Friendly Streets Toolkit is here!

Friendly Streets Hamilton Toolkit
For Immediate Release
February 27th, 2018
Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 11.40.11 AM

A project of Environment Hamilton and Cycle HamiltonFriendly Streets Hamilton has been working in the neighbourhoods of Beasley, Gibson & Landsdale (GALA), and Keith to engage residents, businesses, and community institutions in dialogue and action to create better  conditions for walking and biking, particularly for vulnerable road users, as well as improve street vibrancy in these areas.

As part of this year-long pilot in 2017, a toolkit for community engagement has been developed which focuses  on creating better streets for those who walk, bike, or have other mobility concerns.

“The Friendly Streets toolkit really pulls together what we’ve been exploring all of last year, that is, the best methods of engagement to enable community members, collaborators, and organizational stakeholders in sharing their concerns and figuring out solutions together, as neighbours,” says Beatrice Ekoko, Project Manager.

“We are very excited about the potential of this toolkit because it provides practical tools for community members,” says Elise Desjardins, Project Manager. “There has been a lot of interest in the project and toolkit because Hamiltonians want and deserve streets that are safe and enjoyable to experience. A lot of people have been working to address small pieces of the larger picture, so we’ve worked hard to bring together diverse stakeholders in order to collaborate and achieve a common vision.”

Friendly Streets heard from over 200 community members: residents, neighbourhood associations, businesses, people who walk or bike to commute or for pleasure, community organizations, City of Hamilton staff, and major community institutions. Many tools that were tested to engage these groups were developed by the Friendly Streets team and other collaborators, but many were also existing tools that were adapted to better serve the context of active transportation in Hamilton.

The toolkit is divided into 14 modules and includes sections on understanding the City’s traffic calming and management policies, building support for your friendly streets ideas, case studies, an interactive “desire map,” tips for business owners, additional active transportation resources, and tips to start your own neighbourhood working group like a “Friendly Streets Cafe”.

It is a living document that will be frequently updated with additional tools, information pertaining to city services or plans, and resources.

Download the Friendly Streets Toolkit here.


Friendly Streets works towards:

  • Gaining a better understanding of community challenges and opportunities related to neighbourhood mobility in Hamilton’s downtown core
  • Identifying the best engagement tools to bring together community members and stakeholders to share concerns and explore solutions together
  • Creating a strong foundation for long-term partnerships with a broad network of stakeholders and residents of all backgrounds, abilities, and age groups
  • Developing a web-based toolkit to share the most effective tools to engage and empower people in the creation of more walkable, bikeable, and vibrant neighbourhoods through dialogue, collaboration, and action

The project was made possible by the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Funding to support the project into the next phase, as well as expand it beyond these neighbourhoods and into others across the city, is in the works. Visit the project blog for more information on the project.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Elise Desjardins, Project Manager (Cycle Hamilton)

905 549 0900

Beatrice Ekoko, Project Manager (Environment Hamilton)
905 549 0900


A Few Project Updates!

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.




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.

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.” Continue reading “Business Audit Along Barton @ Lottridge”

Friendly Streets Summit

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Hamilton Public Library
55 York Boulevard, Hamilton, Hamilton Room


Join us for the FRIENDLY STREETS SUMMIT to wrap up the pilot phase of the project and to celebrate the progress that was accomplished in 2017.

What to expect:
-Overview summary presentation of the pilot and next steps for the project
-Sneak peak of our Friendly Streets Toolkit
-Stories from community participants in the pilot neighbourhoods
-Networking opportunity for residents and stakeholders from across all sectors

This is a free event. Light refreshments will be served.

Contact 905-549-0900 or for more details.

Get tickets here.

Bay St. Bike Lanes are Open!

Friday, October 27 marks the official opening of the bike lanes on Bay St!  This route will connect Aberdeen Avenue to the Cannon St. cycle track and the Waterfront.  The bike lane is physically separated by rubber curbing and knock-down bollards between Hunter St. and Cannon St., which will increase the safety and enjoyableness of this route for all riders.  While physically separated, the bike lanes could see


Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport, Eleanor McMahon, shared about the provincial government’s commitment to investing in cycling infrastructure and supporting policies that will make it safer for people on bikes.  She highlighted that bike infrastructure is key to healthy, connected, and productive communities.

According to recent findings, millennials drive 40% less than other generations.  Making downtown cores as walkable and bikeable as possible will be crucial to attracting more people to live, and spend more time, in urban areas.


Mayor Fred Eisenberger, Ward 2 City Councillor Jason Farr, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon, and MPP Ted McMeekin cut the red ribbon before the group ride took off towards the Waterfront.



Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we saw this many riders each day in bike lanes across Hamilton?  What a vision.  We all need to work together to make that vision a reality.  It’s very exciting to see Hamilton invest in infrastructure that makes it safe for all road users to get around.

For a comprehensive block-by-block preview of the bike lanes, please read Ryan McGreal’s piece on Raise the Hammer.

Grand Opening: Bay Street Bike Lanes

It’s an exciting week for people on bikes in Hamilton!  The bike lanes on Bay Street will be officially opened this Friday.  Join the celebration on October 27 at City Hall.


Need a refresher on your bike and tips for safety?  Bike training will be offer on Thurs, Oct 26 at City Hall in preparation for the opening of Bay St. bike lanes.


Understanding Policy, Planning & Design: Improving the Walking and Cycling Experience: Workshop

Workshop Nov 1

How does municipal policy, planning, and design intersect with community aspirations? How can policy, planning, and design improve the walking and cycling experience in Hamilton?
Following a presentation by Neluka Leanage, Planner/Designer/Researcher from University of Waterloo, roundtable hands-on discussion will cover these topics:
1. Using design thinking, create experiential journey mapping at 4 different scales to identify modes of travel, routes, strengths, and weaknesses in and around the Beasley Neighbourhood / Hamilton General Hospital area.
2. Identify capacities and interventions. How might we build and implement friendly streets for everyone in that area?

Get free tickets here.

Neighbourhood Traffic Calming 101

A great event with lots of probing questions from participants! Thanks to David Ferguson, Superintendent of Traffic Engineering at the City of Hamilton for an overview of steps involved when investigating traffic-related requests, such as traffic calming measures. Turns out that the City would like to move away from the street by street, issue by issue approach to dealing with traffic calming requests, and instead invite neighbourhoods to form working groups that cover neighbourhoods–eh, Friendly Streets Cafes anyone? Because that’s what we are proposing. Dave says that the city is planning to work on the principles of Vision Zero (not sure why they don’t adopt this as policy).

With David Ferguson

Streets should be safe for all ages and abilities to walk and cycle. If you’ve ever wanted to request a traffic calming measure in your neighbourhood but are confused by the formal process for doing so, check this out:

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 4.13.45 PMMost traffic related information at the City is found under  There are links listed on the left hand side of the page e.g. pedestrian crossovers, etc. for the public to refer to. Continue reading “Neighbourhood Traffic Calming 101”