City did collaborate on new bike lanes
RE: New bike lanes will lead to accidents (July 13)
In response to Anne Ingram’s letter in The Hamilton Spectator on July 13:
Parking Spots: While five metered spots were removed, more free parking spaces were added further west on Charlton.
I agree there was a sense of confusion as the bike lane was under construction. However, before this change, Charlton was a mess and traffic speeds were horrendous. Now the driving lane is clearly marked, as are cycling and parking spots. Traffic speed along Charlton has already reduced (through anecdotal feedback), so one goal of installing these bike lanes has been achieved.
Cycling lanes are contraflow only between MacNab and James on Charlton, not along the whole route. This was a compromise to reduce danger for cyclists eastbound on Herkimer — they are encouraged to turn right on MacNab and continue on Charlton.
“The City makes the plans”: These bike lanes were the result of collaboration between a residents’ group (spanning Durand and Kirkendall) and city staff. The neighbourhood associations were supportive but did not directly drive the process. Public meetings were held for residents to voice their concerns. Overall, it was a very positive experience, and shows what can be achieved when city staff and residents work together.
Street design is relevant to everyone. Change is always difficult, but it’s amazing to see the progress we are making toward more inclusive streets. Frances Murray, Hamilton