Special Report: Cycling

Broad, Extensive Public Engagement for Cannon Street Cycle Track

Residents in Wards 2 and 3 are tired of consultations that go nowhere - they've spoken loud and clear on numerous occasions already. Now is the time for action.

By Justin Jones
Published March 21, 2014

Andrew Dreschel is correct, in some regards, in his column published in the Hamilton Spectator today. City Staff didn't send out information notices to everyone in the City, no Public Information Centre was held to hear people's thoughts, and no additional 30-day discussion period for the Cannon Street Cycle Track project was approved.

Cannon Street Cycle Track rendering (Image Credit: Jeremy Johnston)
Cannon Street Cycle Track rendering (Image Credit: Jeremy Johnston)

I certainly wish that Mr. Dreschel, before publishing his article, would have reached out to us, however, to hear our perspective.

It's what most journalists have done through this entire process, and it's what has earned Yes We Cannon the respect and the trust of both City Councillors and City Staff: we're open and transparent about what we do, about what our goals are, and about how we aim to accomplish them, and we're more than happy to talk about it any time, to anyone.

What Mr. Dreschel is talking about is, in most respects, Consultation 1.0. You put out a public notice, you host an open house, you set up in a church or recreation centre or city hall room, and you wait for people to come to you to tell you what they think. You generally hear from those who have strong opinions on either side of the issue, since those are the only people who bother to come out.

Consultation 2.0

What we did as an organization was more what I would call Consultation 2.0 - we took the message to where people are. From attending neighbourhood association meetings to community barbecues, from volunteer events to Art Crawls and all sorts of events in between, we took our message to more than 20 events.

And while we certainly had an agenda - we wanted to see these lanes get built - we prided ourselves on taking the time to talk to those who weren't in favour or weren't sure about the proposal, and finding out what their concerns were and addressing them.

Along the way, we engaged more than 2,500 people who signed our petition, we have received more than 300 individual written statements in support of this project (all subsequently sent to both Councillors and City Staff), and we have seen overwhelming support in the neighbourhoods that will be affected by this project.

I'll reiterate the 300 statements part, because I think that those are the most significant. That's over 300 people who took the time to actually write a personal message in support of this project to council.

We heard from a very wide cross-section of individuals - parents with young children, seniors, new immigrants, business owners, students, long-time cyclists and people who haven't ridden in years, primarily because of a lack of safe cycling infrastructure.

Time to Act

The time for more consultation and dithering has long passed.

The project has been widely publicized in Hamilton since being approved, including coverage in every single media outlet in Hamilton, including a front page placement on the Hamilton Spectator from the day after the September General Issues Committee meeting where staff was directed to develop an implementation plan for the project.

If council thought that meaningful public engagement on the project was still required, that would have been the time for it. Not now, when the bulk of the design work has already been done.

I think it's also notable that Mr. Dreschel conveniently ignores the public consultation regarding Cannon street that was done in the traditional sense - the One-Way to Two-Way Study Group that started off as an implementation group before being watered down by council.

The study group was public, it was city-organized, and guess what the number-one recommendation out of that study was? Bike lanes.

Councillors Engaged their Constituents

I'm also disappointed that Mr. Dreschel belittles the work that Councillor Farr and the late Councillor Morelli did to talk with their residents about this project, implying that because they support this project that their work with their constituents is somehow not valid.

As if concern for the health, well-being and economic vitality of their neighbourhoods, not to mention their rapid response to an overwhelming chorus of their constituents demanding change is somehow to be viewed as a negative?

Mr. Dreschel, Councillors Farr and Morelli certainly supported this project on a personal level, but their willingness to commit significant amounts of money from their Ward Area Reserves towards the project didn't come from their own personal affinity for the project - any good politician knows that is political suicide.

They took that stance because their residents were speaking very loudly and very clearly: this is something that the community supports, it is something that the community needs, and the sooner we get it done, the better.

Studied to Death

Cannon street has been studied, consulted on, and analyzed to death, all while the residents who live on or near it keep telling everyone who will listen the same thing: please do something.

Transport trucks barreling double-file down Cannon Street (RTH file photo)
Transport trucks barreling double-file down Cannon Street (RTH file photo)

The whole point of the Cannon Street Cycle Track being installed as a pilot project is to get ongoing, real-world feedback. To assess how it actually impacts the neighbourhood, not how people think it may impact them.

That's the beauty of a pilot project. It's meant to be done quickly, to have robust data collection and analysis, and to provide rapid change to an urban system that we all acknowledge isn't working very well.

