Walkability Fail

McMaster Walkability Fail

By Sean Burak
Published March 23, 2010

Going to McMaster? Live South of Main? Good Luck!

You can try crossing at Dalewood:

Hmm. Three stages.

Or at Bowman:

How about Emerson?

Well maybe on the west side of Emerson...


There has to be a single stage crossing here somewhere. Oh yes! Leland! That will work.

Oh Wait: that's four stages!

View Pedestrian Friendliness! in a larger map

And it dumps you into a parking lot.

Might as well drive there, I guess.

Sean Burak was born in Hamilton but raised elsewhere in Ontario. He returned to his birth town at the turn of the century and has never looked back. Sean is the owner of Downtown Bike Hounds.


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By highwater (registered) | Posted March 23, 2010 at 09:41:22

Yep. You wouldn't believe the number of students who live in Westdale and drive a few blocks to campus, or stand shivering in the cold and rain waiting at a bus stop that's a five minute walk from campus. Now I have my answer.

Mind you, they're not crossing Main, so I guess I still don't have my answer.

Comment edited by highwater on 2010-03-23 08:42:42

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By alrathbone (registered) | Posted March 23, 2010 at 15:27:37

I really do hate this stretch of main street. It makes me annoyed when it takes twice as long to get Subway or a shawarma than it should.

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By McCrushed (anonymous) | Posted March 23, 2010 at 15:50:13

What's even more frustrating about the Emerson and Leland crossing in particular is that they're quite dangerous in addition to being inconvenient.

At Emerson, the crosswalk on the east side is angled and the island in the middle (with its walls) actually obstructs drivers turning left coming out of McMaster from being able to see the pedestrians crossing. There isn't an advance for the drivers so they're always trying to rush the light and close calls are common. I've been bumped once and clipped by mirrors twice. None of the drivers even stopped.

On the West side, the drivers leaving McMaster get a "right turn advance" signal, but the pedestrians still have a white "please cross and now get crushed" sign up. Again, I've almost been hit a couple of times here as wonderful drivers gun their engines to use their precious advance, despite the fact I'm still in the crosswalk also with a walk light.

And then we get Leland, with the wonderful "please wait for a gap" sign. Waiting for a gap would be wonderful if drivers didn't take that corner at 80+ km/hr. Crossing there almost inevitably ends up with a mad dash across the "gap."

All this combined has convinced me that its vastly safer to jaywalk along this section of Main St. If you cross halfway between Leland and Emerson there's plenty of visibility and no crazy or view obstructed drivers to turn you into a McMaster Pancake.

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