Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gloves off on Hatt?

Collision reignites calls for Hatt improvements
Recommended traffic calming study has not yet started

Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News Staff
Published on Jun 24, 2010

Calls for a Hatt Street traffic calming study recommended in the Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan are being renewed after a 12-year-old boy was seriously injured in a collision last week.

But it's not clear when work will begin on calming Hatt Street traffic and making the Dundas route safer for pedestrians and cyclists, as local residents have been demanding for more than three years.

Hamilton police say the driver of a Ford F-150 pick-up truck that struck the boy on Hatt near John Street on June 17 will likely not be charged.

“It appears the child ran into the road,” Detective Hendrik Vandercraats of the collision reconstruction unit said.

The boy’s condition was downgraded from critical to serious, according to Vandercraats.

Police reported last week the truck was heading eastbound on Hatt and had just passed John when the boy ran from the south sidewalk into the side of the vehicle.

The injuries were originally described as “life-threatening”.

“He’s not critical anymore,” Vandercraats said Monday. “He still has serious head injuries.”

The final report of the Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan, dated November 2009, recommends a traffic calming study on a 750- metre stretch of Hatt Street, between Market and Ogilvie, “to reduce vehicle speeds and provide additional pedestrian crossing spaces (if warranted)."

But the recommended study, which would include the area around the Hatt and John intersection, has apparently not started.

Randy Kay, of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group Transportation for Livable Communities, encourages walking and cycling and traffic calming. He said some sort of traffic control at a mid-point along this uncontrolled stretch of Hatt Street would fit with TLC's goals.

"Without knowing all the details of this (accident), it's safe to say that traffic calming on Hatt is way overdue," Kay said. "That there are still no bike lanes on the street -itself a low cost traffic calming measure -speaks to an inertia to complete even fairly simple projects. It should be a no-brainer."

He said a growing retirement community along Hatt Street, and the presence of children in family townhouses and homes, both support a growing demand for safe and comfortable walking and cycling routes along Hatt.

Although Hatt Street pedestrian issues were a big concern among residents who participated in the Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan, safety improvements and traffic calming measures were not addressed.

No suggestions included

Residents suggested a pedestrian crossing at Hatt and Sydenham, bike lanes along Hatt, measures to address speeding and street racing on Hatt, a stoplight on Hatt between Ogilvie and Market, a pedestrian island in the middle of Hatt and a four-way stop at Hatt and John.

None of the suggestions were included in the final transportation master plan.

Several residents have continued to express concerns about traffic calming and pedestrian improvements along Hatt Street since the master plan was completed.

Kay, and TLC, have contributed suggestions on many aspects and intersections reviewed in the master plan process -including Governor's Road and Ogilvie Street. But he points to Hatt as the most significant area.

"I think of all the traffic projects in Dundas, the Hatt Street study should be a top priority, and should have been a top priority when the study was first published," Kay said. "Why it is not moving forward, I would only have to guess. It’s certainly not for lack of trying on TLC’s part."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

uncontrolled problem on Hatt Street

TLC has noted the lack of controlled crossings on this long stretch of Hatt Street in our comments to the Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan:

[T]he DDTMP dismissed resident calls for improved pedestrian crossing along the Hatt St section between Ogilvie St and Market St. This ~1500 m stretch of six city blocks currently provides no protected pedestrian crossings. The DDTMP notes that the stretch does not “warrant” a protected pedestrian crossing, but we find this conclusion misleading.

First, the DDTMP is supposed to provide for increased pedestrian traffic into the downtown core rather than observe current traffic and then conclude that it does not warrant safe pedestrian crossing. Second, a perceptive look at the character of the Hatt St area, including the 600 new housing units at the newly developed Creekside area and the newly developed commercial area just west of the new development, would indicate that there is a substantial opportunity for diverting automobile trips by creating opportunities to support an increase in pedestrian traffic in this area.

