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Friendly Streets 4 Vision Zero Hamilton: Butler walking audit

Pre Covid-19, the Friendly Streets for Vision Zero Hamilton initiative performed a walking audit of the Butler Neighbourhood. A small group, we were accompanied by ward Councillor Pauls, and two staff from traffic operations. Here are some of our observations from that day.

We started off, at the Tim Hortons on Upper Wentworth and Rymal road. We noticed an absence of a sidewalk at the entrance to the plaza at Rymal (see photo above). One resident pointed out that there is a need for enforcement to stop trucks parking along Rymal road by Tim Hortons. Many trucks idle at this location; as well, concerns were expressed about how dangerous it is, as they pull in and out of Tim Hortons. As well, there was mention about the bus stop on north side of road by Tim Hortons. Drivers tend to go around the stopped buses, and cars pulling out can collide in front of bus. This is a concern at other stops too.

Assessing your neighbourhood streets: Invitation

The coronavirus has us all on lockdown, and here, at Friendly Streets Hamilton, we have had to cancel our planned group walking and cycling audits. Thankfully, we can still go out and do individual assessments of our neighbourhood streets. To this end, we offer you a downloadable audit you can take with you when you’re walking the dog, or strolling around with the kids. Please click link here. You can send your observations, suggestions and anectotal stories to our email friendlystreetshamilton@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!

Keith Neighbourhood

Survey

Not up to going outside? We have an online survey geared to our Friendly Streets neighbourhoods, but we invite all Hamilton residents to complete it, so us to help us better understand the challenges of getting around in your neighbour and how we can re-imagine our streets as safer, more enjoyable spaces for people. Click on the following link.

Friendly Streets’ Desire Map: Fun activity for all the family!

Finally, check out our online Desire Map where you can share your input directly, as to where to improve cycling and walking conditions in our Friendly Streets neighbourhoods, as well as suggestions for green spaces, street furniture, public art, and local amenities. Click on here and scroll down to add your suggestions, or add them directly here.

Friendly Streets and Friendly Streets for Vision Zero Hamilton: Neighbourhoods.

*Note: The map highlights the neighbourhoods Friendly Streets is currently working in, including the Friendly Streets for Vision Zero Hamilton neighbourhoods of Keith, Kirkendall N., and Butler, but residents outside of these areas are invited to participate as well.

Friendly Streets For Vision Zero Hamilton: Kirkendall North Neighbourhood Walking & Cycling Audits

Are you a resident of the Kirkendall North neighbourhood (area bordered by Main Street West, Queen Street South, Aberdeen Ave, and Highway 403)? The Friendly Streets for Vision Zero  Hamilton initiative invites you to join us on a walking audit and a cycling audit to explore how your neighbourhood streets can be improved for traffic safety and better liveability. Ward Councillor Wilson will join us on both audits.

Walking Audit: Friday, April 3rd at 6pm to 7.30 pm. Meet at HAAA Grounds. 250 Charlton Avenue West, Hamilton
Cycling Audit: Saturday, April 11th at 11 am to 12.30 pm. Meet at HAAA Grounds. 250 Charlton Avenue West, Hamilton. Routes to be determined.

Friendly Streets For Vision Zero Hamilton: Butler Neighbourhood Walking Audit

Are you a resident of the Butler neighbourhood (area bound by Stonechurch Rd. E, Upper Sherman Avenue, Rymal Rd E. and Upper Wentworth St)? The Friendly Streets for Vision Zero initiative invites you to join us on a walking audit to hear from you about how your neighbourhood streets can be improved for traffic safety and better liveability. Ward Councillor Pauls will join us on this walkabout.

When: Thursday, March 05, 2020
Time: 10 am start
Meeting spot: Tim Hortons on Rymal Road and Upper Wentworth.

Friendly Streets Hamilton is an initiative of Environment Hamilton and Cycle Hamilton since 2017 to improve walking and cycling/rolling conditions for Hamilton neighbourhood. We have partnered with the City of Hamilton’s Vision Zero program, for Friendly Streets for Vision Zero

Why Vision Zero?

