Friday, November 07, 2008

round-a-bout ways to a roundabout

Consultant verifies three-year-old idea for roundabout
Craig Campbell, News Staff
Published on Nov 07, 2008

Three years after it was first identified as the best location for a roundabout, the intersection of Governor’s Road and Davidson Boulevard has been chosen as the preferred site for the traffic calming device.

The idea was first raised in the fall of 2005 by then Dundas city councillor Art Samson. He brought City of Hamilton traffic engineering staff to his community council to discuss the proposal. At the time, traffic staff explained the intersection warranted a stoplight, but they wanted to review the roundabout option and check out the possibility of locating the roundabout at Pirie Drive and Governor’s Road.

According to city traffic staff at the time, widening Governor’s Road was no longer considered an option for dealing with traffic.

Mr. Samson’s community council quickly agreed with the suggestion, and city manager of traffic signals and systems Ron Gallo was directed to move ahead with environmental assessments of both Governor’s Road at Davidson and Governor’s Road at Pirie Drive as potential roundabout locations.

Supported by the local city councilor, city staff and Dundas community council, the roundabout review was expected to be submitted as part of the 2007 budget deliberations.

Last week, the results of a study conducted by two consultants on possible intersection improvements were released at a public information centre at Dundas town hall.

The findings verified traffic lights are warranted at the Davidson Boulevard intersection, as city staff said three years ago, but not at the Pirie Drive intersection. It noted the former intersection had a higher volume of traffic exiting side roads.

Improve traffic safety

“The need to improve the Davidson (Boulevard) intersection in order to meet the signal warrant will also improve traffic safety and reduce vehicle speeds in the corridor,” the consultant report states. “The Davidson (Boulevard) intersection offers the most opportunity to address the problem of vehicle delays and traffic buildup.”

The study went on to compare the advantages and disadvantages of both placing traffic signals, with new turn lanes, median islands, curbs and line painting at the Davidson intersection, and the construction of a roundabout there.

The consultants concluded a roundabout is preferred because it resolves problems of vehicle delays and traffic buildup, provides the greatest impact for lowering speeds on Governor’s Road, improves overall safety in the area, increases intersection capacity, reduces vehicle emissions and provides an opportunity to create a Dundas gateway feature.

Three years after the city was first asked to review a roundabout at Governor’s and Davidson, the project will now proceed to reviews of public comments and meetings with affected residents and groups.

A proposal for a roundabout at Governor’s and Davidson might then be refined and submitted to city councillors for endorsement.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

rounding up

Quick update from tonight's Public Information Centre on the Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan: the preferred treatment for Governor's Road is a roundabout, rather than a traffic signal, at Governor's and Davidson!

This is an excellent bit of infrastructure that will allow good flow of automobiles, but at the same time help calm traffic speeds entering the school zone from the west.

It still has to go through a process before any work is undertaken, but we are very happy with the direction!

Friday, September 05, 2008

getting the point across

well done, Brianna!

Governor's Road at Huntingwood definitely needs a crosswalk

Dundas Star News, Published on Sep 05, 2008

Re: No new crossing guards on Governor's Road, Aug. 29.

As a Grade 8 student of St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School, I know how important a crosswalk at Huntingwood and Governor's Roads would be. I walk to and/or from school quite often and use Huntingwood to get home because it is more convenient to cross over to our neighbourhood from that intersection.

I believe we should have a crosswalk at Huntingwood and Governor's because all other elementary schools in Dundas have a crosswalk within 10 metres of the school property, but the closest two controlled crossings from St. Bernadette's School are at Creighton and Governors (0.3 kilometres from the school) and Castlewood and Governor's (0.4 kilometres from the school). Also there have been quite a few accidents at Huntingwood and Governor's.

We don't need a full stoplight, just a crossing guard, or crossing light that is activated by pedestrians.

I am glad that my principal was trying to get a crossing guard at this intersection, and I am surprised and disappointed that city staff would deny a crosswalk.

Brianna Kennelly


Sunday, August 31, 2008


Driver charged in pedestrian's death

The Hamilton Spectator

(Aug 26, 2008)
Hamilton police have charged a utility company driver involved in Hamilton's 12th traffic fatality of the year.
Aleksandar Dzikic, 56, of Dundas has been charged with the Highway Traffic Act offence of careless driving after a collision at the corner of Ogilvie Street and Governor's Road in Dundas that claimed the life of Marjorie Rivers, 89, on Aug. 14.
Rivers was walking home after shopping when she tried to cross Governor's Road on a green light at the intersection.
Police say a Union Gas utility pickup that was stopped at the red light made a left turn on the green and struck Rivers as she began to cross.
Dzikic will appear in a Hamilton court Sept. 24.
Under the Highway Traffic Act, a conviction for careless driving carries a fine of $200 to $1,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both, as well as a licence suspension of up to two years.
Police ask any witnesses to call Detective Constable Bob Blankstein of the collision reconstruction unit at 905-546-4755.

