2 Audits around the General Hospital

In the last couple weeks, we have conducted two street audits around the General Hospital on Barton St. E.

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Mary Sinclair. Barton at Victoria

Both audits (May 31st and June 5th) took us north on Victoria, walking on the west side of the road to Birge St; walked on the south side of Birge St over to Wellington St; walked north on Wellington St about 30m on east side of street; then headed south on Wellington St to Barton St; travelled west on Barton St walking on the north side to Ferguson Ave N; walked north on Ferguson Ave N on the east side of the street to the parking lot of Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre and cut through the parking lot back to Wellington St; crossed at Copeland to the east side of the street walked on Wellington St heading south back to Barton and Barton back to the start outside the hospital. Note: Our June 5th walkabout was attended by Mary Sinclair, a member of City of Hamilton’s Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities. Mary had many insights that we would not normally notice, since, we unlike she, do not get around in a wheel chair.

Observations include the following:

Crosswalks

Barton at Victoria feels very frantic and busy. It needs traffic calming. Is a crossing that allows pedestrians to cross before traffic moves warranted at Barton and Victoria?

Zebra crossings at Barton and Victoria might help (andBarton and Wellington too!).

The bus stop at Barton and Victoria is located further away from the crossing–that is, it is inconvenient for people getting off the bus to have to cross two roads before they reach the hospital.
Many people cross Victoria St. between Barton St. and the entrance to the Victoria parking garage. People are crossing from the Victoria Medical building on Victoria, to the General Hospital, that is, they tend to cross Victoria St. between the lights at Barton and Copeland Ave. This intersection would benefit from a pedestrian calming zone – perhaps a speed bump and a huge striped painted section on the road, or a pedestrian activated cross walk with the overhead X’s.

There are NO traffic lights beyond Barton at Victoria all the way to Burlington St. This is a problem. For Mary, in a wheelchair, to cross over from the hospital on Victoria, she must turn her head to see if the light is red, and then dash across the street to get to 414 Victoria Medical centre.

Victoria and Birge on west side of street – hard to tell where to cross the road as a pedestrian. Wondering if a crosswalk is required on Victoria St N between Barton and Birge to allow people to cross the road (there is a parking lot people park in and then go to the hospital).

Is a crosswalk needed on Wellington St between Copeland and Simcoe St (Jackie Washington Rotary Park is on the west side of Wellington and no signalized crossing for a very long stretch)?

Why isn’t the light at Wellington and Copeland pedestrian activated?Safety

One way traffic on Victoria is not a good thing. Pedestrians have 2 lanes of traffic to contend with. Witnessed pedestrians crossing and cars trying to make that left turn onto Barton from Victoria – looks like a crash waiting to happen. Also, cars making right hand turns on to Barton.

The two outside lanes along Victoria N tend to be filled by drivers who are looking for, and turning into parking, while the middle lane seemed to be used by cars and trucks that want to race down Victoria St. to Burlington St. as fast as they can. Not fun for cyclists.

Enjoyableness

We spent some time talking about the smoking that goes on on hospital grounds and how such activities detract from a nice environment to walk through.

We have more room for trees on both sides of Birge St. There is room for a couple trees on Wellington St. North, on the SE corner at Birge St.

Biking

SoBi hub on west side of Victoria at Barton.

Bike lanes on Victoria; not protected (wondering about counts along this route; have put inquiry in).

Discussed possibility of linking Ferguson Ave N with option to cut through parking lot at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre to Wellington St N and Copeland. It would be beneficial to map out a bike route through the Ron Joyce parking lot, so that cyclists can get from Ferguson St. to the HGH bike shelter without having to dodge the parking gates.
Option for cyclists to take West Ave N  to the hospital, which is a quiet street over to bike lanes on Cannon.
Secure bike parking at HGH in parking garage?
Link to Building the bike network https://www.hamilton.ca/streets-transportation/biking-cyclists/building-bike-network

People on bikes trying to get over to the hospital on Victoria, have to contend with two lanes of traffic and parked cars, with the middle lane of traffic speeding down the centre to reach Burlington St. Not fun! Not to mention the unwanted trucks on this road.

Sidewalks

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Urban Braille: heading into danger.

Mary notes that when it comes to the urban braille on the pavement, it is not consistent and sometimes, it can lead you no where, as in the example of the train tracks crossing and the one at Birge and Wellington. She says that warning strips impinge on urban braille at times.

Birge at Victoria is a major concern with trucks turning left on this one way street. It needs lights at this busy intersection and a pedestrian crossing? Winter time with the snow is a major issue around this area.

Wellington at Birge: Directional lines tell you to go North to to who knows where.

Copeland and Wellington Truck delivery unorganized and dangerous. Poor planning. Noticed that there was tactial opportunity but then the directional lines to go north get lost. Could Copeland be helpful to cycling?

Barton (from Wellington): Shoreline along Barton St General hospital useful for blind people. Depave the interlocking bricks as they are a hazard for blind people and those in a wheel chair.

Other

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Evacuation site is not well maintained!

Again, with the trucks, there was supposed to be a perimeter Route (Vision 2020). Why are they going through the city? Not necessary! Birge St should not allow trucks! Apparently, this is an evacuation area but it is not maintained. Could have nice benches and pollinator gardens along this.

 

 

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