Posts filed under Love Your Streets

Love Your Streets - Boosting Transportation Options

The following was originally posted by Citizens at City Hall on their website and through their e-newsletter on December 2nd. We thank them for their excellent summary and supporting links.

The majority of car trips in Hamilton could be replaced easily by bicycles or even walking but that isn’t likely to occur until the city provides more complete streets argue alternative transportation advocates. And even the city’s limited cycling master plan won’t be in place until 2053 at the current rate of implementation.

Similarly, progress on Hamilton’s eight-year-old transportation master plan so far has been heavily weighted to expanding roads rather than making existing arteries more efficient by such steps as ‘road diets’ and conversion to two-way traffic flows. But four speakers at a well-attended forum last week contend these changes will actually reduce transportation costs for both residents and the city government, and slash Hamilton’s injury risk to pedestrians and cyclists that is currently one of the highest in Ontario.

The city’s manager of transportation demand management, Peter Topalovic, led off last week’s forum with a statistical breakdown that showed 83 percent of Hamilton trips are by motorized vehicle, 9 percent by transit and the remainder walking or cycling – with a full half of those trips being 5 km or less. But the startling statistic was that “55 percent of all trips of one kilometre or less were taken by automobile” – something that can be accomplished by walking in about 15 minutes.

Topalovic suggested this indicates “great potential out there to shift people to other modes” with multiple benefits to health, reduced pollution, lower greenhouse gas emissions and less financial burden on city taxpayers.

“Obviously if we have to accommodate that amount of automobiles, those take up more space,” he pointed out. So we have an infrastructure problem because we have to accommodate for the growth in the automobile or try to find other ways to do things more actively and efficiently.”

City staff have been warning council for several years that Hamilton is behind approximately $2 billion in maintenance of existing infrastructure, and is falling further behind by nearly $200 million each year. A third of the city’s $13.8 billion in assets is composed of roads and associated traffic facilities.

Last year the city spent nearly $90 million on its road budget – an average of slightly over $13,000 per lane kilometre of pavement. While the annual total varies depending on how much reconstruction or new construction takes place, the operational costs per lane kilometre are roughly $4000 per year.

Sara Mayo of the Social Planning and Research Council provided the forum with analysis on the city’s progress on cycling facilities. The 2009 cycling master plan promised a nearly four-fold expansion by 2029, but is already far behind that goal.

“At the current rate of implementation of 22 km per year, Hamilton cycling master plan won’t be complete until 2053,” calculates Mayo. “Although 30 percent of the 20 years of the plan timeline has gone by, only about 9 percent of the proposed facilities have been installed.”

That shortfall is not helping Hamilton’s unenviable status as one of the most dangerous places for both cyclists and pedestrians in Ontario with 42 percent higher injury risk for pedestrians and 81 percent higher risk for cyclists. Mayo notes that the city acknowledges most of its streets have been designed for higher than the posted 50 km per hour speed limit and risk of injury “increases exponentially with speed”.

Mayo also argued that increased emphasis on transit, cycling and walking will improve fairness and equity. The SPRC analysis of census data for Hamilton shows these transport methods are used to get to work by well over a quarter of residents with incomes less than $20,000, but by less than 5 percent of  those making more than $80,000.  

The forum – sponsored by the Sustainability Professionals Network – was also told that converting traffic lanes to cycling lanes and pedestrian buffers not only reduces injuries but also usually results in vehicles getting to their destinations more quickly because their route is less disrupted. One of the other speakers, Justin Jones, contended the real objective should be to move people, not cars, and utilizing excess road capacity for alternative transportation also reduces maintenance costs.

Posted on December 3, 2014 and filed under Milestones, Love Your Streets.

Relive Love Your Streets

Love Your Streets, the first Community-based Leadership in Sustainability event, took place this past Wednesday evening at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Didn't have a chance to join us, or want to remember some of the great things that were discussed? Relive an amazing event with nearly 200 people in attendance by scrolling through the Tweets posted throughout the evening.

Posted on November 28, 2014 and filed under Milestones, Love Your Streets.

Location Change and Increased Capacity: CLS November - Love Your Streets

Hamilton SPN is proud to be collaborating with McMaster's Academic Sustainability Programs Office, Sustainable Hamilton and many others to present the Community-Based Leadership in Sustainability (CLS) workshop series. Join us on November 26th for the first workshop detailed below.

