounts for occasional parking.

Do they have any programs to promote "active transportation" commuting? As a hospital I would hope they would be doing everything they could to encourage people to walk, bike or take transit to work. McMaster has done this for years and has improved storage for bikes on campus (and of course there is the student HSR pass).

Do the Hamilton hospitals offer reduced price HSR passes to employees? What percentage drive to work?

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By theninjasquad (registered) - website | Posted October 09, 2014 at 10:10:06 in reply to Comment 105284

Well that's disappointing to hear but not all that unexpected. The plans are already in place and ready to go, probably too late to change in their eyes. I don't understand why there was no public input into this but I presume that they're the experts and know what's best.

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By John Neary (registered) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 10:19:13 in reply to Comment 105286

Yes, that is true.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted October 09, 2014 at 12:27:36 in reply to Comment 105266

I work at Hamilton General and live near McMaster and it seems like parking is a source of drama at all the hospitals - among my coworkers it's an open secret that many of the local neighborhoods have no parking limits or enforcement so staff go hunting around Beasly/Landsdale for street-side parking for the day to avoid paying for lots.

By contrast McMaster's parking enforcement is ruthless and efficient.

My understanding is that parking is one of the few places that hospitals are permitted to turn a tidy profit so they make a good business of it.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-10-09 12:28:19

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By Solution (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 14:51:55 in reply to Comment 105266

This problem is easily solved if the City would just once act with the interests of the residents first. A simple restriction of Max 3 hour parking from 9 to 5 Monday to Friday would eliminate the problem.

Of course the City wants you to petition your block and get signatures in order for Council to even consider the matter.

As you note, a change would not affect the residential parking supply.

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By TheDude (registered) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 19:19:08 in reply to Comment 105295

That's the case on the arterials east of James and north of Charlton - and bylaw is out there all the time ticketing vehicles. There's a constant stream of yellow tickets flapping under wipers or stuck in the grass.

Comment edited by TheDude on 2014-10-09 19:19:26

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By Biljana (anonymous) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 21:53:27

I've been biking from east of Wentworth to work in west Hamilton for about a year. The scary death trap at Herkimer and Queen is only manageable when it's not rush hour. My natural, instinctively safest positioning is indeed the north side of Herkimer.

The question I don't see answered in the correspondences quoted above: Will the bike lanes be accompanied by improved road surface? Anyone who's ridden on Charlton, particularly on the north side of the street, can attest to how bone-shakingly chewed up it is. Sewage line patch jobs; tarred over winter erosion cracks; tiny craters that only ever summon up images of third world (or Northern Ontario) rural roads... I love our northern wilderness, yes, but my commuter bike on asphalt ain't like a skidoo over snow. I often find myself judging whether to swerve in to traffic to avoid dislodging my fillings, or stay alive but with worsening dental health.

I respect that this whole initiative was a result of the Ward 2 Participatory budgeting, but one thing I wonder is if the budget allocation for installing these lanes was low-balling on the "painted lines=bike lanes" scale that we're clearly seeing.

This is a case where I wouldn't blame the lonely city staffer who is responsible for the biking file. The fact that "alternative transportation" has been relegated to a single person, and that so much of public works, transportation, roads, etc seems so car-centric (e.g. the MacNab/Hunter and Aberdeen/Kent traffic lights written about here in RTH) speaks to systemic issues that de-prioritize the needs of cyclists & pedestrians. No news to readers of this site, I know, just saying that one individual can't be blamed when their mandate and responsibility is not stretched beyond cans of paint.

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By jason (registered) | Posted October 09, 2014 at 22:01:31 in reply to Comment 105301

Well said.

I wouldn't expect any road resurfacing. Cannon and Hunter west of Bay is in horrendous shape, but was left as is for the cycle tracks.

I'm really confused as to why the Charlton lanes won't extend past Locke. It is a hugely wide roadway west of Locke. Even wider than the portion between Locke and Queen.

On the bright side, Charlton will only have 1 car lane now from James to Hess which is great. Any lane reduction on our one-ways is always good news.

