Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting the Run Around?

Roundabout scrapped for traffic lights

By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News

Plans for a roundabout at the intersection of Governor’s Road and Davidson Boulevard have been scrapped in favour of less expensive traffic lights, with no pedestrian crossing of Governor’s Road.

Gary Moore, the City of Hamilton’s director of engineering services, confirmed last week traffic lights will be installed later this year, instead of the roundabout originally approved four years ago, for financial reasons.

“We figured out a roundabout would cost us about $1.4-million and we could control the intersection for $170,000,” Moore said.

He also confirmed there will not be a pedestrian crossing across Governor’s Road at the intersection – only a pedestrian crossing of Davidson.

“There are no pedestrian amenities on the south side of Governor’s, nothing to cross to,” Moore said. “Therefore (there is) no provision of crosswalk or signals at this time. Should there be a sidewalk installed in the future this is an easy retrofit.”

A public tender on the road project – which also includes road resurfacing in Dundas’ Turnbull neighbourhood – closes to bids on August 29.

According to the tender, the “Governor’s Road – Road Widening” project includes 1,800 square metres of road widening construction; 450 square metres of asphalt milling; 820 tonnes of asphalt paving; traffic signal installations; and street lighting installations.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Governors Getting A Road Diet

View Road Diet on Governor's Road in a larger map

The Dundas Star is reporting that changes to Governor's Road are coming soon, changes which will improve pedestrian safety by taking an extra lane away from through traffic and using it to create pedestrian "islands" and a left turning lane for cars. Currently the street has two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane for traffic. The extra westbound lane lends itself to speeding as cars pass on the hill before the road returns to a more sensible one lane in each direction at Creighton.

It is sad that this move was likely prompted by a recent traffic fatality (December 2012). 87-year-old Kathleen Macleod was killed crossing Governor’s Road from her home at Governor’s Green apartments to St. Joseph’s Villa. The 44-year-old driver Paulo Mateus was charged with careless driving. (There has been one pre-trial court event to date)

Also interesting that this is the exact opposite of what the city was planning to do to Governor's Road a few years ago when they recommended widening Governors to 4 lanes (2 in each direction) - happily that plan is out the window and this improvement should help calm traffic along that stretch of road.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Turning the Tide

How things change. From outrageous plans to widen Governor's Road a few years ago, to talk of shrinking the lane capacity currently. I like the direction. Perhaps a look at a middle turning lane at key points, and bike lanes in both directions.

Thursday, January, 24, 2013 - 1:01:28 PM

Options considered for Governor’s before 2017

By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News

Closing a west-bound lane of traffic on Governor’s Road and turning it into a permanent turning lane will be among options considered for safety improvements to the Dundas street. 
Ron Gallo, the City of Hamilton’s traffic engineering and operations department, confirmed cutting Governor’s down to one lane of traffic in each direction will be reviewed – when a formal design project is triggered. That is currently expected in 2017, but there is an effort underway to start sooner. 
Dundas Community Council member Bill Kennedy asked local city councillor Russ Powers about the possibility of turning the extra west-bound lane into a turning lane, at last Wednesday night’s committee meeting. 
Powers said he’s asked staff to consider that, and he’d like to see some action be taken prior to 2017. 
“That’s under consideration,” Powers said. “I’ve been pushing for it.” 
He told Kennedy and the rest of his community council he’s not sure why a west-bound passing lane was added to Governor’s Road, around 1966. He suggested it might have made sense to planners at the time. 
The city’s budget forecast includes $2.1-million for a roads project on Governor’s Road between Bridlewood and Main Street in five years. 
Last Thursday was the first scheduled appearance in Provincial Offences court for a 44-year-old Flamborough man charged with Careless Driving after 87-year-old Kathleen Macleod was killed crossing Governor’s Road from her home at Governor’s Green apartments to St. Joseph’s Villa. 
The matter was remanded over for a second appearance next month. The charge carries a set fine of $400 for a conviction, but could go as high as $2,000 and six months in prison, as well as a license suspension up to two years. 
The road between the Villa and Governor’s Green is three lanes wide, with two west-band lanes. There are no turning lanes for east-bound traffic turning left into the 101 Governor’s Road residential complex, nor any turning lanes for the west-bound traffic turning left onto Overfield Street to access the Villa long term care facility. 
City staff have already recognized a potential for pedestrian islands in (several) locations along the middle of Governor’s Road to provide staged crossing for pedestrians.
It’s not yet clear if pedestrian islands and turning lanes could be used to eliminate an entire west-bound lane from Governor’s Road. 
“All options will be looked at once it is triggered as a formal design project,” Gallo stated last week in an email. ”This section is currently in the five year plan so, at this point, we are not reviewing any details.”

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Hi - with a bit of holiday time I've updated the links on "The Players" in the sidebar. I had no idea the city and the school boards changed sites like some people change their socks!

