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Creating a Cycle Safe Sydenham Guided by the City’s own Cycling Master Plan

One of the main drivers behind Cycle Hamilton’s formation is the concern that our members have regarding the recurring theme of missed opportunities for the implementation of cycling infrastructure or pedestrian-friendly initiatives, including opportunities on Concession St., King William St., and Beckett Drive, to name just a few. Presently, we are facing yet another potential missed opportunity in Ward 13 (Dundas), where plans are currently underway to implement a traffic calming initiative in the Sydenham Rd area.

While reviewing plans for this traffic calming project, it caught Cycle Hamilton’s attention that the City’s own Cycling Master Plan had not been cross-referenced, and that a bike lane that was slated for Sydenham Rd was not included in the plans. Furthermore, as they stand now, the plans include road narrowing, bollards and stop signs that may make the cycling environment less hospitable and more dangerous along this popular route.

Sign Cycle Hamilton’s Petition for Bike Lanes on Sydenham

Prior to implementation, we are advocating for the plans to be thoroughly examined from a complete streets perspective, taking into account the needs of all road users. For these reasons, and guided by our vision, mission and principles, Cycle Hamilton is launching a new campaign asking the City of Hamilton to include bike lanes on upcoming traffic calming work planned for Sydenham Rd in Dundas. In addition, we are asking the City to adopt a policy of routinely cross-referencing and implementing the 2009 Cycling Master Plan whenever traffic calming projects or other roadwork are undertaken.

The following is the text of our petition, which we hope you will consider signing:

Sydenham Rd in Dundas, Ontario is a popular cycling route for both Hamiltonians and visitors to our City, and is also listed as a priority road for cycling lanes in the City of Hamilton’s own Cycling Master Plan. Unfortunately, the City has opted not to include its own plans for cycling infrastructure in upcoming traffic calming work on Sydenham. This is unacceptable.

Cycle Hamilton is petitioning the City of Hamilton to incorporate cycling lanes into their work on Sydenham Rd as per the City’s own priorities.

Why Bike Lanes?

  • Bike lanes reduce cyclist-motorist collisions by up to 90%
  • More safe cycling routes leads to more cyclists, which means fewer vehicles on the road and less congestion
  • Not everyone can drive! Children, teens, seniors and those that can’t afford a car still need safe space on the road to travel.

Why Sydenham?

  • Sydenham Rd has been designated to receive a bike lane in the City’s Cycling Master Plan
  • The City is already incorporating traffic calming measures to the streetscape. Simultaneously incorporating bike lanes will save having to spend more time and money to incorporate lanes in the future
  • Sydenham Rd is a popular route for cyclists from Dundas, Hamilton, and beyond—bringing many cyclists through and into the Downtown Dundas BIA.
  • The City of Hamilton named this route Clara’s Climb in 2013 to acknowledge the importance of Sydenham Rd as a training route for six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes
  • Sydenham is home to several community organizations, including a church and elementary school; and this route is also used to access the Dundas Driving Park, a popular location for recreational physical activity

Why Now?

  • The City of Hamilton is in the midst of exploring how to improve road safety and considering a formal commitment to implement Vision Zero in Hamilton—the goal of having zero road deaths on our streets.
  • Sydenham Rd is identified as a priority route within the City’s 7 year-old Cycling Master Plan
  • The City’s process of incorporating the Cycling Master Plan into infrastructure projects where bike lanes are designated as a priority is not clear. Cycle Hamilton would like to see the City develop a proactive and transparent approach to implementing City policies as they relate to cycling.
  • In October 2015 the City of Hamilton and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board signed the Hamilton Active & Sustainable School Transportation Charter, committing to provide active and sustainable modes of transportation to all Hamilton schools (one public and one Catholic school are located close to Sydenham Rd).
  • If cycling infrastructure is not included in work planned for Fall 2016, the City of Hamilton will have to spend more time and money in the future to incorporate bike lanes. It makes financial sense to do all traffic calming work, including bike lanes, at once.

Please consider signing our petition if you support including bike lanes on Sydenham Rd as part of the City’s planned traffic calming roadwork and in line with the City’s own plans for Sydenham Rd in the City of Hamilton Cycling Master Plan.

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