Friday, August 29, 2008

nothing new

stasis is the status quo...

No new crossing guards on Governor's Road

Craig Campbell
Published on Aug 29, 2008

Despite ongoing pedestrian safety concerns around three Governor's Road schools, no crossing guards are being added.

With classes set to start within days, Dundas students will begin the year with only seven crossing guards, compared to the nine in place a year ago.

Three local crossing guard locations were removed over the past year. Only one crossing guard was added, at Bridlewood and Governor's, since the opening of Sir William Osler School last winter. The elementary school took on the student populations of both Dundas District and Central Park, as well as some Dundana students.

The City of Hamilton rejected a request from St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School's principal to relocate the Creighton and Governor's guard to Huntingwood Road - an uncontrolled intersection more commonly used by students than the stoplight-protected intersection at Creighton. A 15-year-old Highland High School student was struck by a car while crossing at Hungtingwood two years ago. There have been many near collisions and several vehicle collisions there.

Participants in a pedestrian safety walkabout of the three neighbouring Governor's Road schools supported the requested relocation of a guard, as well as potentially adding an extra crossing guard for Sir William Osler.

Friday, August 22, 2008

fatality on Governor's at Ogilvie

Ongoing safety concerns plague Ogilvie intersection
89-year-old struck and killed crossing street last weekCraig Campbell, Dundas Star News.
Published on Aug 22, 2008

Pedestrian safety concerns about the intersection of Governor's Road and Ogilvie Street were raised at a Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan public meeting 10 weeks before 89-year-old Marjorie Rivers was struck and killed by a truck just west of the intersection.

City of Hamilton staff is reviewing several possible recommendations to improve safety for pedestrians at Ogilvie and Governor's, a busy area for residents of two high-rise apartment buildings and hundreds of seniors.

Hamilton police continue an investigation of the accident, which has already led to a careless driving charge against an unnamed 55-year-old Dundas man. A coroner's investigation also continues.

Advance left turns in up to four directions, road widening, a roundabout, and timing adjustments of pedestrian and traffic signals are among recommendations a city staff committee is reviewing. Project co-coordinator Natasha D'Souza said feasible recommendations will be brought to a fall public meeting. On June 5, the intersection was the subject of several public comments during a presentation on preliminary studies of transportation in the centre of Dundas.

Governor's and Ogilvie was one of only two Dundas intersections projected to be a problem in both low population growth and high population growth.

According to a summary of public comments from the meeting, "special attention" was requested for this particular intersection "because many seniors are crossing there." One resident reported a near accident at the intersection while traveling to the transportation meeting that very night. Another comment noted excessive traffic volumes at Governor's and Ogilvie and requested "pedestrian crossing provisions."

Mrs. Rivers was apparently returning home to her apartment in Governor's Estates at 50 Governor's Rd. after a shopping trip to the grocery store on the northeast corner of the busy intersection, about 11:35 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14.

She was struck by a Union Gas truck turning left onto Governor's Road from Ogilvie Street and proceeding westbound on Governor's away from Dundas. She suffered head and chest injuries. Some of her belongings remained scattered on the sidewalk, past the marked crosswalk.

Mrs. Rivers was taken by paramedics to Hamilton General Hospital, the destination for all adult trauma injuries. The trip took 11 minutes, passing McMaster University Medical Centre on the way, arriving at the hospital at 12:09 p.m. Hamilton Emergency Medical Services reported no delay in getting Mrs. Rivers to the trauma team.

Mrs. Rivers died the next afternoon. The cause of death has not been released.

For area residents, the dangers of walking in the area of Governor's Road and Ogilvie Street are well-known.

When he heard about Mrs. Rivers, Governor's Green apartment resident Andy Cranbury immediately thought it was an elderly woman in his building, at 101 Governor's Rd. who walks to the same grocery store nearly every day.

"We support a delayed (or) advanced light at Ogilvie because at certain times of the day, making left turns from any direction can be difficult," said Mr. Cranbury, a board member of the Governor's Green Tenant's Association.

He noted several threats to pedestrians in the area, particularly the many seniors who walk there.

"This area requires full attention regardless of whether you are walking or driving," he said. "...all the distractions for drivers and walkers, looking both ways, knowing you must move when the opening allows, not wanting to wait another light or two, adds to the danger.

