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Transportation enhancements will go forward in Hamilton despite COVID challenges

 

Transportation enhancements will go forward in Hamilton despite COVID challenges

John Best

Despite the strain on city budgets brought on by the COVID pandemic, Hamilton City Council has a proved a broad-based transportation program for 2021. Hamilton will invest $2.74 million in cycling infrastructure, implement Year 5 of the 10-Year Transit Strategy and make a start on providing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure as part of its 2021 budget.

Cycling lane expansion

Investment in cycling infrastructure in 2021 is planned to total approximately $3.65 million (25 per cent are non-City funds). This investment includes approximately 19 km of new and upgraded bicycle lanes, 3.2 km of new multi-use trails and continued expansion of bike parking racks.

Ten-year transit strategy back on track

The City is moving ahead with the 10-Year Transit Strategy with implementation of Year 5 of the strategy, which includes planned enhancements such as 46,000 additional service hours fixing up over 90 bus stops throughout the transit network and replacement of 66 shelters and 20 new shelter locations.

In 2021, 20 new EV charging stations are slated to be installed in municipal parking lots that will provide electric car users with improved accessibility to charging stations throughout the city.

Additional investments outlined in the 2021 municipal operating budget that support multi-modal transportation, include:

•             Re(envision) the HSR campaign, which is an opportunity for all Hamilton residents, including current and potential HSR customers to provide their thoughts on HSR’s current service and how we may reconfigure routes, evolve schedules and improve service.

•             Solidifying and enhancing the Hamilton Bike Share system and enhancing the range of micro-mobility choices available including e-scooters.

•             Development of a commercial shared e-scooter program.

•             Development of a Complete, Livable, Better Streets Design Manual, that will help design complete streets that support walking, cycling, transit, and driving for people of all ages and abilities.

•             Development of a free-floating car share permit program.

•             Outreach, education, equity and training around safe streets, cycling and bike share.

•             Major right-of-way rehabilitation projects on Rymal Road, Regional Road 56 and neighbourhood resurfacing projects in Ancaster Heights (Lime Kiln North), Central, McQuesten West, Battlefield, Greenford, Vincent, Bonnington, and Southam.

Vision Zero Safety

The city’s  Vision Zero Road Safety Program, which has a goal of zero fatalities or serious injuries on roadways will continue with key components such as:

•             Implementation of a Neighbourhood Speed Reduction Program – scheduled to convert 45-60 neighbourhoods to 40 km/h and 30 km/h in designated school zones in 2021.

•             Automated Speed Enforcement pilot program will cover 36 locations and preliminary evaluation shows an increase in speed limit compliance. To date, data evaluation has been completed at four locations and resulted in 16,997 speeding charges. The average percentage of the total charges from the total traffic was 2.3 per cent.

•             Red Light Camera program will be further expanded and further builds on its goal to target motorists who choose to run red lights. Intersections equipped with Red Light Camera show approximately 50 per cent reduction in total number of right-angle collisions and 60 per cent reduction of fatal and injury collisions in the last 5 years.

•             Vision Zero Dashboard as been provided related to collisions throughout the City of Hamilton that provides various filters to allow users to search based on various interests.

Council will formally approve the City’s 2021 budget on March 31, 2021

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