Moun­tain is a cy­cling waste­land

The Hamilton Spectator - - OPINION -

RE: Cy­cling in Hamil­ton

I re­cently vis­ited fam­ily in Thun­der Bay and was im­pressed to see how even that com­mu­nity has em­braced bike lanes: they are pop­ping up all over the city, ac­com­mo­dat­ing park­ing and con­nect­ing trails. When I came back to Hamil­ton and drove on Charl­ton, I was happy to see the new bike lanes. While down­town Hamil­ton is mak­ing strides, Hamil­ton Moun­tain is a cy­cling waste­land. There is only a sin­gle sig­nif­i­cant east-west route (Stone Church), and a sin­gle north-south route (Up­per Par­adise) on the whole Moun­tain. There isn’t a sin­gle down­hill or a com­plete up­hill lane on any Moun­tain ac­cess east of Wil­son Street. De­spite so many re­cent road re­build­ings, Hamil­ton con­tin­ues to be stuck in 1960s ur­ban plan­ning: con­crete me­di­ans and 16-foot-wide turn lanes, grass boule­vards that the city can’t af­ford to main­tain, or dec­o­ra­tive con­crete boule­vards that are much more costly than two to three feet of as­phalt. Why can’t the Hamil­ton Moun­tain lead­er­ship and city plan­ners join the 21st cen­tury and take ad­van­tage of the great po­ten­tial we have? The best way to get peo­ple on bikes (the healthy al­ter­na­tive), to al­low cars and bikes to co­ex­ist, to make Hamil­ton a more at­trac­tive and mod­ern city is to em­brace the fu­ture and build a full net­work of safe, func­tional and ac­ces­si­ble bike lanes. Peter Lovrics, Hamil­ton

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