Friendly Streets is a collaborative initiative between the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association, Environment Hamilton, and the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion. The project is currently being centred on Black, Indigenous and Racialized Communities. This has stemmed from a recognition that streets can be experienced in unique ways by different communities for various reasons and that the aforementioned communities have historically had marginalized roles in the formal development of our city’s streets. Also that learning and sharing these perspectives can help shift the evolution of our streets towards greater respect for the lives of those impacted by them.
Background: Originating as a pilot with Cycle Hamilton in 2017, designed to engage community stakeholders in securing safer cycling and walking conditions in urban Hamilton the project targeted Hamilton’s downtown core, in the area surrounding the Hamilton General Hospital and straddling Wards 2 and 3.
In 2018, the project continued to support local leadership for friendly streets in our pilot neighbourhoods of Beasley and Gibson-Landsdale, as well as advanced efforts in the area around the Hamilton General Hospital, now called “The Hospital Zone.” The Hospital Zone is intended to provide safe and accessible travel routes for all community members. We have been exploring alternative pathways for walking and cycling to the hospital and Barton Village BIA. The goal here is to look at ways that we can use existing space in the city, like alleyways, for healthier active travel routes.
In 2018, thanks to a grant from Clean Air Hamilton, we integrated air quality data collection as a new component of the street audits that we’ve been doing in our project area. Community members learned about urban air quality challenges in the downtown core and measured PM2.5 along roads that are frequently used by people who walk and bike. We invited community members to explore and map active travel routes with better air quality.
In 2019 and early 2020, our continued work is made possible by the generous support of the Hamilton Community Foundation. We continue to create a stronger network of community partners who are working together to make our streets safer and more vibrant for people who walk and bike. We began working with a new community (Riverdale) starting in May 2019.
We plan to build upon the Friendly Streets Toolkit by including more resources and to use this tool to help neighbourhood-led working groups in addressing current challenges and barriers to active travel.
In addition to working with Hamilton General Hospital staff to create a “Hospital Zone” that provides safe and accessible travel routes for all community members, we also explore alternative pathways for walking and cycling to the hospital and Barton Village BIA. The goal of this “mini-pilot” is to look at ways that we can use existing space in the city, like alleyways, for healthier active travel routes.
Friendly Streets Neighbourhoods
Green are core project area neighbourhoods.
Blue are in partnership with the City of Hamilton, on Friendly Streets for Vision Zero Hamilton.