The excuses keep changing, but the pattern of inaction continues year after year. It is past time for staff priorities to start matching what citizens are demanding.
By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published April 19, 2016
The Hamilton Spectator reports that despite already receiving 150 requests for new pedestrian crossovers (PXOs), City staff plan to install just three to five PXOs this year.
Mobile speed radar at Herkimer and Queen, one of the first locations to get a new PXO (Image Credit: Kirkdendall Neighbourhood Association)
Even though "money is not the issue" according to staff, since the project is being funded out of the Red Light Camera fund, they say this is all they can do.
This seems to be a recurring theme, as staff recently said the same thing about the Claremont Cycle Track, which Council directed them to expedite, but which will still somehow take two years to install despite already being in 2009's Cycling masterplan.
This 'overwhelmed even if given more money' claim seems to be turning into the new go-to excuse after years of 'there is no budget' and 'the regulations won't allow it'.
The main argument for PXOs has been that with their lower cost and simplicity, the City would be able to install a lot more of them.
The most expensive PXOs cost around $20,000 to install, a small fraction of the approximately $150,000 cost of a pedestrian-activated traffic signal, which was previously the only kind of controlled crosswalk the City would install.
Another reason provided for the very slow rollout is that it allows motorists to become acclimatized to the new PXOs and gives police an opportunity to do public education. But that just doesn't make sense. It is easier to get used to something when it is common enough that people actually experience it.
How will as few as three crosswalks scattered across the city help motorists to get used to them? They would be so rare that most motorists would never encounter one!
The excuses keep changing, but the pattern of inaction continues year after year. It is past time for staff priorities to change to match what citizens are now demanding.
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