Hello, neighbours! The Ward 12 office continues to be busy addressing concerns and building connections across our community. Safety for pedestrians and cyclists is top of mind for a great many people. Read on to see how our office is tracking concerns and acting to make our streets safer. In an ongoing effort to reach out and connect with residents, the Ward 12 office will be holding two town halls in the coming weeks.
TOWN HALL MEETINGS
We have two upcoming Town Halls scheduled for June on different topics. We hope you can attend one or both.
Monday June 26 from 6-7:30 pm: Come and meet your Ward 12 team! Join us in the Murray Ferguson Room at the Municipal Service Centre to learn what initiatives we are working on, what concerns we have been hearing about most from residents, and to ask questions of your Councillor. We want to make sure your questions are answered, so please direct them to [email protected] in advance of the meeting.
June date to be announced soon for a joint Town Hall with Ward 13 to discuss road safety and speeding issues on the Old Dundas / Old Ancaster Road. More details to follow.
TRAFFIC CALMING IN WARD 12
The number one issue raised by Ward 12 residents since I came into office is road safety. Of particular concern are the calls regarding speeding and aggressive driving around schools and playgrounds. We have been working very closely with the City’s Traffic Operations team to identify, assess, and address these concerns.
If you have been following along on our Areas of Concern Map, you will notice that it is being continually updated as we work through the process. If you click on individual pinpoints, you can read the assessment results, and any available plans and timelines. Check back often as the map will be updated whenever more information becomes available.
To date, these are some of the actions that have taken place:
· 7 meetings with the Traffic Operations team to collaborate on areas of concern and to strategize appropriate measures
· 11 Site visits to meet with residents and discuss their concerns
· Door-to-door canvassing to collect feedback about traffic calming measures on Lodor Street, Academy Street, Church Street, and Sulphur Springs Road
· 132 (and counting) unique email and telephone conversations with residents sharing concerns about road safety in their neighbourhoods
Highlights of just some of the plans over the next several months are noted in the graphic above. The map will provide additional details about these and other neighbourhoods.
One thing that is important to note is that when staff determine that neighbourhoods do not qualify for traffic calming based on existing assessment criteria, this does not mean that we stop looking for ways to improve safety in your neighbourhood. Our office continues to engage with City staff and stress the importance of implementing measures to improve safety for all of Ward 12.
ROAD REPAIRS 101
Are you curious about how road maintenance decisions are made? We are too, so we’ve been asking questions and are happy to share what we have learned. Here are some quick and interesting facts about the process:
Every couple of years City of Hamilton staff drive the entire 6,500km of city roads in a truck that is loaded with various sensors and radar. This assessment provides important facts about the condition of each section of road and allows staff to prioritize the urgency of maintenance work.
Ontario legislation lays out some rules for this prioritization. For example, arterial roads and expressways must be maintained at a higher standard than neighbourhood roads. This is because, lacking sufficient maintenance, the traffic patterns of high-volume roads can increase the potential for safety concerns.
If roads can be identified when they are nearing fair condition, the crews can simply shave off the top layer and repave. This process for repairing these roads is the preferred method as it helps to regenerate the road’s lifespan, saving taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, this also sometimes means that these kinds of repairs receive higher priority delaying work on roads in worse condition.
Another cost-saving measure is coordination between the Roads Department and Underground Services (storm and sanitary sewers, water mains, etc.). When a road is identified as ‘in need of repair’, the information is shared with the team responsible for underground services to enable planning collaboration. For example, if there are plans to redo the storm sewers in 2025, the roadwork planned for 2023 may be put off so as not to waste money and resources to only dig up the road again two years later. In the meantime, the Roads team will take a patching approach to help improve the condition of the road in the short term.
If you would like to know more about roadwork that is planned for the upcoming year, take a look at the Capital Construction Projects listing on the City of Hamilton website.
URBAN EXPANSION AREAS CITY SURVEY
As we all know, Premier Ford has arbitrarily expanded Hamilton’s urban boundary onto 5,436 acres of Hamilton farmland. City planning staff must now divert their time and resources from building housing where it's needed close to transit and jobs to planning for what we can expect to be large, unaffordable, low-density, single-family homes on prime farmland and wetlands, which is a large drain on city finances, and ultimately an in increase our property taxes (see next article).