"Walking and bicycle riding along these areas is a life-threatening venture at the best of times. In an era of encouragement of physical fitness, walking and biking, speed limits are not being lowered. I guess it's a matter of respect for one another for the laws of physics. You know, a vehicle doesn't have to be going very fast to inflict serious damage on a human body."

Safety problems

Dundas resident and transit activist Randy Kay discussed pedestrian safety problems at Governor's and Ogilvie last summer on his Governor's Road weblog.

At the time, Mr. Kay suggested wider sidewalks at Ogilvie and Governor's, noting the existing pedestrian walkways are too narrow, and only exist on one side of Ogilvie.

"And why aren't we talking about traffic calming here?" he wrote.

"Think boldly. Eliminate one bridge (on Ogilvie, north of Governor's) and open Spencer Creek to view. It would make the intersection more beautiful, not to mention safer."

Mr. Kay stated closing the bridge would eliminate some turning problems for vehicles trying to turn west onto Governor's from Ogilvie -- the same turn that ended in Mrs. Rivers' death last week.

He observed drivers attempting that maneuver "often aggressively turn to make the short green light."

Rod Aitchison of the City of Hamilton's traffic engineering department said there is no advance left turn signal in any direction at Governor's Road and Ogilvie. He said pedestrians are also permitted to cross on a green light, while traffic can turn left through their path.

"The timing of the pedestrian signal meets the required standards," Mr. Aitchison said. "The amount of time is tailored to the specific intersection."

He would not say how long drivers have to complete a left turn or how long pedestrians have to cross the street, and how those times compare to other intersections.

Mr. Kay, also a member of Transportation for Livable Communities, said the group opposes "so-called" roadway improvements that would include two-way left-turn lanes along Governor's Road and widening of Governor's Road.

He said the closure of Ogilvie Street north of Governor's Road is his own idea.

"It would allow the extension of a pedestrian area along Artist's Way right up to the creek at Governor's. With all the senior residences there, it would aid the elderly in accessing shopping in a safer environment."

Dr. Jack Stanborough, the regional supervising coroner, said all non-natural deaths are investigated by the coroner's office.

He said the decision to bypass the closest hospital at McMaster and take Mrs. Rivers to Hamilton General was the right one.

"If she was my mother, I would have wanted her triaged and treated the way she was," Dr. Jack Stanborough said.

He noted the pedestrian safety issues at the intersection, and also said the cause of Mrs. Rivers' death would not be released without consent from her next-of-kin.

Friday, August 15, 2008

pedestrian struck crossing Governor's at Ogilvie

Woman, 89, hit by truck while crossing street

, The Hamilton Spectator,
DUNDAS (Aug 15, 2008)
An elderly woman is in critical condition after she was hit by a utility company pickup truck while crossing a street.
Hamilton police say the 89-year-old woman was crossing Governor's Road at Ogilvie Street just before noon yesterday when she was struck by the Union Gas vehicle.
Staff Sergeant Dominic Palmieri says the northbound pickup turned left onto Governor's Road and collided with the woman who was crossing Governor's on the green light.
Police say they believe the woman was returning to her nearby apartment building after shopping for groceries.
"The pedestrian had stepped off the curb and had taken a couple of steps when she was struck," Palmieri said.
She was taken to Hamilton General Hospital with head and chest injuries where she underwent an emergency CT scan of her head.
Police were forced to close the intersection for most of yesterday afternoon while Hamilton police collision reconstruction unit experts investigated. 905-526-3434