This whole consultation argument is exactly the reason Yes We Cannon came about in the first place - the consult, analyze, consult, analyze, consult, analyze, repeat ad nauseum way of doing business in Hamilton doesn't fit with how significant some of the challenges facing our city are and how rapidly it is changing.

We launched with the goal of engaging as many people as possible in the shortest time, of giving people a different avenue to make their voices heard. We did so in a way that hasn't really been seen in Hamilton before, but is becoming more and more common around North America - consultation 2.0 leading to advocacy 2.0, where citizens play an active role in engaging their neighbours and in engaging city staff and council.

It's a much more adaptive, flexible and resident-friendly system and, most importantly, it gets things done.

Residents in Wards 2 and 3 are tired of consultations that go nowhere - they've spoken loud and clear on numerous occasions already. Now is the time for action. Let's get these lanes built, let's make our neighbourhoods better, and then let's assess the real-world impacts from there.

Justin Jones is the Manager, Bicycle Friendly Ontario at the Share the Road Cycling Coalition. Justin is a project manager, sustainability professional and rabble rouser with nearly a decade of experience in the sustainability field. His work with student groups, municipal governments and NGOs has taken him all over the country. He is passionate about civic engagement, with a special focus on active transportation issues and the creation of liveable cities through better infrastructure and education.

61 Comments

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By Jason (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 08:03:21

Some of the 'old guard' can't accept the fact that more people were engaged and had their voices heard during 2 years of consulting than ever get a chance to share their thoughts using the old method of goofy mailers and public meetings with 17 people. And darn it, this is Hamilton. We can't start getting things done in just a couple years. If it doesn't take a good 8-18 years and cost tons of money, and result in no change, something's wrong.

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By Borrelli (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 09:11:16

Dreschel just privileges the opinions of those august souls who trek out to largely meaningless PICs over the chorus of voices of residents around Cannon who have been consistently saying the same things to politicians like Councillors Farr & Morelli.

You put it perfectly, Justin:

They took that stance because their residents were speaking very loudly and very clearly: this is something that the community supports, it is something that the community needs, and the sooner we get it done, the better.

Dreschel to Brad Clark have done wonderful impressions of the town busybody in efforts to pander to some largely silent minority who use Cannon as their trusted downtown highway--it's the core, right? We're just a sacrifice zone.

Meanwhile, I don't recall being consulted on any stop-signs impeding flow on the leafy streets on the mountain.

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By DissenterOfThings (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 09:12:05

Call me a fascist, but I actually don't think all public opinion and consultation is valuable, especially when the project in question is about gathering data and trial-running a concept to assess actual impact.

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By haha (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 09:40:23 in reply to Comment 98781

^ fascist

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By Ump (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 09:15:30

Strike One against mayoral hopeful Brad Clark.
And he claims he's not an ideologue...

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By highwater (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:27:37 in reply to Comment 98783

He's not an ideologue. He's an opportunist. He voted in favour of the bike lanes in the end, so he can portray himself as a progressive who was merely 'concerned' about process, while still being able to tell bike lane opponents that he did his best to stop them. It's brilliant really.

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By Core-B (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 09:19:51

I hope that you also sent this to the Spec.

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By Mark-AlanWhittle (registered) - website | Posted March 21, 2014 at 09:30:27

Will electric bikes and scooters be allowed to use these segregated bike lanes?

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By bvbborussia (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 20:33:37 in reply to Comment 98786

I don't know where I come out on e-bikes. But this being downtown Hamilton you can bet the answer to the scooter question will matter more.

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 13:00:08 in reply to Comment 98786

I have previously researched this in some depth.

Under provincial law, and by default, yes. An e-bike is still a bicycle as far as road operation.

Municipalities can override individually. Larger cities, Toronto, Calgary, seem to ban e-bikes from bikeways. While I'm sure this is done for safety because there is higher use in these urban cores, this puts the slow moving ebike in traffic lanes even when bike lanes are available (which is basically a de-facto execution but I digress). But if your motor is off, you can use the bike lanes regardless.

So far Hamilton has not had to enact specific policy, so yes we're allowed unless they say otherwise.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2014-03-21 13:13:37

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By AlHuizenga (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 09:58:28 in reply to Comment 98786

Can't find anything about it in city's functional design document, but in Ontario if your powered vehicle meets the definition of an "e-bike", or power-assisted bicycle, you can do whatever bicycles do. There are limits on weight, wheel size, and power, and it has to have pedals. I don't know where that leaves electric wheelchairs, or the motorized four-wheel scooters so popular in the core.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted March 21, 2014 at 09:50:40 in reply to Comment 98786

I'm not 100% sure but I think the law is that e-bikes are allowed in bike lanes (except in Toronto where there is a by-law prohibiting it). Mobility scooters are absolutely not.

