We were invited to give a 7-minute presentation of the Friendly Streets Hamilton project at the Hamilton Burlington Bay Area Transportation Forum (March 31st)! Our presentation covered the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, HOW, WHY of the project.
- Exploring/testing ways of innovatively involving community stakeholders and residents of all backgrounds, abilities and age groups in assessing current challenges and barriers to walking/cycling, as well as re-imagining neighbourhood streets as places that are delightful for walking and biking.
- Empowering residents and neighbourhood associations to engage in, and contribute to, the conversation around safe and vibrant streets
- Exploring ways of harmonizing walking and cycling efforts.
WHERE (Target area): Our study area starts from the General Hospital on Barton Street and radiates outwards. It focuses on the Keith, Beasley and Gibson/Landsdale, North End neighbourhoods.
WHY we are doing it. PRIORITIES
Brent Toderian, Former Vancouver Chief City Planner said it best: If “balanced transportation” is truly your city’s goal, you must prioritize the active modes that have been de-prioritized for many decades. The problem with “balancing transportation” – if you’ve been building for cars for decades, other modes can’t catch up without prioritizing.
As such, our project directly aligns with the stated goals of the TMP. Individuals of all ages, abilities and backgrounds should have the right to safe mobility, and to contribute/participate in the discussion/decision making to this end. Walking and cycling should be a delightful, enjoyable experience. ** We ALL benefit from safe and vibrant streets.**HOW
- Asking the question to residents (especially young people, seniors, women), businesses, community stakeholders etc : What makes a vibrant street?
- Interactive design charettes
- Street level assessments
- Walking and Biking Tours
- Social media campaign
- Story telling and mapping
- Public art
Deep community involvement. If we want streets to be safe and vibrant and enjoyable for women, seniors and children in particular, their voices need to be included in the conversation.
WHAT we want to get out of it
Quick wins such as: Possible simple changes to streetscape, pedestrian crossing, installation of community art projects, community gardens, new benches etc.
Long term goals such as: Infrastructure development plan that aligns with the TMP, but more directly incorporates the desires of the community.
Other potential outcomes:
- A strong network of community members in support of streets for people
Action toolkit which is replicable
Possible creation of a storymap – which highlights components of the neighbourhood that residents feel are undervalued or could be highlighted.
Infrastructure Map: what’s there, what could be (desire map).
Possibility of exploring an alternative cycling route and doing a pilot project in one area of the neighbourhood to assess feasibilty (we’ll elaborate in the next slide)
Bringing cyclists and pedestrians together – we were asked to elaborate on how this could be done, but the truth is this is part of the purpose of this pilot study. We don’t yet know the best way to align these two road users, and we’re hoping over the course of this year we’ll get a better understanding of how to do that.
Possibility of a secondary cycle route that runs through alleyways.
We learned a lot. There was some great examples of how to create healthier communities by reducing driving and making it easier and more convenient for people to walk and cycle. We were really impressed by a presentation from Alan Griffiths, Manager at the Sustainability Office, Mohawk College about the innovative way they handled parking demand at the college, when they ran out of parking space. Instead of building more parking, they changed their thinking and decided to increase active transportation and the use of transit. Check out the slideshow here