Vision Zero is a global movement since 1997 with a simple mission: to have zero serious injuries or deaths occur on roadways. Through education, enforcement, engineering, evaluation and engagement, the City of Hamilton is exploring the Vision Zero approach with their Vision Zero Hamilton 2019-2025 Action Plan (approved in February, 2019). In Hamilton, there are an average of 415 vulnerable road user (such as pedestrians) collisions per year, the majority leading to deaths or serious injury. The City performed a survey and found that over 90% of Hamiltonians agreed that our roads could be safer. 

From now until the end of May 2020, we will be engaging residents and community stakeholders in various ways: a walking audit to assess the condition of some problematic roads of concern, a cycling audit with similar intentions, an online survey, that you can complete right away. Our goal is to form a working group that can continue exploring solutions to traffic safety concerns.

Please reach out to us at friendlystreetshamilton@gmail.com to get involved and get your voice heard in the City’s Vision Zero plans.

Visit Friendly Streets Hamilton to learn more about the project.

Survey

Please complete a short survey to help us better understand the challenges of getting around in your neighbour and how we can re-imagine our streets as safer, more enjoyable spaces for people. Click on the following link or https://bit.ly/2T4xsHd

Vision Zero Hamilton: Walkabouts in Keith Neighbourhood

Feb 4th and 5th– Friendly Streets for Vision Zero Hamilton took to the streets of the Keith neighbourhood to explore what can be done for improved walking and cycling conditions and neighbourhood liveability in the area. Keith is a Ward 3 neighbourhood with major arterial roads running through/across it. The borders of this area are Burlington Street to the north, the CN railroad tracks along the south, Sherman Avenue North to the east and Wellington Street North to the west. “The Keith” as it is fondly called by its residents, is a very interesting contrast of industrial sites with residential dwellings tucked into the mix, and so the challenges to traffic safety have to take this unique situation into account too.

On our first day, we were accompanied by Public Health nurse, Sharon Mackinnon’s nursing students, as well as Traffic Safety operations staffer at the city, and his co-op student. On the second day, we were a much smaller group of one resident and a student volunteer. Overall, our group the side streets were quiet at the times we walked them (10.30 am). Sidewalks are typically extremely narrow, as was the way streets were built in the day to give massive allowance for vehicles. People noted that Wentworth St is on the truck route, and that “transports speed through” quite frequently. This road is overbuilt and could use a road diet. Staff say there are concerns with potential queuing and the CN rail line is an issue to consider as well. At Mars street (off Wentworth), we learned from staff that a signalized pedestrian crossing to be installed in 2021. It is the signalized set from Munroe at Wentworth. However, a resident expressed concern that Munroe at Wentworth signal is still needed. She lives off Munroe (on Niagara) and says they get “transport truck traffic” turning off Wentworth and also pulling onto Wentworth. This is an area that has a laundromat, and a sandwich place is opening up soon. As well, there was mentioned of there not being enough bus stops on Wentworth: “People including seniors have to walk and are struggling to get down here.” Other concerns were mentioned including the dust issue from the scrap metal company by the park. Scrappers go to the park and do their thing there, which is not desirable, safety-wise, as kids play here. Mars St., itself is a lovely, tree-lined street (Keith needs more of these). We noted the need for a curb cut to get into park entrances ( for example, if you are in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller).

Mars streets (at wentworth), by the park.

Other streets we audited include: Brant/Niagara. There is no sidewalk along a stretch of Brant street (see pic above). We hear from residents that Francis St (between Wentworth and Emerald), Keith St (between Emerald and Douglas) experience frequent cut-through traffic and speeding, a serious issue, especially since there is a high concentration of children living along thsese streets. In general, all these streets could use street trees.

Depave Cannon: First Meeting was lit!

Feb 04–Such energy, such enthusiasm. Beasley is ready for more trees, please! The first meeting for the Depave Paradise/Depave Cannon project at the Good Shepherd Venture Centre was incredibly well attended (including a baby in arms and a young child).

After an overview and background to the many years of community efforts involved in getting us to this point, Laura Anderson, Green Venture lead for Depave Paradise initiative went over the site development task sequence. Together, we reviewed the site map and photos and discussed design ideas for the green space.