There may be better responses than a four way stop sign, it would be nice to have an insight into the traffic study the councilor alludes to in the article. Making Hatt Street more than a mini-arterial for moving motor vehicles is a priority long delayed.
Dundas rallies after boy hit by pickup truck

, The Hamilton Spectator

DUNDAS (Jun 19, 2010)

An 11-year-old boy is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after being struck by a pickup truck Thursday afternoon.

The Dundas community is rallying since the accident on Hatt Street, arguing that something needs to change on the busy street with few controlled intersections.

Police said the pickup was travelling east on Hatt Street just past John Street when the boy ran from the sidewalk into its side around 1:30 p.m. He was taken to hospital where he remains in critical but stable condition.

Kenna Martin lives on Hatt Street and was home at the time of the crash. She heard it, but figured it was just a fender-bender, which she claims have become an almost monthly occurrence on the street.

A few minutes later she walked outside and realized it was worse.

Neighbours said the boy was there visiting a nearby facility.

"It was the worst thing I've ever seen," Martin said.

She said the many collisions that have occurred on the street in the two years she has lived there should have been a warning that something like this was possible.

There are no stop signs or traffic lights for a long stretch along Hatt Street. There is a stop sign on John Street but not Hatt Street.

So she has created a petition calling for a four-way stop at the spot.
Neighbour Pauline Hall, who has lived on the street since 1968, said she has been pressing the city for years to do something about the street and that intersection. But nothing has happened.

The J.L. Grightmire Market Street Arena, the Dundas Lions Club pool and the Dundas Little Theatre all exit there, she said. It's a truck route and emergency vehicle route.

Area Councillor Russ Powers said Hatt Street is a target in a recent downtown Dundas transition strategy.

"Hatt Street has been identified as an area of concern," he said. A traffic study is under way. It will look at various solutions and should be complete in the fall, Powers said.

Community children have volunteered to collect signatures and most Dundas businesses, including Martin's Kids Gear at 134 King Street West, will have copies of the petition to sign.

Witnesses are asked to contact Detective Constable Hendrik Vandercraats of the collision reconstruction unit at 905-546-4753.

Friday, June 11, 2010

tragedy in slow motion

This person was exactly they type of citizen the city is failing - he commutes by bicycle to work, yet is riding through a gauntlet of fast food drive-throughs, beside 18-wheelers, with no bike lanes. He was living the Vision 2020, the Transportation Master Plan, but such plans are empty words on paper when the ideas are not put into action: how many decades will we wait for the cycling network? Will we even have a network as councillors cancel planned bike routes?

Cyclist killed going home from work
Police continue to investigate crash that occurred at Tim Hortons laneway

JARVIS (Jun 10, 2010) A young cyclist killed in a Hamilton crash is being remembered by his parents as someone who was dependable, reliable and who enjoyed cycling, motorcycles, laughing, ketchup sandwiches and "all kinds of sports."
Blane Morden, 21, was riding on Upper James Street on Tuesday when he was struck by an SUV driven by a 49-year-old Hamilton man. The Mohawk College student, due to graduate Monday from an architecture course, died in Hamilton General Hospital after suffering severe cuts to his neck.
"He had a great sense of humour," Blane's mother, Reverend Kathy Morden, 52, said last night. "He had an easy smile and was comfortable in his own skin."
His passion for cycling was demonstrated when he rode to Manitoba in 2008, with his father, Terrence, following in a van, and last year when he rode to the East Coast with two friends.
In two weeks, he was set to start a summer job as the mountain bike instructor at the Muskoka Woods Sports Camp near Parry Sound.
Hamilton police are continuing to investigate the crash. It occurred at a laneway into the Tim Hortons at Upper James Street and Stone Church Road.
Morden was riding on the sidewalk and witnesses said his head hit the side window of the SUV and shattered the glass. He was riding to his downtown Hamilton home after finishing a shift at his job as a baggage handler at Hamilton airport.
Morden was born in Mount Forest when his parents worked there as nurses.
He came to Hamilton in 1995 and attended Holbrook Public School, Chedoke Middle School and Westmount Secondary School.
His mother, who obtained her theology degree in 2000, was posted to Knox Presbyterian Church in Jarvis and Chalmers Presbyterian Church in Walpole Township in 2003. Morden finished his schooling at Hagersville Secondary School before going to Mohawk. While in Hamilton, he attended Chedoke Presbyterian Church where he played volleyball.
"He loved all kinds of sports," said Terrence Morden, 51, who works at a Hamilton nursing home.
"Hockey, volleyball, soccer, football, ultimate Frisbee. ... Any kind of sport he could sign up for, he did it."
Morden is survived by his parents, sister Kara-dee, 24, and brother Benjamin, 23.
Visitation is tomorrow from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Cooper Funeral Home, 19 Talbot St. W. (Highway 3) in Jarvis.
The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Knox Presbyterian Church, 2058 Main St. N. (Highway 6). Reverend Morden will contribute writings, but the service will be conducted by Reverend Cathy Kay from Port Dover.