I'm not a fan of e-bikes but I'm pretty sure the Toronto bylaw is just pandering - people hate e-bikes. Maybe keeping them off recreational trails makes sense, but keeping them out of bike lanes/tracks seems to defeat the purpose of bike lanes/tracks.

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By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:14:59 in reply to Comment 98792

I think that having large, heavy, fast vehicles in a bike lane defeats the purpose of the bike lane. Clearly it depends on the size of the bike, but especially for more scooter/vespa sized ebikes I think they should not be allowed.

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By DissenterOfThings (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 09:36:06 in reply to Comment 98786

I think it should depend on how fast they can go.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted March 21, 2014 at 13:49:55 in reply to Comment 98788

All e-bikes are already limited in how fast they can go, and it's comparable to a bicycle. I can see the weight argument with e-bikes - they can be big heavy beasts with all those batteries... but speed doesn't really hold up.

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By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted March 24, 2014 at 11:20:25 in reply to Comment 98857

I would contest the statement that the speeds are comparable. On an e-bike it takes no effort to travel at the maximum speed of e.g. 32km/h. For an urban cyclist, 32km/h is a pretty hard speed even for the fastest riders, and many cyclists travel much slower in order to keep themselves below the 'sweating and panting' threshold. This creates some problems because e-bike drivers are often passing cyclists, and they are not always doing so safely. The small difference in speed is actually still a big problem because of the behaviours it encourages.

Comment edited by AnjoMan on 2014-03-24 11:21:05

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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted March 24, 2014 at 10:04:34 in reply to Comment 98857

Speed comparable to a bicycle? 32 km/h? You must be Lance on EPO.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted March 24, 2014 at 10:44:31 in reply to Comment 99071

I said "comparable" not "identical".

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By jeffreygeoffrey (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:14:37

I am consistently impressed by the work and tone of the Yes We Cannon organizers (who I don't know at all, btw, so no log-rolling). They realize what they're up against, a community resistant to change yet one that must -- and, in fact, is -- and are trying to find a way to get something progressive done. Keep going.

And if Yes We Cannon is an example of Consultation 2.0, then Raise the Hammer is Journalism 2.0 -- and the Spec and the column in question is decidedly 1.0. Thank goodness they're not the last word, and even replying would mean a letter to the editor, that can be both edited and not printed.

Comment edited by jeffreygeoffrey on 2014-03-21 10:31:17

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By JonD (registered) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 14:15:28 in reply to Comment 98801

I agree. They took a very nuanced approach and it paid big dividends for the rest of us.

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By LOL_all_over_again (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:17:30

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

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By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:34:25 in reply to Comment 98804

No driver will willingly surrender a lane 24/7 to bikes.

I'm shocked to learn that I don't exist. Cannon has the room.

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By Lucy (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:25:30 in reply to Comment 98804

I'm a driver that would rather ride my bike if there was a safe way to do it. I'm one of the thousands of people that was consulted by yes we cannon. Does my opinion count?

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By Henry (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:36:48 in reply to Comment 98808

I'm a 50 year old driver that would rather ride my bike if there was a safe way to do it. I'm NOT one of the thousands of people that was consulted by yes we cannon. Bring it on. The sooner the better?

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 19:16:45 in reply to Comment 98813

I'm a driver, and wasn't one of the thousands consulted by Yes We Cannon either. Ditto. Bring it on. The sooner the better. Create a network of these lanes all through the city and suburbs.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted March 25, 2014 at 22:45:57 in reply to Comment 98877

AS long as it runs right in front of jason's house, I'm good with it. Let's take away those pesky car lanes and make 'em only for bikes! Complete streets start there!

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:23:45

"Councillors Farr and Morelli certainly supported this project on a personal level, but their willingness to commit significant amounts of money from their Ward Area Reserves towards the project didn't come from their own personal affinity for the project - any good politician knows that is political suicide. They took that stance because their residents were speaking very loudly and very clearly: this is something that the community supports, it is something that the community needs, and the sooner we get it done, the better."

