Hamilton’s Main Street will go from five to four lanes – Hamilton | Globalnews.ca

One of Hamilton’s main thoroughfares is set to undergo several changes this summer after city councilors approved ‘short-term’ changes to Main Street, including moving from five to four lanes.

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The redevelopment is part of a broader scope of initiatives along Main and King streets in hopes of strengthening the city’s approach to traffic safety, which has been marred by several pedestrian fatalities since early 2022.

Wednesday’s approval sets in motion improvements to create as much separation between vehicles and pedestrians as possible, including parking modifications, traffic signal changes and lane modifications.

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It also sets the stage for the eventual splitting of the roadway with two-way lanes, which is in keeping with the city’s upcoming LRT development.

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Before committee approval, Ward 3 Count. Nrinder Nann told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton that the movement it would be “fundamentally driven” by obligations to the Vision Zero program, which appears to fall short of the city’s promise of zero injuries and zero fatalities.

“We’ve had people injured and killed because they’ve been hit by drivers at a rate that’s absolutely alarming during this pandemic,” Nann said.

“Every time I think about these reports in this handbook, about the motions that we passed, I think about the people whose lives have been affected or lost.”

Changes to Main Street are expected to be supported by targeted educational campaigns informing residents about changes such as no right turns on red, new pedestrian lanes and community safety zones.

Councilmembers approved the plan during a session to discuss modifications to the Complete street design manuala template that governs how streets in Hamilton are designed with the needs of road users of all ages who walk, bike, take public transportation, drive or deliver goods.

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district 1 county. Maureen Wilson says the handbook provides guidance through citizen advocacy to make the city more sustainable and livable overall.

“I think it also gives neighborhoods an opportunity to get involved and see the possibility of what can happen in their neighborhood,” Wilson told Global News.

“So it becomes that active lens through which we have an obligation to act and I would say we have an opportunity to make our city more liveable.”

The discussion about the manual came after the 2021 Annual Crash Report in which the interim director of transportation operations, Mike Field, revealed a decrease in accident statistics in the last two years amid the pandemic.

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Hamilton had 6,812 reported collisions in 2021, according to the report, a significant drop from the 9,896 reported in 2019.

Reported injuries also saw a drop to 1,161 in 2021 from about 1,500 reported two years ago.

However, deaths increased in 2021 to 16, three more since 2020 and two more than in 2019.

There were 9 pedestrian fatalities in 2021, the highest number between 2017 and 2021.

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One of the most significant changes to Main Street will involve a change from five lanes of traffic to just four lanes between Dundurn and Sherman Avenue by the end of August.

In that same timeframe, drivers will see lane restrictions at signalized intersections in the form of designated turn lanes and the installation of temporary overhangs or curb extensions to protect parking along the north side of Main.

The intersection of MacNab and Main will have a dedicated space for transit vehicles with the possibility of a skip-the-line lane. The latter is being reviewed for possible implementation by city staff.

The city’s first Pedestrian Priority Phase (PPP), also known as “walk fight,” will debut on Main at Summers Lane in late 2022.

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The traffic light adjustment will temporarily stop all vehicular traffic, allowing pedestrians to cross an intersection in all directions, even diagonally at the same time.

Stair crossing markings will be employed at all intersections with traffic lights on major streets and those with stop-controlled side streets.

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Main Street is undergoing the road marking process starting in July, while King Street will see work in this area completed by the end of 2022.

Exceptions are new pedestrian signals on Main and Hilda Avenues, as well as on Main and Melrose Avenues in 2023.

City teams will evaluate locations for both automatic speed enforcement (ASE) and dynamic speed signs (signs that contain a radar device and LED display) for various Main Street locations in the coming months.

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The new ASE-supplemented community safety zones are targeted at Main between Dundurn and Queen, as well as Gage Avenue and Delta Park.

The proposed zones on King Street would be between Dundurn and Locke, Emerald Street to Wellington, and Lottridge to Gage.

Councilmembers with the Public Works Committee will meet to discuss more options on August 10.

Pedestrians will have more time to cross Main and King streets when walking lights are adjusted from 1 meter per second to 1.2 meters per second.

The switch will begin in some places in July and all crossings will convert by the end of August.

Pedestrian “countdown” signs (PCS) will also be installed where none exist, and priority will be given to locations that have low crash performance data. Work on these latter locations is expected to be completed in September with the remainder to be installed by the end of 2022.

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Council approval of a ‘no right turn on red’ stipulation intended for most signalized Main and King intersections is still pending.

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Vehicles turning right onto one of the main arteries or turning right off the roadway will be affected.

A statute for the restriction on Main will go before the council on July 8 and King is expected to vote on August 12. The implementation would start with the approval of the statutes.

The addition of street parking on Main Street is also one of the new safety initiatives that is expected to reduce moving vehicles on public roads.

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Parking will soon be an option during morning and afternoon rush hours on Main, while a cross street designation will allow overnight parking near residential blocks.

Other parking changes include:

  • Eliminate paid parking meters by maintaining a two-hour time limit between 8am and 9pm with the possibility of 12-hour parking from 9:pm to 8am
  • Two-hour paid parking on the north side by City Hall with no stops on the south side to assist with HSR routes and short-term loads and returns
  • Two-hour paid parking on the north and south side at Gage Park

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