Friendly Streets is interested in safe cycling routes to the General Hospital. A few weeks ago (August 2nd), a small group of us conducted a tour of the Hospital Zone, to explore this interest and to audit the site for way-finding signage geared towards cyclists to enhance cycling safety. The group included senior administration staff at the Hospital, city staffer, Daryl Bender, Project Manager, Alternative Transportation with Planning and Economic Development at the City of Hamilton and a public health nurse.
The connection between Ferguson and Copeland has been pointed out as a safe route for employees to access the hospital and the secure bike parking facility. This route could also mirror the Victoria Ave. bike lanes (on the opposite side of the hospital) in that there are two safe routes to the hospital from either side.
We started off at Ferguson at Barton. Ferguson is an assigned bike route, nice and quiet but in need of some paint to delineate where the bike path actually is.
In the photo below, note the pathway that could work as a bike-path through the parking lot, so we wondered if it were possible to upgrade it to make it a mini shared path at this point, for both pedestrians and cyclists. Possible challenges: Drivers are not expecting to see cyclists in a parking lot. The argument against this is that cars are driving slowly anyway.
We went through the Ron Joyce centre, crossing at Wellington.
Observations: arm of car barrier is too long for a bike to go through (below).
Cyclists are dismounting and crossing at Copeland.
We noted that there needs to be a consistency in signs, and the way they look.
The City will be making signs for the Hospital Zone.
Also, we wondered if since the city owns the pedestrian path through here, if perhaps it could be a cycle path? We would need to see if pedestrians aren’t actually using it.
More thoughts: We had the idea to revisit all bike locations on campus, to see if they actually make sense and are serving their purpose. Meanwhile, there is this neat secure bike parking opportunity for employees of the General.
We also liked a back passage way to access this bike cage. This location will need a mirror for oncoming cycling and pedestrian foot traffic!
There seem to be many quick wins that could enhance safe routes in the area while Victoria Ave. design is put together and constructed in a few years. Let’s see where this takes us!