I’ve heard lots of criticism about the implementation of bike lanes downtown on Herkimer and Charlton Streets.
Most of the rants are from motorists who decry the fact that lanes of traffic have been eliminated and parking and bike lanes have been instituted on what was previously a driving lane.
I’ve driven on both streets, including rush hour and I know that traffic is slowed down , but that’s not a bad thing; reduced speed limits are the new normal in many North American cities these days.
Previously, I’ve seen cars racing through those streets, sometimes running stop signs and creating a danger to those neighbourhoods.
I must admit, the configuration of a bike lane beside the sidewalk and then a parking lane beside it takes a little getting used to, but I kind of like the idea.
The parked cars act as a buffer between cyclists and vehicular traffic, and that’s a good thing.
However, all of this must be balanced against the fact that the overwhelming majority of Hamiltonians still use cars to get around .
The challenge going forward for Hamilton will be to integrate improved transit and cycling routes but also maintain an efficient road system for vehicular traffic.
We don’t need one over the other, we need all of them .