As you rightly point out, Farr and Morelli backed and bankrolled it because their constituents demanded it but it would only be political suicide if they were vying for higher office and needed broader support. Otherwise, it's a survival instinct (or in Morelli's case, perhaps a late-dawning laissez-faire) especially in an election year. Lower-city candidates have paltry enough turnout (eg. 1,607 for Farr, 3,186 for Morelli in 2010) without pitting their incumbency against the wrath of 2,500 engaged citizens.

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By CaptainKirk (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 10:39:17

Lost in all this ridiculous discussion is the fact that SoBi bikes will be headquartered in the Seedworks on Catharine St N., a few doors from the Cannon bike lanes. Bringing them into the city, and so close to Cannon St., has got to help increase biking numbers even further. Way to go Hamilton!

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By only 2500 (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 11:50:57

Claiming City hall -must- do something because you have 2,500 names on a petition is not fair to the other 500,000 residents of the city who might feel otherwise. Collect 25,000 names and you will be taken more seriously. For the record - I am supportive of doing something to make Cannon St less dangerous and more welcoming to pedestrians. Like many I'm just not sure bike lanes, which would not have been used much over the last four months, are the answer.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 19:27:07 in reply to Comment 98836

so, because we will get a harsh winter once every 20 years, we should cancel the whole thing?

We have fatal accidents on our freeways weekly. Should we rip them up?

People set out to exercise 3x a week and eat healthy. Some weeks they only manage to exercise 1x and eat some bad meals. Should they give up and just live like slobs 24-7??

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By LOL_all_over_again (registered) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 02:27:47 in reply to Comment 98882

harsh winter or not, the number of cyclists in the winter months is miniscule. Bikes, motorcycles and the like pretty much disappear when the cold weather starts. Yes, Yes I know there are a few hearty souls who ride their bikes year round but they stand out because they are so few and far between. My mailman wears shorts all winter too, yet I don't see it catching on. What irks so many car drivers is the bike lanes are there day and night every day of the year and for so many hours and days they are never used. Cars on the other hand are there day and night except for a few really bad days.

Fatal crashes on the highway have no bearing on bike lanes on Cannon. If those crashes scare you then feel free to stay off the highway, the rest of us would actually appreciate it.

When and where people choose to exercise doesn't really matter except if they decide to do it by cycling on Cannon. Don't see it as being a big attraction for the majority of Hamiltonians.

There are some 625,000 people living in Hamilton I wager the majority of them don't care about bike lanes on Cannon. But then why would the opinion of the majority opinion influence the ramblings on this site? The majority here know what they want and they just don't care about all the masses that disagree with them, after all they know what is best for all of us. If you don't believe me then just ask them they have no problem telling anyone how smart they are and they and only they know what this city needs. All those who oppose them just aren't informed or knowledgeable or care enough or what ever.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted March 25, 2014 at 22:47:58 in reply to Comment 98911

AMEN.

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 10:07:40 in reply to Comment 98911

One more thing, I just caught that you used the word 'oppose'. Who are we opposing? What are we opposing? It is you that is opposing a bike lane on a road with tons of extra capacity for it. It is you that is opposing wishes of locals. Is this another "fake war" mindset? That somehow we will have a referendum of 625K people, and either cars or bikes will cease to exist in their entirety, and the dichotomy is not in fact false? This notion that there is somehow a "war on cars" originated as the byproduct of a drug addled mind and has no basis in reality.

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 09:53:21 in reply to Comment 98911

When and where people choose to exercise doesn't really matter

Commuting sweetie. Many of us are commuting. The exercise is value added. Whether you believe it or not, we are not children playing with our bikes. Professionals are riding to work. Kids are riding to school. Cargo companies are starting up deliveries by bike (and I've seen them go by on Mohawk Road so don't tell me nobody's using them).

All those who oppose them just aren't informed or knowledgeable or care enough or what ever.

See, the dispute is not with your observation that bikes are a small minority of trips right now.

The dispute is with your sociopathic mindset (perhaps inadvertent), that cyclists should not exists just because they are a minority. That there is no latent demand from people who want to cycle but are scared of you. That kids should be able to bike or walk themselves to school. That cyclists are somehow non-contributors, and that they can't be well paid professionals who spend that money in the community. That there is a legitimate strategy to a family making fewer trips by car.

I humbly raise the possibility that you are the one refusing to get informed or care. You are the one being obtuse and refusing to acknowledge the presence of a real and needed demographic.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2014-03-22 09:56:33

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By jeffery (anonymous) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 07:17:28 in reply to Comment 98911

I for one believe that the majority of people are uninformed, either because they don't care enough to become aware, or don't have the time to because they're too busy or whatever.

