Craig's Current - August 2023
CITY OF HAMILTON ENCAMPMENT PROTOCOL
Encampments exist in Hamilton today and will continue to be with us for the foreseeable future. The lack of housing and its consequences have had an impact right across the City, so it is important for us all to understand the current circumstances and why the City is implementing an Encampment Protocol. On August 18, 2023, Hamilton City Council ratified an Encampment Protocol ("The Protocol"). To put it simply, The Protocol brings structure to this very challenging situation by setting expectations for where encampments can exist (e.g. at least 100m from playgrounds), how the City will continue to provide a housing-first approach to homelessness, and how the City will strive to meet residents’ expectations for a clean and safe city. Please read my perspective on The Protocol and what it means for Hamilton and Ward 12 on my website at this link.
STREETLIGHT INFILL PROJECT
map of areas to be surveyed for streetlights
Residents have been reaching out to our office with comments on the addition of streetlights to previously unlit neighbourhoods, with some residents in favour and some opposed. The City has been working toward illuminating every neighbourhood and work is currently underway in Mohawk Meadows in Ancaster on Oneida, Algonquin, and Hiawatha. These installations were planned before I took office and, at the time, there was no community consultation undertaken. Going forward I have requested that surveys be sent to each of the four areas shown on the map which are scheduled to receive streetlights, to be sure the community is in support. Please read more information about the streetlight infill project in Ancaster at my website.
ANCASTER SENIOR ACHIEVEMENT CENTRE OPEN HOUSE
Are you 55+ and looking for something to do? Want to take exercise classes, yoga, learn to play guitar, keyboard, ukulele, paint, quilt, sing, do woodworking or play pickleball? Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre (ASAC) is for you! Come see what all the buzz is about! ASAC is an active, friendly, fun, and inclusive community and everyone is welcome to attend the open house! There will be demonstrations, tours, and a BBQ.
When: Thursday, September 14 from 10 am to 2 pm
Where: 622 Alberton Road South (take Highway 2 West then turn left at the first side road west of the Ancaster Fairgrounds).
509 SOUTHCOTE ROAD, ANCASTER
Some of you may recall that a public meeting was held on March 29, 2023, to give residents the opportunity to talk to and hear from the applicant’s development consultants. The main considerations that were raised by residents were the added density and traffic this infill would bring to the neighbourhood and the proposed removal of all of the 105 trees on the property.
Our office has received notice that the owner, Carriage Gate Homes operating as "Southcote Hills Inc.", has made the decision to end their engagement with City Planning Staff and instead appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal for approval of the development. Please read more about what this means for the community at my website. At the 509 Southcote section, click on “Link to an update from the Ward 12 office” HERE
RURAL HIGHSPEED INTERNET
Great news for rural Hamilton! On August 28th, MPs and MPPs jointly announced over $219 million in combined funding for Rogers to bring high-speed internet access to more than 66,000 households in Ontario communities. This includes several Ward 12 communities including Ancaster, Copetown, Jerseyville, Lynden, Sheffield, and Troy. Construction for this project is expected to begin in 2024. Thanks to MPs Dan Muys and Filomena Tassi for their determination to bring high-speed internet to Ward 12 and beyond!
PUBLIC TRANSIT CONSULTATIONS COMING TO ANCASTER
In 2019, the City of Hamilton’s Transit Division launched the (Re)envision the HSR project to modernize our network and transform the customer experience. The feedback received from nearly 13,000 interactions with customers, residents, and stakeholders helped shape the design of the concept network.
To take the next step forward, they want to hear from you! Tell them what you think about the conceptual design by completing the short survey or attending a community event. Your feedback will guide any adjustments to the network before it’s presented to Council in early 2024.
Please attend the event at Redeemer University from September 6, 2023, from 11:30 am to 3 pm! The bus will be located in the parking lot accessed from Garner Road.
BACK TO SCHOOL SAFETY
Next week is the start of back-to-school season in Hamilton and the City and Hamilton Police Services are reminding the community to be mindful to ensure the safety of our youngest residents as they travel to and from school. The City and Hamilton Police want to reinforce the importance of taking extra safety precautions during commutes and travel in Hamilton.
As a part of the Vision Zero Action Plan, to eliminate serious injury and fatalities for all motorists, the City has also implemented the following road safety measures to date:
The approval of red light cameras at 10 additional Hamilton intersections this year, bringing the total number of intersections to 42.
The designation of 24 Community Safety Zones in areas with higher numbers of vulnerable populations such as seniors and children. Designating a stretch of roadway as a Community Safety Zone allows for the doubling of fines associated with speeding.
With the permanent implementation of the automated speed enforcement (ASE) program, the City’s two ASE cameras will be deployed two months at a time at 24 locations across the city over the next two years. Locations will include one location per Ward and nine school zones. (See the next article for more on the future plans for ASE)
Continued focus on traffic calming measures including the installation of 159 new speed cushion locations, 16 new pedestrian crossovers, the review of 640 community safety zone locations, and the addition of 48 neighbourhoods added to the Vision Zero speed reduction program.
In addition to these, our office is striving daily to bring traffic calming measures to the Ward. The latest updates to traffic safety include:
Speed cushions have been installed on Panabaker Drive
A study of safety concerns on Stonehenge Dr. is completed and we are awaiting further information re: short, medium, and long-term solutions which is expected this fall.
Request for neighbourhoods with frequently raised concerns to be surveyed to gauge interest in solutions where existing studies indicate traffic calming is not warranted.
Hamilton Conservation Authority has been asked by staff to flip the entrance/exit at Tiffany Falls to improve safety for cyclists traveling down the Wilson Street hill.
Additional lighting is coming to Meadowlands near Holy Name of Mary School so that the crosswalk can be finished.
SPEED CAMERAS AND ENFORCEMENT
We have had residents asking about increasing police enforcement or placing automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras in neighbourhoods to assist in speed regulation. It is important to know that City Council does not in any way direct police activities. Although Ancaster does have two officers assigned to this area, the Hamilton Police Service is its own independent body making its own operational decisions. Having said that, I certainly can and do advocate for police presence in our neighbourhoods and have been promised by the Crime Managers that, when feasible, areas with frequently noted concerns will receive additional enforcement.
As the system is currently structured, ASE fines are a provincial offense and must be processed through provincial courts which cannot handle any additional volume. Work is underway to transfer responsibility to municipalities so that ASE fines can be handled similarly to how parking tickets are today. When the transition is complete - sometime in 2025 - there will be additional capacity to handle more fines and the City will be able to purchase and install more cameras and increase enforcement.
STONEHENGE BIKE LANE
We have recently learned that the much-anticipated bike lane construction along Stonehenge Drive has begun. The first step in this process is a change to street parking along Stonehenge Drive. My office has reached out to City staff asking for additional details about the timelines and next steps for this project. We will provide updates via the Ward 12 social media channels, this newsletter, and our website as we learn more. A link to the feasibility plan can be found HERE
Once again, thank you for staying in touch. You can reach our office in at [email protected], on Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter), or in person below the Ancaster Library at 300 Wilson Street East. Have a safe and happy long weekend!