In the News: Hamilton pilot project aims for safety ‘tool kit’ for pedestrians, cyclists

Check out the coverage of Friendly Streets Hamilton by Natalie Paddon.
A joint initiative from Cycle Hamilton and Environment Hamilton is looking at ways to improve the walkability and bikeability of city streets.

people_walking_06Residents deserve to feel safe walking and cycling in their own neighbourhoods.

“These are our streets,” said Cycle Hamilton project manager Benita van Miltenburg. “We all pay for them. We all contribute to them. We all make use of them.”

A joint initiative from Environment Hamilton and Cycle Hamilton is looking at ways to improve opportunities for people to use their streets — whether by foot, bike, or transit.

“They need to be designed in a way that suits everybody’s needs, not just people travelling through communities,” van Miltenburg said.

The year-long pilot project, called Friendly Streets Hamilton, will hear from residents in the Keith, Beasley, Gibson, Landsdale and North End neighbourhoods about how to make their communities more walkable and bikeable. Perhaps it’s an additional crosswalk. Maybe it’s a park bench on the sidewalk or a public art piece.

“The goal really is beginning the conversation,” said Environment Hamilton project manager Beatrice Ekoko.

As part of the initiative, they will be taking to the streets — doing walkabouts and holding pop-up events — and connecting with residents on social media.

In particular, Ekoko said they’re interested in hearing from those who might not always be part of the conversation — whether because they don’t feel safe sharing their ideas or because they’re unfamiliar with the channels at City Hall.

“I think in many cases, there’s a bit of a divide when the experts are talking and even many people might not feel … that their opinion or their ideas matter,” she said. “You have a right to live in a great place. You have a right to contribute to the discussion.”

Read more here.



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