Bottom line though, don't need to follow the majority as numbers don't determine what is truly right or wrong, or what ought to be done, as in the case of making streets complete.

Mind you, I think if all people only knew of the benefit of complete streets, most would support it. If people really understood the negative impact cars were having on our lives and our earth they would demand alternatives, etc.

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By LOL_all_over_again (registered) | Posted March 25, 2014 at 04:04:03 in reply to Comment 98915

Boy oh boy, talk about proving all my ramblings in a hurry. You wrote "Bottom line though, don't need to follow the majority as numbers don't determine what is truly right or wrong, or what ought to be done, as in the case of making streets complete."

What is this a dictatorship with you or one of your friends in charge or is it a democracy where the majority gets to decide? See I always thought that this was a democracy but obviously you don't. That is the biggest problem we face.

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By Dave S (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 14:01:19 in reply to Comment 98836

Cannon Street will be Hamiltons first true Complete Street. The Press did not mention that there is going to be lane narrowing to slow traffic down and such.

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 19:22:03 in reply to Comment 98859

well, the eastern portion of it will become our first complete street. West of Victoria they are banning parking during rush hour, so it will still be a crazy, dangerous 3-lane freeway. They had to do something once finding out that trip times would be impacted by 18 seconds. Can't have that sort of mayhem and gridlock breaking out.

The next step to a true complete street would be planting trees all along both sides in the extra sidewalk width close to the roadway. Maybe my grand-kids will be alive to see the city do such a thing.

More info here, with great visuals here: https://www.raisethehammer.org/article/1...

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 13:46:12 in reply to Comment 98836

City Hall must nothing, as evidenced by Beckett access. They chose to because they saw the merits of the project, and it's being paid for by the affected wards.

I am appalled that people that do not live in the neighborhood are so quick to shout down the wishes and responsible pursuit of goals of citizens for their neighborhoods.

And you know what, I have a very very strong intuition that those wards will see handsome ROI on calming Cannon in upcoming years. Sentiment will and is shifting. For example I am already nervous about property values climbing before I'm ready to buy a house, and just a few years ago the plan was to flee Hamilton as soon as I could. LRT, Cannon lanes, markets and densification, these things are going to work. Please let's not fight the people in these wards who want these things and are principal to making them happen.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2014-03-21 13:46:55

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 19:25:16 in reply to Comment 98856

that's exactly the battle being faced now. After 50 years of pouring billions of tax dollars from the entire city into suburban sprawl and associated highways, they are now crying the blues about LRT and bike infrastructure coming to "only downtown". Sadly, their councillors feed and enable the attitude of entitlement instead of being a leader of the entire city and explaining to those residents that investments are needed to revitalize the lower city, just like investments were needed to create their neighbourhoods from farmland. Councillors with a vision for the city, instead of just a desire to get re-elected would sure be nice one of these years.

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By Never Enough (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 13:38:25 in reply to Comment 98836

Like every concern troll you support doing something, just not the thing that can actually happen. You care so much about public engagement that even the biggest showing of public support for a small project in the city's history isn't enough for you. You're not fooling anyone.

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By Core-b (registered) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:53:28 in reply to Comment 98836

I'm glad that you support anything to make "Cannon St less dangerous and more welcoming to pedestrians". Even if the bike lanes were only used 75% of the year (which is a significant time period) they would support your view. This would give the pedestrians as well as cyclists a buffer from the car and truck traffic on Cannon. There are a lot of schools in the Cannon corridor which would give the students a safer and more comfortable place to walk or cycle. And all of this will have almost no affect on traffic flow. Sounds like a win win win to me.

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By JustinJones (registered) - website | Posted March 21, 2014 at 12:00:44 in reply to Comment 98836

That's a fine way to look at things, and you may well end up being right. But that's why this is a pilot project. It's designed to get feedback, to see the real world impacts and to identify how it affects ridership as well. Experience from around North America shows that where cycling infrastructure is maintained through the winter, even in places with harsher climates than ours, ridership numbers stay relatively strong. So your concerns, while they may bear out, can only be proven by actually trying something. We put a solution in front of City Council - one that was supported by evidence and by the community - that's why the lanes are going in. Let's see how they work, and then we can address concerns and challenges using data and evidence rather than conjecture and hypotheses.