If you find any broken links please e-mail dundastard(at)gmail(dot)com and we will fix it up ASAP.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Keeping Governor's from Widening

The big news out of this article is the fact that talk of widening Governor's is off the agenda. The Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan had suggested 4 lanes through here, which was vigorously opposed by Transportation for Liveable Communities at the time.  

Thursday, December, 13, 2012 - 2:02:28 PM

City reviewed Governor’s crossing

By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News

The review of a pedestrian-controlled crossing of Governor’s Road at Overfield Street in September did not meet the requirements for that traffic control device.

Ron Gallo, the City of Hamilton’s manager of signals and systems, said the study was initiated by the request of one resident. But the counts of pedestrians crossing and review of other factors reached about half the standard for a pedestrian controlled stoplight.

But Gallo does not expect recommended widening of Governor’s Road to take place anytime soon.

Renewed attention on pedestrian safety on Governor’s Road between Ogilvie Street and Creighton Road began last Sunday after 87-year-old Kitty MacLeod was killed after being struck by a car while she was crossing Governor’s Road.

Hamilton Police charged a 44-year-old Flamborough man with careless driving, Wednesday.

Concerns about pedestrian safety in that area have been raised for several years.

Gallo said some safety improvements are expected within the next five years as the stretch of road is scheduled for a resurfacing project.

In addition to a redesign of the complicated intersection at Ogilvie and Governor’s to improve sight lines for drivers, staff are considering construction of “pedestrian refuge islands” in three possible Governor’s Road locations – including near the intersection with Over field.

Gallo said the raised islands will allow pedestrians to get half-way across the road at a time, and make them more visible to drivers.

New sidewalks are also expected next year on the south side of Governor’s Road, between Overfield and Creighton, where no sidewalks currently exist.

And Gallo said he does not anticipate the city acting on the Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan recommendation to widen Governor’s Road.

“It’s dependent on future need, and that can change,” Gallo said. “It would need another environmental assessment because it’s been five years (since the DDTMP). It’s not as simple as saying it’s approved and it happens.”

But Raynald Marchand, general manager of the Canada Safety Council, viewed the Governor’s Road area using Google Earth – and said he could see a need for pedestrian safety improvements.

He noted it appeared to be a 250 metre walk to the nearest controlled crossing – at Ogilvie – from a bus stop on the north side of Governor’s, across from Overfield.

“That’s only 250, but it’s another 250 back. That’s half a kilometre. I can see people, especially elderly, saying ‘I’m going to cross right here’,” Marchand said.

He said the accepted standard wait for a safe opening to cross a street is three minutes.

“In excess of three minutes waiting for an opening, people start to take chances.”

And Marchand said a controlled crossing at Overfield would certainly be warranted if Governor’s Road is widened in that area.

He said there signs that could be placed in the area warning drivers that seniors might be crossing mid-block.

“But that’s not a replacement for putting in crosswalks,” Marchand said.

Although there are no controlled pedestrian crossings of Governor’s between those at Ogilvie and Creighton, there are intersections on the south side of the road at Tally Ho, Avon Drive and Overfield.

There is a bus top at Avon Drive, across from the Dundas Baptist Church, but no official pedestrian crossing.

Letter of the Month?

Tuesday, December, 04, 2012 - 3:03:23 PM, Dundas Star News

Bone-headed design reduces safety

Robert Pinder, Dundas

Re: Tragedy on Governor’s Road

I don’t know any of the details of this tragedy, but I do know this area of Governor’s Road is a very densely populated residential one with hundreds of condos, apartments, a busy grocery store and even a retirement and long-term care facility. Add in a large church not too many metres from the intersection, the fact that this is a main route to two schools, and the picture is complete.

I also know that there is not one crosswalk along the 1.1-kilometre section of Governor’s Road between Ogilvie and Creighton. I will add further there are no left-turn lanes. However, absurdly, there is a third driving lane located on the westbound side of Governor’s, which allows for drivers, for some unfathomable reason, to greatly exceed the speed limit for 1.1 kilometres and pass those on the right lane, which they unquestionably do on a residential road in the town of Dundas.

This makes me very angry, not just for the poor casualty of this bone-headed road design, but for the safety of the thousands who use this daily. This is a terrible and deplorable “All Hail the Automobile” situation.

City roads designers, please get some crosswalks on that road — and other desolate lengths of city streets — today. Convert that preposterous middle lane into cycling lanes in either direction and left-turn lanes as needed.

Driver Charged in Pedestrian Fatality

Careless driving charge follows fatal collision

The Hamilton Spectator, Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hamilton police have charged a Flamborough man with careless driving after an 87-year-old woman was struck and killed by a car on Governor’s Road Dec 2.

Kitty MacLeod died while trying to walk across the busy road to visit her brother in St. Joseph’s Villa in Dundas.

Police said Wednesday a 44-year-old Flamborough man has been charged with careless driving. Police did not name the man, who is expected to appear in court Jan. 17.

