Hamilton’s ‘quick start’ changes to Main Street ahead of 2-way conversion

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Published August 4, 2022 at 8:00 am

Hamilton's 'quick start' changes to Main Street ahead of 2-way conversion
The City of Hamilton has been moving fast to implement changes to Main Street ahead of the one-way to two-way conversio — referred to as "quick changes." (@JasonThorne_RPP photo)

The City of Hamilton has been moving fast to implement changes to Main Street ahead of the one-way to two-way conversion.

Referred to as “quick changes” by Jason Thorne, the city’s head planner, motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians will notice a slew of implementations to improve overall safety.

Some changes already made include no right turns at red lights, travel lane on-street parking, and leading pedestrian intervals, which provide an advanced walk signal so that pedestrians can begin to cross the street before vehicles get a green signal.

The city has also implemented more ladder crosswalks, which studies show can improve pedestrian visibility while they cross.

Thorne tweeted Wednesday that the design for the full two-way “complete street” conversion of Main is underway.

Hamilton city council passed a motion last May to convert Main, which has a disproportionately higher accident rate than other streets. Overall, the city had just reached double-digit pedestrian deaths within a few months when Hamilton typically averages around four per year.

The annual collision reports reveal an over-representation of serious injuries and fatal collisions along Main and King streets in Hamilton. The motion also called for a safety assessment of King, which is already facing restructuring due to the implementation of light rail transit (LRT) along the corridor.

According to the council motion, the conversion of the four-lane Main “will enable safer use for all people who need to use the streets, including public transit riders, pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists.”

They were instructed to report back to council in “early 2023” with an implementation plan for the two-way conversion of Main that includes an assessment of costs, construction timing, and resource requirements.

The project is being funded through the city’s road safety capital budget at a limit of $400,000.

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