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By Dave S (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 13:54:55

I just Finished having Coffee with Farr & Merulla. Farr is Drafting a letter to the Residents of Cannon street then he is Personally Going to do Door Knocking and distributing the Flyer. Theres the City Consultation for you Clark.

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By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted March 21, 2014 at 15:23:51 in reply to Comment 98858

After getting lambasted on selective bus lane business consultation, I'm sure the Ward 2 councillor is taking care to be more thorough.

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By Root Cause (anonymous) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 07:54:17

“At the intersection of roadways or vehicular access points, no plant material with a mature height greater than 50 cm within a sight triangle measuring 9 m by 9 m (~30 x 30 feet) along the boundary of each of the intersecting roadways, measured from the point of intersecting curb lines, except where engineering standards indicate otherwise shall be planted…. Boulevards containing a minimum soft surface width of 1.75 m (~5.7 feet) are eligible for tree planting; Tree plantings in boulevards must achieve a minimum setback from the curb face of 80 cm (~2.6 feet); Tree plantings shall achieve a minimum setback of 1.5 m (~5 feet) from driveways and alleyway entrance…

hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/B1BC5055-9375-494E-9F62-B3FCCB10C004/0/CityofHamiltonStreetTreePlantingPolicyNewDevelopments.pdf

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By Root Cause (anonymous) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 07:58:10 in reply to Comment 98917

"Tree plantings made in a sidewalk or other hard surfaces must have a minimum of 1.5 m2 (4.9 sq ft) cut-out area."

hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/B1BC5055-9375-494E-9F62-B3FCCB10C004/0/CityofHamiltonStreetTreePlantingPolicyNewDevelopments.pdf

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By Root Cause (anonymous) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 07:56:25 in reply to Comment 98917

"Tree plantings shall achieve a minimum setback of 3.0 m (~9.8 feet) from any building or structure… Tree plantings shall achieve a minimum setback of 1.5 m (~4.9 feet) radius of a fire hydrant, light standard, utility pedestal, transformer, or water valve…

hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/B1BC5055-9375-494E-9F62-B3FCCB10C004/0/CityofHamiltonStreetTreePlantingPolicyNewDevelopments.pdf

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 08:54:01 in reply to Comment 98918

Meanwhile, in cities that understand the financial and health value of trees....

http://blog.arborday.org/portlands-growi...

Attached graph recommends 40% tree cover for cities. Hamilton is around 15% right now, and barely planting enough to make up for trees that die or are cut down.

http://www.planetmattersandmore.com/sust...

Thankfully not all cities come up with all sorts of crazy regulations keeping trees away from streets, lights etc.....

http://blog.philadelphiarealestate.com/w...

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By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 09:46:11 in reply to Comment 98921

The city is concerned about loss of tree canopy as a result of recent storms. It will be interesting to see how that is dealt with. I recall reading something about private property owners being able to get a tree planted in their front yard, by the city, for free.

Comment edited by mikeonthemountain on 2014-03-22 09:46:49

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By jason (registered) | Posted March 24, 2014 at 21:37:34 in reply to Comment 98924

they won't do anything. We've known our canopy is crazy low for many years and still don't plant as many as we tear down each year. Being a healthy city isn't a priority unfortunately.

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By JeffRintjema (registered) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 10:47:51 in reply to Comment 98924

You can get a free tree on the road allowance of your property.

Comment edited by JeffRintjema on 2014-03-22 10:49:32

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By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted March 24, 2014 at 12:50:19 in reply to Comment 98928

Which inevitably means that it ends up underneath power lines and needs to be cut into bizarre and unsuitable shapes that harm the longevity of the tree. :-(

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted March 25, 2014 at 22:51:28 in reply to Comment 99083

Yes, definitely worth doing nothing then, because it might hurt the tree 30-50 years from now. So let's not do anything about it but cry and complain!

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By aroberts (anonymous) | Posted March 22, 2014 at 12:48:21

I can't wait for this to be done and I do not live in either of these wards, I just pass through. One of the reasons that I stopped biking to work was because of the crazy traffic along cannon street the closer I got to the downtown core. Having designated bike lanes to promote commuting as exercise is a good for people outside of these wards too. Consultation 2.0 appears to have been a very successful process!

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By now2 (registered) | Posted March 23, 2014 at 17:57:49

State of the art bike lane narrow sidewalk, yep we know what the priorities are! the mental patients have taken over the asylum!

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By Typon (anonymous) | Posted March 23, 2014 at 18:35:33

Transport trucks barreling double-file down Canno Street (RTH file photo)

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