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  #441  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2020, 10:36 PM
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Committee votes to allow e-scooters on Hamilton roads, but companies will have to wait
Councillors raise concern about competition to SoBi bike share
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamil...lton-1.5831505

The City of Hamilton's public works committee has voted in favour of allowing personal e-scooters on municipal roads. But until rules are established for commercial operators, they'll be banned.

Electric kick-scooters, which travel up to 24 km/hr, are now allowed to operate on local roads and designated pathways, generally where bicycles are currently permitted, according to recommendations tabled at the meeting on Monday.

The move follows the provincial government's decision in January to start a five-year pilot program that would allow e-scooters on municipal roads, but only if municipalities "opted-in."

E-scooters aren't allowed on sidewalks or in parks. The city will look into travel through parks, if necessary, later on.

The green light only applies to personal scooters. Devices like motor-assisted bicycles do not count as an e-scooter.

Pilots in other cities
Part of the phase-in approach includes the city coming up with fines and rules for usage in parks.

Peter Topalovic, program manager of sustainable mobility, said e-scooters reduce reliance on cars, connect people to public-transit, and reduce air pollution. Challenges, he said, are user and pedestrian safety, and parking on sidewalks or abandoned scooters.

"There's been an evolution of e-scooter devices, so they include more safety measures and they're getting more robust as a technology," he said.

There have been pilot projects and permits given out for e-scooters in Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, and Ottawa, ranging from a few months to several years long. Winsdor's project has been deferred due to the pandemic.

Following its pilot, Montreal banned shared, dockless e-scooters for 2020 because the city said people weren't following the rules.

The problem, the city reported, was that people were only parking in designated spots 20 per cent of the time. Tickets were also issued, with the vast majority of them being for not wearing a helmet.

Commercial e-scooter operations that are similar to bike shares will be considered at a different public works meeting in the first quarter of 2021.

When Coun. Tom Jackson (Ward 6) asked how many e-scooters would take to the roads, Topalovic said he would assume a "small uptake," but it would rise over time.

Compliment or competition to SoBi
Councillors Chad Collins (Ward 5) and Esther Pauls (Ward 7) both raised the question of whether e-scooters would conflict with Hamilton's bike share program, whose bikes are colloquially known as SoBis. It almost ended this year, but was saved by a crowd-funding campaign and charitable donations.

Jessica Merolli, who spoke on behalf of the Hamilton Cycling Committee, said some members have expressed concerns about it being a "competing" form of transportation. The committee doesn't think it "has to be bad" for SoBi, she said, but the way the city moves forward will impact whether the services compliment or compete against each other.

Topalovic said a phased in approach would help with this and creating balance in the long-term. He added e-scooters have different users, and help people "get into" micromobility — smaller, slower vehicles — who might not otherwise be.

Merolli raised concerns about e-scooters integration, and said more money would need to be invested in infrastructure because "painted lines on roads aren't enough" to keep cyclists or scooter riders safe.

This also goes for ensuring there isn't limited parking, she said, adding the committee wants to avoid e-scooters taking spaces on racks, and bikes in turn being displaced, improperly locked, and blocking walkways.

Topalovic replied to a question from Jackson saying that e-scooter riders would be encouraged to use infrastructure, like bi-directional bicycle lanes, to increase safety for all road users.

Two delegates from scooter companies —Shoaib Ahmed from Scooty and Chris Schafer from Bird Canada — and Moaz Ahmad, a researcher, also spoke at the meeting about the benefits of e-scooters.

Brian Hollingworth, Hamilton's director of transportation planning and parking said e-scooters would be enforced like bicycles, with Hamilton Police Services enforcing on streets and city bylaw officers enforcing in parks.
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  #442  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2021, 7:31 PM
Crapht Crapht is offline
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Any Keddy Access Trail reviews you'd like to share? It's never been very busy when I've been on it. Maybe people will take advantage more during the warmer parts of the year.
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  #443  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2021, 8:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Crapht View Post
Any Keddy Access Trail reviews you'd like to share? It's never been very busy when I've been on it. Maybe people will take advantage more during the warmer parts of the year.
I haven't been over to take a look yet, but I have to imagine that it will mostly be a utility section of trail, and right now, there are less things to go to. Plus it's been closed for salting or whatever and I'm sure many people aren't even aware it exists. It will take time to build up usage. Cannon street bicycle lanes took 3 or 4 years to get to the high usage it gets today.
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  #444  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2021, 3:38 AM
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It’s winter too. Even the lower city cycle routes are pretty empty.

Given the grades involved I don’t imagine the Keddy trail will ever be super busy, but in the summer time I can see it getting half decent use. In the end it’s a key piece of infrastructure to connect the mountain to the lower city for cyclists.
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  #445  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2021, 3:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
It’s winter too. Even the lower city cycle routes are pretty empty.

