Business Audit Along Barton @ Lottridge

These are our notes from the Nov. 2nd “business” street audit.

On November 2nd, a group of about nine people started off at the corner of Lottridge and Barton. Can there be a worst corner for pedestrians in this “Stadium District?”

People in wheelchairs flip over while trying to cross over Lottridge, at this site. Bunny Ruggz says he saw this happen twice this year (his business is located right at this corner).
The group made some observations and proposed some solutions:
-It’s a truck route says Walter Furlan of Furlan Conservation. Trucks knock down the poles all the time.

IMG_2502
North/east corner of Lottridge and Barton: A heavy truck ran over a pole one day.

-Not enough time to cross over Barton at Lottridge at the signal crossing.-The side walk is ridiculously narrow.

-Big Bee curb cut 100ft long. Cars coming at you as you walk across.

–  Put bump outs at the corner.

-“We have organic planning here. We have a community. We don’t want rush hour routes.”Bump Outs

20171102_113718

About the bump outs: many wish that they could extend further than Barnesdale. They have been in for 4 years and they want them to be permanent part of the street. Walter says that there is support for the bump outs from Dave Ferguson (traffic management and operations) and Steve Robichaud (city planner). Recommendation in the Barton-Kenilworth Corridor Study (BKCS) supports a rational and safe pedestrian environment Pg 17, this includes permanent bump-outs and other street safety initiatives.

Concerns: LRT Debate and road “rush hour” expansions will crush Barton renaissance. “We believe in the street.”
Solution: Go to 2 way on Main.

SoBi

20171102_111725There is a SoBi station on the south side of the road at the bump outs.

“They wanted to put it into MacDonalds, or at the Timmies. We said no, it’s symbolic to put the station on the road, perhaps people will start to shift perceived unsafety.

We wanted it on Barton. It had to do with the legitimacy of the street,” Walter says.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predatory Landowners.
Illegal renting, putting vulnerable people in storefronts. But we need active storefronts. We need the bylaw in there. BKCS recommendations #7 pg 28 Develop relocation plans for residents who are displaced as a result of redevelopment and/or the termination of illegal storefront residential conversions. Need this first, then bring in fire inspection and bylaw in site specific cases as advised by local community.

A special needs support agency, (since 2012) has its concerns. This is a wonderful example of an adaptive reuse of a building. It is said to be the anchor of the street. There is a waiting list, people come from across the entire city.
Executive director, Jacinta Ribeiro says that she gets about 70 people in and out the doors daily. “In the morning and at around 3pm, it gets extra busy. When it was before bump-outs, people got tickets when they come to pick up their special needs loved ones. Now we are bigger. We need the bump outs. It is very dangerous. Winter time, it is worse.”
As we stood talking, we noticed many people with disabilities going by. A visually impaired man with a cane makes his way tentatively along the very uneven sidewalk, avoiding lamp posts and other obstacles that have been placed without consideration for people with impaired vision.
Very narrow sidewalks, we make room on the very narrow sidewalks for a couple of people in wheelchairs, and for a mother with her two young kids.

One store has had its window smashed by stones. A bus had been travelling in the inside lane in front of his shop where a stone had been deflected by the bus tire into his glass storefront breaking it. No reports of this happening since bump outs were installed.

-Elise had an idea for an intervention: Slow down zone signs all along Barton to send a message that the street needs to be calmed.
-Barton Kenilworth Study to deal with the people at grade level.
-Go area by area, using the tools that we have.

-Elise had an idea for an intervention: Slow down zone signs all along Barton to send a message that the street needs to be calmed.
-Barton Kenilworth Study to deal with the people at grade level.
-Go area by area, using the tools that we have.

