By Adrian Duyzer
Published March 28, 2014
This is my letter to Council, spurred by the outrageous situation in Queen St.
I'm very upset at the moment about the state of Queen Street, which runs two blocks away from my house (which is tucked away under the escarpment near Queen and Aberdeen).
A couple of days ago, a woman was taken to hospital after being struck by a driver on Queen. She suffered serious head and leg injuries.
When this happens - and it has happened twice this month! - my wife and I really get a chill. We walk along and cross Queen all the time with our two young children, and it's flat-out dangerous. We commonly cross at Markland with our children's hands in our vise-like grips. When our kids run ahead of us on Markland or Sterling, heading towards Queen, we dash after them, shouting "be careful, it's dangerous!"
That would sound silly, except what is actually happening on Queen makes it clear that it is nothing of the sort.
It makes absolutely no sense that we've got a street designed for traffic to move at dangerous speeds that runs through a residential neighbourhood. This is a street that is one-way for most of its length, has more lanes than needed, constantly features traffic that is flowing above the speed limit (often in excess of 65 km/h), and has highway style off-ramps onto adjoining streets like Herkimer and Aberdeen, which makes it even more dangerous.
There is inexplicably no crosswalk at Markland, which is in the centre of a long stretch of Queen that has no safe pedestrian crossings.
As the leaders of our city, I think it's very simple: you know that the state of affairs in Hamilton is very dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists, so you have an ethical, moral and professional obligation to do something about it. Hamilton is the second-worst city in Ontario for pedestrian deaths and injuries due to cars. To all of the people who have been seriously injured, and to all of the families who have lost grandparents, husbands, wives and children, are you really going to keep sending the message that their injuries and losses are less important than people being able to arrive at their destinations one or two minutes more quickly?
I hope that at least some of you share my disgust and outrage at this state of affairs and join together to do something about it.
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