Comment 105301

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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