Happy New Year! While the pilot project has finished, we are still completing the Friendly Streets Toolkit–an action toolkit that enables residents to replicate our work in other neighbourhoods across the city. The toolkit is a living document with the most effective ways to empower and engage residents through dialogue, collaboration, and action. The toolkit is local to Hamilton, with answers to Frequently Asked Questions and everything that we’ve learned about the city’s transportation and planning policies. There are 15 modules containing engagement tools, resources, templates, fact sheets, and advice for residents, businesses, and other community stakeholders. The toolkit will be available online at the Environment Hamilton and Cycle Hamilton websites.
In December, we held the first annual Friendly Streets Summit where we gave a summary presentation about the project, a sneak peek of our Friendly Streets Toolkit, and then heard from residents who have been very involved in the project.
Friendly Streets set out to do the following:
- Better understand community needs and challenges related to mobility
- Explore and identify the best engagement tools to enable community members, collaborators, and organizational stakeholders to share concerns and explore solutions together
- Create a strong foundation for long-term partnerships with a broad network of stakeholders and residents of all backgrounds, abilities, and age groups
- Determine how best to harmonize cycling and walking efforts
- Develop a toolkit to share the most effective tools to engage and empower people
- Reframe the narrative as “safe, vibrant streets” to bring people together who walk and bike
We are excited to announce that we have established a working group with the Hamilton General Hospital (HGH) executive and other community stakeholders like Barton Village BIA, Beautiful Alleys, and Smart Commute, to improve the “patient journey” to the hospital. Efforts will be focused on mobility, safety, and beautification. We will also continue working to find ways to improve employee commutes so that there are more options to take sustainable ways to get to work.
As well, we’re working with the Beasley Neighbourhood Association to improve walking and biking conditions, especially traffic calming along Wilson Street.
We are currently searching for new sources of funding to continue Friendly Streets in 2018. We are hoping to introduce Friendly Streets Cafes, neighbourhood-level working groups, so that residents can work to address specific areas of concern. Neighbourhoods can then help one another with best practices and approaches.