Monday, June 30, 2008

Governor's future in the Dundas Downtown Transportation Master Plan

Transportation for Liveable Communities' (TLC) submission to the Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan contains much that applies to our area of town: some excerpts: (full document on line at
  • Transit riders face long waits and often unreliable service from the HSR; new residential growth at the west end of Governor's Road have no weekend bus service and only minimal service during the week.
  • Too many single occupancy vehicles pass three schools on Governor's Road while pedestrians and cyclists are forced to share narrow sidewalks, creating conflict between these modes of sustainable transportation.
  • Necessary traffic calming to address speeding should be undertaken as part of any changes to the road design, and done in a way that will enhance the pedestrian and cycling amenities.
  • Dundas is poorly served by public transit with hour long waits outside of peak hours and poor circulation for residents within the former town limits; TLC supports improvements to transit within the former town that would better connect people between homes and business/commercial areas, with the possibility of creating a transit hub that would allow convenient (protected from weather) and efficient (no long waits between buses) transfer to Hamilton-bound HSR buses like the Bee Line or Delaware.
  • Consideration should be given to Dundas transit users' needs when the Bus Rapid Transit and/or Light Rail Transit is planned. Ease of transfer between local buses and higher-order express service, including integration with GO transit terminal at McMaster, should be a priority for the HSR/TMP.
  • TLC strongly supports the use of roundabouts at key intersections to serve as an effective traffic calming and traffic safety measure, specifically at Governor's Road and Davidson; TLC also suggests a roundabout to replace the current traffic lights at Governor's and Creighton, and another roundabout at Ogilvie/South/Old Ancaster. Having roundabouts on the periphery of the downtown (i.e. just outside the study area) will make important contributions to the feel of the transportation system for people entering the study area.
  • The Governor's Road has need for such traffic calming, and more (wider sidewalks, bicycle lanes, etc) in the vicinity of the three schools between Creighton and Castlewood/Bridlewood. to encourage active routes to school and to deal with excessive traffic speed.
  • To ensure year round walkability, a sidewalk clearing strategy must be in place to remove snow and ice in a timely manner after snowfalls. Routes must be clear and direct, and not left to individual homeowners and businesses when that results in long periods of inaction and obstructed routes. The emphasis should be on pro-active pedestrian mobility, and not on by-law enforcement of non-compliant snow removers.
  • To support pedestrian activity, attention to making walking routes comfortable and attractive should be a priority
  • Attention to intersection turning radii are important so that crossing distances for pedestrians are not unduly increased to allow ease of turning movements for vehicles. Ease of turning for motor vehicles also means more danger for pedestrians crossing at intersections since drivers do not have to pay as much attention to making their turn. Main Street at Governor's/Dundas Street is an example of a car-centric design at the expense of pedestrian comfort and safety, especially the west side of the intersection; or the west side of the Governor's Road and Huntingwood intersection. Tight turning radii should be the norm for new intersections and retrofit to existing overbuilt intersections.
  • Further, pedestrian crossing signals at several intersections require a pedestrian to activate the crossing button and wait, often for a full cycling of the lights, before the walk signal activates. This alienates pedestrians in the transportation hierarchy, in direct contravention of stated goals to encourage active transportation. The argument that the increase in wait times for traffic queued at a secondary street results in an increase in idling with resultant pollution is not strong enough to override the needs of pedestrians, and indeed, marginalizes pedestrian activity. TLC wants this signal policy altered to better serve pedestrian needs, with the full cycling of walk signal as a default for intersections, in particular the Creighton at Governor's and the Castlewood/Bridlewood at Governor's intersections.
  • TLC supports the use of pedestrian signals with digital countdowns at intersections of multi-lane roadways in order to provide pedestrian support in making safe crossings.
  • TLC opposes the so-called "roadway improvements" identified previously in the City of Hamilton Road Network Strategy that would see "two-way left turn lanes along Grovernor’s [sic] Road between Creighton Drive and Bridlewood Drive and widening Grovernor’s [sic] Road from Creighton Drive to Osler Drive." After consulting with stakeholders with an interest in traffic safety on Governor's Road TLC would prioritize cycling and walking amenities identified in the Hamilton TMP (bike lanes) and traffic calming with no road widening. Road widening would not benefit active modes on this stretch of road with three schools (two primary/middle and one secondary schools), and the Road Network Strategy's emphasis on auto-mobilty detracts from the DDTMP's goal of increasing active modes. We also point to the Hamilton TMP for their recognition of the need for bicycle lanes extending from the current terminus of the Cootes Drive Bicycle Path, "Dundas Street-Governor's Road" from Cootes Drive to Castlewood Blvd as a medium term objective. Thus, the two objectives are at odds, with only the TMP serving the interests of active modes along Governor's Road, which positively contributes to cycling connectivity, directness, continuity and enhances safety and comfort.
  • Traffic calming should be part of any road changes to support shifts from automotive to sustainable modes. Speed limits through business districts, school zones, and residential areas should reflect the needs of pedestrians and cyclists for safety and comfort.
  • Cycling improvements identified for Dundas in the Hamilton TMP should be priority items for implementation: these the medium term, Dundas Street and Governor's Road from Cootes Drive to Castlewood Blvd (bike lanes)...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

YES: Roundabout...

Not the hit song by prog-rock band YES, but an important traffic calming device for Governor's Road:

Roundabout review part of master plan
Intersections expected to handle growth
Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News, Published on Jun 13, 2008

A review of a roundabout on Governor's Road will be combined with the ongoing Downtown Dundas Transportation Master Plan, more than two years after the traffic calming tool was suggested by former Dundas councillor Art Samson.

Natasha D'Souza of the City of Hamilton's environmental planning department is overseeing both projects.