It was an eye opener for many participants that planning a public green space is very different from a private garden. There are challenges to such a space: close to the road, we need to consider the salt that will get sprayed on the area, during the winter. We need to consider that although the space is going to be depaved, the rest of the area is paved, and so in choosing the plants we will will put in, we need to consider that we are essentially creating what amounts to a bog–as the stormwater will accumulate and have no where to run. For ground covering, Candy Venni, landscaper, thought that mulch is not ideal as it will move and spread the mulch everywhere.  Another consideration we discussed is that the trees and shrubs can not be fruit trees, as suggested by one individual. This is because it gets very messy when they drop their fruit, the wasps will come, and there could be an increase in roadkill as wildlife tries to get there first, ahead of people. Consider too, that garbage will be blown from off the street, cigarette butts will likely end up in the site–it is going to be really important to have the commitment of the group to maintain the space.

Make way for trees in Beasley! Depaving Paradise at the Good Shepherd Venture Centre.

A 2017 online survey conducted by the Friendly Streets project in partnership with the Beasley Neighbourhood Association concerning better streets for Beasley, demonstrated an overwhelming desire for more trees. Trees improve air quality, provide shade and help create a vibrant and pleasing streetscape. Now, with funding from Councillor Farr’s Plan Local budget, planning is underway for a greening project on Cannon Street. With Green Venture’s Depave Paradise initiative, approximately 180m2 of asphalt will be removed in front of the Good Shepherd Venture Centre parking lot. This depaved area will be replaced with permeable surfaces, trees, and shrubs.

About Depaving
Removing asphalt at neighbourhood work parties is an exciting new trend that renews neglected urban spaces. At Depave Paradise events, local volunteers gather to reclaim the soil. Using pry bars and shovels, community members break up an area of unused pavement and turn it into a living green space. Learn more about Depave Paradise here: greenventure.ca/depave-paradise

Join our project partners Green Venture, Friendly Streets (Environment Hamilton & Cycle Hamilton), Good Shepherd and Beasley Neighbourhood Association in greening this space!

The Depave Cannon Planning Team has a survey inviting residents’ input on the project, and how they would like to be involved.

Our first planning meeting is Tuesday, February 4, at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Environment Hamilton, 22 Wilson St #4, Hamilton, in the Sonic Unyon building (between James St. N and Hughson St. N).

Friendly Streets for Vision Zero Hamilton: Survey

Calling all Keith, Butler and Kirkendall North neighbours! The Friendly Streets for Vision Zero Hamilton project needs your input. Please complete this short survey to help us better understand the challenges of getting around in your neighbour and how we can re-imagine our streets as more enjoyable spaces for people. Click on the following link.

ABOUT
Friendly Streets is a project of Environment Hamilton and Cycle Hamilton since 2017 that engages community residents and stakeholders in working together towards friendlier and safer streets for walking, wheeling/cycling in Hamilton neighbourhoods. In 2020, Friendly Streets for Vision Zero Hamilton is a new, year-long partnership with the City of Hamilton to explore solutions to traffic safety concerns and improved neighbourhood livability.
CONTACT
For more information on the project, visit Friendly Streets Hamilton
Email friendlystreetshamilton@gmail.com or call 905 549 0900

Air Quality in the Neighbourhood

In 2019, thanks to funding from Clean Air Hamilton, Friendly Streets was able to continue engagement in our target neighbourhoods, around the aspect of air quality as a critical element of friendly streets for active transportation. We surveyed participants and volunteers of this initiative about what they learned, or what changes they made as a result of the project. We asked the following questions: 1. Based on your participation in the Friendly Streets Hamilton project and street airwalks, have you made changes to your travel behaviour or your preferred routes of getting around your neighbourhood? 2. After your participation in the Friendly Streets Hamilton project, have you become engaged in any other longer term efforts to improve urban air quality? If yes, which efforts? If no, why not? 3. What changes or improvements at the street-level would encourage you to walk/bike/wheel more often? We’ve included in this blog post, a number of survey responses and anecdotal stories pertaining to air quality and active travel.


Students with the YMCA’s Youth Job Connection Summer & Barton BIA helped count industrial trucks and monitor PM2.5 & PM10 near the Hamilton General Hospital. PIctured under the shade of a mature oak tree.

Annabel writes, “air quality is an important matter for everyone. We all need clean air. With a City that already creates its fair share of air pollution through our large factory industry it is especially surprising that we aren’t more focus on opportunities, such as keeping the trucks away from city streets. Let’s stop living in the old days. We know what we need to do to provide healthier cities. Let’s do it. Industry will adapt. It always does.”