Barton at Barnesdale
Observations/Suggestions
-It would be good to see a pedestrian crossover, even a zebra crossing, there are older people and a blind man.
-Noticed that when people in a wheel chair are trying to cross onto the North side of the road, they have to get into the street to get off the sidewalk
-Staropolskie is the jewel of the neighbourhood. There are only 2 parking spots. People park at the church– so that the public realm is relying on the private to take care of their needs. This is wrong. There should be at least 2 spots on the street with 15 minutes of free parking. This was suggested to the parking and traffic people at the city as part of the bumpout package 4 years ago and rejected immediately.
Note: Very interesting that Barton St has so many churches. Alain says, “you can document the migration of people represented by the churches,” such as Polish, Portuguese, Italian.

Solutions/suggestions

Look to guidance from local community leaders
Implementing some of the recommendations of the BKCS, paid for by the taxes of the people of Hamilton, $150000
Look to some of the recommendations in the study of Kensigton market Management Plan Carried out by Willowbank School.
Engage the current study of Barton Street currently being undertaken by Willowbank School.
We need to square off the curb cuts.

Lottridge Alley (runs parallel to Barton St).

Depave project–Local resident, Keri wants to see if Green Venture would be interested in doing a rain garden or a permeable surface in the new Wing-Emporium parking lot.
“When the Burlington Skyway was closed, the traffic was insane. Drivers were speeding down our alley.
Next to the Furlon Conservation backyard, there is a paved over surface, where there used to be trees and plants. Now it sits there ugly and forlorn. Absentee landlords are everywhere. This was a permeable surface with 2 utility buildings. All this has been removed and paved over. Now during rain storms water runs off at a great pace.
“Think of Walmart. We don’t care about it. These are places worth caring about,” Walter says.”
-Truck drivers are using our side streets, and respond “there’s no sign saying I can’t use it.”
-McDonald is the magnet. At lunch time hour, they come flying through the alleyway. We need speed bumps in the alley.
-Need police patrol. BKCS 8.6 pg 82 recommends foot patrol by officers, more engagement in the neighbourhood.
-Hamilton Regional Indian Centre worked with Kerry to make the mural at the side of her house.
About the neighbourhood
“It is a vibrant area,” says Liz Duval, resident. “If we could compress the stores on Barton it would be obvious. As is, the energy is diluted.”

20171102_120843
Mural along Lottridge Alley.

Next to the Furlon Conservation backyard, there is a paved over surface, where there used to be trees and plants. Now it sits there ugly and forlorn. Absentee landlords are everywhere.

“Think of Walmart. We don’t care about it. These are places worth caring about,” Walter says.”
-Truck drivers are using our side streets, and respond “there’s no sign saying I can’t use it.”
-McDonald is the magnet. At lunch time hour, they come flying through the alleyway. We need speed bumps in the alley.

-Need police patrol.
Hamilton Regional Indian Centre worked with Kerry to make the mural at the side of her house.

20171102_121149
Mural along Lottridge Alley

Gentrification

Repeatedly, we heard that the Stadium has “done nothing” for the neighbourhood.
“There’s eco-tourism,” says Liz, “but they won’t engage in the streets, but to say “I went down Barton Street,” and survived… “Parents gather in their children fearfully, when you say hello!”

How do we fix Barton? Liz asks. “We left the garage In a disrepaired organic state, yet functional, because is there anything wrong with that? No. I don’t want to overlay my middle class values.”
Liz describes Case St, around the corner, as full of vibrant people: “there is strength in the neighbourhood. We nurture a blurring of the public and private realm.”

Walter says that his rent went double (no control on commercial).Please omit this, we own our building.
-Cost prohibitive–with city rules
-What happens to the people? Is the BIA an advocate for them? Please refer to note on “Predatory Landlords”

-Need incentive to get young people here.

Concluding thoughts:
-Delegate at Council Jacinta Ribeiro ED of Echo program, LUSO Canadian Charitable Society to delegate about the need for safety at her special needs establishment.

-Alain Bureau to delegate and also Walter Furlon.

-Request at Neighbourhood Traffic Management Plan. Recommendation BKCS Pg 85-4

 

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