Given the grades involved I don’t imagine the Keddy trail will ever be super busy, but in the summer time I can see it getting half decent use. In the end it’s a key piece of infrastructure to connect the mountain to the lower city for cyclists.
I know there's been requests to put cycle counters along the trail. I'd be curious to see how popular it is. I know a few of my big cycling friends have been using it regularly.
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  #446  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2021, 9:39 PM
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Never mind the fact we're also supposed to be staying home cause of COVID right now. I'm sure it'll get much busier this summer.
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  #447  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2021, 10:17 PM
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The number of winter cyclists continues to rise from what I observe in my day to day riding. Regardless of Covid, we are allowed and encouraged to get fresh air. I just hope the Keddy Trail continues to improve. The space below the Jolley Cut (Arkledun Ave) should have some benches as rest stops and a water refill station like the ones at some of the escarpment stairs. I would really like a stair access to the rail trail at the dog park as well. Just something like the existing escarpment stairs. There is just so much potential in this simple piece of infrastructure.
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  #448  
Old Posted Jan 3, 2021, 1:54 AM
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I've been for a few evening rides and walks, but just went for my first daytime trip up it on New Years Day. It's actually nice for pandemic walks with friends because its wide enough to keep an appropriate distance. On the holiday, it was quite busy. Several recreational cyclists riding for exercise and a number of families, couples and single people walking up and down.
I wonder if it will be more popular for recreational/ exercise purposes than for commuting. All 5 or 6 trips I've made up and down it so far have been recreational, and it's a great exercise option for the thousands of people who live nearby. I can bike from Jackson Square to the far West 5th end of the access and back in less than a half hour, so it's a unique combination of convenient access, nature and legit exercise.
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  #449  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2021, 6:21 PM
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Search the map: New, improved Hamilton bike routes coming soon

https://www.thespec.com/news/council...this-year.html

interactive Google map

Matthew Van Dongen
The Hamilton Spectator
Jan 11, 2021

Hamilton plans to add close to 20 kilometres of new bike lanes, paths and pedal-friendly improvements this year amid a focus on COVID-safe mobility.

The city has plans for at least $3.6 million in new cycling infrastructure, featuring the start of a curb-protected cycling track on Victoria Avenue, “bicycle boulevards” on residential streets and beefed-up safety measures for existing bike lanes.

Close to $3 million of that total will come from city taxpayers — the highest amount of local spending on the bike budget in years. (Last year, the city spent a record $6 million on cycling projects, but the majority of that cash came from provincial or other grants.)

...

[director of transportation planning Brian] Hollingworth said the city will start building the north end of the new protected lanes on Victoria this year and continue designing the southern end for future construction.

The city is also looking at adding a “bicycle boulevard” on residential streets like Pearl and Kent, and through the Hamilton Amateur Athletics Association grounds park. A bicycle boulevard is meant to prioritize bike traffic on low-traffic streets but still allow for low-speed local motorists.

Overall, the city hopes to add about 11 kilometres in standalone bike improvements all across the city’s cycling network, with another eight kilometres expected as part of road reconstruction, bridge work or repaving projects.

Private development projects in Waterdown, Binbrook and at McMaster Innovation Park are also expected to add multi-use paths or cycling path improvements in the next year.

Design work continues on other projects — some of which could still be built this year if new provincial grant money comes through, Hollingworth added.


Full story
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  #450  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2021, 10:06 PM
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Just to point out in the details the city is essentially funding 8.3km of new bicycle lanes. The other kms are "improvements" and provincial funding that runs out in 2021.
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  #451  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2021, 12:32 PM
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I will get alot of use out of the Hunter street connection. Can't wait for that. It's a long time coming but the Victoria Ave cycle track is a surprise! Has anyone seen any plans or drawings for it anywhere? I can't find any.
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  #452  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2021, 4:37 PM
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There are already weird, completely useless lanes between Barton and like, Ferrie Street or something? Those ones never made any sense to me. Might as well make some use out of that giant street.
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  #453  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2021, 7:32 PM
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Originally Posted by matt602 View Post
There are already weird, completely useless lanes between Barton and like, Ferrie Street or something? Those ones never made any sense to me. Might as well make some use out of that giant street.
They were extended this year from Ferrie up to Burlington St. this year as a part of the two-way conversion on that stretch of Victoria. Yea, They should totally go up to Hunter St. / the Keddy Trail, and make it bi-directional.
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  #454  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2021, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
They were extended this year from Ferrie up to Burlington St. this year as a part of the two-way conversion on that stretch of Victoria. Yea, They should totally go up to Hunter St. / the Keddy Trail, and make it bi-directional.
I'm very interested to see how Victoria cycle track will integrate with Hunter st and Keddy Access Trail.
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  #455  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2021, 11:34 PM
TheRitsman TheRitsman is offline
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I'm very interested to see how Victoria cycle track will integrate with Hunter st and Keddy Access Trail.
I am pretty sure the bicycle lane only goes to Main Street for some reason. Hamilton loves building bicycle lanes almost to a useful place.
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  #456  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2021, 2:02 AM
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I am pretty sure the bicycle lane only goes to Main Street for some reason. Hamilton loves building bicycle lanes almost to a useful place.
I've got a feeling you could be correct unless they can do something with the alleyway that runs just south of Main behind the Canadian Tire.
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  #457  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2021, 1:39 PM
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I recall early last year City Council was discussing adding some form of protection on the Stone Church lanes, is that still proceeding?

Stone Church also has an unfortunate gap where it meets Garth: https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.21625...7i16384!8i8192
Heading east you get spit out into moving traffic only for the bike lanes to continue on the other side of the intersection. It would be nice if the City could get gaps like these filled as a priority.
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  #458  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2021, 1:53 PM
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They added a bit of protection in 2020 from my understanding, and are planning on adding more in 2021 too, including filling the gap at Garth.
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  #459  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2021, 2:09 PM
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They added a bit of protection in 2020 from my understanding, and are planning on adding more in 2021 too, including filling the gap at Garth.
There hasn't been any protection added in 2020. Hopefully we see some progress on this in 2021 as it has the potential to be a great east-west corridor across the mountain.
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  #460  
Old Posted Jan 18, 2021, 3:13 PM
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There hasn't been any protection added in 2020. Hopefully we see some progress on this in 2021 as it has the potential to be a great east-west corridor across the mountain.
Thanks for confirming. They were definitely discussing doing it in 2020 in the spring, it must have been deferred to 2021.
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