Family members of residents in the seniors’ home have petitioned the city for a crosswalk at the spot where MacLeod was struck.

Governor’s Road traffic a complex issue

Kitty MacLeod died for lack of a crosswalk (Opinion, Dec. 10)

Letters, Hamilton Spectator, December 15, 2012

To suppose that Kitty MacLeod died for lack of a crosswalk on Governor’s Road opposite St. Joseph’s Villa is to hold a misguided view of public policy. Any public policy based on one death or the possibility of “someone getting killed” cannot be reasonable. If it were, in the absurd extreme, we would have a crosswalk at every point where a pedestrian chose to cross a road, an all-way stop or signal at every intersection.

The contributing factors in MacLeod’s death are many. Those within the purview of municipal policy extend back in time at least to the approval of Governor’s Estates with no provision for adequate vehicle access. Simply painting a new lane line on a roadway without widening it in anticipation of greatly increased volume does not create a new lane. Moreover, the pedestrian-operated signals at Creekside-Hatt and Creekside-Ogilvie are, for most who encounter them, more of a problem than a solution.

“Everybody knows” (with a nod to Leonard Cohen) that the Ogilvie-Governor’s intersection has been dysfunctional from a traffic perspective for years. Its geometrics, lane markings, permitted moves, lane widths and approaches are all in need of a rigorous rethink given the volumes of vehicles, pedestrians, transit riders, cyclists, and scooters who take their chances every day.

Before Councillor Russ Powers acts to bring forward a crosswalk planned for 2017, with its guarantee of serious collateral discontent, I’d like to propose a community user-driven review of traffic policy and operations for the area centred on the Governor’s-Ogilvie intersection.

George Vance, Dundas

Kitty MacLeod

Woman, 87, killed while walking to Dundas seniors’ home for visit

Hamilton Spectator, Dec. 3, 2012

When Cynthia Thomas heard the accident outside her Governors Road apartment building, she looked at her watch and she knew.

“Instantly I thought ‘Oh no, Kitty,’” she said Sunday night.

“I ran out in my pyjamas.”

Kitty MacLeod, 87, crossed the street at that very spot — twice a day, every day — to visit her brother at St. Joseph’s Villa across the street, despite crippling arthritis that forced her to walk with a hunch.

Everyone in the building knew her, Eleanor Andrews said.

“She was a wonderful lady.

Cynthia’s daughter Jahvon Thomas, 13, remembers her sitting on the benches out front in the nice weather, watching the people go by.

“She was really nice,” she said.

MacLeod had two children, Jay MacLeod and Jill MacLeod Jonkman, neither of whom live locally, said neighbour Anne Foley.

“She was in the armed forces as a young woman with her husband,” Foley said. Together, they’d travelled the world.

MacLeod had recently cared for her brother in her apartment before he moved into the facility across the road.

“She was very independent and an incredibly sociable lady. She was always on the go,” Foley said.

In addition to her twice-daily visits with her brother, she was known to shuffle down to the grocery store every day.

Residents gathered in the lobby Sunday night, sharing stories of the woman as news of her death travelled.

“We all said Kitty’s going to be killed one day crossing there,” Judy Walker said. “Some of us are very angry … that road is like a highway.”

Many residents in the building said they’ve complained for years that a crosswalk is needed on that stretch of road.

“They go 100 (kilometres an hour), some of them,” Cynthia Thomas said. “It’s so dangerous.”

Police have not released the cause of the accident.

Hamilton Staff Sergeant Bryan Grigsby said Sunday afternoon that the accident reconstruction unit is continuing its investigation.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Plus ça change, plus ça reste le même.

December 4, 1968
Dundas Star News

Governor's at Creighton, photo by Randy Kay
"Mr. and Mrs. William Hill 230 Governor's Road, appeared before council to inform them that residents of Highland Hills were alarmed at the danger from the heavy flow of traffic through the Creighton Road and Governor's Road intersection. A petition carrying 229 signatures in the area asked for a traffic signal for protection of adults, and children attending St. Bernadette's, Central Park, Central and Highland Secondary School.

Mr Hill said the crossing guard had told him he could not handle the heavy traffic and had resigned. Several occasions had happened recently when vehicles had driven through stop signals. A tractor trailer going 60-70 miles an hours had gone through a signal.

Mayor Everett assured the delegation that they would receive a full report shortly. He said a traffic study was in course on the intersection."

Monday, December 03, 2012

Fatal on Governor's

Another pedestrian fatality on Governor's Road in Dundas, near the location of previous fatalities at Ogilvie/Governor's, according to a CBC news report.

If the city has their way, they would widen Governor's, making the crossing for the large population of seniors in the area all the more dangerous by allowing room for increasing traffic speed, passing, and an extra lane to cross.

For TLC's response to the Dundas Transportation Master Plan, follow this link.

The victim was an 87-year-old woman crossing Governor's at Overfield around 10am on Sunday.

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