She said feasibility assessments of roundabouts on Governor's Road at Davidson Boulevard, and Governor's at Pirie Drive will be completed for a scheduled fall open house on the local transportation master plan. A preferred option for a roundabout location will be presented at that time, but residents will have an opportunity to comment on it.

Meanwhile, the master plan background research indicates key downtown intersections will be able to handle future growth with few delays.

That means the master plan process will focus on providing alternative forms of transportation in Dundas, including public transit, bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths, in an area bounded by Matilda Street, York Street, King Street and Governor's Road, between Main and Ogilvie.

A preliminary public information session, introducing the master plan process and background information, was held last Thursday evening. At least 20 people dropped in.

The public session took place after a poorly attended stakeholder meeting, where only a few interested residents showed up to provide comments and ideas to the project team.

Under a "low growth" scenario, the background research found two problem intersections: Governor's Road at Ogilvie Street, and Hatt Street at Market Street.

Under a high growth scenario, those intersections are again projected to be problems, and the intersections of Hatt and Memorial, plus Governor's and Main Street, were also added.

Master plan research states these four intersections could "experience delays due to higher volumes of commuter traffic along Governor's Road, which functions as a major arterial roadway connecting Dundas to other communities."

Just a week before, participants in a safety audit agreed the philosophy of Governor's Road as a highway into Dundas must change to reflect its current use for education and residential purposes, with a recent increase in pedestrians and cyclists.

Analysis of collision data from 2002 to 2007 found two intersections of concern: Dundas at Governor's plus Main and Osler. Both intersections had a statistically significant number of left-turn, angle and rear-end collisions.

Ms. D'Souza said this week she was skimming through comments submitted by residents at the open house. A summary will be posted on the city Web site.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Governing Philosophy

Audit suggests changes to update road philosophy

Participants watch Governor's drivers ignore rules during school dismissal

Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
Published on Jun 06, 2008

Governor's Road is still treated as a highway access to Dundas, despite a drastic change in its use, Dundas' public school board trustee said last week.

Jessica Brennan participated in a safety walkabout on Governor's Road, joining a group that focussed on traffic, pedestrian and cycling issues around the new Sir William Osler Elementary School. Another group focussed on issues around St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School, less than one kilometre away.

"It's the philosophy of the road," Ms. Brennan said during a short discussion that raised no less than 19 issues to pursue, following last Thursday's safety review.

"It used to be thought of as a highway into Dundas. That doesn't address the current use."

She noted Governor's Road now revolves around educational and residential uses, with a new focus on pedestrians and cyclists. Ms. Brennan's comments echoed points made by many other participants.

Most agreed the philosophy of the road, and driver attitude, has to change to meet the reality of its current use.

To help address this, the City of Hamilton will reassess placement of crossing guards on Governor's Road, and consider a recommendation to move the current crossing guard at Creighton Road to Huntingwood, and potentially adding a second crossing guard at Bridlewood.

Governor's Road will also be reviewed for dedicated bike lanes. The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board will be asked to add more bike racks to accommodate a large number of students who ride to school.

Concern was also expresssed about the lack of sidewalks on Governor's Road, beyond Moss Boulevard.

Organized by Transportation for Livable Communities and city staff from public health and traffic services, the walkabout included Dundas councillor Russ Powers and his administrative assistant Arlene Vanderbeek, the local public school trustee, staff of St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School and parents from Sir William Osler - but no staff representatives of Highland Secondary School or Sir William Osler.

In total, 17 people participated in the safety review, during Safe Kids Week.

St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School Principal Rukshi Athulathmudali will request increased police and bylaw enforcement of No Stopping and No Parking areas in front of the school.

During last week's audit, a car made an illegal U-turn in front of the school then parked on the sidewalk, in a clearly marked No Stopping zone.

Several students dashed across Governor's Road from between parked cars crammed into a no parking area intended for emergency vehicles. School staff discourage parents from parking there, but the bylaw does permit parking for 15-minutes.

Ms. Athulathmudali would also like to see a curb, or sidewalk, placed across the street from the school, to dissuade drivers from passing on the soft shoulder or attempting U-turns.

It was suggested relocating a Creighton and Governor's crossing guard closer to St. Bernadette at Huntingwood, would provide a closer crossing option for young students.

Ms. Athulathmudali also said drivers are not obeying the 40 km-h flashing school zone that includes the three school stretch of Governor's Road.

Without assistance

Over at Sir William Osler, Ms. Brennan noticed there were more school children crossing Governor's Road than the single crossing guard could accommodate. That resulted in some students crossing at different areas without the assistance of a crossing guard.

A second guard at Osler and relocating a guard to Huntingwood will be part of the Governor's Road crossing guard analysis by the city.