Still perplexed why we need 3 turn lanes on Herkimer at James. Surely 2 turn lanes would have been fine, and a bike box could be installed to allow cyclists to go left.

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By Question (anonymous) | Posted October 10, 2014 at 01:25:51

Anything stopping us from still biking the north lane on Herkimer? I suspect I'll still feel safer there than beside passenger doors on the other side.

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By Loves cars and bikes (anonymous) | Posted October 10, 2014 at 06:54:55

After reading all of this, I really do think it's time for some PEACEFUL critical mass rides.

Make them as big as we can and during morning or afternoon rush hour.

Power in numbers.

This is the only way we can make everyone realize that there is more cyclists than the population of this city thinks there is.

This city needs a culture shift, and the only way it will change is if a massive group of riders rolls past a person in a car waiting at the light that is probably driving less than 10km to work.

We can complain to the city all we want, but as it stands our cycling committee is quite small and cyclists do not have a voice.

This city should also implement a cycling committee membership like they have in Toronto.

The more members the louder the voice.

As it stands, the motorists view us as a bunch of complaining people who should just "get a car" when in reality we all know this is not true.

There is a reason the Yes we Cannon mission worked, they were loud and proud and had a voice.

Until there is bike lanes leading to the local Walmart, a certain demographic is not going to change their habits. These are people that live in the suburbs and like going to the one stop plaza to get the weeks rations.

People are like cattle, unless they see the other cows doing it they won't even try.

Honestly, it just seems like a few people complaining.

We need a louder voice.


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By ComeOnReally (anonymous) | Posted October 10, 2014 at 11:59:09 in reply to Comment 105304

"People are like cattle"

Dude, seriously?

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted October 10, 2014 at 13:12:48 in reply to Comment 105301

This initiative is NOT a result of the Ward 2 Participatory Budget process. It is part of the Cycling Master Plan, whose execution was poorly implemented by city staff.

The Ward 2 Participatory Budget process put forth security bollards to end rat-running "cut-through" car driving in Durand. Unfortunately, this was stonewalled by city staff, who succeeded in getting it taken off the ballot. The people never had a chance to vote on it.

Ending cut-through car driving has been requested by the Durand Neighbourhood Association since 1976. This is just one more incident in four decades of stonewalling by city staff.

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted October 10, 2014 at 13:14:52 in reply to Comment 105303

No. Use of bike lanes is not mandatory. People should cycle where it is safest to do so. That is certainly not in a Door Zone Bike Lane where the most dangerous place on the entire road to cycle is in the bike lane.

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By kevlahan (registered) | Posted October 10, 2014 at 13:25:59 in reply to Comment 105312

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By Anon (anonymous) | Posted October 10, 2014 at 15:41:30

And on a related note.........another accident today in Durand.

Charlton and Queen......again. And again with a vehicle knocked right over the sidewalk on the SW corner.

We really need to speed these cars up somehow.

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By Loves cars and bikes (anonymous) | Posted October 11, 2014 at 02:56:48

Dude Sorry, not cattle.

Sheep.

And yes, Once a group of people take an innitiative the rest will follow especially for a good cause that is healthy.

How else do you think current trends or initiatives take place?

The snow ball effect takes place.

Example 1

There was not much talk of bike lanes 15 years ago, Now every municipality is considering it or doing it. Even wasaga beach is installing bike lanes.

Example 2:

Weed was not legal a few years ago in North America, but some states are starting to change and others are starting to follow.

Example 3:
Britney Spears, Maralyn Manson were garbage, look how many people followed them.....









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By WPG (anonymous) | Posted October 24, 2014 at 09:48:51

I think bike lanes should be moved from the main roads.
Having biked to work for years I too have had my share of car altercations.

But here in Winnipeg, as I think it would be in most Canada cities, there is snow
on the roads that has to be removed. With the new parking "protected" bike lanes, and riders no matter what our temperatures.
Bike riders should now be charged a fee to help off set the addition costs involved in maintaining these lanes.

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