Comment 88645

By Mal (anonymous) | Posted May 12, 2013 at 07:38:04 in reply to Comment 88639

“I believe Council has shown reasonable support for the Shifting Gears program. Ward Councillors have to respond to special circumstances that may occur in the routings through their neighbourhoods, so adjustments may be made from time to time. No Councillor should be able to arbitrarily "block" or otherwise defeat sections of the project…. We have failed miserably in providing support and encouragement of investment in older neighbourhoods. There are many specific examples of how Public Works budget decisions have added to the problem, not helped. Public Works spending has to be reviewed in this context Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan has Council approval. However, the implementation timeline is very long and ward councillors can block individual bike lane projects.”

“I strongly support all initiatives you have described in your question. Having worked through the Dundurn Street South bike lane issue, there needs to be a better public process for establishing bike lanes including community preparation for these positive developments in sustainable transportation…. I strongly supported the Dundurn Street bike lanes but encountered understandable but considerable push-back from local businesses due to the loss of on-street parking for their clients/customers. In the end, we made a number of local changes such as relocating bus stops to improve on-street parking options and adding on-street parking in the nearby neighbourhood. This was done in an ad hoc fashion but approaching the challenges with public consultation could lead to a better end-result.

The Places to Grow Act and the nodes and corridors approach contained in our new Official Plan, provide the opportunity for building new housing in the older neighbourhoods in the City, and installing dynamic live:work opportunities. In order for intensification to work, new investment, capital funding from the City is required in the form of upgraded parks, traffic calming, new greenspace (ie. new downtown park), and better ways to get around in the form of bus transit investment. LRT, bike lanes and more walkable neighbourhoods.”

“Bike all the time - anyway to make it easier and get more people on two wheels - works for me.”

“I enthusiastically supported the Cycling Master Plan. Subject to further consultation and support, I am most interested in pursuing initiatives that are responsive to the needs of our community and the people of it. The increased use of cycling can only prove to be of benefit to those who do it as well as help stem the increased pollution created by motor vehicles… Hamilton can always do more to encourage investment in our older neighbourhoods.”

“I do support it incrementally with full public consultation… My focus has been and will continue to be eliminating the one billion dollar deficit in hard infrastructure (i.e. Woodward Wastewater Treatment Plant, roads, sewers and bridges)… City Council must focus on emerging problems (i.e. the need to increase industrial and commercial investments; thereby, increasing tax revenues without impacting residential taxes or front line services).”

I am a strong supporter of Hamilton's Cycling Master Plan. I am not convinced that there is clamor for bicycle commuter lanes across the city. I strongly support and advocate for funds to enhance recreational cycling trails around the city…. I am a strong proponent of upgrading our aging infrastructure, particularly in our older neighbourhoods. We need to allocate sufficient resources in future budgets to ensure that these improvements are made.”

“Bicycle lanes in the City of Hamilton is a great initiative, helpful towards the environment as well as good physical activity. Unfortunately, at this time we do not have the dollars to accelerate the program, we need to repair our crumbling infrastructure first.”

“I support it because it offers people a safe and green transportation alternative.”

“We do need safe bike lanes on mountain accesses that can be utilized by bikes or electric bikes. As for the expansion of the bike lanes, I believe we should be installing the new bike lanes as we rebuild our road infrastructure.”

“Hamilton Economic Development team is doing the best it can to encourage new investment in our older neighbourhoods. Further incentives, programs, etc. can always be brought forward and reviewed by Council.”

“Our bike and hiking trails are the gems of this city. I believe there should be more public input in this process especially in Ward 11. I was in Montreal at the MOST (Moving on to Sustainable Transportation) workshop and heard about the bike sharing program. I understand that this program is sustainable and is very cost effective and also does not cost the taxpayers anything to operate… In the past, the City's focus seems to be on urban sprawl in the former area municipalities and not enough on intensifying development inside the urban boundary. The Places to Grow Act and the nodes and corridors approach contained in our new Official Plan, provide the opportunity for building new housing in the older neighbourhoods in the City, and installing dynamic live: work opportunities. We need to incorporate good planning strategies for sustainable communities where we can work, play and live. In Ward 11, there is an abundance of urban sprawl with no supporting infrastructure. We need to start to concentrate on intensifying within the urban boundary to improve our infrastructure.”

“I support the bike lanes and would support accelerating this project if there is adequate unallocated funds in the capital budget.”

“I support the plan, in principle and also reducing the implementation period from 20 years down to a 12-15 year period (this range would reflect the annual demands relative to the proposed projects). I am supportive of the need for each project to be subject to community consultation i.e. neighbourhood, business sector, etc. before implementation. Dundas is a myriad of housing and building stock...some areas have virtually no off-street parking therefore would be a challenge if on-street parking was eliminated to accommodate a designated bicycle lane only.

It's very easy to say no because there's never enough that can be done. The availability of limited and dedicated resources and the setting of priorities defines what and when issues are dealt with in neighbourhoods but never soon enough! The City's capital infrastructure budget is $159 million short of the dollars annually needed to carry out everything that's wanted in any given year but are all taxpayers prepared to accept a 2% surcharge on their tax bills to make this happen...I don't think so! There are many positive things that the City is doing to assist neighbourhoods and the City as a whole that are very helpful but then red tape, cumbersome bureaucracy and antiquated legislation grinds everything to a halt. A review of rules and process was initiated a couple years ago but will legitimately take substantial time to correct...significant issues are receiving priority.”

“The city should consider funding programs (incentives) to encourage restorative development of existing older buildings as multi-use facilities to include commercial/institutional and residential. We need to grab hold of the new "restoration economy" and leverage investments to rebuild old neighbourhoods. We need to stop sprawl and focus on intensification.

The program would be most successful if it applied to all older neighbourhoods throughout Hamilton (old and new), and a smart way for leveraging investment from the private sector. Older neighbourhoods should include the downtowns of Ancaster, Dundas, Waterdown, Stoney Creek and Glanbrook. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city is actually Greensville in Flamborough. “

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