Several vehicles speeding along Governor's Road illegally used the unpaved shoulder to pass another car waiting to turn left into the school's parking lot.

Ms. Athulathmudali, and a St. Bernadette teacher also participating in the safety walk, said drivers speeding by on the shoulder is a common occurrence that has resulted in a few staff members being rear-ended in front of the school.

Ms. Brennan also asked for an update on a proposed Governor's Road roundabout, and the potential widening of the street.

A list of 19 issues and questions raised during last week's walkabout, including investigation of traffic calming measures and increasing by-law and police enforcement, has been produced and representatives of the city, school boards, or Transportation for Livable Communities have been asked to follow-up.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

site visit and walk about

Three school stretch reviewed for Safe Kids Week

Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News, Published on May 02, 2008

A community safety walk of Governor's Road will mark Canada's Safe Kids Week.

The walkabout to assess pedestrian and cyclist safety on the stretch of Governor's Road near two elementary schools and one high school will be hosted by Transportation for Livable Communities. It's one of about 1,000 community projects being held in the last week of May in a program organized by Safe Kids Canada.

Anyone interested in participating is welcome to meet in front of St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 29.

Safe Kids Week project leader Denyse Boxell said participants hosting their own event are encouraged to download the Safe Kids Canada pedestrian safety guide and use it to assist in their own assessment.

The Safe Kids Canada Web site also offers a four-page community walkabout scoresheet for community groups to use during their assessments.

The scoresheet includes 16 different questions; each is allocated one point for a 'no' answer, two points for 'sometimes', three for 'yes' and zero points for 'don't know'.

Questions include: Can streets be easily, safely and conveniently crossed? Do drivers drive the speed limit? Do sidewalks exist? Are sidewalks well maintained? Are there traffic calming measures?

Each question includes teaching or discussion points to help assess that particular question, or safety indicator.

A total score for the walkabout below 17 points is assessed with the statement "Community needs to make considerable effort to create pedestrian friendly environment."

A score in the range of 17 to 32 points is defined as pedestrian friendly in some areas, but needing more work in others. And a score of 33 or more points is considered "very pedestrian friendly."

Ms. Boxell said Safe Kids Canada will provide further support and education to any community group that requests it.

"We lobby local and provincial governments to make pedestrian safety better," she said.

But local groups must take the lead role in their own community, and reach out to Safe Kids Canada to receive resources or other forms of support.

Ms. Boxell said a group can contact the national organization with information on a particular pedestrian concern, their findings and their efforts, and Safe Kids Canada can provide a letter supporting the group's effort, or training, information and documents to help improve pedestrian safety.

For more information: or

Thursday, April 17, 2008

walk about

Transportation for Liveable Communities (TLC) will be holding a community "Walk-About" on Governor's Road, Thursday, May 29, 2008.

Meet participants including city traffic staff, public health, politicians, parents and children at 3:15 at Governor's Road outside St Bernadette's school.

This event will bring to light some of the traffic safety issues effecting pedestrians and cyclists on this road. A de-brief at the end will bring together recommendations to enhance the area for walkers and cyclists, including the many children and young adults attending the three schools in the immediate area.

TLC received a grant from Safe Kids Canada to bring about this event as part of Safe Kids Week 2008.

Come out if you are interested in making this area safe for all!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

lights? camera? action?

Well, we will get the flashing lights, but will we get effective enforcement? or what about effective results? Was a baseline speed study conducted so we can have verifiable results that would assist in determing effectiveness? Or is this flashing light a political response to an engineering issue?

The newly installed lights and signs pictured here are at the eastern perimeter of the school zone on Governor's Road, at Huntingwood Dr.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

half way busing

"a high school student in the public board has to live 3.2 km from school to qualify for busing. In the Catholic board, that distance is 1.6 km"

That's an interesting stat; 1.6 km is not very far to walk. Joint busing is one of the strategies for Governor's Road, but it looks as though this, and many of the ideas to improve traffic, are still a long ways from becoming reality.
Talks stalled on joint school busing policy

The Hamilton Spectator, (Jan 16, 2008)

Talks between Hamilton's public and Catholic board chairs are still stalled over the touchy business of forming a joint agency for busing city students.

Public board chair Judith Bishop said talks haven't gone anywhere on combining Catholic and public bus routes, a plan she says would save taxpayers money.

She said Hamilton is one of only three Ontario school districts without joint busing -- and she says it boils down to the Catholic board using generous busing to draw students, and thus funding, to its schools.

For example, a high school student in the public board has to live 3.2 km from school to quality for busing. In the Catholic board, that distance is 1.6 km.

"The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board believes in one bus, one policy, one route, and we haven't got anywhere," Bishop said.