Citizen engagement is needed and tomorrow, Friday May 26, is the deadline! Please share this and encourage friends, family, and neighbours to respond to the city’s quick survey. Your voice is crucial in helping keep taxes down and protect our farmland and wetlands by reducing sprawl development.
Respond to the 3-minute survey or add comments to the document HERE.
Learn more about the process HERE.
DO THE MATH ON SPRAWL
I have spoken extensively about the negative impacts of urban sprawl. There is the loss of farmland, the negative health impacts of car-dependent living, and the lack of affordable housing created through sprawl to name just a few. I also want to draw your attention to the financial impact, namely how it drives up our property taxes. If I’ve piqued your interest, you will enjoy this short video explaining why the urban cores of most cities, including Hamilton, are the financial engine, whereas less dense suburbs actually have a negative impact on the city’s finances. The image above breaks down the typical tax contribution to a city based on dwelling type. It should be clear that infill development creating more density within the urban boundary is a much better financial decision for Hamilton than the single-family homes that are typically built as cities sprawl. Get out the popcorn, sit back, and take 10 minutes to watch the video HERE.
LET’S GET KIDS WALKING!
Have you heard of the Daily School Route? Their aspiration -one that I wholeheartedly share - is that 100% of students use active transportation (walk, bike, wheelchair, etc.) to get to and from school on a daily basis. Walking to school helps prepare children to learn new things, form meaningful relationships with others, and learn to deal with the stresses and challenges of life. These skills are influenced by our cognitive, mental, physical, and social health. Physical activity enhances these aspects of health, which nearly every child has the opportunity to do by walking or biking to school.
Visit DSR’s website where you will find a wealth of information on the best way for children to get to several different Hamilton schools using active transit HERE.
BIKE FOR MIKE
Bike for Mike’s Music and Motion event
Why do kids ride a bike? For the fun and the freedom! Why do kids play music? For the singing and dancing! On June 4, Bike for Mike will hold its 13th annual bike ride: Music and Motion. It’s the primary fundraiser for Daily School Route (see previous article). The event is held at the Bridgeworks on 200 Caroline St. N. Join us on that day as we celebrate music and cycling as tools to improve our health and fundraise so that kids can walk and bike to school safely. Register HERE. I’ll be riding in the 75km event, so please say ‘hello’ if you are there.
Here's how the event works:
1. Register to ride one of 5 different routes, as an individual or on a team.
2. Donate and/or pledge to fundraise for your ride.
3. Invite your friends, family, and coworkers to ride.
4. Meet us at Bridgeworks on Sunday, June 4, 2023, and ride your chosen route.
5. Afterwards, stick around for music, food & drink, kids' activities, local art, and chat with local cycling organizations.
REENVISIONING HAMILTON TRANSIT
Hamilton Street Railway’s proposed new transit network marks a significant step forward for transit in Hamilton. HSR’s goal was to redesign the network from the ground up to ensure it meets your current and future transit needs and to maximize the benefits of the future LRT.
Your feedback helped shape the design of the proposed network. As part of the (Re)envision initiative, HSR interacted with over 13,000 survey respondents, community members and stakeholders. To take the next step forward, they want to hear from you! Click HERE to learn more.
TAKE BACK THE STREET!
Join us on Sunday, June 18, 2023 from 10 am to 2 pm, when King Street East will be closed to vehicle traffic and opened for residents to walk, cycle, and roll on the street. Let’s celebrate as King Street East is transformed into a space that welcomes pedestrians, cyclists, and active transit! Come try out the physical activity stations and other activities that will be happening as Hamilton takes over the street for a day! Learn more HERE.
Royal Botanical Gardens is seeking feedback from members and visitors about their experiences and associations with RBG. Please take a moment to fill out their survey HERE.
Did you know the Hamilton.ca website has information on Spray Pads across the city? Find out what’s open when and try a new location for some summer fun with the kids HERE.
Thank you to all Ward 12 residents for your passionate interest in our community! Please share this newsletter with friends or neighbours who may also want to subscribe and don’t forget to keep an eye on our website, CraigCassar.ca where you will find constantly updated information on local development applications, road safety concerns and events around Ward 12 and Hamilton.
Thank you from the Ward 12 team,
Craig, Nancy, and Sherri.