Love Your Streets - Hamilton's Changing Transportation Network


Due to an overwhelming demand for the first Community-based Leadership in Sustainability (CLS) educational and networking event on November 26, we have moved the event location to increase capacity. The Art Gallery of Hamilton located at 123 King Street West will now host "Love Your Streets".

This event is FREE, open to all, and will include light refreshments.
Register early as space is limited.

All over North America, the form and function of streets are being reevaluated.  Communities from Edmonton to Chicago have embraced the concept of "Complete Streets" - roads that are designed to move all road users safely and comfortably regardless of their age, ability or choice in mode of transportation - in order to breathe new life into streetscapes that had previously been dominated by the rapid movement of cars. As the needs and desires of the population change - whether it is a growing seniors population who aren't able to use their cars anymore or an influx of millenials who are demanding more multi-modal cities, cities including Hamilton are working hard to adapt an existing urban form to a new transportation paradigm.
In this session, you'll hear from four dynamic speakers about the historic context behind Hamilton's current transportation network, the current projects and initiatives that are underway to change it and the exciting opportunities for the community to get involved in a meaningful way to create a city that moves according to their desires and demands, not simply the demands of traffic engineers.  You'll learn new facts and figures about our transportation habits, gain a better understanding of what is happening at the City to make walking, cycling and transit better in Hamilton and learn about how the changing relationship between City Hall and the residents of Hamilton provides a better opportunity than ever to engage in positive, meaningful change.  You'll come away informed, inspired and empowered, armed with the figures and the skills you need to be a partner in creating more walkable, bikeable, livable spaces in the City you love.

To Register

Please click here to register for this event.

If you are no longer able to attend, please update your registration to allow other attendees to take your place.

Event Details

Wednesday November 26, 2014
7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Art Gallery of Hamilton
123 KIng Street West


7:00 - 8:00: Keynote Speakers
8:00 - 9:00: Panel Discussion
9:00 - 10:00: Networking


Sara Mayo

Sara Mayo is a Social Planner at the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton. She specializes in making data accessible and useful for social change, especially through visualization and mapping. She also leads the SRPC's advocacy for a Complete Streets policy for Hamilton as a tool to improve health disparities between Hamilton's neighbourhoods. Sara's presentation will highlight data about Hamilton's riskiest streets, what Hamilton's road spending priorities have been and what an equity lens on modes of travels reveals about our city.  She will explain the core challenge with the City of Hamilton's goal of a "balanced transportation network", and show the difference a Complete Streets policy would make to improve our transportation network for all users.

Justin Jones, MA.

Justin Jones is a project manager, sustainability professional and rabble rouser with nearly a decade of experience in the sustainability field. His work with student groups, municipal governments and NGOs has taken him all over the country, and he is currently the Manager of the Bicycle Friendly Communities Program with the Share the Road Cycling Coalition. He is passionate about civic engagement, with a special focus on active transportation issues and the creation of liveable cities through better infrastructure and education. While not working, volunteering or out on his bike, he enjoys spending time with his partner and his 2 Golden Retrievers.

Peter Topalovic

If he’s not on a long bike ride or on a long walk on the beach, Peter can usually be found dreaming about sustainability. By day, Peter works in the Public Works department of the City of Hamilton where he oversees the implementation of a wide range of programs, policy implementation and infrastructure projects to promote active and sustainable modes of transportation, bike sharing, carsharing and carpooling throughout the City.

Peter received his masters in Engineering and Public Policy from McMaster University, specializing in transportation and energy policy, corporate social responsibility and sustainable infrastructure, and has worked in the transportation planning field since. In addition to his work at the City, Peter teaches at McMaster University, supports the school of engineering practice in various capacities and has written and published academic papers relating to corporate social responsibility and transportation policy. He is also the Chair of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area TDM Coordinating Committee.

Peter is born, raised and lives in Hamilton and is proud of it.

Matthew Sweet

Matthew Sweet is the TDM Coordinator for the City of Cambridge, a sessional faculty member at Mohawk College teaching the Active Transportation course in the Transportation Engineering Technology program, and is a graduate of both Mohawk and McMaster. Matthew enjoys implementing programs, whether they be active infrastructure or educational and encouragement programs to convince people to try walking, cycling and taking transit. In his role teaching at Mohawk College, Matthew works to make the case for active transportation to students who have been immersed in auto-centric courses for the vast majority of their College careers. In his fleeting spare time, Matthew is the Vice Chair and Webmaster of Hamilton's Sustainability Professionals Network. Matthew lives in Hamilton with his wife and daughter.


Posted on November 4, 2014 and filed under Events, Love Your Streets.