Comment 30458

By Hmmagain (anonymous) | Posted April 24, 2009 at 12:36:51

Well, reality is what you make it.

Reading this item and the proposals for planning city cycling suggest some additional ways to make Hamilton cycle-friendly. I like the idea of paving bike lanes, or perhaps in Hamilton, painting the surface of bike lanes in some alternative, bike-identified colour as both a continuous reminder to motorists of the presence of bike lanes and an enhancement to the city streetscape. I see red, green or blue lanes snaking throughout the city. Ditto adding a continuous soft curb between bike and car lanes on roadways.

In fact, as with all planning, we might benefit by thinking beyond the single issue and consider the cityscape as a whole. Hamilton does not have the extensive alley system found in Toronto, running bike lanes through the few that exist might encourage downtown property owners to clean up the backs of their premises to attract business. Similarly, cutting bike routes through city parks, surface parking spaces and other public spaces, along with some creative landscaping, might not only speed the progress of bikers but build traffic to off-street locations and attractions. Think of the waterfront trails.

Whatever is done in this area has costs, of course, but doing things both efficiently and imaginatively contributes to the success of building a service-based economy, which is important as the industrial-based economy declines in this part of the world. That decline is a reality too.

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