too little for too long

Posted by Picasa
CATCH News – June 11, 2010
Cycling interest and spending
The city’s first car-free cycling and pedestrian street fair brought on Sunday was a success despite iffy weather and little media attention. Coincidentally, a report released this week calculates that city spending on expanding cycling has been only a tiny fraction of the roads allocation over the last decade.
Sunday’s Open Streets event won praise from Mayor Eisenberger who opened Monday’s meeting of committee of the whole by telling councillors that it was “really a spectacular effort in giving people the opportunity to enjoy the street.” Bob Bratina followed up at Wednesday’s council meeting on a “delightful afternoon” where “4500 people walked, biked and wandered down James Street North”.
The event repeats on Sunday September 26 when cars will again be barred from James North between Cannon Street and Burlington Street.
The cycling infrastructure report, asked for a year ago by councillors, says $7.1 million was spent from 2001 to 2008. Multi-use trails, such as those reconstructed in Red Hill Valley post-expressway, accounted for the majority of the spending at $4.4 million. Fifty percent of monies uses for this work is allocated to cycling in the report.
Special bike lane projects, such as those on York Boulevard and Sterling Street, added $1.7 million to the spending, while $1 million was the estimated allocation as part of road reconstruction work “based on the proportion of the surface area of each project that was dedicated for bike lanes” on those roads.
“The $890,000 average annual expenditure provides a comparison to what is recommended in Shifting Gears 2009 which suggests cycling investment of $2.5 million annually to complete the full network in 20 years, or $1.25 million each year, if system development is focused only urban infrastructure,” explains the report.
The totals don’t include 2009 outlays, or projects now underway including the multi-use bridges over the QEW and the Lincoln Alexander Parkway that are being funded by the provincial government. Bus bike racks and secure bike parking financed by Metrolinx are also excluded.
The city’s capital budget for 2010 is $275 million, with roads accounting for a little over $75 million, of which about half is being funded by development charges or other non-tax sources.
For cycling, the city allocated spending of $1.3 million this year to complete eight bike lane projects. But the projected expenditures over the rest of the decade average just $950,000 a year for new cycling infrastructure.

CATCH (Citizens at City Hall) updates use transcripts and/or public documents to highlight information about Hamilton civic affairs that is not generally available in the mass media. Detailed reports of City Hall meetings can be reviewed at You can receive all CATCH free updates by sending an email to

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

trucks off

A step in the right direction, yet the downtown is still subject to highway mentality as a truck route...

Council OKs truck route overhaul - BreakingNews - Council OKs truck route overhaul

After three years of debate, Hamilton has approved its truck route overhaul.

The new plan, which will govern the way trucks move through the city, was finalized at tonight’s council meeting. It’s the first time the city has done a complete overhaul of the routes.

The public works committee voted last week to ban trucks from four largely residential areas of the city -- parts of Kenilworth Avenue, Upper Ottawa Street, Concession Street, and Dundurn Street North -- for an 18-month trial period.

At tonight’s meeting, council added Centennial Parkway to that list. Committee held off on a decision on that route last week to allow Stoney Creek Councillor Brad Clark to speak to the issue.

The truck route plan has drawn fire both from community groups and from the trucking industry. Residents cite environmental, health, safety, and traffic concerns about trucks cutting through their neighbourhoods.