"There's a difference in philosophy."

The province wants public and Catholic boards across Ontario to form joint entities to save costs by sharing bus routes and using good routing and management practices.

The Halton public and Catholic school boards this week launched a joint consortium -- not controlled by or located at either board -- with 372 vehicles to transport 25,000 kids to school.

General manager Karen Lacroix said Halton has, since 1996, had joint busing in its public, Catholic and French Catholic boards, predating recent provincial instructions that boards bus together.

This week they launched a new consortium with all four Halton boards -- public, Catholic and two French boards -- with a separate office, phone number and focus on zones, not board districts.

"Any amalgamation has its issues, but the fact that three boards had an integrated transportation service for so many years... made (it) easier than for boards that hadn't been sharing services," Lacroix said.

In Hamilton, no such progress. Bishop said without universal standards for busing, boards differ in their policies. She feels the Hamilton Catholic board is unwilling to give up its generous busing policies, in the interests of saving taxpayer money.

But Hamilton Catholic school board chair Pat Daly denies the stumbling block is about the distance at which students are bused. He says talks never reached that level of detail.

He said it's about governance.

"Just in terms of autonomy and control over policy, that's one of the issues," said Daly. He said he hopes it doesn't come to focus on details like busing distances. "It's important to note that, while we don't have the full consortia in place, we have been co-operating for years (in Flamborough)."

Daly said his board has one of the most efficient bus systems in Ontario and doesn't want to jeopardize that in a joint effort that may not bring savings.

At a provincial level, Catholic trustees have raised concern that a one-policy model may risk Catholic autonomy.

In Halton, however, Lacroix said that the boards have begun to lease a neutral office location and since 1996 have been realizing more than $1 million in annual savings from joint busing.


Friday, January 11, 2008

from 50 to 40 in a flash?

Craig Campbell and the Dundas Star continue to provide excellent follow-up reportage on local traffic issues.

Governor's Road awaits safety improvements
Group calls for further safety improvements
Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News, Published on Jan 11, 2008

Long discussed improvements to Governor's Road traffic control should be on their way, as city staff prepare to install a new reduced speed zone along a three school stretch of the road. City of Hamilton traffic technologist Sue Russell couldn't say when the system would be operational, as there may be some bugs to work out.

"It's new equipment and a new program. There could be some unforeseen problems, as with any new product," Ms. Russell said. "I don't want to make any promises I can't keep."

The reduced speed school zone was approved by city council in April 2007. One of eight such school zones across the city, the Governor's Road zone will stretch from Moss Boulevard to 75 metres east of Huntingwood.

Flashing lights will warn drivers the regular 50 km/h speed drops to 40 km/h during morning, mid-day and afternoon rush hours.

The flashing light speed zone will be in effect for just over five hours each day, between 7:50 a.m. and 4 p.m. The part-time school zone was anticipated to be in place by September 2007, when the new Sir William Osler School was scheduled to open. Delays in the school's completion coincided with an apparent delay in receiving equipment from a supplier.

Osler School opened in November 2007 without the school speed zone in place. Ms. Russell said this week an expected start date for the new system is not set. She said staff will need training before the equipment is installed.

The idea of a school speed zone, along with a roundabout on Governor's Road, was raised while former councillor Art Samson represented Dundas. Mr. Samson wanted to see safety improvements made to the less than one kilometre stretch of road that includes St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School, Highland Secondary School, and Sir William Osler Elementary.

Start times for the schools range from 8:15 a.m. at Highland, to 9 a.m. at St. Bernadette to 9:10 a.m. at Osler.

When the reduced speed zone is operational, it is planned to be in use from 7:50 a.m. to 9:10 a.m., then from 10:59 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., and finally from 2:45 to 4 p.m.

The new elementary school's morning bell time coincides exactly with the end of the morning reduced speed, at which time it will return to 50 km/h from 40 km/h.

Ron Gallo of the city's traffic department said a consultant will be hired to conduct an environmental assessment of a roundabout in area of Governor's Road and Davidson Boulevard.

Mr. Gallo said the budget is in place and he hopes the assessment will be completed in 2008, allowing the design to be done in the first quarter of 2009 and construction by the end of next year.

"That's a best case scenario for me," Mr. Gallo said, noting he'd been involved in discussions about a Governor's Road roundabout for more than two years, and would like to see it done.

Transportation for Liveable Communities sent an e-mail this week to all members of Hamilton's city council, supporting a new reduced speed zone and a roundabout at Davidson Boulevard, along with several other recommendations.