However, the Ontario Trucking Association and Hamilton’s Chamber of Commerce have both criticized the city for what they call a “last-minute” removal of the residential areas from the approved routes.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

First Bicycle Casualty of ward politics

"Queensdale Avenue - between Upper Wellington Street & Upper Ottawa Street.  This project is not proceeding."

As TLC feared, a comprehensive cycling network is subject to parochialism, and any gains from good planning are in jeopardy.

This kind of political interference does not support provincial planning objectives around transportation. What good is a city-wide cycling plan if it can be broken by bad arguements from nervous or misinformed councillors. 

Is there a role for the province here?

Read the exclusive interview with Councillor Jackson about this at Raise the Hammer

Friday, June 04, 2010

GHG no brainer

How about a continuous system of bike lanes and paths? Affordable transit. Pedestrian friendly streets. Just for starters? Unfortunately, these obvious answers are not a given in Hamilton. Mind you, some projects are advancing the liveability factor, like the two-way conversion of York Blvd, for a recent example.

To access the Discussion Paper please go to

Sparking Sustained Community Action:
Greenhouse Gas Emission Discussion Paper More Than a Lot of Hot Air
HAMILTON, ON – June 2, 2010 – Hamilton is committed to taking action on climate change. The City recently released “Taking Stock: Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Hamilton” to inform and engage citizens about climate change in the City. Now that the information and facts have been complied the City is looking for community involvement and partnerships and is seeking input from citizens and business on taking action.
“Hamilton is proud to be a municipal leader taking action related to reducing the impact of climate change,” stated Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “We understand the pressing need to address the impact of greenhouse gases by working with our community partners. We also know that government and big business cannot do it alone and therefore, we are encouraging the ordinary citizens in our community to take action on climate change everyday.”
The City of Hamilton is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions levels by 10% by 2012, and 20% by 2020 through its Corporate Air Quality and Climate Change Plan. Hamilton has been recognized as a leader in the use of advanced fleet technology that reduces fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. It has the second-largest fleet of hybrid and other clean and efficient vehicles in Ontario and actively promotes new fleet technology. The City has also reduced energy consumption in its buildings through the Corporate Energy Policy. Blue Box recycling and Green Cart programs also reduce greenhouse gases such as methane in the community by diverting waste from landfills.
“There is an increasing number of cities and regions from around the world that are developing their own action plans to deal with climate change,” states Brian Montgomery, Air Quality and Climate Change Co-ordinator, Sustainability Section, City of Hamilton. “We are educating our community on local climate change emissions and want to partner with the Hamilton community to tackle our emissions together. As a community we need to take stock and go further to reduce our emissions. The intent of the discussion paper is to trigger discussion, insights and involvement from citizens to take action and address climate change as a community.”  
In 2009, the City undertook an Air Pollutants and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory to keep track of how much pollution is being released by the City. Community emissions were 12,758,652 tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2006, and these emissions rose to 13,131,097 tonnes by 2008, an increase of 2.9%. By 2020, if there are no programs put in place to enhance greenhouse gas emission reductions, the community's forecasted emissions will rise to 17,349,621 tonnes. This forecast is 36% above the emission levels calculated for 2006 and 56% above target of 20% reductions of 2006 levels by 2020. For more information and to access the Discussion Paper please go to

Media Contacts:
City of Hamilton
Brian Montgomery, Air & Climate Change Co-ordinator
City Of Hamilton
Planning & Economic Development
Phone:  905-546-2424 Ext. 1275            City of Hamilton
Debbie Spence,
City Of Hamilton
Planning & Economic Development
Phone:  905-546-2424 Ext.5541 

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

trucks off

Nice short video by some Dundurnians, part of the campaign to have Dundurn North taken back off the Truck Route (it was originally out, but the Chamber of Commerce and the Truck Lobby got it back in).

Well hup and hurray, they were successful, so Dundurn and some other residential streets  are going to be truck free for an 18-month trial!

Congrats to the Strathcona Neighbourhood Council for their work organizing this campaign!