The local pedestrian, cyclist and transit interest group also called for a comprehensive traffic audit of Governor's Road --with results released to the public -- additional school crossing guards, and improved public transit service on Governor's Road. Among the changes supported by TLC are new traffic calming measures - in particular bicycle lanes that were proposed in the city's May 2007 Cycling Network Strategy.

Monday, January 07, 2008

TLC for Governor's Road

Local sustainable transportation activists at Transportation for Liveable Communities have sent a letter to Ward 13/Dundas Councillor Russ Powers regarding Governor's Road - the following is lifted from their letter, dealing with specifics of the suggestions put forward by Powers: for the full letter, go to the TLC site here.

Councillor Powers

Transportation for Liveable Communities

Add an advanced left turn signal to the traffic lights at the Governors Road/Creighton Road intersection for eastbound/westbound traffic along Governors Road.

  • Await result of traffic audit to determine need

  • Immediately change the walk/don't walk signal at Creighton to always go to "walk" on the green signal – currently the "walk" signal only appears after a pedestrian has activated the crossing button. The default is "don't walk" which creates confusion for all users by prioritizing cars over pedestrians, and makes crossing more uncertain, thus more dangerous.

Widen Governors Road to accommodate an identified left turn/holding lane from Creighton Road to at least Davidson Boulevard.

Adding an extra lane makes crossings for pedestrians more difficult and dangerous by increasing crossing distance and adding an extra lane of traffic to contend with. Road widening also contributes to a driving environment that induces speed. Therefore TLC strongly opposes a general widening, but supports limited , site specific widening to create turning lanes if required at St. Bernadette's school, and Highland Secondary school.

Install traffic lights or a roundabout (includes a pedestrian-activated crossing signal) at Davidson Boulevard.

A roundabout is the preferred option for safety and efficiency reasons, which TLC fully supports.

Install a pedestrian-activated crossing signal at the corner of Governors Road/Huntingwood Drive.

TLC supports this as a possible solution, but only in a context of accompanying traffic calming measures such as (but not limited to) a raised crosswalk and a median island. An alternative solution might include another roundabout at this location in the long term.

Post school crossing guards at the Huntingwood, Castlewood/Bridlewood and Davidson pedestrian crossings.

TLC supports

Extend the sidewalk on the north side of Governors Road from Davidson Boulevard to Pirie Drive.

TLC supports

Install a flashing "Speed Reduced to 40 kph" for the area bounded by the east/west boundaries of the three schools. This is programmed to be activated during morning and late afternoon/evening rush hours.

Evidence suggests that signs are not enough to influence driver behaviour, thus TLC supports physical traffic calming measures to slow traffic speeds: examples include lane narrowing, bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks, a traffic median, to enhance safety in the school zone.

Continue to lobby for a crossing guard at the Governors Road/Bridlewood /Castlewood Drive intersection.

TLC supports

Conduct a comprehensive traffic audit to identify contributing factors.

TLC supports, and requests a copy of the final report

Enhance public transit frequency along Governors Road during rush hours on weekdays.

TLC supports, with the following considerations:

  • there is currently no bus service provided on Governor's Road on weekends – adding rush hour buses to alleviate traffic fails to address the demand for transit mobility for residents on weekends. TLC requests weekend bus service for Governor's Road.

  • Current levels of transit service are poor in the entire ward, with one hour wait times much of the day on both Governors, and King..TLC therefore requests a comprehensive review of transit operations in Dundas with the goal of improving the level of service.

Review signal synchronization for eastbound/westbound traffic at Main Street, Oglivie Street and Creighton Road.

TLC supports synchronization that discourages speeding and takes into account the requirements of pedestrians for prompt crossing service.

For all the points noted, TLC requests a full update from the councillor/city of Hamilton on actions taken or decisions made.

Further: since our original letter, the Transportation Master Plan for the city has been approved by council – in that document there are plans specific to the area in question, but not addressed in councillor Powers' initial list of proposed solutions. The TMP refers to bike lanes for Governor's Road "Dundas Street-Governor's Road [from] Cootes Drive [to] Castlewood Blvd BL [2.9km at a cost of $166,750, to be done in the Medium term ( ).

Therefore, TLC strongly recommends action on bike lanes be fully integrated with any road work to be done on Governor's Road. Bike lanes would assist in creating safer and more pleasant conditions for pedestrians and help improve the roadside atmosphere while giving more options to sustainable transportation users.

In conclusion, TLC would like to reiterate that users of Governor's Road include cyclists, pedestrians, transit and drivers. The current city wide transportation master plan, and the city's Vision 2020 planning documents all emphasize supporting sustainable modes of transportation. As a result, TLC expects any changes on Governor's Road to reflect this emphasis.


We'll keep in ear to the ground to see what is in store, and post it here.